There’s a good reason that Monday is known as International Chest Day, when you see most of the guys working like crazy in an attempt to build their pecs. Well, because big pecs are an indicator of strength and athleticism and having strong pecs goes a long way toward improving your posture. To do this you need the best chest workout to properly stimulate the chest muscles.
The chest is one of the most recognizable muscle group no matter what you wear its very noticeable and is one of the first things people will pay attention to when you walk through the door.
Studies have also shown that women are psychologically attracted to men with a chest size and if you have a big chest, you will give off a vibe that makes you look stronger, healthier and confident.
Anatomy of the chest
The muscles that makes up the chest are:
- Pectoralis major
- Pectoralis minor
- Serratus anterior
The pecs are attached to the humerus of the arm, right next to where the shoulder meets. They originate at the chest bone and run across the front of the body.
This is a large fan-shaped muscle, extending from the clavicle, ribs and sternum and inserting into the upper part of the humerus. It helps to flex the shoulder joint, move the arm forward and across the chest.
This is found beneath the pectoralis major. It emerges from the ribs and inserts to the scapula especially in the coracoid process, the pectoral minor moves shoulder forward and down.
This is usually grouped as part of a chest muscle group because it attaches close to the pectoralis on the ribs. Its functions are to move the scapular upward and forward.
Training for the chest also requires smart training, knowing which angles to target, which workout work well for different chest muscle. All these require smart training as well. Let’s know how best to train the chest.
The best chest workout tips
Train your chest from different angles
Most lifters would be satisfied with just doing a few exercises like the bench press and calling it a day. There is no doubt that the bench press is a good exercise for building the chest.
However, relying on just the bench press wont train the chest adequately from different angles which will make you miss out on some quality gains.
Incorporating a variety of other exercises and using different angles like incline, decline for your chest will help maximize your pec development.
Isolate the chest
As with any other body part, you may find that some areas grow better and faster than others. Isolation exercises will help with some stubborn muscles to grow faster and also correct any muscle imbalances.
Use proper form
The most common problem people fail to develop the type of chest they want is not using the proper technique. This will not only hinder your progress but will also cause you injuries that will hinder the growth with time. proper form is important for success in lifting weights, not only in training the chest but also in other muscle groups too.
The best chest workout
If you want to build a big chest, start training properly with the best chest workout.
Start heavy with barbell flat bench press
At the beginning of your workout, it is better to start with compound movement as it will allow you to lift more weight while you are still strong.
There is no denying that a heavy bench press is one of the best chest workouts.
This exercise will build muscle and strength in the pectorals, front deltoids and triceps. The bench press is a fundamental compound exercise for the upper body, produces growth, strength and muscle density.
How to do barbell flat bench press
- Lie back on a flat bench, with your feet on the floor for the balance.
- Lift the barbell with a medium grip, holding it at arm’s length above you.
- Lower the bar slowly and controlled until it touches just below the chest
- Then press the bar upwards until your arms are completely locked.
Follow up with the dumbbell flyes
Dumbbell flyes increases the mass of the chest. The function of pectorals is basically to pull the arms and shoulders inwards across the body and that is exactly what you do while performing this exercise.
How to do a dumbbell flye
- Lie on a bench with dumbbells at arm’s length above you, palms facing each other.
- lower the weights out and down in a wide arc as far as possible feeling the chest muscle stretch, the palms should remain facing each other as it moves.
- Bend your arms slightly while doing this movement to reduce stress on the elbows.
- 4 Bring the weights to a complete stop at a point in line with the bench, your pectorals stretch as much as possible, then lift them back up along the same wide arc.
- Return the weights to the original position and contract the pectorals further, giving a little extra flex to make the muscle work much harder.
Do the incline dumbbell press for the upper pecs
Why dumbbells? The incline dumbbell press targets the upper pecs especially the clavicular head of the pectorals. The incline dumbbell press also has the advantage of correcting strength imbalances between each side of the body.
How to do the incline dumbbell press
- Take a dumbbell in each hand and lie back on an incline bench, raise the dumbbells holding them at shoulder’s height, palms facing forward.
- Lift them straight up at the same time over the head.
- Then return back to starting position.
Note: you can start with the palms facing each other and rotate your wrist as you lift, so that the palms face upwards at the top of the exercise, and then rotate them back to the starting position as you lower the dumbbells.
Add definition to the chest with cable crossover
The purpose of this is to add definition to the inner and middle pectoral muscles. This is one of the best chest workout in creating definitions to the chest and getting the fullest range of motion, stretching the pectorals to the maximum at full extension.
How to do the cable crossovers
- Stand upright, grab the handles of the cables using an overhand grip attached to pulley, pulling the arms together in front of you.
- Bend forward slightly with one foot planted in front of the other for balance.
- With the elbows slightly bent extend each arm outward, feeling the pectoral muscles contracting then bring the arms together in a big hugging motion.
- When the arms come in the center, don’t stop cross one hand over the other contracting your chest muscles.
Finish with dumbbell pullovers
Pullovers develop the pectorals and expand the rib cage, this exercise is very effective and many support this. Back in 1911, Alan Calvert declared that dumbbell pullover was the best form of exercise he used to build up his chest, Arnold credits the dumbbell pullover for helping him to create his chest development.
Some say pullovers is an effective back exercise and others say it is an effective chest exercise, but it is rare to see people doing this exercise. Yes, pullover works not just one muscle group, it works the chest and also the lats and the muscles of the rib cage.
A 2011 study showed that the dumbbell pullover emphasizes the pectoralis much larger than the latissimus dorsi after a comparison of EMG activity performed between the two.
Use it as one of the last exercise exercises after other muscles get fatigued. Focus squeezing the muscle when doing this exercise.
How to do the dumbbell pullovers
- Holding a dumbbell, lie on your back flat on a bench, your feet flat on the floor.
- Hold the dumbbell with both hands and lift it straight up to your chest with both palms by pressing against the underside of the top plate.
- keep your arms straight, lower the weight slightly down in an arc, behind your head, feel the chest and rib cage stretch.
- drop the simultaneously when lifting the dumbbell to increase the stretch.
- After lowering the dumbbells as much as possible, lift it back to the starting position through the same arc.
A big chest is what everyone admires. If you want to take your training to the next level, start training in the right way for great results.