Due to their large size, the chest muscles require a little more training that the smaller muscle groups, consequently, a strong chest building workout should include more exercise sets than any of the smaller muscles. According to the experts, there are three things that should be included in every chest building workout. They include, upper chest exercises, cross over movements, and a size builder or compound movement.
Upper Chest Exercises
- The best upper chest exercises for a chest building workout include incline flies, incline dumbbell press and the incline barbell press.
- Crossover movements will help define the valley between the pectoral muscles. Beginners should concentrate on dumbbell flies, however, more experienced lifters should use cable lifts.
- Using a flat bench press or dumbbells, you will want to load as much weight as possible while still being able to complete at least 6-10 controlled repetitions during your chest building workout.
If you’re a beginner, you should definitely start with less but your goal is to build to to 7-12 sets per workout. Utilize at least 3-4 different exercises within those sets. Each set should consist of 8-15 repetitions.
Important Tips for an Effective Chest Building Workout
To get the maximum benefit from your bicep training, it is important to remember to:
- Make sure that when performing these exercises, you are not locking your elbows. When your arms are straight, you will want to keep your elbows slightly relaxed.
- Keep your back straight. The natural tendency is actually going to be to arch your back to lift more weight. This will actually create potential back injuries and takes the stress off of the chest muscle where you want it.
- Pay close attention to how far you’re actually stretching.
- Don’t lower the bar all the way to your chest.
- Vary your workout by simply substituting exercises.
- Avoid injuries by lifting with a partner and lifting the proper amount of weight.
Following are several chest-building exercises. Remember to use at least 3 or 4 different exercises to make up your total sets. above. As with all bodybuilding programs, it’s important to keep your muscles from adapting to any one routine. When choosing your exercises, concentrate on movements that put as much isolated stress on the chest as possible.
Chest Building Workout Exercises
|Stand in the center of a cable rack. Make sure both attachments are connected to the upper cable pulleys. Always keep one leg in front of the other. Keep your arms slightly bent, to contract the chest muscles when you bring the cables to the middle of your chest. Do not cross your hands as this decreases emphasis on the chest. Once you have done this slowly take them back to the starting position, and repeat.|
|Lie back on a bench grasping two dumbbells, arms straight above your shoulders, palms facing inwards. Keeping straight arms but elbows unlocked, slowly lower dumbbells in an arc out and down to either side, stretching your chest muscles. Slowly lift dumbbells in the same arc, lower back to starting position and repeat, keeping your head and back flat on the bench.|
Incline Bench Press
|For dumbbells, lie squarely on an incline bench set at about 40 degrees, dumbbells should be no wider than shoulder width, grasp the dumbbells with an overhand grip. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your back straight. Now for the motion, press slowly upwards toward the ceiling, just until your arms lock out, Pause, and then lower the dumbbells until they reach chest height. Repeat movement.
For barbell press, lie back on an incline bench set at about 40 degrees, with your back and head on the incline, feet flat on the floor. Grip barbell with hands a little more than shoulder width apart. Hold barbell above your upper chest, arms straight. Bending elbows, slowly lower barbell towards your upper chest just enough to make light contact. Push barbell straight up over your chest; straighten arms and lock elbows. Slowly lower barbell and repeat. Use a spotter to hold the barbell for you at the start and end of this exercise.
Decline Bench Press
|Lie back on a decline bench. Grip barbell with hands a little more than shoulder width apart. Hold barbell above your lower chest, arms straight. Bending elbows, slowly lower barbell towards your lower chest, about level with the lower limit of your pectorals. Push barbell straight up, slowly lower and repeat, keeping your head and back flat on the bench. Use a spotter to hold the barbell for you at the start and end of this exercise.|
|For dumbbell press, start seated on a bench with the weights resting up and down on your quads. Lay back and swing the weights back to the point where the corners of each dumbbell are just touching your outer pecs. Push the weight up, bringing them slightly closer together at the top of the movement. Lower the weight back down slowly; two seconds on the way down for every second on the way up. Repeat.
For barbell press, Lie on your back on a flat bench, feet flat on the floor either side. Grip barbell with hands a little more than shoulder width apart. Hold barbell above your upper chest, arms straight. Bending elbows, slowly lower barbell towards your chest without touching it. Push barbell straight up over your chest; straighten arms and lock elbows. Slowly lower barbell and repeat. Use a spotter to hold the barbell for you at the start and end of this exercise.
Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullovers
|Lie on your back on a flat bench, feet flat on the floor either side, and your head at the end. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands. With elbows slightly bent and kept in, lift the dumbbell up over your head in a semi-circle and slowly lower towards floor as far as comfortable. Keeping your head down, back flat and elbows in, lift dumbbell back over your head in the same semi-circular path.|