One hand we’ve got so-called fitness experts overcomplicating chest workout and making it seem like it’s far more complicated than it is.
On the other hand, however, more and more minimalist trainers have gone the different route.
Claiming that building a bigger chest is as simple as bench pressing frequently and getting progressively louder.
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The truth, however, lies somewhere in the middle.
But they are the exception you see building a solid, well-rounded chest. It doesn’t have to be this elaborate process to hit the chest from all different angles.
Likewise, it’s usually not as simple as bench pressing every day if you want to build a bigger overall chest.
2 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW.
You’ve got to understand the anatomy and physiology of the chest once you understand.
What muscles are involved in the exercise and more importantly what function they are responsible for.
Choosing the right exercises and how to perform them more effectively.
Once you’ve got your two or three key movements. Focus on progression if you are performing the right exercises.
Using proper form ensures the Pecs are doing the majority of the work rather than secondary muscles bearing the load.
Gradually increasing the load- example increasing reps without sacrificing weight or increasing weight without sacrificing reps your chest will grow.
The Anatomy Of The Chest.
The anatomy of the chest- is actually only made up of one main muscle the pectoral major.
The chest muscles main function is to bring the upper arm across the body.
The pectoral major has multiple heads there’s a sternocostal head which attaches the breastbone in rib cage.
Your upper arm and a clavicular head which attaches your collarbone to your upper arm.
This is important because how a muscle attaches to the skeleton helps determine how it responds to different movements.
Exercises like the flat barbell bench press emphasize the larger sternocostal head of the chest.
Exercises that involve moving the arms up and away from the chest like the incline barbell press emphasize the Clavicular head or upper chest.
That said it’s not hard to see why targeting the mid chest or lower Pecs is a complete waste of time.
The pectoralis major is one muscle responsible for the same few functions.
- Horizontal adduction
- Internal rotation
- Shoulder flexion and extension.
Now that you understand what muscles you are targeting and what movement they are involved in it .
It’s time to go over the best exercises for training these functions effectively.
In primary pushing movement the focal point of your chest exercises should do a few things.
First this exercise should focus on the primary function of the Pecs.
Second this should be a big heavy compound exercise that allows you to load the Pecs.
Lastly rather than focusing on one portion of the chest it should target the chest as a whole
THREE CHEST WORKOUT TO FOCUS
Bench press is the obvious choice, a study published in the Journal of interventional medicine Applied Science.
They found that chest workout done 3 days per week Monday Wednesday and Friday with no chest isolation exercises increase chest thickness.
1 rep max by 50% on average the chest gains, the subjects experience were directly associated with a stronger bench press.
Now I know what you’re thinking you are already bench pressing getting stronger but your chest isn’t responding.
Am i right? this is where understanding the physiology comes into play here’s what I want you to do.
Here is something you need to try out, Put your left hand over your right PEC bend your elbow at 90 degree.
Now bring your arm up so your shoulder and elbow are in line from here I want you to push your arm out in front of you almost as if your bench pressing while keeping your hand on your chest.
Did you notice the lack of tension in your chest that’s because benching with flared elbows almost completely eliminates the main focus of the PEC major horizontal adduction.
Try this put your left hand over your chest bend your elbow at 90 degrees.
But this time instead of bringing your arm up to the point your shoulder and elbow on line.
Stop Midway with your elbow closer to your body from here with your hand still on your chest push your arm out as if your bench pressing.
Did you notice the huge difference this simple change in how you perform the bench press alone will make a huge difference in the development of your chest.
Little first make sure your wrists and elbows are in line when gripping the bar .
Second bring the bar down right below the nipple line if you can.
Accomplish these two things you’re likely keeping your elbows in a safe position while also putting more tension on the pecs than the shoulders.
If you’re already bench pressing frequently using proper form and getting stronger.
Fear not there are still two more movements you should be implementing.
The incline bench press chest workout activates the upper chest better than the flat bench this is why I recommend this.
Everyone should include an exercise that prioritizes shoulder flexion.
When pushing to ensure stimulating the upper chest sufficiently this exercise should focus primarily on the upper chest.
It include a good deal of horizontal adduction getting the humerus across the body.
I recommend an incline dumbbell press using dumbbells will allow more freedom to bring the humerus.
The body horizontal adduction while still allowing you to load the upper chest to a great degree.
Another alternative would be the close grip bench press although this exercise is touted as a great triceps builder.
Research shows that the close grip bench press activates the upper chest 20 to 30 percent better than the flat barbell bench press.
I recommend performing an exercise that targets the chest as a whole allows for a nice stretch.
Allows for the greatest feel of the muscle in my opinion there’s no better way to end a chest workout than a chest fly.
Whether it’s done with cables or dumbbells the amount of stretch you can achieve safely through the chest fly is amazing.
Further we get the upper arm across the body the shorter we can get the PEC want to maximize.
Contraction with the chest fly most people make the mistake they will perform the chest fly with their elbows slightly bent almost as if they’re hugging a barrel.
The problem is this is causing us to stop short and contraction making the chest fly almost completely useless.
Instead start the movement off with your elbows slightly bent but begin to straighten your arms out as you complete the rep.
This will allow you to get the humerus further across the body making for a fully short and contraction.
To summarize make the bench press the focal point of your chest training load the bar up and aim to get as strong as possible.
Include some upper chest work to ensure you’re providing enough volume for growth then finish off your workout with a fly.
It allows for a good stretch strong contraction and an insane pump want to take your chest training to the next level .