Chest Workout

Chest Workout

 

Chest are grouped under upper body. It is divided into two main pec muscles:

  1. Pectoralis Major
  2. Pectoralis Minor

 

Pectoralis Major

Pectoralis major is a thick, fan-shaped muscle, situated at the chest (anterior) of the human body. It makes up the bulk of the chest muscles in the male and lies under the breast in the female.

Pectoralis major is again sub categorized as below:

  1. Upper pectoral muscles
  2. Mid pectoral muscles
  3. Lower pectoral muscles

If you really want to achieve thick round chest, all the three muscles need to be well trained. Below I have covered few exercises for each muscle groups.

 

Push-ups

As you begin your main course with a starter, similarly it is always better to begin your chest exercise with push-ups. It will warm chest muscles and helps us to proceed weight training easily.

Normal Push Up

Main Area Targeted: Mid Pectoral Muscles/Mid Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Shoulders

Steps:

  1. Lie face-down on the floor and start with your hands about shoulder-width apart, with your legs stretched behind you.
  2. Push your body up from the floor with your hands until your elbows are straight, then lower yourself back to the floor.
  3. Do 3 sets of 15 push-ups, or as many as you can before growing fatigued. Add more reps as you gain strength.

 Similarly you can do incline pushups by keeping your hands on bench and legs resting on the floor. For decline pushups reverse the position and follow the same steps same as normal pushups.

Incline Push Up

Main Area Targeted: Lower Pectoral Muscles/Lower Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Back Muscles

Decline Push Up

Main Area Targeted: Upper Pectoral Muscles/Upper Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Anterior Deltoids/Front Shoulders

 

Bench Press

Press is for increasing the chest size. It causes chest to pump and come out. It can be performed either by barbell or dumbbells. Training by dumbbells has proven a better results than barbell.

Below are the three variations to target specific muscles of Pectoralis Major.

Barbell Flat Bench Press

Main Area Targeted: Mid Pectoral Muscles/Mid Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Shoulders

Steps:

  1. This movement is performed on a flat bench. Grasp the bar with a wider than shoulder-width overhand grip. The grip should be so when you lower the weight to your chest, your forearms should point straight up.
  2. As you exhale raise the bar directly above your chest. This is your starting position.
  3. As you inhale lower the barbell down to chest until you reach about 1" from your chest.
  4. Hold for 1 second and then raise bar back up to the top.

Similarly you can do Barbell Incline Bench Press by lying on 30 degrees incline bench and placing your feet flat on the ground. For Barbell Decline Bench Press reverse the position and follow the same steps same as Barbell Flat Bench Press.

Barbell Incline Bench Press

Main Area Targeted: Upper Pectoral Muscles/Upper Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Anterior Deltoids/Front Shoulders

Barbell Decline Bench Press

Main Area Targeted: Lower Pectoral Muscles/Lower Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Shoulders 

Dumbbell Incline Press

Main Area Targeted: Upper Pectoral Muscles/Upper Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Anterior Deltoids/Front Shoulders

Steps:

  1. This movement is performed on a slightly inclined bench, roughly 30 degrees. Lie down on the bench, placing your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Bring each dumbbell to shoulder height, keeping your palms facing forward and your elbows straight down.
  3. Simultaneously press the dumbbells up overhead, bringing them together at the top of the movement as you breathe out. Contract your pectorals.
  4. Hold or 1-2 seconds, then lower the weights as you breathe in.

 Similarly you can do Dumbbell Flat Press by lying on a flat bench and placing your feet flat on the ground. For Dumbbell Decline Press reverse the position and follow the same steps same as Dumbbell Incline Press.

Dumbbell Flat Press

Main Area Targeted: Mid Pectoral Muscles/Mid Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Shoulders

Dumbbell Decline Press

Main Area Targeted: Lower Pectoral Muscles/Lower Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Shoulders

 

Flyes

Flyes is for increasing the width of the chest and separating both the major pecs from each other.

It can be performed by dumbbell, cable machine, seated fly machine or pec dec. It should be done after the bench press.

Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly

Main Area Targeted: Mid Pectoral Muscles/Mid Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Shoulders

Steps:

  1. This movement is performed on a flat bench. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with over-hand grip.
  2. Start with the dumbbells together directly above your chest. Your elbows should be slightly bent, and your palms facing each other.
  3. Simultaneously, lower the weights down to either sides of your body as you breathe in. You will feel a stretch in the outer pectorals. Keep your palms facing inward and maintain a slight bend in the elbows. Once the dumbbells are parallel with the bench, pause.
  4. Hold and contract for 1-2 seconds, then raise your arms back to the top following the same arc as you breathe out.

Similarly you can do Incline Dumbbell Fly by lying on 30 degrees incline bench and placing your feet flat on the ground. For Decline Dumbbell Fly reverse the position and follow the same steps same as Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly.

Incline Bench Dumbbell Fly

Main Area Targeted: Upper Pectoral Muscles/Upper Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Anterior Deltoids/Front Shoulders

Decline Bench Dumbbell Fly

Main Area Targeted: Lower Pectoral Muscles/Lower Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Shoulders

Seated Machine Fly/Butter Fly

Main Area Targeted: Pectoralis Major

Secondary Area Targeted: Anterior Deltoids/Front Shoulders

Steps:

  1. This movement is performed on a seated fly machine or pec dec.
  2. Sit on the seat provided. Be sure that your feet is flat on the ground, adjust the seat if necessary.
  3. Grasp the handles of the machine. Be sure that your hands are level with your shoulders. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, bring your hands together as you breathe out.
  4. Hold for 1-2 seconds, contract your pectorals. Then slowly release back to the starting position as you breathe in.

Dumbbell Pullover

Main Area Targeted: Upper Pectoral Muscles/Upper Chest

Secondary Area Targeted: Lats, Abdominal Muscles

This should be the must in every chest exercise. The reason is, it helps in expanding the rib-cage which results in thick upper chest.

Steps:

  1. Lie on a bench with your head hanging over the end.
  2. Grasp the dumbbell from the side or from behind. Hold with hands under the inner plate of the dumbbell. Position the dumbbell over your chest with elbows slightly bent.
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbell over and beyond your head until your upper arms are in-line with your torso, or below. Breathe in deeply while doing this.
  4. Slowly pull the dumbbell up and over the chest, back to the starting position. Breathe out while doing this. Repeat to 10-12 reps.
 
Pectoralis Minor

Pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle, situated at the upper part of the chest, beneath the pectoralis major in the human body.

It is difficult to isolate pectoralis minor. It is simulated in most of chest exercise but to a lesser extent. Below exercise will simulate pectoralis minor to large extent.

Parallel Bar Dips

Main Area Targeted: Pectoralis Minor

Secondary Area Targeted: Shoulders, Pectoralis Major

Steps:

  1. Stand between two parallel bars. Lift your body off the ground by grabbing each bar with your hands.
  2. Bend your elbows slightly, and bend your knees, forming a 90-degree angle with your legs. This is your starting position.
  3. Lower your body slowly by bending your elbows until they form a 90-degree angle, and lift yourself back up into the starting position.
  4. This move works on the downward rotation angle of the scapula and stretches and strengthens the pectoralis minor muscle at the same time.

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