Tips on Growing Your Chest!
Everyone wants a bigger chest, but do they know how to make that actually happen? In this E-Book I’ll be explaining some background on the chest, but also the techniques and exercises that can help you take it to the next level.
If you feel as if your shirts have a little too much room in them, you’re in the right place. We’re going to show you all of the ins and outs of the chest so that you don’t have to spend time learning all of the details.
By the end of this book, you’ll have an exact game plan for how to approach your chest training from now on.
Prioritize the Upper Chest
Now that you know a little more about the chest itself, what area should you focus on? We already stated that the upper portion of the chest was the one that most people have not developed well. This comes as no surprise because it is a smaller portion, meaning that it doesn’t get used as often as the larger portion. However, by focusing more on this area and making your exercises hit this particular part of the chest, you can grow strong, built pecs.
When looking at the chest aesthetically, having a more built upper chest is appealing. It creates something almost like a shelf at the top of the pec, which gives off the look of a more well-rounded chest. Want your shirts to fit more snug on your upper body? Then you need to focus more on that upper part of the chest during your workouts.
This can be done by centering most of your workout on this area. When the majority of individuals go into the gym, they normally just hit the whole chest. By switching up what you actually put an emphasis on, you can grow the areas that typically lack.
Incline DB bench
The incline DB bench press is a great exercise for building that upper chest shelf. There is also the benefit of using the DB’s to keep the shoulders safe. Before you start this movement, you will need to set your angle on the bench. It is ideal to aim for something between 15 and 30 degrees on the incline. Once you have this, grab your DB’s and set them on your knees. While leaning back onto the bench, use your legs to bring the DB’s up into your hands. While keeping full contact with the bench and the floor, lower the DB’s until they are even with your chest. From here you will squeeze the chest while pressing the weight away from you. Lock the arms out fully before starting the next rep.
A good tip to make sure that you are staying safe, and also getting the best stretch is to imagine pinching your shoulder blades together. They should never leave this position and remain in full contact with the bench at all times.
When you are done, bring your knees to the weight and return to the resting position.
Incline Smith Machine bench
This movement will do very well to target the upper chest as well. This time you are going to be using a smith machine instead of a free barbell. This allows for a little more control and possibly even more weight. This all goes well into developing the muscles for growth.
Start by making sure that you bench is at the right angle of about 15 to 30 degrees. From here place your hands onto the bar at about shoulder width apart. Make sure that you do not have your hands too wide or too close, as this could hit the wrong muscle or put you at risk for injury.
From here, pinch the shoulder blades back and down and remain in full contact to the bench. Unlock the barbell on the smith machine and begin slowly lowering the weight to the chest. Once the barbell touches the chest, ever so lightly, you will explode the barbell away from you and lock out your arms. You will repeat this for the desired amount of reps and sets.
Once you have finished a set, be sure to re-lock the barbell in place.
This is one of the most common chest exercises. You will need a barbell and a bench to perform this. It is also suggested that you have someone to spot you as you do this exercise, this way you can remain injury free and have assistance unracking the barbell.
Start by keeping 5-points-of-contact for this movement. This means that both feet, your butt, your upper back, shoulders, and head are all on the bench. Pinch and pull down your shoulder blades and keep them in this position. Place your hands about shoulder width apart onto the barbell and make sure to have a full grip with thumb fully around the bar. From here, you can have someone hand you the weight, or if able, you can unrack it yourself.
Set up with the barbell right over your chest, and from here begin to lower it slowly. You should get the bar to very lightly touch your chest before pressing it out. Lock out the arms before starting your next rep. Make sure that as you do this movement you are keeping your elbows at about a 45-degree angle from your body. They should not be too wide or too close.
When you are done, rerack the weight or have someone assist you.
Body weight dips for chest
Dips are a great exercise for hitting the pec minor and the pec major. Plus, it doesn’t require more than body weight to be effective.
To start, you want to pull your shoulder blades back and down. From here, get a good grip on the handles and lock out your elbows. There are two places you can put your lower body for this movement. One is more in front of you, or what is called a hollow body. This is typically how a gymnast may do this movement. The second is having the legs behind you and chest more forward. Each are effective, just make sure to keep the core tight.
From here you will begin to lower your body down, making sure to keep the forearm completely straight. Once the shoulder and tricep are level, you can then press out to lock the elbows. Go into the next rep by unlocking the elbows and lowering your body. Always remember to work at pointing your chest more towards the ground or out in front of you versus straight ahead. This will help take the pressure off of the shoulders and hit more of the muscle you are looking to work.
Standing Cable Flys
You will need a machine that has both a right and a left cable for this movement. To start, you will need to grab both cables by the handle. From here lock out your arms and place them out in front of the body, while pinching your shoulder blades together. Step about two steps forward, and slightly unlock the elbows. Slowly allow the weight to move backwards, pulling your chest apart. Once your hands are slightly behind your body, squeeze the chest to bring them back in front of you. Let your hands meet in the middle and get a good squeeze at the chest before allowing the weight to go again.
Make sure that you are putting a big focus on controlling this movement. Try your best to minimize any rocking or usage of the body as momentum, only the arms should be moving.
Gently return the cables back to their sides of the machine.
Pec Dec Flys
This movement is very similar to the standing chest fly, except that you are now seated at a machine. This machine has two handles that are attached to a cable. Choose your desired weight and take a seat.
Pull your shoulder blades back and down before grabbing onto the handles. Get a very slight bend in the elbows and bring the handles directly out in front of you. While maintaining the same upper back and shoulder position, allow the weight to come back towards the machine. Once you are slightly behind your chest with the handles, squeeze the pecs and pull them back in front of you. At the top of the movement, flex the chest as hard as you can before going into the next rep. Imagine that you are trying to pinch a pencil between your pecs.
Once finished, slowly return the handles to the resting position.
Flat DB Bench
Similar to the normal bench press, except that you are going to be using DB’s. Take the DB’s and place them on your knees. As you lean back, use your legs to bring the weight back and into your hands. Lock out your arms and set up for the movement.
Pinch your shoulder blades back and down into the bench. Keep your head, shoulders, feet, butt, and upper back down the entire time. When you are ready, begin to lower the weights towards the chest. Maintain about a 45-degree angle between the elbow and the torso the entire time. Once you make it to the chest, press the DB’s straight forward to lock out the elbows. Breath in again before attempting the next rep.
When you are done, bring your knees to the DB’s and rock forward to return to your resting position.
The chest is a muscle that everyone wants to grow. Yet, so many are missing out on key components to actually training it. As you can see there is a lot more to it than just push-ups and bench press. You can take all of this information and apply it to your own workouts, or even try the samples that I’ve provided. Regardless, if you follow the principles that I’ve laid out here, you’ll have a fool proof plan for attacking your next chest workout.