Pumped chest is one of the major factors that make a torso truly enviable. Just imagining having that huge upper body already makes you want to go to the gym. A chiseled chest complements any type of outfit, making you look more dashing, masculine and strong. The great news is, you can actually get the chest that you have always wanted through simple yet intense chest exercises.
To understand how the chest is worked out, you need to know first the muscles that you will be putting a lot of emphasis on. Your chest has two primary groups- the pectoralis major which covers half of the front chest and is located in front of the ribcage and the pectoralis minor which is directly below it. The major “pecs” control the mobility of the arms as well as provide room for breathing when the lungs are worked. The minor “pecs” stabilize the scapula and holds the shoulders when you are using your hands for pushing.
Training the chest does not necessarily require too many sets since the muscles here are only of middle size. This area is best emphasized by using intense pressing movements within three angles which can be achieved by doing dips, flats and inclines. The incline angle should be around 10 to 30 degrees so that the upper body maintains its stability without straining the shoulders. Aside from focusing on the reps, make sure that you also concentrate on the proper form. Otherwise, you will only be working out with minimal results and even present yourself with the risk of injury.
Doing dips for the chest aids for faster development of those enviable pecs. It has a downward movement, hence the name. It targets the isolated chest muscles and does not engage other adjacent muscle groups as much as other workouts. To begin, use the widest grip and dip as low as possible. The drop should feel comfortable and painless. Move upwards by pulling your body up in a steady and stable position, with zero kicking of the feet. The perfect form is one where you will be dipping and moving upwards with your body leaning forward. Work on the set up until failure.
When you are still starting out and haven’t built on your strength just yet, you can use a dip assist machine. With this, the weights will assist your body to move upwards. You can also ask for help from a trainer or a spotter so they will be holding your legs and ensure that you are doing the dips in the right form. The more you progress, the easier it will be to do the dips without assistance. Once the dip is not challenging anymore, you can increase your resistance by placing weights on your weight belt.
Bench press is a favorite routine since it provides ideal results for size, strength and endurance. When starting out, you can do it with lighter weight and perform up to 20 reps. As you progress, add more load to every set and work towards muscle failure. When doing bench presses, always employ the assistance of a spotter. This person can help you in maintaining the ideal form while doing the exercise. However, if a spotter is not available, practice extra caution in doing it, especially since you are dealing with a heavy barbell. Make sure that the bar is touching your middle chest and is not drifting too far off. Create a true set in the right form and not by bouncing off the barbell, as you will only be cheating yourself and it won’t benefit your pecs.
If you want those rounded pectorals, then the incline dumbbell press routine is for you. Work with your maximum load and perform at least ten but not more than twelve reps on the first set. In the succeeding sets, aim for muscle failure with quality repetitions all throughout. Remember to squeeze your pecs and keep your elbows within the same level as your shoulder.
The classic pushup exercise does not only train your pectorals, it also places emphasis to your triceps and shoulders. To begin, lie face down to the ground with your hands at 36 inches apart. Hold your upper body within an arms-length from the floor. Breathe in as you lower your torso with your chest almost touching the ground. Breathe out and squeeze your chest as you bring your torso up to the first position. Stay in a contracted position for a couple of seconds and then lower your body down again for the next rep. Work on your pushup with as many repetitions as you can handle. For beginners who haven’t developed their strength yet, the best way to start with pushups is by doing it against the wall first. You can also get assistance from your legs at the knees to increase resistance. As you progress, you can add a level of complexity to the exercise by placing your feet on a bench. This will aid in increased resistance and work out your upper chest even better.
The cable crossover is a powerful chest exercise that stretches your muscles, especially your outer chest muscle fibers at the first position. To begin, choose the amount of load that you will be using. Place the pulley above your head and hold each pulley with each hand. Imagine that there is a straight line between the two pulley as you pull both of your arms together in front. Step forward while you are doing this, with your torso leaning a little bit forward from the waist. Slightly bend your elbows to avoid stressing the tendons of your biceps. As you do so, extend your arms straight to both sides creating an arc that stretches across your chest. Inhale as you move into this position. While going through the movement, it will only be your shoulder which will have a range of motion. Both your arms and torso should be stationary. Exhale as you go back to the first position. Contract for one second at the starting position and then do the prescribed reps up to near failure.