When it comes to effective chest exercises it seems hard for some people to figure out. You may have some very important questions such as:
The first thing that should be clarified is the misconception that there is an upper chest and lower chest.
There aren't numerous different muscles that make up your pecs despite what a lot of personal trainers would like you to think. The upper chest, in kinesiology is basically the clavicle portion of the chest muscle.
It is not a distinct and separate muscle or body part.
The chest muscle that is on the front of your body for all to notice, when it is properly developed of course, is all one muscle, the pectoralis major.
Just to clarify, the chest exercises you perform either with or without weights will stress your pecs but from various positions thereby forcing the muscles to grow.
Everyone must utilize a vast range of chest exercises that will target the muscles from a multitude of positions to correctly accelerate an increase in both strength and mass. This way you can tap into different motor units making them more effective.
If you are serious about developing a large, muscular and well-defined chest you need to ensure that the chest exercises you use will give you the exact results you want.
The main problems with most chest workouts is that most people think that the only chest exercises that work are various bench pressing exercises.
With the exception of chest muscle exercises that incorporate a machine, all chest exercises need to be used periodically for the best physique development. Machines should be avoided at all times, if possible, because they can have many drawbacks.
Any chest muscle exercises using machines will not work your external and internal rotators of your shoulder. Your rotators are a key factor in chest and over-all upper body development and need to be activated properly.
Performing chest muscle exercises on any machine will create a muscle imbalance; which can eventually lead to numerous injuries.
A lot of individuals believe that it is very simple to perform any exercise and get good physique development. But the simple fact is that you need to consider all the variables that can help you in order to be successful.
The first step in assuring you will see positive results from any chest exercise is to learn proper lifting form and technique. With the exercises listed further down this page you will be able to grasp the basics of proper form.
Correct form must be utilized on every rep and set. When using any chest exercises the form and technique you use needs to allow for the maximum recruitment of muscle fibers.
Another major mistake a lot of people seem to make with chest exercises is that they use one or two of the same exercises all the time. Most of the time the exercises chosen are the flat bench press and the incline bench press.
You need to use a variety of chest exercises to achieve proper development.
Don't worry about what chest exercises someone else is using, just concentrate on performing yours to the best of your ability.
Although there are a ton of different variations; which exercises will build large, muscular chest muscles and which exercises are best for bringing out a lean, ripped look?
Various exercises are also very effective for an over-all strong athletic appearance and they can also help dramatically improve the effectiveness of your other upper body exercises.
This is due to the fact that all free weight exercises incorporate a number of smaller assistor and stabilizer muscles in addition to your chest.
Now listed below, we have for you many of the more universal and more useful chest exercises you can use on a regular basis in order to have the chest and over-all physique development you want.
The flat bench press is one of the best if not the very best chest exercise you can perform. It's also probably the best known of all exercises.
As with other exercises this one will work not only your chest but your triceps and shoulders as well.
You need both a barbell and bench for this exercise. If possible, try to have a spotter for added safety. But make sure the spotter lets you do the work. A spotter is only used for safety and assistance if you need it.
To start get a flat barbell bench and lie down on it. Place both of your feet in a nice solid position on the floor. Make sure that your butt, back, shoulders, and head are firmly positioned!
You should position your hands on the bar in a spot that is a little bit further apart than your shoulders. Push both arms, at the same time, up above you in a straight plane.
Some people grip the bar with both thumbs around it while others don‘t. Use what is best for you while keeping safety in mind.
After pushing the bar straight up above your chest, in a controlled and slow manner lower it until it touches a spot on your chest that is around the nipple area. Once the bar touches your chest (do not bounce it off your chest) use all of your strength to push it up to the top and until you lock out your elbow.
Then repeat the entire process for the required number of reps.
When performing flat bench chest muscle exercises make sure that you don't bounce the weight off of your chest at any time and don't arch your back, keep your back flat on the bench.
When pressing the weight up use total concentration and try to squeeze your chest muscles together.
This exercise will present a different angle from the above one therefore recruiting more chest muscle fibers.
The basic form of any bench press exercise is the same as that of the flat bench mentioned above except it is done on an incline bench. All the same principles hold true for incline bench chest exercises as for the flat bench.
You will need a barbell and an incline bench for this.
Set the incline bench at an angle about half way between flat and straight up if you can. A lot of incline benches are not adjustable but that's fine. They are usually close enough.
As with most other exercises performed on a bench place make sure your back is tight against the bench. Using a grip slightly wider than shoulder width, hold the bar over your upper chest with your arms straight. Slowly lower the bar so that it just touches your high on your chest.
Push the bar up all the way and try to squeeze your pectoral muscles at the same time.
Use a flat dumbbell bench for this one along with a set of dumbbells that you can handle.
Sit down on the edge of a flat bench with one dumbbell in each hand. Lie back, while at the same time putting both DB’s on your chest. Lift up and straighten your arms.
Always keep a bit of a bend in both arms at your elbows. The palms of both hands should be turned towards each other. Keep this position and lower the weights slowly to your sides in an arch.
Then bring the weights back to the top position in a motion that imitates putting your arms around a big tree. Always keep a bend in your arms at the elbows.
This exercise basically adheres to the same methods as the flyes performed on a flat bench, except for the fact you will be using an incline DB bench.
Follow the exact same instructions as listed for the DB Flye exercise above.
The Flat DB press is a very good exercise and will go a long way to getting you the size increases you want for your entire chest.
Since this one requires 2 DB’s separately working each side you will end up incorporating the stabilizer and assistor muscles as well.
For this exercise you will need an incline bench and a set of dumbbells.
This exercise helps to shift the focus of the angle your chest is being worked.
If your bench has adjustable settings, try different inclines to target various angle of your chest. However, avoid setting the incline too high, as you will begin to target the shoulder muscles rather than your chest muscles.
With this exercise you will need an incline DB bench set in the same method as mentioned in the description for incline flyes. However, instead of pushing the weight up in an arch motion you will be pushing straight up.
Once in the upper position bring the weights down slow and controlled. Pause briefly in the bottom position, then drive the weights back up.
Every fitness center should have a piece of equipment for performing dips.
Depending on how you place your body while doing dips the main upper body muscle groups such as pecs, tri’s and delts will be stretched to the maximum so be careful and use good form.
Dips have gotten a reputation for being hard on your shoulders, but the fact is that there is absolutely no evidence to prove this. With exercises for chest development like this it usually comes down to the fact that certain exercises are more work than some people expect so they look for excuses.
When using dips to build your chest, rather than your triceps, you need to position your hands a little bit further apart than the width of your shoulders. As you lower your body you need to ensure that both of your elbows go outwards and that your upper body tilts forward.
One more tip is to make sure that you do not lock out your arms when in the top or upper position.
With dips you perform the exercise with nothing more than the weight of your body. However, when you can do the required number of reps start adding additional weight. You gym trainers will be able to show you how to do this.
You should place your wrists straight so that they are in-line with your forearms.
There's no benefit in any chest exercises if you aren't going to control lowering the weight and using a complete extent of motion. Control the weight while lowering it. Use a slow and controlled movement with any exercises.
You should always try to use the heavier chest muscle exercises like flat bench press first in your workout. The best chest exercise that will put the greatest stress on your body should be worked first, so you don't want to be fatigued when you start.
Most exercises for chest growth can be done on an incline or a flat bench and to a lesser degree, a decline bench.
In most gyms or fitness centers you can perform a lot of other exercises using various machines, however if you are more concerned with size, strength or physical appearance then it’s best to focus mainly on the compound chest exercises like the ones listed above.
Hopefully this gives you some good information on exercises for chest development will help you build the massive, strong and visually appealing chest you've always wanted.
Only certain chest muscle exercises will give you the impressive chest you want.
Remember there is no one best chest exercise for everyone. Everyone is different and your success with any exercises for chest development does depend to some extent on your genetics. However, you still can improve upon what you currently have if you use the proper chest muscle exercises in the proper manner.
Do you use any unique and effective exercises or in your fitness program? What was your experience with these exercises? What results did you notice? Do you have a good or a bad story to tell about your own experience with certain exercises? Or do you have some good information that we may have missed? Let others know!
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Mack's Home Workout
I workout from home. Nowhere else. All I use is my own bodyweight and a barbell. No squat racks, no benches, just a hand full of tried and true exercises …
Developing A Muscular Chest
I like all the suggestions here for building a lean, well-developed muscular chest because the main part of the body that everyone notices is your chest. …
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