If you want to strengthen the pectoral muscles this article will be of great help, as it describes the 7 most useful chest workout to increase and define the chest muscles. Before listing and explaining the movements to be performed, it is necessary to investigate some topics: the goal to be reached, where one trains, with which tools and the athlete’s genetic characteristics.
How to start training?
Every self-respecting personal trainer, even with the help of a doctor, must know what his client’s goals are before devising a training program. It is therefore essential to know whether the individual wants to increase muscle growth or achieve other types of goals, such as to increase maximum strength. It is also very important to know the sporting background, or to know what kind of sports have been practiced previously and for how long.
Other necessary information is related to the diet, the state of health and the type of work of the individual. Once we have all this information we can decide on the ideal training program. The optimal choice is not easy, since the exercises for the pectorals are many but very similar to each other, even if with different objectives. What really makes the difference is the duration, frequency and intensity of the training.
Including this we can begin to describe the 7 best chest workout, remembering that the type of training varies according to your goal, as well as the feeding and integration of other substances such as proteins and amino acids.
Without any doubt every gym offers all the necessary tools for chest workout, but for those who train at home we recommend the purchase of the following tools: flat bench, barbell, weights, dumbbells, TRX. Even adequate clothing is essential, for example the classic gym gloves are very useful for better grip.
7 best chest workout
1. Pressing on a flat bench
This chest workout is the best known and practiced in all gyms and is used for many sports to increase muscle strength or endurance. This is a simple chest exercise to perform, at least if the load is not excessive. In this case it is advisable to have a support person next to you to monitor who is training. To perform this exercise you have to lie on the bench resting your feet on the ground, back and head remain still, while your hands grab the barbell. The grip is slightly wider than the shoulders, just enough to make natural the movement that carries the weight from the sternum upwards and brings it back to the chest.
2. Inclined bench
Also included in the list were the “inclined bench presses” exercise, which is practically identical to the one on a flat bench from the same in terms of execution. In this case, however, the bench is tilted from 20° to 45°, depending on the training goal. In fact, the greater the inclination, the more physical effort will be exerted on the upper part of the pectorals and shoulders. Consider that this chest workout is also easy to perform, but requires more physical effort. Very probably, therefore, it will be necessary to reduce the weight or the number of repetitions compared to the previous year.
3. Flat bench with narrow grip
Moving back to the flat bench we chose another pectoral exercise, in which the intensity of work is concentrated in the inner section of the chest and on the triceps. Also in this case the execution remains unchanged, but the effort is even greater than in previous years. This chest workout is much appreciated by those who practice wrestling sports, as the movement partly simulates the Chinese of a blow with the upper limbs.
4. Crosses with dumbbells
The crosses with dumbbells can be made either on an inclined bench or on a flat bench. The operation is the same as before: if the inclination is greater the work is concentrated on the shoulders and on the upper part of the chest, while lowering the bench to a minimum working more on the lower chest. To perform, keep your feet firmly on the ground, with your back and head resting on the bench. The arms, on the other hand, are extended upwards and perfectly perpendicular to the chest. This chest workout begins when the arms are opened and they go down to take a “cross” position, which gives the name to the type of training described. Make sure that during movement, the arms bend slightly when they come down to the chest, then return straight when they go up.
5. Crosses with TRX
The exercise described above can also be performed with TRXs, perhaps outdoors or at home. In this case, however, the execution of the exercise is practically the opposite! In fact, after having fixed the TRX to the door of the house, to the bar for traction in the gym or to a branch in the park it is possible to start the job. Execution can vary depending on the point of support, which also determines the inclination. However, we can give general guidelines: hold the handles, tilt the trunk towards the floor, making the feet stronger (making sure that the torso remains perfectly straight) and at this point spread the arms without exceeding the movement, assuming the cross position described in the previous exercise. The pectoral training includes a continuous training repetition of opening and closing of the arms using the strength of the chest muscles. This chest workout is very difficult, at least if the graduation in the starting position is accentuated.
6. Bending of the arms with TRX
TRX training also includes other chest exercises, including the classic bending of the arms or, if you prefer, pushups. The advantage is to have a greater physical effort both on the upper limbs and on the pectoral muscles. Folds can be performed on the arms with two different systems, although the position of the TRXs must always be perpendicular to the floor. The handles, however, must be detached from the ground as required, for example 10 cm will certainly be more than sufficient. At this point we see what the two systems are working: the first requires that you grab the handles with your hands, while the rest of your body takes a rigid position parallel to the floor. The arms, therefore, contract and extend for several repetitions. The other system, instead, is carried out by placing the feet on the handles and leaving the hands free that push on the floor. This chest workout perfectly simulates the classic ground push-up training, but increasing effort and developing coordination skills. In conclusion, these exercises are of a medium difficulty level, therefore ideal for those who already have a good physical preparation.
7. Push up
It is probably the most classic and also simplest chest workout, since it does not need any specific tool and only uses its own strength. However, there are different types of “push-ups”, which is another way to define this exercise. The most traditional one is to lie down on your stomach under the ground with your legs stiff, and then lift your upper body with the strength of your arms only. This is obviously a movement that we all know and does not require any particular experience. However, we can vary the execution by tightening the arms and widening the legs, developing greater strength on the triceps and the inner part of the chest. Another system is to place the lower limbs on a shelf, for example a chair, so as to have an angle that allows you to vary the strain on the shoulders and upper part of the pectorals.
We conclude by saying that changing the exercises is certainly advantageous, but to follow a specific goal it is always advisable to hear the opinion of an expert in the field.