Exercises to Build a Strong Chest
In this article we will go over the chest muscles. We will learn the chest function and biomechanics and exercises to build a strong chest.
There are two major chest muscles; the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major are the larger chest muscles. When we think about chest, this is the muscle that we think about. The pectoralis minor is smaller muscle, which we cannot see as it runs underneath to the pec major. It attaches to the 3rd, 4th and 5th ribs.
The action of the pec minor is to stabilize the scapula, which is the bulge that we see in our shoulder blades. Pec minor stabilizes scapula by bracing it against the ribs.
The function of the pec major is to
— Hold the arm in place
— Push an object with the arms
— Adduct it: That is when you have your arms in a T shape, then pull them down to your sides.
— Medially Rotate when you pull your arm from a T shape forwards to the front of your body. And
– Stabilizes the scapula in place.
Getting a stronger chest
Here are 3 great exercises that target all of the actions of the pec major. By performing them, you’ll make your chest strong.
Bench Press: The bench press is performed while lying on a flat bench and holding the barbell or dumbbells above you. Slowly lower the weight until your elbows are at the same level as your shoulders. After a brief pause, push the bar back up.
This is the most widely used chest exercise and it has many variations. A declined bench will target the pec minor as well as the inferior fibers of the chest while an inclined bench targets the upper fibers of the pec major and shoulders. This is a great exercise for building upper body strength and we will describe it in-depth in our later videos.
Push ups: These are great bodyweight exercises which can be performed anywhere. From a prone position on the floor, place the hands at a relatively similar position as the rowing position. Ideally, the hands would be at the level of mid-chest, and elbows kept close to the body. This tight position helps to stabilize the muscles of the shoulder and scapula. Bring the chest to the floor keeping the core tight, then exhale and press back out. Forearms should always be perpendicular to the floor!
Flyes: Flyes can be performed while standing with a cable machine or while lying face-up on a bench with dumbbells.
With a cable machine, stand evenly between 2 pulley’s with arms straight but not locked out at the elbows. Use a split stance to stabilize your base. Keep the core very tight to avoid any swinging or swaying. Bring the hands from a ‘T’ position forwards to the center of the chest, maintaining the extension in the elbow. Return to the start position in a slow and controlled manner.
Chest Dips: This is a another great bodyweight exercise and might be a little difficult to perform for beginners. Support your bodyweight with arms fully extended between two strong handles or surfaces. Bend your elbows and lower your body down. Lean your chest forwards as you dip and keep the core tight. Return to the start by extending the elbows, bringing the chest up and locking a straight-up position. The depth will depend on an individual’s shoulder flexibility; larger the range of motion better will be the results.
You can include any of the above mentioned exercises to target your chest. For a more wholistic development of your chest, keep changing your workout by cycling through these exercises at different times.
Originally published at www.kaa-yaa.com.