Have you ever wondered what the absolute best muscle-building movements for your chest are? Well wonder no more, as here are our 7 best chest building/tips exercises.
Just like arms, every guy wants to have a big chest. It fills out those t-shirts and just makes you look 10x bigger. However, a lot of guys tend to leave themselves short and are not achieving the maximum stimulus. Thus not achieving the desired amount of gains.
There are dozens of exercises you do on chest day. In fact, there are so many you probably don’t want to spend an evening, or several evenings doing them all. All you want to know are the best tips and exercises to achieve that maximum amount of stimulus and growth so you can build a rock solid chest.
I am not telling you to implement all of these exercises and tips into your chest session. But if you come away and manipulate your chest session to add a couple of these tips you will be sure to build a muscular chest faster.
1) FLAT-BENCH DUMBBELL PRESS
You must be thinking, “why is this on the list? I already do this exercise”. Let me tell you why it’s on the list:
Unlike barbell bench press, when using dumbbells, each side of the chest/body is working independently. This is beneficial as dumbbells are harder to control than a barbell, which means that your body needs to recruit more stabilizer muscles. In addition, dumbbells allow for a greater range of motion at the top, and at the bottom of the movement.
These reasons make for the perfect alternative if you have been stuck on the barbell bench for an eternity. However, if I were you I would start the dumbbell chest press toward the beginning of your chest workout with heavy reps and lower rep ranges.
2) Decline Barbell Bench Press
Why it’s on the list – If you want to add size for your chest, this is the move for you. If you think of one exercise when asked about chest training it is the flat bench press. The flat bench press is the most popular chest exercise out there. However, it doesn’t mean it is the best. If you want greater pectoral development, then decline bench press is the exercise for you. This is because it focuses on the chest more than its flat and incline counterparts. It targets the lower portion of your chest better than the flat bench, which is extremely important if you want to build a round, wide and aesthetic chest. Adding it to your session could really help improve and fix imbalances that you may have noticed. In addition, it could help increase chest strength greatly.
You may have heard that the flat bench has caused lots of shoulder problems. Well this is where decline bench press shines. It takes your shoulders out of the equation and thus you are truly isolating your chest.
3) FULL RANGE OF MOTION CABLE FLY
Why it’s on the list- It is one of the best, in my opinion the best, ways to isolate your chest and really exhaust your chest at the end of the session. The cables allow for continuous tension throughout the exercise’s full range of motion. In addition, when done right, the pump off this exercise cannot be beaten.
However, the important question is, are you getting the maximum benefits out of this exercise? Until recently I thought I was performing this exercise correctly, making sure I squeeze etc but in reality I was losing out of valuable tension. The reason for this was because I was not going back far enough. You may say that you are going back far enough, but trust me when I tell you that you aren’t. The best tip for this exercise is come back as far as you possible can. This is where you will you reach the weakest part of your chest and create maximum stimulus.
So… what is the tip? In the latter part of the motion, make sure you really let the cables go as far back as you can. This will mean you will have to sacrifice weight, but it will be worth it when you feel a new type of stretch.
4) INCLINE DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS
Why it’s on the list- Just like the decline chest press, this movement is crucial for building a muscular chest. This is because, as the name suggests, it targets the upper portion of the chest. Very few people actually do incline chest press, and therefore fail to achieve the chest they want. So, if you want to have a chest that stands out from the rest. Incline will certainly help that.
5) Chest Dips
Why it’s on the list-Right, now most people think dips only activate the triceps. Well they not only activate the triceps but, when done right, seriously activate the chest. First off, you need to make sure you’re doing dips that emphasize the pecs. Put your feet behind you, lean forward as far as possible, and allow your elbows to flare out as you dip. Chest dips make a great addition to chest session as it can be implemented near the end of the session super-setted with push ups. Or it is a great alternative to decline chest press as no spotter is needed.
6) Make sure you squeeze.
Why it’s on the list- When performing any chest exercise, actually any exercise in the gym, it is imperative that you feel the squeeze. With chest, the easiest squeeze can be done with cable flies or cable crossovers. Cable crossovers are especially effective for targeting your inner pecs, since you maintain tension on your muscles when your hands touch. At this point, it’s very important to squeeze your pecs, whether you cross the handles or not; this helps create that distinct line in the middle of your chest.
Dumbbells can be used to work your inner pecs as well. With flyes, bring the weights together at the top and squeeze your pecs hard for 2-3 seconds. On presses, simply move your hands to shoulder width or slightly closer, and keep your elbows out and away from your body.
7) Reverse-grip Bench Press
Why it’s on the list-Even though this movement is done on a flat bench, taking a reverse grip shifts the focus toward your upper pecs, so this is another way to work your pec fibers from a new angle.
Take a wide, underhand grip, and use a spotter for safety to unrack and rack the bar. Lower the bar to your lower pecs and press back up toward your head, much like the movement arc of the overhand barbell bench press.
There you have it. The 7 best chest building tips. Implement these and you will sure have build your dream chest.
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