Your chest muscles are a key component of your strength anatomy, being vital for all kinds of essential actions and the primary muscle sets involved in your upper body strength. When it comes to your body’s function, your chest muscles are crucial since they support your arm movements, so what should you know about these muscles and how to exercise them effectively?
The Chest Muscles – An overview
The chest is made up of three different primary muscles:
- The Serratus Anterior
- The Pectoralis Minor
- The Pectoralis Major
There is also a muscle known as the subclavius in the chest which is mainly involved in breathing.
How Do I Achieve Definition Of The Chest Muscles?
Muscles must become larger so their shape can be seen. To achieve muscle hypertrophy, you must progressively stress the chest muscles so that they begin to grow. In combination with this, you must reduce your body fat so the muscle definition you’ve achieved can be seen.
As a result, you need to burn more calories through eating healthily and doing aerobic exercises while participating in resistance training if you want better muscle definition.
Some exercises are more effective than others in achieving better chest muscle definition, so here are seven of the best for you to add into your regime.
This exercise requires no specific equipment and acts as an effective warm up preparing your chest to work hard.
Begin by placing your hands onto a surface at countertop height or on a wall and move your feet backwards so your body is at an angle of 45 degrees to the floor. Keeping your body held straight and with a neutral spine, lower down your chest slowly to that surface. Hold for a few seconds then carefully and slow return to your starting position.
You need the resistance to feel light enough so you can complete 20 repetitions. It’s possible to make this exercise easier by moving your feet closer to the surface and harder by stepping further away.
Flat Bench Presses
For this exercise, you’ll need a flat bench and some dumbbells or barbells.
Lie on the flat bench on your back, keeping the knees bent and your feet flat to the floor. Hold the barbell, keeping your thumb wrapped around it and your palms facing down towards your feet. Push your arms upwards towards the ceiling, lifting up the weight and move it over your chest level.
Bend your elbows to a downward angle of 45 degrees and slowly lower down the weight towards your chest, keeping the bar roughly in alignment with the nipples.
Hold for a few seconds then push the barbell back into its starting position. Do three sets of eight to twelve repetitions each, remember at all times to maintain a flat back and good control over the weight. Make sure your neck is neutral too to prevent excessive strain.
Incline Bench Presses
This exercise requires an incline bench and dumbbells or a barbell.
Lie on an incline bench on your back, keeping your feet flat to the floor and your knees bent. Hold the barbell, keeping your palms facing your feet and your thumb around the weight and push your arms up towards the ceiling, lifting up the weight.
Make sure the weight is positioned above the collarbone then slowly lower down the weight to the chest, keeping it roughly in alignment with the mid-chest. Hold for a few seconds before pushing the weight to its starting position.
Do three sets of eight to twelve repetitions each remember to maintain a flat back and feet during the movement.
Decline Bench Presses
For this exercise, you’ll need a decline bench and dumbbells or a barbell.
Lie on a decline bench on your back, keeping your ankles behind the bench’s ankle rests and your knees bent. Hold the barbell keeping your palms facing your feet and your thumbs wrapped around the weight and push your arms upwards lifting up the weight.
Keeping the weight positioned above the lower chest or upper abdomen and slowly bend the elbows, lowering down the weight to the chest, keeping it in alignment with the nipples.
Hold for a few seconds before pushing the weight into its starting position. Do three sets of eight to twelve repetitions each.
Start in a high plank, keeping your hands slightly wider than the shoulders and the legs straight in line with the quads. Ensure the hamstrings are engaged and the spine neutral. Maintaining a tight core, bend the elbows at an angle of 45 degrees, lowering the chest towards the floor, ensuring your body stays straight from head to toe.
Try to go as close to the floor as possible without losing core support or spine alignment then push your chest up again until the elbows are straight.
Complete three sets of eight to twelve repetitions of this exercise, always ensuring your hips are in alignment with the ankles and shoulders. It’s possible to execute this exercise from a kneeling position if you’re finding it too challenging.
You’ll need a dip station to complete this exercise.
Begin by standing facing both parallel bars, grasping them firmly with your palms facing inwards. Straighten the elbows, pressing into the hands and raising the body upwards in alignment with the hands before bending the elbows and lowering your chest down towards your hands. Hold for a few seconds then push back to your starting position. Do three sets of eight to twelve repetitions.
Resistance Band Pullovers
You’ll need to use a resistance band to complete this exercise. Anchor it to something solid before lying on your back keeping your head towards that anchor point and ensuring the band is around 1 – 2 feet above your head. Hold the band over your head, keeping a small amount of tension with thumbs pointing upward and palms facing in opposite directions to each other.
Maintaining a tight care and keeping your elbows straight, carefully pull down the band towards your hips before slowly returning back to your starting position. Complete three sets of eight to twelve repetitions.
With these seven chest exercises, you will begin to develop beautifully toned, sculpted chest muscles.