If you want to strengthen the pectoral muscles, this article will be of great help, as it describes the 7 most useful exercises to increase and define the chest muscles. Before listing and explaining the movements to be performed, it is necessary to deepen some themes: the goal to be reached, where you train, with what tools and the genetic characteristics of the athlete.
Before starting the workout
Every self-respecting personal trainer, even with the help of a anavar online, must know what his client’s goals are before designing a training program. It is therefore essential to know if the individual wants to increase muscle growth or achieve other types of goals, such as increasing maximum strength. It is also very important to know the sports background, that is, to know what type of sports have been practiced previously and for how long.
Other necessary information is related to the individual’s diet, health, and type of work. Once we have all this information we can decide on the ideal training program. The optimal choice is not easy, since the chest exercises 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 workout.
Including this we can begin to describe which are the 7 best chest exercises, remembering that the type of training varies according to your goal, as well as the nutrition and integration of other substances such as proteins and amino acids.
Without a doubt, each gym offers all the tools necessary for training the chest, but for those who train at home, we recommend the purchase of the following tools: flat bench, barbell, weights, dumbbells, TRX. Adequate clothing is also essential, for example, the classic gym gloves are very useful for a better grip.
The 7 best chest exercises
1. Flat bench presses
This exercise is the best known and practiced in all gyms and is used for many sports to increase strength or muscle endurance. It is a simple 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 who can monitor who is training. To perform this exercise you have to lie on the bench with your feet resting on the ground, your back and head remain still, while your hands grasp 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
The exercise «stretches on an inclined bench», which is practically identical to the one on a flat bench from the point of view of execution, could not be missing from the list. In this case, however, the bench is tilted from 20 ° to 45 °, based on the training target. In fact, the greater the inclination the more physical effort will be exercised on the upper part of the pectoral muscles and shoulders. Consider that this exercise is also easy to perform, but requires more physical effort. Most likely, therefore, it will be necessary to decrease the weight or the number of repetitions compared to the previous exercise.
3. Flat bench with a narrow grip
Moving back to the flat bench we chose another exercise for the pectoral muscles, in which the intensity of work is concentrated in the internal 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 exercises. This training is highly appreciated by those who practice wrestling sports since the movement partly simulates the Chinese of a blow with the upper limbs.
4. Crosses with dumbbells
The crosses with dumbbells can be made 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 the minimum, you work more on the lower chest. For the execution, you have to keep your feet firmly on the ground, with your back and head resting on the bench. The arms, on the other hand, are stretched upwards and perfectly perpendicular to the chest. The exercise begins when you open your arms and go down until you take a «cross» position, which gives the name to the type of training described. Make sure that, during the movement, the arms bend slightly when they go down to the height of the chest, and then go straight when they go up.
5. Crosses with TRX
The exercise described above can also be done with TRX, perhaps outdoors or at home. In this case, however, the execution of the exercise is practically inverse! In fact, after fixing the TRX to the front door, to the pull-up bar in the gym or to a branch in the park, work can begin. The execution may very precisely based on the point of support, which also determines its inclination. We can, however, give general guidelines: hold the handles, tilt your torso towards the floor making force on your feet (making sure that your torso remains perfectly straight) and at this point open your arms without exceeding the movement, assuming the cross position described in the previous one exercise. The training involves a continuous repetition of the opening and closing of the arms using the strength of the chest muscles. This exercise is very difficult, at least if the graduation in the starting position is accentuated.
6. Arm bendings with TRX
TRX training also includes other chest exercises, including the classic bending of the arms or, if you prefer, push-ups. The advantage is that of having a greater physical effort both on the upper limbs and on the pectoral muscles. The bends can be performed on the arms with two different systems, although the position of the TRX 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 enough. At this point let’s see what the two systems artwork: the first involves holding the handles with your hands, while the rest of the body assumes a rigid position parallel to the floor. The arms then contract and extend over several repetitions. The other system, on the other hand, is carried out by placing your feet on the handles and leaving your hands free which push on the floor. This work perfectly simulates the classic push-up training on the ground, but increasing effort and developing coordination skills. These exercises, in conclusion, 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 the simplest exercise, since it does not require any specific tool and only uses its own strength. However, there are different types of «bending on the arms», which is another way to define this exercise. The most traditional involves lying on your stomach under the ground, keeping your legs stiff, and then lifting your torso with just the strength of your arms. It is obviously a movement that we all know and does not require special experience. However, we can vary the execution by tightening the arms and spreading the legs, developing greater strength on the triceps and inside of the chest. Another system is to place the lower limbs on a shelf, for example, a chair, in order to have an angle that allows you to vary the effort on the shoulders and upper part of the chest.
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 sector.