Chest muscles are some of the hardest body parts to train for many people because they require a lot of effort to get that three-dimensional look. If you’re struggling to get that chiseled, full chest, here are five training tips that will make your next chest workout far more effective.
Never Skip the Bench Press
The bench press is one of the three major compound exercises that everyone should be doing in their workout routine. To get a bigger chest, you have to actively do the bench press on a regular basis. The bench press requires the coordinated effort of the upper body and the ability to pile large amounts of weight onto your chest. This stimulates both the pectoralis major and minor without the need for your stabilizer muscles.
Do Dips for Chest
Dips are one of the most underrated exercises that many aspiring bodybuilders fail to do. Not only is it a compound movement that works your triceps and shoulders, but it is a great exercise for exhausting your pectorals as the last exercise. To do the chest variation of the dips, simply keep your buttocks tucked in behind you and lean your chest forward. Lower your body down slowly till your chest muscles are fully stretched before returning to the starting position.
Don’t Skip the Incline Chest Press
There is no such a thing as an “upper” or “lower” chest, but changing the incline in your bench press activates different areas of your pectoral muscles and recruits more activation of certain muscles as compared to a flat bench. This is why it is imperative to have variations of your incline levels in your chest movements. Stick to 30 degrees of incline or less because any more would activate a larger portion of your shoulders as compared to your chest.
Try Pause Reps
Getting a stronger chest means adding more resistance to your current bench press and chest exercises. With this added technique, you’ll be able to train your weak point in the bench press, especially if you have trouble getting the weight up at the bottom of your lift. Simply use a manageable weight at around 75% to 80% of your one rep max and pause at the bottom of each rep for 1 to 2 seconds, for a total repetition of 8 to 10 times.
Drop Your Shoulders Down During Your Chest Exercises
A common problem amongst many amateur lifters is the use of other muscles when training the chest. This is especially so when it comes to the shoulder muscles because of the biomechanics of our body. However, it doesn’t mean that we can’t use less of the shoulders when doing a pressing movement for your chest. Simply retract your scapula and drop your shoulders during the duration of the movement and keep your core tight. This will significantly reduce the reliance you have on your shoulders and activate more of your chest muscles.