The chest, also known as pectoralis or pecs, is one of the most trained body part at the gym and this is for two reasons. The first reason is the development of strength. Most people associate a bigger chest to a stronger body and that a larger chest can help them lift heavier objects. Another reason is aesthetics. A muscular and well-defined chest looks better and masculine, when compared to the opposite. In line with growing the chest, the following are some exercises a person can do.
Barbell Bench Press
The barbell bench press is the most traditional and popular exercise when it comes to chest development. In a statement, fitness enthusiast James Grage told Body Building that the exercise was the ultimate muscle builder, adding that a load heavy enough would really test one’s mettle.
As per the publication, the person lies back on a flat bench and uses a medium width grip on the bar. Medium width means 90-degree angle in the middle of the motion between the upper arms and the forearms. For the starting position, the person lifts the bar from the rack and then holds it straight over him with his elbows locked. Then, he inhales and gradually lowers the bar until it touches the middle chest. Next, the person pushes the bar to the starting position as he exhales; the bar is pushed using the chest muscles, squeezing the chest with locked arms. The person holds the contracted position and then gradually lowers the bar. As a good practice, the weight is lowered for about twice as long as raising it.
Flat Dumbbell Fly
Another exercise that promotes chest development is the dumbbell fly, which can be done on an inclined, flat, or decline bench. As per Body Building, the exercise recruits more muscle fibers than other pressing exercise, since the usage of dumbbells facilitates a greater range of motion. Thus, this exercise is also beneficial to lifters who are just starting to learn it.
To perform the exercise, the person grasps two dumbbells and lies supine on the bench, as per Ex Rx. Then, he lifts the dumbbells with his arms slightly bent. Next, he points out his elbows to the sides through internal shoulder rotation. Once done, the person lowers the dumbbells to the sides until a stretch is felt in the chest muscles; the elbows’ slight bent position is maintained. Next, he lifts the dumbbells up, with a wide hugging motion, to bring them nearly together. Then, the person repeats the movement for the planned number of repetitions. A good practice is to maintain shoulders’ internal rotation for the elbows to point downward at bottom position and then outward at top position. Also, the elbows should be mildly bent at a fixed angle throughout the movement.
Chest dips develop the chest, particularly the lower part. According to Body Building, the exercise is usually underrated and forgotten; however, doing it properly results to effective chest isolation.
Dips engage both the chest and the triceps, depending on the person’s position. To engage the chest, the person leans forward. To perform the exercise, the person holds his body at arms length, with the arms locked, above the dip bars. Then, he inhales as he lowers himself with his torso leaning forward at around 30 degrees. The elbows are slightly flared out until a mild stretch is felt in the chest. Next, the person brings his body to the initial position with his chest muscles while exhaling. The best practice is to squeeze the chest muscles at the peak of the movement.
Overall, the chest is one of the highly trained muscle groups in the body and growing it makes a person stronger and look better. Along with the aforementioned exercises, total chest development is achieved with proper nutrition and adequate rest.