What guy doesn’t want a big full chest. After all, a well defined chest is a critical element for a superior physique. Being the largest upper body muscle To build a full muscular chest you will use the best chest exercises. Knowing what exercises will give you the most bang for you buck and help build a barrel chest starts by knowing your anatomy and understanding how your chest works.
Your chest is made of two muscles:
Together these muscles make up your pectoralis, pecs for short.
As the name suggests the pectoralis minor is the smaller of the two chest muscles. Being smaller and located underneath the pectoral major you are not able to see it.
Your pec minor attaches to your middle ribs and coracoid process of the scapula and functions to move the shoulders forward.
The pectoralis major is the big one, the show muscle. This muscle connects to your humerus near the shoulder and fans out to connect to various points on your breastbone at the center of your chest.
The fan-like shape of the pecs help the humerus, your funny bone, to move in a variety of different planes across your body. But the primary function of this big chest muscle is to bring your upper arm across the front of your body. Think of the guys doing a chest pose in a bodybuilding competition.
The Best Chest Exercises for Building Muscle
This article is designed for you to understand the anatomy and function of the chest as well as some of the best exercises for working it.
Now for what you have been waiting for – the best chest exercises… and at number one, we have the…
Just walk into any gym on a Monday and try to find a free bench… good luck. There are guys perched near by waiting for their chance to swoop in and grab the next available bench… and for good reason. The bench press is by far the best chest building exercise around. No chest routine would be complete without some kind of pressing, and the bench is the go to exercise. Plus the bench is considered a good measure of your upper body strength. Have a good PR here and you will have some cred at your local gym. Even though the bench press is your first choice there is plenty of versatility with this exercise.
you can use different…
barbell or dumbbells
elbows tight or flared
The classic bench is effective and your best bet for packing on muscle. Here is a quick run down of the exercise.
use a flat bench and a barbell
take a medium grip width, just a couple of inches outside your shoulders
keep your elbows tucked, this is for safty
with this setup the bar is lowered just below your nipples to the lower part of your chest
Done properly this exercise provides excellent overall development for the pecks. There is an added bonus of shoulder and triceps development. The method described is the classic version, but as previously mentioned the you have many different variations available. Each change will apply a slightly different stimulus to your pec, shoulder and triceps muscles.
One of the more common variations of this lift is the incline bench. Typically the bench is set at about a 30° angle, but again you have some room to play. You can decrease the angle or you can increase it placing more stress on the shoulders. Both of these variations can be done with dumbbells as well.
Parallel Bar Dips
Dips are excellent for working both the chest and triceps. This exercise is best done for high reps as opposed to heavyweight. The dips and the barbell bench are the best two pressing exercises for building up your chest muscles.
If you were paying attention earlier you will have noticed that one of the functions of the chest is to bring your arms across your body, kind of like you hugging yourself, or someone else for that matter. Without doing this type of movement in your workout you’re missing out on some serious development.
The best exercise I recommend for this…
This exercise duplicates a chest pose at a bodybuilding competition of the locker room of your local gym. To start stand in a dual cable machine with your arms spread wide holding the handles in each hand. From there you bring the handles together in front of the chest, with a arms slight bent at the elbows.
Just like the bench press there are a few options here as well:
high to low
low to high
on an incline bench
Because of the light weight this makes for an excellent finishing exercise.
This exercise is one of the few that doesn’t have many variations. To begin buying your back on a flat bench, with two hands hold a dumbbell straight above you then reach back over your head keeping a light bend in the arms.
Other Chest Exercises Worth a Look
Close Grip Bench Press with a pause
Push Up Variations
There you have it, the 4 best chest exercises and a few variations. Add these to your workout routines and you will developed a full barrel chest that is sure to attract the opposite sex.