3 best upper chest exercises

Build Your Upper Chest With 3 of the Best Upper Chest Exercises

For those that are not genetically blessed, the upper chest (cough…and calves…cough ) can be one of the toughest places to put mass on. It is not as simple as doing a few sets of barbell or dumbbell presses to trigger growth in the upper portion of the chest.

What part is the upper chest ?

The upper chest is actually the pectoral area right under the clavicle. Another name for it is clavicular pectoralis.

Most of the pressing you do for your chest tends to hit the middle and the lower part of the pectoral muscles because the upper chest muscle fibers are attached to the clavicle which makes them very hard to engage.

upper chest anatomy

3 of the best upper chest exercises

As we already mentioned, the upper chest can be a pretty stubborn area to develop, so just regular bench pressing with barbells and dumbbells will simply not cut it. 

So if you are looking to improve your upper chest there are certain exercises that will emphasize the upper portion of the chest (you cannot actually isolate the upper chest, as every chest exercise you do works the clavicular pectoralis to some extent, but you can emphasize it.)

Without further ado, here are three of the best upper chest exercises that target the pecs most effectively.

1. Reverse grip bench press

When you mention exercises that target the upper chest, the first thing that comes to people’s mind is probably the incline bench press.

Yes, the incline press is a good exercise to engage the upper chest, but the reverse grip bench press is a way better option to recruit more muscle fibers in the upper chest.

Research says that the wide reverse grip bench press activates up to 30% more muscle fibers in the upper chest when compared to incline bench press.

Of course you won’t be able to push big weights on this exercise, but if you concentrate on squeezing your chest at the top position of the lift you will trigger new growth without a doubt.

– Grab the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
– Press in an upward curve motion
– Pick a weight that you can push for 12-15 repetitions in a controlled manner.

2. Incline bench press

Ok, we already mentioned this one, but it’s still one of the best upper chest exercises, it’s a classic one. It was actually Arnold’s favorite chest exercise for that matter. The incline chest press is performed in a similar fashion as the flat bench press:

– Position yourself on an incline bench
– Grab the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
– Lower the bar to your upper chest
– Push upwards until you completely extend your arms and squeeze your chest at the top of the movement.

3. Cable flyes from a low pulley

The low pulley cable flies is another great exercise for the upper chest. What’s good about using cables on this exercise is that it keeps your chest (and specifically the upper chest muscle fibers) under constant tension throughout the whole set.

– Grab the handles and turn your palms upwards
– With slightly bent elbows bring your arms up until your hands reach the height of your chin
– Slowly lower your arms to the starting position
– Be sure to to squeeze the chest at the top of the movement

There you go, try adding these upper chest exercises in your regular routine and stick with them for a few months. We guarantee that you’ll see improvements in your upper pecs.

You might also like :

The Complete Guide For a Massive Chest

Top 5 Chest Training Mistakes and How To Correct Them

The 8 x 8 Method For Chest Training

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