Think of any major super hero and you will notice that they are always pictured having a strong well defined chest. Even skinny Spider Man has nice pecs. I must mention Johnny Bravo here as well… he’s a personal super-hero of mine. You can get the sexy shape of these heroes too, just by working your pecs.
Your chest is composed of two major muscles, pectoralis minor and pectoralis major, basically pecs for short. The pectoralis major and minor are layered, with the pectoralis major on top.
When we talk about how to work these muscles though, most trainers divided the chest into three focus groups, simply called the top, the middle, and the lower chest. If you desire the heavy Armor-plate pecs akin to a super hero, you need to do chest exercises to develop and train all three sections.
Why is it important to work the upper chest properly?
It is essential that your upper pecs are properly sculpted if you want a chest Johnny Bravo would be envious of. Unfortunately, most amateurs don’t work all three sections equally, ending up gaining mass in the lower rather than upper portion of the chest.
This makes them gain a bulkier bottom which isn’t ideal. Bad workout patterns or focusing on the lower chest more than the upper chest result in pectorals that look more like man boobs than Armour plates.
How do I build a strong upper chest?
One of the more common training mistakes made by amateurs is that they think beefing up or going for size alone is what is important. While size does matter of course, but that is not the only thing.
Unless there is a defined target for your workouts, you will end up with pecs that are bigger at the bottom and smaller at the top. To achieve an Armor-plate chest you need the right chest workout, the fundamental core of which is the bench press.
What is a Bench Press?
Bench press is singularly the most effective exercise for your chest, shoulders, triceps, and back. Simply put, you lie on your back on a bench and lift a barbell. As a compound exercise, it can really help in transforming your entire top half, provided you do the exercise right with the right form and placement. Here are a few tips to get your form and placement right for the best results with your bench pressing.
- Be careful of your grip. Remember to hold the bar such that it rests on the heel of your hand rather than near the fingers. This will allow you to maintain the proper position of your wrist, straight not bent.
- Eyes on the prize. Remember to position yourself as you lie down in a way that the bar is right above your eyes. This allows you to maintain the arched position while un-racking and locking the bar.
- Elbows at 45. Remember to keep your arms at the correct angle. Your elbows should be at a 45° angle between your shoulders and ribs. This will protect you from possible shoulder injuries.
- Down to earth. Always ensure that your feet lie flat on the ground. Remember to position your bench such that you can get an upward push with your legs, something you need your feet on the floor for. For an added bonus tuck your feet back closer towards the b**t resting only the balls of your feet on the floor. This position will help you maintain the arched structure of the torso.
If you are interested, here are 8 Tips for Building a Big Upper Chest.
So hit the gym and work on those pecs today… Johnny Bravo would want you to.