Men take pride in how big their chest is.
Well, for one it’s the solid thing that guards their heart since the ribcage is brittle.
Consider your chest your armor which you have to forge to make more solid. That means building your upper, mid, and lower chest, and everything surrounding.
The chest probably has hundreds of different exercises but here are the top ones every man should know.
Push-Ups: the most basic chest workout
This is probably the first exercise men ever learned. It’s something they are asked to do in gym class ever since they are kids.
One thing that boys and men alike struggle with is proper form. Doing hundreds of push-ups without proper form means nothing.
How to do a proper pushup? First, your hands must be in line with your shoulders. Also, make sure that your feet is in line with your hips.
Lower your body toward the floor with your elbows tucked toward your sides. Focus the activation on your chest as you move up and down.
To target different parts of the chest, place your feet higher than your chest to simulate a decline position and your hands higher to simulate incline.
For added difficulty, you can change your hand position to wide and closed.
Neutral Bench Press: the most popular chest workout
Whenever we think about chest day, the bench press is what always comes in mind. This one is another exercise that most people struggle doing with proper form. It’s also probably because of ego lifting.
The key to a good bench press workout is making sure that the weight is adjusted according to muscle capacity. Even pro bodybuilders had to start with the small plates. They just started at an early age which is why they look far advanced.
To do a proper bench press, you must have your feet firm on the ground and your head against the bench. Hold the bar slightly wider than your shoulder width.
Bring the bar right to your chest then push push it forward and repeat according to how many reps is required in your program.
It might be essential to have a spotter with you when you start. Just make sure you do more of the lifting. The spotter’s purpose is just to make sure you safely lift the weight properly when it gets too heavy from fatigue.
Also, make sure your spotter is an experienced lifter or a professional trainer.
Incline and Decline Bench Press
You already know how to do a proper bench press. Now you need to change your position on the bench to change the part that is activated.
Proper bench angle should be 30 to 45-degrees for incline and negative 30 to 45-degrees for decline. The best weight to use for incline and decline bench presses are dumbbells.
Do the same range in motion movement as you did with the neutral bench press. Just change the activation to either your upper or lower chest.
Squeeze the chest with Cable Cross-Overs
Although the big weights seem manlier to lift, every man should also know the benefit of machines to pectoral development.
On a cable pulley machine, hold each handle and grab them with your palms facing up. Keep your feet and shoulder apart to maintain your balance during each rep.
Keep your chest out, your back straight, and extend your arms while keeping them slightly bent.
Pull each cable towards each other. Make sure your chest is feeling the squeeze of each pull as you resemble a giant “scooping” motion.
The target part of your chest depends on the height of where the cable comes from. A high angle hits the upper chest, straight angle hits the inner pecs, and a low angle hits the lower pecs.
Chest pull-overs might be the most overlooked chest exercise. It’s quite ironic since its target is what most men struggle with: the lower chest.
Simply hold the barbell with a diamond-shaped space between them. You can also do this with a dumbbell. Just be sure the weight is secure to avoid accidents.
Lock your elbows and pull the weight over your face as you focus activation on your inner and lower pecs. Be sure you aren’t placing any weight on your arms.
The key here is a slow, controlled tempo. Emphasize on the pecs as you slowly pull the weight over. You’ll instantly feel its effects when done properly.
Some do this workout first while others do it last when the chest is close to failure. It’s also another callisthenic chest exercise other than the pushup.
All you need is two parallel bars. Stand between them and hold each bar. Lean forward as you raise and lower yourself back and forth. The lean is important in order to place activation on the chest. A wrong form will transfer the weight to the triceps.
Though this exercise secondarily hits the triceps. Most of the pump should be on the chest.
Keep your abs tight as you maintain proper form throughout the entire motion. Callisthenic bodybuilders wear a dip belt to add weights when their own bodyweight becomes too light for them.