You do the same routine to pump up your chest, but do you pay attention to your upper chest? It has muscle fibers that are at different angles so it requires exercises that target it correctly.
If you want to get fuller pecs and you’re looking for a way to build more thickness, muscle, and strength in your upper chest, here are seven exercises for you to get a great upper chest workout at home.
What Is the “Upper Chest”
“Upper chest” is a part of the “chest muscle”. It’s known as the clavicular pectoralis and is a part of the big chest muscle (the pectoralis major), but its muscle fibers are at a different angle.
This is why research shows that certain exercises, like the flat and decline bench press, emphasize the main (large) portion of the chest muscle, whereas others, like the incline and reverse-grip bench press, emphasize the smaller upper portion.
Before getting down to any workout, first you need to warm up, to prevent possible injuries. A 10-minute light cardio will increase your blood flow and help you in the following exercises. Another vital part of any warm up is stretching. To stretch your pecs: stand in a doorway, raise your arms and grab the top of the doorway with both hands. Then tilt your torso forward, leaving the muscles to stretch. Another way is to grab sides of the doorway, bending the elbows and leaning forward, while straining the muscles.
Let’s get started.
1. Decline Push-Up
This push-up variation should be one of your go-to upper chest exercises because it makes the push-up much more intense.
- Get on your hands and knees in front of your platform, whether it’s a bench, wall, or step. Your hands should be on the ground shoulder-width apart. Place your feet on the platform.
- Keep your body in a straight line. Avoid sagging or curving your back.
- Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest to the ground.
- As you near the ground, lift your head without arching your back.
- Push yourself until your elbows are straight but without locking them, then move back into the starting position.
- Start with your weight supported on your toes and hands beneath your shoulders, body straight.
- Take care to keep your core locked so a straight line forms between your head, glutes and heels.
- Lower your body until your chest is 2 -3 cm (an inch) from the ground then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms.
3. Dumbbell press
Here’s how to do it:
- Take a dumbbell in each hand, and lie on your back, with your elbows bent on your shoulder level.
- Slowly push the dumbbells up, straightening your arms.
- Repeat the trajectory of the previous movement, slowly bending your elbows and lowering your hands to return to the initial position.
4. Incline dumbbell flye
- Set the bench to a 30- to 45-degree angle and lie on it with your feet flat on the ground on either side of you.
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand. You want a neutral grip, which is when your palms are facing each other.
- Stretch your arms above your chest, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
- Lower the dumbbells in a wide arc, all the way down to your sides.
- When your elbows reach your shoulders, you should stop and then reverse the motion.
5. Medicine ball press-up
- Get into a press-up position resting both hands on the medicine ball.
- Slowly lower yourself until your chest is 2 -3 cm (an inch) above the medicine ball.
- Push up explosively to the start position.
6. Chest Dips
Chest dips are one of the best exercises for the upper chest. They activate a lot of different muscle groups. This is because your upper body isn’t supported by a bench. In addition, your feet have to be off the floor.
- Hold onto the parallel bars while keeping your body at arm’s length above them.
- Inhale and lower yourself down, keeping your elbows extended a bit.
- Tighten your chest muscles as you pause at the top of the movement for a second.
- Use your chest muscles to pull you back up into the starting position. Remember to breathe out as you do this.
7. Dumbbell Pullover
Here’s how to do it:
- Lie down so that you’re perpendicular to a flat blench. Keep your legs bent and your hips low.
- Hold a dumbbell in your palms by one of its ends so that it is held vertically instead of horizontally. Keep your arms extended but slightly bent.
- Move the dumbbell so that it’s above your chest – this is the starting position.
- Now, move the dumbbell all the way over your head so that it travels behind your head. Move it all the way behind your head until it brushes the floor.
- You should feel your chest stretch.
- Contract your upper pecs and move the dumbbell back into the starting position.
- With the weight above your chest, contract your upper chest again before doing another rep of the exercise.
Having the right upper chest exercises is crucial to building the smaller pec muscles that are often neglected during your workouts. The above exercises will help you to strengthen and build your upper chest.
Remember that if you want to build muscle, you need to avoid getting stuck in routines as this can seriously hamper your ability to bulk up. This not only refers to doing the same exercises, in the same order, but it means changing the angle when you’re doing incline work. So, make some changes from time to time. Among above exercises, pick four or five to start with. In like thee weeks, or a month, add or change on. Change the angle when doing incline dumbbell fly or decline push-up.
Now, play some music and get into it.