If you spend a lot of time in the weights room, or are about to commence a rigorous gym routine, there’s a good chance you want to bulk up your chest. Frankly, even if you have no intention of ever stepping into a gym, the chances are you wouldn’t say no to bigger pecs. Unfortunately there’s no magic shortcut to take – it’s only going to happen if you work at it.
“Building a bigger chest certainly doesn’t happen overnight, but doing the right exercises which target your pectoral muscles from every angle using appropriate rep ranges will ensure you get the results from the graft,” says Robert Stevenson, Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard PT of the year.
“To develop your chest, ensure that you include chest exercises in your workouts a minimum of two days a week. If you’re an experienced lifter, incorporate maximal (one to three reps), heavy (four to eight reps), moderate (eight to 12 reps) and lighter (12-plus reps) sets. If you’re new to the gym, stick to lighter weights and higher rep ranges until you refine your technique.
“It’s extremely important to work your chest from all angles and not only focus on the the biggest muscles in your chest – the pectoralis major – but also the smaller ones such as the pectoralis minor and clavicular pectoralis.”
To help you on your way to a bigger chest, we asked Stevenson and Keith McNiven, founder of personal training company Right Path Fitness, to recommend their favourite chest exercises for beginner, intermediate and advanced gym-goers, and we’ve thrown in a couple of our favourites as well.
This article describes exercises that help people gain strength and definition in the lower chest.
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