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Most Effective Way To Build Chest Muscles

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Author: Thomas Calkins

The main area of the body most people say they would like to improve is the chest. The chest is the most prominent element of the upper body and it contains the largest muscle. Building muscle mass in your chest will boost your confidence and help stabilize your shoulders. For these reasons, it is the subsection of the body that lifters generally spend the most time working on.

Here are some fundamental exercises to help increase muscle mass in the chest.

Bench Press

Body Position - Good location is the most vital part of your bench press routine. Lie flat on the bench so there is continuous contact from buttock to back. The soles of your shoes should be in contact with the floor at all times. Your bar should be resting parallel to your eyes.

Movement - Continuously inhale deeply throughout the lifting phase to supply more oxygen to your body. Carefully lift the bar from its resting position and lower it to its destination - a few inches above your chest. Ensure the bar does not sharply fall on your chest, as a serious injury may occur.

Completion - Using a carefully controlled motion, press the weight back to its starting point. Lock both elbows and use the full extension of your arms to effectively build the entire muscle.

Cable Crossovers

Body Position - Stand equidistant from two different cable machines. Grab the cable from each using the nearest hand to it. The handles should be level with your shoulders and your elbows should be maximally bent. Provide a stable base for this exercise by placing one foot slightly in front of the other.

Movement - Push forwards and downwards in a cross shape until the cables become level with your waist. Exhale continuously throughout your movement, and avoid injury by ensuring your hands do not smash together.

Completion - In a careful and controlled motion, return the cables to the starting position. If you let the weights snap back quickly, you could risk potentially injure your arms.

Incline Press

Body Position - There are several different styles of press, either with fixed or adjustable chairs. With either, you will need to sit all the way back on the reclined seat, and the soles of your feet should be in contact with the floor.

Movement - Lift the bar from its resting position and begin carefully lowering it towards your chest. Take care not to drop the bar, as this could cause serious injury.

Completion - Extend your arms and lock your elbows to press the weight straight back up. This upper chest exercise should be a fluid, continuous motion. Careful control is of paramount importance.

Decline Press

Body Position - You will lie on the bench with your head lower down than the rest of your body. Your feet will be strapped onto the foot pads securely, and there will be continuous contact between your back and the bench.

Movement - Lift the bar from its resting position and begin carefully lowering it towards your chest. Take care not to drop the bar, as this could cause serious injury.

Completion - Extend your arms and lock your elbows to press the weight straight back up. It is sometimes difficult to gauge whether the bar is perpendicular to the floor, because your head is at an awkward angle, but the perpendicular motion is what builds muscle mass in your lower chest area and the inner portion of the chest.

Butterfly Press

Body Position - If you are using a machine, you will use the seat provided and position your arms on the bar. If you are using dumbbells, you will lie flat on your back on the bench with one in each of your hands. You will raise the dumbbells to the face- level starting point with your arms fully bent.

Movement - If you are using the machine, you will use your inner forearms to move the weights in a preset arc-like motion. If you are using dumbbells, you will use a fluid movement to carefully move them toward each other. They will meet slightly above your nose.

Completion - If you are using a machine you will move the weights back to their resting position using the padded arms. The machine will provide enough resistance to allow you to build muscle mass. For maximal muscle growth using free weights, you need to ensure the dumbbell travels down the exact same arc it went up. The continuous resistance throughout the exercise will be a priority if you are serious about building muscle.

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