If you want that hot summer bod, then look no further. All you need to do is utilize the correct exercises. One of the muscle groups that require attention in training is the pectoral muscle. The pecs are a group of muscles located in the chest area commonly involved in pushing activities like opening doors or pushing objects. Therefore, having different workout routines for this muscle is essential for realizing the ultimate results.
Before mastering some pectoral exercises, it is vital to understand its components. The pectoralis muscle contains the minor and major pectoralis. Muscles commonly known as the pecs move from the shoulder all the way to the lower abdomen, protecting all essential body parts like the ribs and the lungs. The pectoralis major, for instance, attaches at the breastbone and the shoulder. The pectoralis minor, on the other hand, runs through to the lower ribs.
Since the pectoralis is made of some of the most prominent muscle groups in the body, proper exercises can help in stability, strength, and even in reducing body fat by burning calories. The muscles also need training to assist in arm and shoulder movement.
Pectoral Exercises Without Equipment
One of the oldest and most essential exercises for the chest muscles is the push-up. This classic exercise is one that is efficient for beginners in exercising or those with no time for the gym. The push up stance begins by placing the feet together and placing the hands a set distant apart to forge a push motion on the ground. One tip to note with push-ups is to remember to maintain a wide grip throughout the routine. The wide grip forces the pectoral muscles to work harder that when using a narrow or close grip approach. A proper set can contain between ten and fifteen repetitions with one to two minute breaks in between sets.
The plyometric push-up involves the use of explosive techniques to engage the pectoral muscles as much as possible. The clap push-up, for instance, affects the muscles in two stages. First, a person begins by performing the regular push-up followed by a massive thrust of the entire body through the chest muscles to allow a clap before another rep. Despite their difficulty of the exercise, plyometric push-ups are one of the best exercises for building strong and proportionate pectoral muscles.
Most people only train their major pectoralis. One area that receives less focus in many cases is the lower chest. Inclined push-ups are a fabulous way for targeting the lower chest without involving any other muscle. Also, this exercise is efficient for beginners who find regular push-ups difficult to do in the beginning. The incline you create should depend on the your ability. However, a tip to note is that a steeper incline gives you the opportunity of working the pectoralis without much effort and strain.
The decline push-ups focus on the deltoid muscles and the upper chest. The division of the pectoral muscles promotes the necessity of targeting different muscles for full muscle growth. Thus, it is vital to also focus on the upper portion of the chest. Despite being more challenging than regular push-ups, decline push-ups help to develop a well-rounded muscular chest.
Tips for Maximizing the Effect of Body Weight Workouts on the Pectoralis
Mind-muscle connection is one of the most essential concepts in training any body part. A trainer looking to develop the pectoral muscles can thus benefit by noting that it is vital for the mind to focus on the exercise in the absence of distractions. Some people use music to prevent distractions around them while others prefer silence. It is up to you to find your concentration spot for proper training of the muscles through the mind.
Tine-under-tension is another critical tip for developing the chest muscles. As a rule of thumb, use three seconds in the lowering section of the exercise, pause for two seconds at the lowest point, and rise back to the starting point with another three seconds. The time used helps to engage all involved muscles for maximum efficiency.
Pectoral Exercises With Equipment
Barbell Bench Press
The barbell bench press is one of the most popular and best strengthening exercises for the chest muscles. The bench press maximizes on eliminating any form of distractions present and involving only the pectoral muscles. Reducing other compound muscle movements like the back and the leg muscles promotes engagement of the chest muscles for maximum results. One of the most famous bodybuilders, Arnold Schwazenegger, pegged the bench press as one of his favorite exercises for working his chest muscles. The reason, however, is quite apparent, isn’t it?
Incline Barbell Bench Press
The upper chest muscles are worked well by this exercise. The incline barbell bench press’s function is to target only the upper chest muscles through an angle between 15 and 70 degrees. Many gym stations have the adjustable bench that helps with setting up the incline barbell bench press for maximum effect.
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press
The complexity of the chest muscles requires attention and focus. One way to involve the chest muscles individually is through the use of the flat bench dumbbell press. This exercise utilizes two approaches: one, the trainer can opt to push the weight collectively using two hands, and two, the trainer may choose to push the weight simultaneously to involve both sides of the chest muscles. This exercise is an alternative for the barbell bench press and offers an opportunity to use heavier weights for full development and growth of the pectoral muscles.
Dips are another great exercise for the chest. If done wrong, dips could target the shoulder muscles instead of the chest muscles. Proper dips for the chest require you to place your feet behind while leaning forward and inward. The compound movement, thus, drives you to involve the abs and the triceps. When done correctly, dips act as a supplementary exercise to barbell or dumbbell bench press or may serve as an individual pectoral exercise. Even though dips require a station, you can customize a station for home training.