How to Work the Chest Muscle Groups

In this quick article I’m going to discuss three commonly used chest exercises. As a personal fitness coach of more than 15 years I usually get asked what are the very best exercise routines to train the muscle groups of the chest. The major chest muscle is called the pectoralis major and it is located on the upper front portion of the chest forming the front wall of the armpit. It is a very potent muscle that can exert a great deal of force and responds to substantial loads when exercised.

The most well-known chest workout of the lot and the one typically utilised in body building circles is the barbell chest press. The barbell is generally an Olympic bar which is twenty kilograms in weight. The bar has equal weights added to it on either side. The client then lies down on a bench and holds the bar out over their chest at arms length. Their arms are placed just slightly wider than their own shoulder width apart. The client then begins to lower the bar in the direction of the chest keeping the forearms vertical and their elbows underneath the bar. When the bar touches the chest the client presses the bar away to its start position. This movement is performed for the set number of repetitions in the set.

The following workout I’m going to describe is a dumb bell chest flye. This time the resistance comes in the form of two dumb bells . Dumb bells come in varying weights from just a couple of kilos to well above 100 kilos each. The client again lies down on a flat bench and holds the dumb bells out at arms length with their palms facing each other. The movement is initiated by bending the elbows and lowering the dumb bells in a broad arc until finally your hands are level with your chest. By this stage your pectoralis muscle groups should be on a stretch. The client is then instructed to return the dumb bells to the start position by engaging their chest muscles and bring the arms together until finally the dumb bells meet over the chest.

One more fantastic chest workout is the tried and trusted push up. This can be employed to bring about muscular endurance as a lot of repetitions need to be performed. Even though external weights can be added to a push up it is normally considered a body weight workout. It can be performed from the toes or made slightly easier by being performed from the knees. Either way, the set up for the hands ought to be the exact same. Namely with the hands placed down wider than shoulder width with the fingers pointing forwards. The downward movement is initiated by bending the elbows but trying to keep the forearms in a vertical position throughout. When the chest is lowered to a couple of inches from the floor the movement is reversed and the client pushes their own body away from the floor.

While there are hundreds of different chest exercises I find that these three make up a great amount of the chest workouts I prescribe for my customers. I encourage you to give these 3 workouts a go.

How to Work the Chest Muscle Groups