The chest is one of the most vital muscle groups to train when attempting to gain muscle. This article is the perfect resource for men learning how to get a big chest and finding out what are the best chest exercises for building mass.
The chest muscles are made up of the Pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor, together they form one of the largest muscle groups of the upper body. The pectoralis major which is the larger muscle actually has two parts – an upper portion (called the clavicular head) and the lower portion (called the sternal head). The key is to adequately hit both parts with learning how to get a big chest.
When learning how to get a big chest, any chest exercise stimulates all parts of the chest; however, it is best to segment your chest workout to hit different parts of the chest. An example is an incline chest press will hit the upper part of the Pectoralis major to a greater extent than a regular flat bench chest press.
Through changing the movement, the angle and/or the type of resistance, different muscle fibres get recruited which challenges the body in new ways ensuring the muscle fibres do not get used to a particular type of movement. The is the real key when practising how to get a big chest.Otherwise muscle growth can level off if the same movements are repeated with no variation.In addition to aesthetics the chest muscles are also key for almost every movement carried out in the day. For example, when a door is pushed, hair is blow-dried and even teeth are brushed the chest muscles are being used This is another reason why learning and then putting into practise how to get a big chest is essential.
The most vital aspect of building a impressive chest is however diet. Read my guide on how to gain muscle (the ultimate bulking diet) for more. I recommend MuscleFood for top quality protein foods including fresh meat delivered straight to your home. The Link is below. Nutrition is arguable the first thing to look at when figuring out how to get a big chest.
Best Chest Exercises
Below I discuss some of the best exercises to solve how to get a big chest. I would recommend guys to stay between 10-12 reps for the majority of sets to really force muscle hypertrophy rather without just increasing strength. In my personal quest to find the answer to how to get a big chest, lower reps on pressing movements and higher reps on flyes is what works best for me.
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Flat Barbell Bench Press
For the best exercise whilst developing knowledge on how to get a big chest, the barbell bench press allows the most amount of power to be generated which leads to the the greatest amount of weight being pushed. This increases the level of muscle hypotrophy causing the chest muscles to be hit harder than with lower weight.
The barbell bench press is also a easier movement to control than dumbbell press with the exercise being very easy to learn due to its simple nature. The barbell bench press however typically requires a spotter if not on a smith machine which is a advantage for the dumbbell press over barbell. Avoiding injury is essential for searching for the best training routines whilst finding how to get a big chest.
- Lie back on a flat bench. Using a medium width grip (a grip that creates a 90-degree angle in the middle of the movement between the forearms and the upper arms), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position.
- From the starting position, breathe in and begin coming down slowly until the bar touches your middle chest.
- After a brief pause, push the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out. Focus on pushing the bar using your chest muscles. Lock your arms and squeeze your chest in the contracted position at the top of the motion, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. Tip: Ideally, lowering the weight should take about twice as long as raising it.
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
Dumbbell Press recruits more of the stabilizer muscles than the barbell bench press. The dumbbell press can also prevent muscular imbalances as each side of the body must push independently. This means the dumbbell press possess a greater range of motion than barbells which will maintain the symmetry of your muscles. This means it is a excellent option for practising how to get a big chest.
Dumbbells can be easily pushed onto the floor if the weight is too heavy and there is no spotter, this is unlike the barbell bench press where pressing without a spotter can be potentially dangerous. For practising in the gym how to get a big chest, the negative portion of the rep should be done as slow as the pulling movement itself.
- Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hands will be facing each other.
- Then, using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width. Putting into practise how to get a big chest, shoulder width is essential.
- Once at shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. The dumbbells should be just to the sides of your chest, with your upper arm and forearm creating a 90 degree angle. Be sure to maintain full control of the dumbbells at all times. This will be your starting position.
- Then, as you breathe out, use your chest to push the dumbbells up. Lock your arms at the top of the lift and squeeze your chest, hold for a second and then begin coming down slowly. Tip: Ideally, lowering the weight should take about twice as long as raising it
Incline Dumbbell/Barbell Press
Doing chest presses on a adjustable bench enables hitting the upper chest more through inclining the bench. You can also bench press on various different incline levels thereby hitting the chest muscles from different points allowing for a more efficient workout.
To really feel the burn rotate the dumbbell from palms forward to palms inward and briefly squeeze at the top. This slight change will cause you to medially rotate the upper arm, really recruiting your pec major. Incline turned out for me to be the best solution to how to get big chest and also one of the most enjoyable exercises within my routine.
- Lie back on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand atop your thighs. The palms of your hands will be facing each other.
- Then, using your thighs to help push the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them at shoulder width.
- Once you have the dumbbells raised to shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. This will be your starting position.
- Be sure to keep full control of the dumbbells at all times. Then breathe out and push the dumbbells up with your chest.
- Lock your arms at the top, hold for a second, and then start slowly lowering the weight. Tip Ideally, lowering the weights should take about twice as long as raising them.
Decline Barbell Press
Decline bench hits the lower chest to a greater extent. This kind of press is relatively rare in most gyms as most people prefer aesthetically larger upper chest when compared to lower chest. Dumbbells are also much less safe with this exercise which is why decline press should be done using a barbell ideally within a smith machine. Decline press
Another benefit of the decline bench press is that it is a powerful solution to how to get a big chest, which takes your shoulders out of the equation a bit more than its flat or incline counterpart. Due to the decline, your positioning, as well as the positioning of the bar, your shoulders do less of the work, truly isolating your chest for a great pump.
- Secure your legs at the end of the decline bench and slowly lay down on the bench.
- Using a medium width grip (a grip that creates a 90-degree angle in the middle of the movement between the forearms and the upper arms), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. The arms should be perpendicular to the floor. This will be your starting position. Tip: In order to protect your rotator cuff, it is best if you have a spotter help you lift the barbell off the rack. Using a spotter can make all the difference for those learning how to get a big chest.
- As you breathe in, come down slowly until you feel the bar on your lower chest.When practising how to get a big chest, proper form is essential for building chest mass.
- After a second pause, bring the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out and push the bar using your chest muscles. Lock your arms and squeeze your chest in the contracted position, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. Tip: For the method to practise how to get a big chest it should take at least twice as long to go down than to come up).
Flyes play a important role in the solution to how to get a big chest. Flyes are a great movement to include at the end of your workout as they target a separate movement pattern of the pecs for complete, well-rounded development. Dumbbell flyes can be performed using either a flat, incline or decline angle, while cable flyes can also be performed lying on a bench (flat, incline or decline) or in a standing position.
Dumbbell flyes also engage the rhomboids at the upper back and the biceps as stabilizing muscles. The move involves the rotator cuff and the back of the shoulders as well as the serratus anterior, a muscle along the ribs that helps keep your shoulders in proper alignment. Unlike most other chest exercises, the dumbbell fly does not use the triceps muscles, which are at the back of the upper arm. Attaining a good stretch is essential for practising how to get a big chest and flyes are the best method to get blood flowing to the pectoral muscles.
- Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.
- Then using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift the dumbbells one at a time so you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width with the palms of your hands facing each other. Raise the dumbbells up like you’re pressing them, but stop and hold just before you lock out. This will be your starting position.
- With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
- Return your arms back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and breathe out. Tip: Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
- Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.