How to Build a Bigger Upper Chest
Most bodybuilders or weight trainers discover that their upper chest is going to be the most stubborn section that slowly develops over time. They eventually spend more than 2/3 of their chest-training days doing movements that will target upper chest to achieve that fully developed balanced look for the pecs.
But when building more thickness, strength and muscle in the upper chest, there are 4 different ways we have listed below that you can use to quickly restructure the type of chest training you do, hitting all your weaknesses.
Always start with an upper-chest multi-joint movement
Instead of starting your chest routine with a flat bench, you go to max using incline press first. You'll be significantly stronger lifting heavier than you usually do because it's your first movement. This will force your upper pecs to use more muscle fibers than they usually do.
The increase in the weight you can lift because you're starting on an incline should also mean that you are going heavy doing 6-8 reps, followed by one or two sets of a maximum weight for two reps, if you've got a training partner. When using an incline as your lead movement it does not really matter whether you use dumbbells or barbells, or both.
Although this movement is accepted as a good triceps-builder, EMI studies clearly show that doing this movement activates 40% more upper chest fibers than a standard incline press. The reverse grip bench-press can be done on a Smith machine or free weights, holding the barbell wider than your shoulders.
As you carefully lower the bar to mid-chest level then powerfully press the bar up and a little back (towards your eyes). You need to focus hard on hitting the upper pecs with that mind muscle connection. It's awkward at first, but start with light weights till you get the feel on your upper pecs using 8-12 reps with good form.
Smith machine bench-press to clavicles
This needs a Smith machine to work because you are positioning your body on the bench so that your clavicle bones are lined up directly underneath the barbell. You should use a grip that is wider than your shoulders with your upper arms perpendicular with your torso and elbows flared out wide.
The bar is then lowered slowly stretching your upper body and then holding the tension at the bottom for a second or two. Start with light weights using a weight that you can perform the movement with good form for 8 to 12 reps.
Although D/B pull-overs generally are accepted as a movement to expand the rib cage, if this movement is done incorrectly you will be stimulating more teres major and latissimus dorsi than you would upper pec stimulation. Start off by lying perpendicular to a bench with your hips hung lower than your knees.
Holding the D/B firmly with both hands under the upper, inner plate of the D/B with arms slightly bent and the D/B over your chest before you start. As the D/B lowers behind your head that is resting on the bench, it's important to make certain that the D/B moves down and not backwards as this works lats.
When you feel the stretch you need to focus on contracting the upper pecs trying to only use chest power to get the D/B back to your starting position. When you get to the top of the movement you should flex your pecs as hard as you can before you start the next rep doing 8-12 reps.
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