The chest is one of the important muscle groups of the upper body. Athletes ensure they have a muscular chest and protect their internal organs from harm. Chest workouts will help you have a defined muscular manly chest for male athletes, while for female athletes, it will help them have a toned upper body. Many fitness experts online have plenty of fitness videos about the best chest workouts. In this brief guide, we want to take you through the anatomy of the chest and the best chest workouts for muscle gains.
Training Your Chest Muscles
You need the best workout routine to achieve maximum strength and attain your upper-body muscle-building goals. When you have the best chest workout routine and exercise, you strength the ligaments, muscle tissues and tendons around your chest. Hence reducing the chance of one suffering from any injury when training. Muscle groups, like the arms and shoulders, will also be involved when training your chest.
Before we list the best muscle-building chest workouts, you must understand the anatomy of the chest. Understanding the anatomy will ensure that you know which muscles are targeted when doing a particular chest workout. The information will also help you ensure your workout technique and form are precise to achieve maximum muscle gains. For instance, you can be doing a chest workout, but the strain is on your shoulders, which means you aren’t doing the workout correctly.
The chest has three main muscle groups, and most workout routines focus on all or each muscle group. The main muscle groups in the chest are the serratus anterior, subclavius, and the major and minor pectoralis. All the chest muscle groups are activated and involved when you are doing any chest or shoulder workout. The intensity of the involvements varies from one workout to another. Let’s dive deeper into the chest muscle groups and learn how you can identify them.
Pectoralis major & minor
The pectoralis major and minor muscle group is the largest muscle group of the chest. The pectoralis major forms a fan shape, stretching from the collarbone to the mid-section of the chest and is enormous. But the pectoralis minor is much thinner and is located below the pectoralis major. The primary function of the pectoralis minor is connecting the 3rd, 4th and 5th ribs. However, the other functions of the pectoralis major are medial rotation and arm abductions. We depend on the pectoralis minor for other fundamental movements like lowering our shoulders. Even though these pectoralis major and minor muscle groups are found in the chest, it helps in the mobility of other muscle groups in the upper body.
The Serratus Anterior is a muscle group that runs from the first rib down to the eighth rib, and it’s located on the entire scapula. It is predominantly located on the side of the chest, and on the scapula, you will find it at the anterior length of the chest’s medial border. The primary function of this muscle group is pulling your chest’s scapula forward around your thorax.
Like the other two muscle groups, the subclavius muscle group takes part in any chest or shoulder workout. It has the shape of a triangle and is much smaller than the pectoralis. You can find the subclavius muscle group between the clavicle and the chest’s first rib, and its primary function is stabilizing the sternoclavicular joint and resisting the elevations of the lateral end of the clavicle.
Now that you know the various chest muscle groups and their location, you are ready to explore the best chest workout for muscle gains. Below we want to cover the most effective chest workout for maximum muscle gains.
Top Chest Workout Exercise
When thinking about chest workouts, most people assume they have to go to the gym to get maximum results from their workout. Shockingly the most effective chest workout doesn’t involve any gym equipment and can be done in any location. Pushups are an essential workout that will activate your chest and shoulder muscles. Since pushups activate your chest and shoulder muscles, they should be included as part of every upper-body workout routine.
There are different types of pushups, each focusing on different muscle groups. When performing the standard pushup, you must lie down on your stomach. Using your arms, lift yourself into a plank position. It would be best if you remembered to place the strain on your core muscles to avoid injuring your back. Make sure your elbows aren’t flared out to reduce injuring your shoulders, and your arms should be slightly tucked in. slowly move your body until your arms form a 90 degrees angle. Then slowly push back into a plank position, all the time keeping the strain on your core; this will be your first rep. It’s recommended for one to perform ten reps in three sets.
You focus more on the overall chest muscles when you perform the standard pushup while in a straight line. But when you perform an inclined or declined standard pushup, you work on your lower and upper chest, respectively.
Apart from the standard pushups, other pushup variations include:
- Wide Hands Push-Up
- Triangle or Diamond Push-Up
- Pike Push-Up
- Super or Hindu Push-Up
- Staggered Hands Push-Up
- Sphinx Push-Up or Triceps Extension
- Spiderman or Side Kick Push-Up
- Cross-Body Push-Up
- Archer Push-Up
- Power and Clap Push-Ups
- Flying Push-Ups
- One-Arm Push-Up
It’s recommended that you perform the above pushup variations after you have mastered the standard pushup; this will minimize the chances of one suffering from any injury and using the correct form.
Other Effective Chest Workouts
While pushups are very effective chest workouts that you can do anywhere, you can incorporate them as part of your overall chest workout routine. If you want to train your chest in the gym, you should consider the following chest muscle-activating workouts.
- Flat bench press
- Incline bench press
- Decline bench press
- Cable crossover
- Chest dip
Working out your upper body, especially your chest, is very important, whether you want a hot summer body or just added strength to lift your kid. Everyone wants to have a sculpted chest and a more muscular upper body. Pushups can quickly help you attain this, and it’s also suitable for both novice and experienced individuals. Combined with other workouts and a protein-rich diet, you will achieve that sculptured chest within months. You must maintain the correct form when performing the workout to ensure maximum activation of the chest muscles and minimize the risk of injuries. Consistency and adjusting your load will ensure your chest muscles grow.
Pushups are a must-have workout routine for everyone trying to achieve a stronger upper body and sculpted chest. Increase the strength and size of your chest muscles by performing different variations of pushups.