List Of Best Chest Exercises For Mass – You Need To Know
Summary: Looking to grow your pecs? Here are the 9 best chest exercises for mass and these are the only ones you need. Read on!
If you're a guy looking to impress a woman, or someone who takes good care of his body, or a competitor in a fitness show, it is only imperative that you give your chest a solid workout for it to grow. Why? Because it is the body part that catches a huge chunk of attention from the lookers.
Having a strong and muscular chest are signs of masculinity. In one study, females who are interviewed say that chest is one of the most attractive body parts a male has.
Whether you have your shirt or not, a huge chest never fails to stand out. If building monster pecs is your goal, this article will help you by giving you a list of chest exercises that you can incorporate into your next chest workout.
But first, let's discuss the anatomy of the pectorals.
The Chest Muscles
Before you can make your chest grow, you have to know first how you will train it. And before you know how to effectively train it, it's important to understand first what are the muscles that make up the chest, where are they located, and how they function. Here are the muscles that comprise the chest:
The biggest chest muscle and the one most people in the gym are interested in building is the pectoralis major. This muscle has three heads: the sternal head, the clavicular head, and the abdominal head.
It is important to know these three heads because there are only specific movements that target each of them. And if there are not developed, your chest will remain as wimpy as it is.
The sternal head forms the bulk of the middle and lower chest. When people label the chest as upper and lower, the latter is the sternal head, which runs from the sternum across the chest, and inserts at the humerus.
The clavicular head, or the upper chest, forms the top portion of the pectoralis major. It is much smaller than the sternal head but it still plays a huge part in the overall chest development.
The clavicular head runs from the collarbone down the upper part of your chest, just above the nipple area. Most guys neglect to develop this area of their chest. They only focus on the sternal head which results from having a muscular imbalance and lack of aesthetic chest development. Don't worry; we'll pay close attention to this.
The abdominal head is a big piece of muscle that surrounds the abdominal muscles. It runs from the rectus sheath, continues up and across the lower portion of the chest, and to the humerus.
The pectoralis minor locates underneath the pectoralis major. It is a small, triangular muscle group that runs from the top of the coracoid process of the scapula and attaches to ribs three, four, and five. It helps you breathe and assist in the scapula movements.
Now that we know the basic anatomy of the pecs, let's now go to the 9 best chest exercises for mass.
List Of Best Chest Exercises For Mass
1. Bench Press
The king of all chest exercises. The bench press is the staple in any bodybuilder or powerlifter's workout routine because it doesn't only overload the pectoral muscles, but also the triceps and the front shoulders. If deadlift is for the back, squats are for the legs; then bench press is the weight lifting for chest.
Bench press works both pectoralis major and minor, and the three heads of the pectoralis major, but it stresses more the sternal head.
Since this is a compound exercise, we always want to start our chest workout with this or any of its variation. Compound exercises demand the most from our body so it's just wise not to waste energy on other lifts before doing any of these lifts.
This is the proper way to do the Bench Press:
I suggest sticking to 6-10 rep ranges for muscle growth.
Since you can do Bench Press either powerlifting style or bodybuilding style, I suggest to mix them up.
Try incorporating "heavy" days which you only focus on 3-5 reps or even 1 rep per set and longer rest periods between sets. This teaches your body to handle heavy weights, and it also increases your strength tremendously which will help you in building more chest mass.
2. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
Another great mass building exercise. Flat DB Bench Press, like the regular Bench Press, allows you to overload the muscles by using heavier weights. This movement also allows a greater range of motion and more involvement of the stabilizer muscles.
Here is the proper way to do it:
Rep range is 6-10.
Tip: Substitute this exercise when you hit a plateau in your barbell variation.
3. Incline Bench Press
This is the best exercise that overloads the clavicular head of the pectoralis major. Most guys in the gym focus only on doing the flat, regular bench press and often neglect doing some exercises for their upper chest. No wonder why most of them lack the complete chest development.
Incline Bench Press works all heads of the pecs, but it stresses more the upper portion. It also works more of your front shoulder than the regular bench press so don't get surprised if you get a sore shoulder the day after your workout. It's perfectly normal.
This is the proper way to do this exercise:
4. Inclined Dumbbell Press
Another great mass building exercise that targets the whole chest but specifically the clavicular head. Using dumbbells allows less weight but with a greater range of motion where you can get a good stretch at the bottom of the movement.
Here is the proper way of doing it:
Rep ranges are from 6-10.
This exercise is great for muscle building because it uses more muscle than when you are using free weights or machines. It involves more of the assisting muscles, the core, and the stabilizer muscles. It's also very functional, meaning that the strength you acquire doing this exercise is carried over to what you do in real life or sports.
This is a way to add weights to your push-ups:
Aim for 8-12 reps then add weight if needed.
Dips is a great exercise for increasing functional strength and building the sternal head of the pectoralis major. Think of it as the advance version of a pushup.
There are two ways to do the dips: for chest and triceps.
When doing dips for the chest, your elbows have to be flared out away from your body. The farther your elbows are, the more chest muscles are involved.
Here is a good explanation:
Go for 6-10 reps. Use a weighted belt for progression.
If you can't do even a single rep, try doing only the negative portion of the exercise. Grab a chair where you can stand to the starting position and just fold your legs, slowly dipping downward. Once you get to the bottom where your chest is comfortably stretched, just gently push back to the starting position with your feet and repeat the process. Soon you will be doing regular dips with this method.
7. Flat Dumbbell Flyes
Flat DB flyes is a great exercise for finishing off the pecs at the end of the workout. It is also great for building mass because you can spend a longer time in the negative portion of the exercise which creates a tremendous wear and tear of the muscle fibers, which is a huge factor in muscle hypertrophy.
This is how you do it properly:
Go for 8-12 reps.
8. Incline Dumbbell Flyes
Same with the flat FB flyes for creating a wear and tear on the muscle fibers. This one's more focused on the clavicular head of the pecs.
The proper way to do this exercise:
Stick to 8-12 reps.
9. Cable Crossovers
What's great about this exercise is that there is continuous tension throughout the whole movement. You get a good stretch, you get a good muscle contraction, and you will get a very good pump in this exercise. Prepare to have a sore chest tomorrow.
Go for 10-15 reps.
- No matter how strict you are to your workout or how hard your sets are, if you do not apply the principle of progressive overload, you will not grow. Always strive to progress on each of your lifts.
- Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition! Need I say more? Your muscles won't grow if you lack the resources for them to grow. The basic foundation of nutrition is a multivitamin supplement. This ensures that all of your organs are working optimally to assist you in recovery and faster neuro-muscular adaptation. For the best multivitamins for bodybuilding, you can check the list in below article.
And also, don't forget that heavy training demands more protein from the body. You should be getting at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight. This seems a lot to get from food so getting a protein powder is a very convenient way to meet your protein needs. For the best and cheapest protein powders, you can check the list in the below article.
- Last but not the least, you should be getting quality rest. Always aim for at least 7 hours of quality sleep every night.
This chest workout for mass and the principles outlined will make your chest grow in no time.
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