Training

Build Your Upper Chest

Make the incline the angle of choice for upper-pec mass.

by
Build Your Upper Chest
Chris Lund

Complete chest development means thick upper pecs. Most bodybuilders will not naturally have thick upper pecs; it requires focused attention and the right exercises. One of the best exercises for upper-pec development is the incline bench. The keys to getting the most out of this exercise include using the right amount of incline and learning to maximally engage the upper pecs and not relying on arm strength. Set the incline high enough that the sternum is not parallel with the floor. Bring the bar down to the chin with elbows out wide, then press up, concentrating on squeezing the upper pecs to move the bar. One trick to this exercise is to keep the shoulders shrugged high. This realigns the collarbones, allowing greater engagement of the sternoclavicular portion of the upper pecs. 

ALTERNATIVES

  • Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Incline Flye

WHEN TO FOCUS ON THE UPPER CHEST

Any body part that you want to improve should be performed early in the workout. After warming up the shoulders thoroughly, begin your chest workout with incline bench presses. 

FORM AND FUNCTION

The pectoralis muscle group consists of the pectoralis major, including the clavicular and sternal portions and the pectoralis minor. The origin of the pec major is along the lower ribs, the sternum, and at the clavicle. The insertion is at the humerus. The origin of the pec minor is at the third, fourth, and fifth rib, and the insertion is at the upper part of the scapula (shoulder blade). The pectoralis muscle performs shoulder adduction, with the upper pecs adducting the arms high and in front of the body. 

 UPPER-CHEST WORKOUT 

  • Incline Bench Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10-12
  • Pec-Deck Flye* | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12-15
  • Dip | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12-15

*Lower seat to activate upper pectorals. 

 FLEX 

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