chest-workout

One of the most famous chests in bodybuilding belong to that of the Austrian Oak himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. In his prime, Arnold’s chest was truly the center piece of his physique.

So how can you pump up some Arnold-like pecs of your own? First it’s important to understand what muscles are involved when working this part of your body. Your chest muscles are composed of the pectoralis major and minor. The pectoralis major is the bigger chest muscle and travels from the collar bone to the sternum, attaching to the upper arm. The purpose of this muscle is flexion and adduction of the shoulder as well as inward shoulder rotation. The pectoralis minor is a small triangular muscle located under the pectoralis major and also helps with shoulder flexion, adduction and rotation.

Exercises such as flys and crossovers are ideally suited for shaping and increasing striations, and using cables is one of the best machines to help develop an incredibly cut chest. With that said, here are my top 3 exercises to help sculpt your pectoral muscle.

1. Cable Crossover

To get yourself into the starting position, place the pulleys on a high position (above your head), select the resistance to be used and hold the pulleys in each hand.

Step forward in front of an imaginary straight line between both pulleys while pulling your arms together in front of you. Your torso should have a small forward bend from the waist. This will be your starting position.

With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, extend your arms to the side (straight out at both sides) in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Inhale during this portion of the movement.

Return your arms back to the starting position as you exhale. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights. Hold for a second at the starting position.

Sets: 3

Reps: 12-15

chest-workout-1

2. Incline Cable Flye

Set the pulleys at the floor level (lowest level possible on the machine that is below your torso).

Place an incline bench (set at 45 degrees) in between the pulleys, select a weight on each one and grab a pulley on each hand. With a handle on each hand, lie on the incline bench and bring your hands together at arms length in front of your face. This will be your starting position.

With a slight bend of 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. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.

Return your arms back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and exhale. Hold the contracted position for a second.

Sets: 3

Reps: 12-15

3. Standing Cable Chest Press

Position both pulleys to chest height and select an appropriate weight. Stand a foot or two in front of the cables, holding one in each hand. You can stagger your stance for better stability.

Position the upper arm at a 90 degree angle with the shoulder blades together. This will be your starting position. Keeping the rest of the body stationary, extend through the elbows to press the handles forward, drawing them together in front of you.

Pause at the top of the motion, and return to the starting position.

Sets: 3

Reps: 12-15

These exercises will ensure the striations appear in your chest but keep your routine fresh and innovative by introducing a variety of resistance exercises such as flat bench press, decline, incline bench press as multi-joint press exercises are better suited for building muscle mass.