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5 Techniques To Build The Upper Chest

Are you ready to impress people at the gym or at the beach, with a bigger, more muscular Upper chest? By adding more intensity to your exercise regimen, eating plenty of calories to fuel your workouts, and doing exercises that target your pecs, you can build muscle there within a matter of weeks. Whether you seek to become a professional bodybuilder or simply improve your physique, a big, muscular Upper chest is an impressive accomplishment.

Start With A Multijoint Upper-Chest Movement

The simplest and most obvious solution to emphasize your upper pecs is to target them first on chest day. So, instead of starting your workout on the flat bench, start with the incline bench press.

By flipping exercises, you’ll find that you’re significantly stronger and can lift a little more—or do a few more reps with a given weight—than you could when you did an upper-chest move later in your workout. Forcing your upper pec fibers to lift more than they’re accustomed to will set you on the road to making gains.

By all means, since you’ll now be a little stronger on inclines, don’t be afraid to use a slightly more challenging weight. Nothing stalls progress more than choosing a weight you can already handle for 3 sets of 10. If you normally do sets of 8-10 with inclines, do a set or two (after warming up) for 6-8 reps to make those fibers work even harder.

There are benefits to doing either a barbell or dumbbell movement here, and both are good choices. You may find that the following points will help you decide which to opt for as your lead exercise, but you definitely want to steer away from a machine exercise. Your body has to work harder—and harder work equates to more muscle stimulus and growth—with free weights.

Do A Second Upper-Chest Exercise

One way to target a lagging body part is to do more exercises that focus on it. What you do not want to do, however, is simply repeat what you did with the first move.

For instance, let’s say you did an incline barbell press for sets of 8 reps on the first exercise, and now you’re going to do another movement. Which of these would add a different stress to the target muscle?

A: The Smith-machine incline press on an adjustable bench set to the same angle as the fixed-incline barbell press for sets of 8 reps.

B: A dumbbell press with a lower degree of incline than you used on the fixed bench for sets of 10-12 reps.

I hope you chose B. If you want to change the training stimulus to work a target muscle in multiple ways, you should opt for different equipment, change the angle of the bench, and work with a different relative intensity. Just doing a second upper-chest movement isn’t enough unless you’re taking into account all these factors.

Reach Peak Contraction

Although commonly stated I don’t think many amateur bodybuilders/athletes really take this seriously. When you reach the top of that bench press, you squeeze the center of your chest and you squeeze hard.

Most people simply go through the motions and do not really concentrate on that last 5 degrees of motion at the top of the exercise.

Next time you are performing chest exercises, really try to squeeze your chest tight at the top of the contraction phase and hold for 1-3 seconds. Once you have this down (and believe me you most likely don’t) you will see results fast.

Initiate Properly

To complement the last chest exercise tip, it is also just as important, if not more important, to initiate or start the movement right. How often do you contract your chest before you even move the bar/dumbbells? Odds are you don’t and this could be destroying your gains.

Next time you are about to get ready for that upper chest exercise, physically contract before even moving an inch. This will prep your neuromuscular connection and allow you to truly feel the muscle targeted (upper chest) to work efficiently.

Otherwise your other muscle friends will kick in and help the chest too much, thus limiting your upper chest gains.

Do Your Chest Workout After A Rest Day

One last tip on getting a great workout: Target your lagging body part after a rest day on which you’ve eaten clean, taken it easy, and prepared your mind to move some iron. If you’re tired when you get to the gym, you’re probably not going to have a boundary-breaking workout.

Some pre-workout cocktails are great for increasing your focus and intensity, but don’t solely rely on them all the time. Getting enough sleep and eating well are probably the two most important factors in your ability to have a great workout.
Get Up

Ultimately, if your upper pecs are lagging, it would be insane to continue doing what you’re doing and expect any different results. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on the road to building a fuller, more complete chest, starting with your very next workout!