Most gym-goers, especially beginners often think about the best chest workouts for definition. There are actually a variety of workouts that you can combine and basic exercises that you can perform in order to build mass and definition to your pectorals. The chest has actually two parts, which are the upper and the lower pectoral muscles. The upper part or the clavicular portion is attached to the clavicle or the collarbone and to the several areas of the ribs. The sternal or lower part is attached to the ribs and to the lower part of the sternum.
There are several functions of the chests aside from aesthetics. It assists while pitching a ball underhand, opening a cap off the bottle, swimming the classical crawl stroke and when executing parallel bar dips. Having great and well-defined chests is an asset both for aesthetic reasons and for functional reasons in sports. Definition for the chests requires a wide variety of exercises in order to target the upper and lower part of the chests, the inner part, the outer portion which defines the chests and the ribcage as well. All these particular areas when become well defined all make up the quality of a great chest.
Training the Chest
There are two types of exercises that you can perform for the best chest workouts for definition. These are the presses and the flys. The presses, for example, are the bench presses with the use of the barbell (w/ weight plates) or the use of dumbbells. Flys, on the other hand, can only be performed with dumbbells which targets the inner parts of the chest.
Targeting the chest with the use of the presses promotes strength and mass. It is then important to perform the three basic types of barbell presses in your program. These are the Flat bench press, the incline bench press, and the declined bench press. These barbell bench presses target the middle portion of the chest, the upper area, and the lower part respectively. Since the angles vary with each type of press, the emphasis on the different areas of the chest become prominent.
However, great chest development does not revolve around the bench press alone. You can also perform flys, dips, and pullovers with your program. When you are training for definition, it is wise to include different exercises in your program that target the different areas of the chest.
One example workout is provided below:
Flat Bench Press Warm-Up (May start with a Warm-Up set of 12 to 15 reps with moderate weight for two sets).
- The Flat Bench Press 8 to 10 reps for 4 to 5 sets
- Inclined Bench press 8 to 10 reps for 4 to 5 sets
- Inclined Dumbbell Flys 12 to 15 reps for 3 sets
- Flat Dumbbell Flys 12 to 15 reps for 3 sets
- Parallel Bar dips as many as you can for 3 sets.
The example as stated above, as you can see targets the middle chest with the flat bench press. The flat bench provides both definition and mass to the middle chests. You may also emphasize the inner chest when performing this exercise by doing a close, shoulder-width grip. The outer middle pecs are emphasized by doing a wider than shoulder grip bench press.
The inclined bench targets the upper portion of the chest. It also builds mass and strength as you may notice; you may need to decrease your poundage when performing this exercise as the weight travels further as compared to the flat bench press.
The flys for both the inclined and the flat positions target the inner chests that run along the middle portion of the chests. With flys, you get fully developed striated muscles across the pecs which become a center of attraction in well-defined, pectorals.
How to Perform the Flys
- Start by lying on a bench while holding dumbbells at arm’s length above you with your palms facing each other. Then lower the weights out and wide to your sides as far as you can until you feel the stretch in your chest muscles. Always remember to keep your palms facing each other throughout the movement. Make sure to maintain a slight bend in the elbow to decrease the stress on your shoulders.
- Then lift the dumbbells back up with a wide arc, as if you are giving somebody a huge bear hug. Make sure NOT to press the weight back up and instead follow the same movement in a wide arc as stated above.
- As you reach the starting position, contract the pectoral muscles as hard as you can to give them the extra flex and the stress for more definition.
The dip is an overall chest muscle exercise but with more emphasis on the lower area of the muscles. With the dip, you get a chest exercise similar to the decline barbell press but with one exception that you use your own body weight. With this exercise, you get a full range of motion.
How to perform the dip.
- Start by holding yourself at arm’s length above the bars of the dip station.
- Lower yourself slowly to as low and as far as you can. Then from the bottom, push your body back up and at the top position, contract the pectorals further and squeeze your chests for more stress and definition. With this exercise, the more you lean forward, the more emphasis there is on the chest. So it is advisable to cross your legs behind your glutes to shift the weight forward.