Learn the correct pectoral muscle building techniques and techniques to maximize the strength and muscle mass of this muscle group. The pectoral muscles are of great importance to bodybuilders. At the same time, it is not always possible to achieve stable progress in their growth. Now we will not talk about genetics, although this fact also has a certain meaning, but consider the question - why are you not pumping your chest muscles correctly?
How to train your chest correctly?
When working on the muscles of the chest, you need to adhere to several principles, which we will talk about now. First of all, this is, of course, the progression of the load. If you do not increase the weight of the weights and the number of sets, you will not be able to achieve stable muscle growth. There are three reasons why there is no progression here: the athlete's ignorance of the principle, a plateau state and chronic fatigue.
The second principle is the training of neuro-muscular connections. The ability to feel the contraction of muscles for a bodybuilder is no less important than adherence to the technique of performing exercises. To improve neuro-muscular connections, you need to improve your technique and work on the connection between the brain and muscles.
If you can master the technique with the help of books and videos (the best option would be to use an experienced trainer), then neuro-muscular connections are a mental parameter and they can be developed through imagination. It is difficult to give specific advice here, and you must find the best way for yourself. Some athletes spend 10 or 20 minutes before going to bed to imagine how their muscles are working.
Also, when drawing up a training program, you need to use about 70 percent of the exercises designed to work out the upper and middle sections. To work on the lower one, the remaining 30 percent is enough for you. This is due to the fact that the lower section responds better to training.
Note that the muscles of the chest are pushing and for their development it is quite enough to use two types of movements: spreading and pressing. You should also choose those types of pressing movements in which the shoulder and elbow joints are involved. These movements can be attributed to basic, and the wiring - to isolated. Often, experienced athletes perform exercises on an incline bench at an angle of 30 or 35 degrees for maximum pumping of the upper section.
Another important factor in the quality training of the chest muscles is the width of the grip. It is important to remember here that when using a wide grip, the range of motion decreases and most of the load falls on the pectoral muscles. The tighter the grip you use, the more load your triceps will take. And a few words must be said about the position of the elbow joints. The greater the distance between them, the more actively the muscles of the chest work. Accordingly, the closer the elbow joints are to the body, the more the triceps are loaded.
The best exercises to train your chest muscles
Incline Bench Press
This exercise belongs to the basic group and is especially popular with athletes. Here are a few things to watch out for when doing it:
- Bench slope.
- Grip width.
- Deflection in the lumbar region.
When the bench is tilted at an angle of 25 or 30 degrees, all chest muscles are actively involved in the work. It is this tilt of the bench that will allow you to exclude other muscles (delts and triceps) from work. The bar should be held shoulder-width apart, and the elbow joints open to the sides.
It is also important to maintain constant muscle tension throughout the entire set. In other words, you should only work within the range, without bending or fully bending the elbow joints. Also, bodybuilders, unlike powerlifters, need to firmly press their lower back against the bench. Flexing this part of the body allows you to increase your working weight, but at the same time brings other muscles to work. Thus, for bodybuilders, when performing a bench press, it is necessary to exclude lumbar deflection. The exhalation must be done in the upper position of the projectile.
The number of repetitions in the set should be selected in accordance with the goals set, namely, strength, mass gain, or relief improvement. In the first case, the range of repetitions will be from 1 to 5, for mass - 6–12, and for relief - 20–25. Also, a few words should be said here about rest between sets. If you want to increase strength indicators, then rest 3-5 minutes, for mass gain, this time will be from 2 to 3 minutes, and when the relief improves, the pause should last less than 60 seconds.
Incline Dumbbell Press
When performing this movement, the bench should be set at an angle of 30 degrees. When you work with dumbbells, you can not limit the range of motion and lower your arms lower than you do when working with a barbell. This is how the maximum stretching of the muscle tissues is achieved and, as a result, hypertrophy is accelerated.
The dumbbell press allows you to engage a large number of small muscles. It is also necessary to say about the correct selection of the weight of the shells. If you, say, press a barbell weighing 100 kilos, then you should not use 50 kilogram dumbbells. It is necessary to reduce the weight of each projectile by 10 or even 15. The point is that when using a barbell, a kind of contour is created - a hand-bar. This allows you to increase your balance while performing the movement. When working with dumbbells, thanks to the work of the stabilizer muscles, you should lose weight.
Dumbbell set in prone position
This is an isolated movement in which only the shoulder joint works and the ulnar joint is fixed. The exercise is quite simple in terms of technique. In doing so, be careful when choosing a working weight. To reduce the risk of injury, do not use excessive loads. You can also advise, first do the presses to tire the muscles, and do the wiring at the end of the training. To increase the load on the target muscle group, tilt the bench upside down.
To the above movements, it is worth periodically adding push-ups on the uneven bars, pullovers and push-ups.
How to properly pump chest muscles, see this video: