If you want to develop a muscular body, the chest muscles should be placed pretty high in your exercise priority list. Along with the biceps and tricpes, the chest muscles are among the most visible parts of the body and a strong chest can give you a muscular appearance.
Fortunately, these muscles are also among the easiest to train.
Physiologically, the chest muscles are located at the front of the ribcage and are called ‘pectorals’. The pectorals can be divided into pecotralis major and pectoralis minor. Together, they protect the rib cage and are attachd to the shoulder to assist in pushing or pulling.
One of the most popular exercises that targets the chest is the bench press. Pretty much anyone who has visited a gym can recognize this exercise. It is also the exercise of choice for power lifters. It engages the entire chest region, along with the shoulders and tricepts. For building mass, no exercise can beat the bench press.
There are variations of the bench press that focus on different parts of the chest. Incline bench press works out the upper chest, while the Decline version isolates the lower chest. Your workout should ideally include a set of both Decline and Incline versions at least once in two weeks.
A lot of people make the mistake of using isolation exercises to build up mass. These exercises should be used to create definition, not mass. Only pro bodybuilders with a lot of existing mass should be using isolation exercises extensively. For others, a couple of sets of an isolation exercise such as the dumbbell flye is good enough to build definition.
And don’t forget the mother of all exercises – push ups! Push ups work out the chest extensively and build real strength in the arms. You can increase the intensity by placing a heavy weight on your back (or ask someone to sit on your back). This compound exercise should ideally be included in every chest workout.
The chest can be an easy muscle group to develop provided you follow the right techniques and focus on the right exercises. Spend too much time on isolation exercises and you will find a lot of definition, but little bulk. Always be careful when performing these exercises and use a spotter at all times.