Before you launch into a series of exercises to get your chest in shape and build up some bulk, it’s helpful to understand some facts about how your chest muscles work.
- The largest chest muscle is the pectoralis major muscle (pectus is Latin for breast).
- The secondary chest muscle, which sits underneath the pectoralis major is called the pectoralis minor which is a thin triangular muscle.
- The chest muscle is made up of at least 6 groups of muscle fibre that can be independently co-ordinated by the central nervous system.
- The pectoralis major muscle has four actions primarily around moving the shoulder joint;
i. Flexion of the humerus e.g. when lifting a child.
ii. Adducts the humerus e.g. if flapping your arms.
iii. Rotates the humerus medially e.g. if arm wrestling.
iv. Keeping the arm attached to the trunk of the body e.g. stopping it falling off!
3 of the Best Pec Exercises you can do Without any Weights or Equipment
Medicine Ball Press Ups (or a basketball / football will work)
- Step 1: Starting Position: Kneel on an exercise mat or floor with your feet together behind you; toes tucked under to prepare for push up position. Slowly bend forward and place your palms on the sides of a medicine ball. Carefully shift your weight forward until your shoulders are positioned directly over your hands and the medicine ball, coming to a full plank position. Reposition your feet as needed to help achieve a rigid bodyline from head to toe. Do not allow your body to sag downward or hips to hike upward. Keep the torso rigid by contracting your core and abdominal muscles. Your head should be aligned with your spine.
- Step 2: Downward Phase: Slowly lower your chest toward the ball. Keep the torso rigid and head aligned with your spine. Do not allow your body to sag or your hips to hike upward. Contract your glutes (butt) and quadriceps (thigh) muscles to help maintain stability. Continue to lower yourself until your chest nears or lightly touches the ball. Your elbows should either remain close to the sides of your body or flare outwards slightly.
- Step 3: Upward Phase: Press upwards through your arms. Keep the torso rigid and head aligned with your spine. Do not allow your body to sag or your hips to hike upwards. Continue pressing until the arms are fully extended at the elbows.
- Step 4: An alternate ball with handles can be substituted, which reduces the pressure on your wrists. When using this type of ball, maintain a neutral wrist position throughout the exercise.
- As the ball adds instability to this exercise, your movements need to be slow and controlled to reduce the chance of injury.
The Chair Wide Push Up
- The chair wide push up is an effective exercise for strengthening and developing the upper chest muscles. Using chairs to place your hands on is a good way to get in a workout if you don't have access to a gym.
Clapping Push Up
- The push up is an effective exercise for developing the pectoral muscles, and is performed by lying prone and pressing your body up with your hands so that everything is off the floor but your toes and hands. The clapping push up is a plyometric version of the standard push up that helps to develop explosive power in the chest, arms and core muscles.
Get Bigger Pecs with this Killer Chest Workout you can do at Home
You dont have to have an expensive gym membership in order to workout your chest. A simple set of dumbbells and a bench are a good start. You can get a decent bench and a set of dumbbell weights for less than £100 if you shop around.
Bench Press, Barbell Steps
- Step 1: Lie on your back on a bench with feet firmly on the floor.
- Step 2: Grip the bar firmly with an overhand grasp ensuring the wrists are straight.
- Step 3: Brace the abdominals to maintain a straight back and lift the bar of the rack by extending the elbows.
- Step 4: Position the bar over the chest, breathing in slowly, lower the bar to mid chest level, keeping the hands in line with the elbows.
- Step 5: Lower the bar until the elbows are at right angles.
- Step 6: Pause briefly, breath out and push the bar back upwards, by extending the arms at the elbows.
- Step 1: Take hold of a dumbbell in each hand and lie back on a bench with feet firmly placed on the floor.
- Step 2: Brace the abdominals and back muscles to insure alignment of the spine.
- Step 3: Make sure the small of the back is in contact with the bench.
- Step 4: Extend the arms and position the dumbbells together directly over the middle of the chest.
- Step 5: Fix the elbows, with a slight bend.
- Step 6: Gently lower the arms to the horizontal position either side of the torso, whilst maintaining the fixed elbow position with the slight bend until the shoulders are fully extended.
- Step 7: Raise the arms back to the original position by horizontally flexing the shoulders whilst maintaining the fixed elbow position.
7 Day Workout Plan - When to include Chest Training?
Here at booost HQ we’d recommend that you work on your chest no more than 3 times during a 7 day period to allow recovery for that muscle group. So try the exercises in this blog on day 1, 4 and 7.
We hope you find this blog interesting and can use these exercises to develop your chest muscles. For further advice on chest workouts, read our blog on tips for improving your chest workout
Remember, booost oxygen is a great way to support you in your most strenuous exercise routines when you really need to push through your wall, so order a tank today and make sure you pack it into your kit bag.