Pectoral Exercises


Pectoral exercises are designed to build and tone the pectoralis major, the largest of the muscle groups in our upper bodies. There are upper pectorals, lower pectorals and inner pectorals, all of which can be built with specific sets of exercises. By taking the time and effort necessary to develop your pectorals, you’ll showcase the rest of the work you’ve put into bodybuilding.

One thing which every bodybuilder knows is that if you want to build new muscle, you have to do two things: get plenty of protein in your diet and use exercise to break down your muscle in order to rebuild it.  As a bodybuilder, your diet needs to contain at least 25% protein and around 40% unrefined carbs from natural sources. The rest of your diet should consist of fiber-rich foods and healthy fats.

One of your workouts each week should focus on pectoral exercises. While you’ll actually work other muscle groups at the same time, pectoral exercises are the goal here. You’ll use body resistance exercises, dumbbells and barbells in these exercises.

Your routine of pectoral exercises should begin with exercises that use the heaviest weights. Start with these and work your way down in descending order, concluding with the exercises that use the lightest weights.

For intermediate bodybuilders, these exercises should generally be done in three sets consisting of eight to ten reps. If you’re more advanced in your bodybuilding, then you may want to do four or five sets of six to eight repetitions instead, using heavier weights.

Bench Press with Barbell, Wide-grip

Start by lying on the bench with your feet placed flat against the floor. Grip the bar, keeping your hands about double your shoulder width from one another. Lower the bar down to your upper chest, hold for a second and return it to its original position.

One set of this exercise with a medium weight makes a good warm up. Follow this with sets using as much weight as you can with 8 to 10 reps each.

Remember to keep your back flat against the bench and perform the exercise with slow, smooth movements. If you arch your back, this could result in injuries due to stress on your neck.

Front Barbell Raise, Incline

Use a lighter barbell for this one. Start by gripping the barbell with your arms down and your palms facing down. Lift the weight overhead until your arms are extended over and behind your head in a smooth motion.

Dumbbell Flies, Flat Bench

Lay on your back on the bench and use medium weight dumbbells on either side. Start by holding them straight up and lower them while just barely bending at the elbow, finishing with your arms parallel to the floor. Take care to lower the weights smoothly and don’t overextend your shoulders.

Incline Press with Barbell, Wide-Grip

Start with your barbell overhead and lower to your upper chest, then repeat. For this exercise, use a weight which is heavy enough that your muscles are exhausted after 8 to 10 repetitions.

Decline Press with Barbell, Wide-Grip

Start with your arms at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Lower the barbell down to your neck slowly and repeat 8 to 10 times – remember to lower the barbell slowly as you do this one.

Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

Start this one with your weights overhead, then lowering them to your chest. As you lower the dumbbells, keep your upper arms as close to parallel with your shoulders as possible and keep your elbows high. For this exercise, you’ll want to use heavier weights. Do 8 to 10 repetitions.

Flat Bench Dumbbell Pullover Press Lateral

Start with medium weights at chest level and rotate them past your head and downwards. Pull the weights back to your chest and overhead on one movement, followed by a lateral fly, keeping your elbows at a 45 degree angle.

Push-Ups Hands Together

This one needs no explanation; use a standard push-up position and do slow push-ups, repeating as many times as you can before exhausting your muscles.

These pectoral exercises are all you need to build those well defined chest muscles you’re looking for.

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