Building a bigger chest is one of the most popular goals people have in the gym. It can change the overall look of your physique and is the centrepiece of your upper body.
However, many people also find it one of the most difficult muscle groups to train and often make plenty of mistakes when performing chest exercises. This can not only lead to a lack of development but can also increase your risk of injury, especially when lifting a heavy load.
So, how do you grow your chest? What are the fundamental points that you have to nail down to improve in this area?
To perform and chest exercise with effect, it is vital that you have what’s called scapular stability. This is the ability to arch your back and stick your chest out throughout the set, so that you can hit the target muscle. To achieve this, you need strong back muscles, which means that you may need to work on that area first before working on your chest.
To grow your chest, you must prioritise the execution of each exercise you do. Many people make the mistake of pressing a barbell or the dumbbells up without engaging their chest. Instead, you must look to bring your elbows together and squeeze the tension at the top of the movement, before lowering and feeling the stretch at the bottom.
So, when performing these exercises, focus on execution and placing as much tension on the chest as possible, rather than trying to lift as much weight as possible. This will not only ensure that your chest is being hit, but will also help prevent any potential shoulder injury that is common with exercises such as the bench press.
Simplicity and Repetition
Another key aspect of chest training is the power or repetition and keeping things simple. Many people feel that they have to switch up exercises to target different areas and therefore make progress. Yet the reality is that you only need to perform three to four exercises and work on doing them very well through practice. As long as these exercises are effective and you are performing them correctly, you will grow your chest.
You must ensure that your resistance training sessions are of high quality. This comes not just through execution and structure, but also through intensity. You can increase the intensity of your sessions by gradually lifting more weight, performing perfect reps, slowing the tempo down and pushing yourself throughout the set. As long as it’s safe to do so, this will provide the perfect stimulus for your chest to grow due to the high amount of stress placed on it.
As mentioned in the previous point, another area you should look to progress is the weight you are lifting. The more you train and the better you fuel your body, the stronger you will become, meaning that you can improve your lifts in the gym. However, when performing exercises such as the barbell and dumbbell bench press, make sure these increases are gradual and do not put you at risk of any injury.
So, if you want to grow your chest, there are certain areas you should look at improving. These include scapular stability, exercise execution, simplicity and repetition, intensity, and progressive overload. Make these areas a priority and you will find that your chest makes excellent developments over the coming months.
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