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Upper Chest Tip - Include Decline Push-ups

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro

Joe Pietaro Contributer
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We all are aware that there are three areas of the chest muscles we work when weight training. The upper, lower and middle (basically the full chest). So the basic breakdown to hit the full trip would be flat bench press for overall chest development, incline bench press for upper and decline bench press for lower. You can use either a barbell or dumbbells to work your pecs, but decline dumbbell presses are not recommended since it is an awkward position and may cut down your range of motion. Quite the opposite for flat and incline dumbbell presses, which extend your range of motion.

Then you have your flye movements on a flat or incline bench with dumbbells, or any n umber off machines that you can perform a similar movement on (commonly called a pec deck). These are great for your overall chest muscles and a great way to either start or finish a routine that includes mainly heavier compound movements.

You can also do push-ups for your chest and many people use that as their go-to when a gym is not available. But we bet you didn't know that by placing your feet higher (like on a chair or even bed if you're in a hotel room), you are working your upper chest. It seems kind of ass backwards; a decline exercise for chest that hits the opposite than its free weight brethren. But try it and you'll feel the pressure and pump in your upper chest.

The key is to try and isolate that certain part of your chest you're looking to hit and it's not as easy as let's say deltoids, where rear, front and side shoulder exercises are available and you can really focus on that part you want to. The lines are a bit blurred with the chest and you have to be cognizant that you don't do too much of one and not enough of the other. Always include an incline and decline movement in your chest workout to get those upper and lower muscles, respectively, involved heavily.

If you are into using the Hammer Strength machines, you can vary the grip and seat hight to emphasize that part of the chest even more. Like on the decline Hammer, the seat at its highest and the widest grip will give you the longest range of motion. And the incline Hammer will target the very top and middle line between your pectoral muscles with a closer grip; it's a trial and error strategy. If you feel it more using a particular grip, then use ut more often than not.

So the next time you work your chest (and it doesn't have to be on a Monday, either), be aware of what area you are training and you'll feel it better if you focus on it.
 

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