Build a full chest shelf
It seems the quest for a perfect chest has eluded most bodybuilders. A lot of times you will see many builders with good arms and legs, and even a well developed back, but it’s very rare to be walking along and find someone that has a full, well-developed, and rounded chest. Some may say that it is all genetics, but even so, it could be that they are not hitting chest properly. There are a multitude of exercises that should be done to build a thicker, fuller chest.
So, what are some exercises to build that perfect chest?
In the following video, UK based bodybuilder and fitness coach, Mike Thurston, gives us his 5 best exercises for a solid, thick, full, and rounded chest. These 5 exercises should get your pecs popping, and secure you some compliments anywhere from the gym to the grocery store.
“train hard, train consistently, train smart and learn how to be in complete control over your body and your muscles.”
Barbell Bench press
The barbell bench press is a classic exercise, a staple of many chest workouts. Favored by many bodybuilders from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Kevin Levrone, with many more to name in between and after those. As one of the big 3 power lifts, the bench press has been considered a great exercise for building for foundation of the pecs, as well as strength.
- Keep shoulders retracted throughout the entire set.
- Imagine that you’re pushing your hands together for increased tension on chest
- Hand placement makes a difference
Incline Dumbbell press
Another classic exercise utilized by many bodybuilders, the incline dumbbell press allows for some excellent gains. The reason being, as opposed to movements like the barbell incline press, you are able to get a deeper stretch throughout the movement and keep more tension on the pecs. You also can angle your shoulders on this to eliminate an over abundance of deltoid action, and you can play with some different angles to light up different fibers.
- Change angles to hit different muscle fibers
- Shoulders back to keep tension at the top of the chest
- Go lighter weight for perfect form
Incline Cable Fly
The incline cable fly gives a lifter a lot of room to really activate different parts of the upper chest. It also allows for a greater stretch, and provides constant tension at every part of the movement.
- Vary angle of incline for increasing muscle fibers
- Have your intention of bringing your elbows together at the top of the movement
- Cables give your muscles no rest by applying constant tension
Standing Cable Fly
A good workout for a thicker and fuller chest is not complete with a classic cable fly, from high to low. It allows for a stretch of the full pec, and a nice squeeze at the end to really get the most out of the exercise.
- Go lighter weight in order to stop shoulders from keeping forward
- Stand up right and posture steady
- Again, try and bring elbows together, just bringing your hands together won’t cut it and will cheat you of your gains.
Decline Dumbbell Press
A chest workout for a fuller chest would be empty without something to put an emphasis on the lower pec. Having an overdeveloped mid and upper chest and a lacking lower chest is not ideal. The decline dumbbell press is an under appreciated exercise that allows for a great stretch and you can move some heavy weight on it.
- Great for getting the outer lower sweep of chest
- Allows for greater range of motion than barbell press
- Gives your shoulders back naturally because of the angle of your torso
While these are the 5 exercises that make the cut, Thurston encourages you to go out and explore other movements and see what works best for you. Train hard, train smart, and look great in the aftermath. That’s our philosophy.
The Mind Muscle Connection
While training may seem easy, there is much more to it than picking things up and putting them down. Much like Arnold Schwarzenegger who advocates for envisioning your muscles growing, Thurston says you have to have a vision of what you want your chest to look like and the make an honest assessment of where you’re at. This will help you focus more on the area of the chest you need to work on. This is called the “mind-muscle connection” and it is very important, especially when training chest.
Essentially, the mind-muscle connection is you really feeling the muscles, you have to really focus in on the fibers that you are trying to activate and really feel the contraction throughout the movement. When you are training a body part like chest, it can be fairly easy to incorporate other muscle groups, like the triceps or the front deltoids, which is less than ideal.
This is why the mind-muscle connection is so important for training, as it really enables you to focus in on the muscles you want to grow.
Another reason that people lack so much when it comes to defined muscles, is the lack of proper nutrition. People tend to think that muscles are built in the gym, and that is it, but it goes much deeper than that. If you do not have proper nutrition, your muscles will not recover and grow to where you want them to be. Your diet has a huge impact on your results. For example, proper protein intake is huge when it comes to muscle recovery and growth, and even heavier carb meals based around training times is important as well.
Almost going hand in hand with your diet is supplementation. While you can get a lot of the required nutrients from a good diet, sometimes it still is not enough. Proper supplementation is another key factor in building not only the thick, rounded chest, but your muscles as a whole.
Some supplements to put in your stack are:
Building a Fuller Chest Wrap Up
Building a solid chest may seem easy, but in reality there is much more that goes into it than just picking things up and putting them down. You have to choose the correct exercises that will target each part of your chest, and then when you are completing those exercises you need to focus on the mind muscle connection to get the most out of them. Then of course, you have to have proper diet and supplementation to help recover.
Building a thicker, fuller chest is not the easiest task, so what do you think of these exercises to help do so? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.