Kind and Operate Pec Exercise

No, exercising your chest doesn’t create a split or cup size like some exercise programs would lead you to believe. However, by training your pectoralis major to be strong and shapely, you can define your collarbone area and add dimension to your cleavage.

Shape: Banded one-armed low-to-high flye

The pec major is the main engine for any horizontal adduction movement, e.g. For example, when you put your arms over your body like a hug, and most chest exercises target that movement – such as pushing, flying, and push-ups. However, the pec major is also responsible for shoulder flexion – by raising your arm in front of you – in conjunction with the anterior deltoid. This band exercise combines these two actions to highlight the upper chest area.

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  • Attach one end of a resistance band to a sturdy object near the floor. With your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent, stand at an angle to the anchor so that the resistance line is both to your side and behind you, directly opposite the movement you want to isolate.
  • With your palm facing forward, hold the band closest to the anchor, keep your arm straight, and hold it away from your body at hip level. This lower starting position means less emphasis on the lateral deltoid muscle and traps and attacks the upper pec area better than the middle / lower pec area.
  • Keeping your arm straight, pull the tape up (flexion) and across (horizontal adduction) across your chest from hip to head. This creates a diagonal line of motion opposite the line of pull of the band, combining the two movements aimed at the upper pectoral muscles to do double the work.
  • Due to the nature of the band, you will be working against the greatest resistance at the top. Use this power and hold it down twice before slowly returning to the start. This isometric pressure can help you make that mind-muscle connection and really feel the activation of your upper pectoral muscles.
  • Keep your lower body as still as possible throughout the movement. Do not use your legs to jump up and move the band. If the resistance is too much, take a step towards the anchor to ease the tension or opt for a lighter tape.
  • Sometimes that long muscle in your neck – the sternocleidomastoid – is happy to take part in this exercise, but since a thicker neck is likely not your goal, keep your gaze forward and avoid pinning your chin to reduce its engagement .
  • This movement can also be modified to target the middle and lower pectoral muscles: attach the band to a point above your head and run your arm across your body from high to low.

Sample peck workout form

exercise Sets Representative resistance Rest

Dumbbell flat bench press

3-5

6-12

moderate / severe

1-2 minutes

Dumbbell decline bench press

3-5

6-12

moderate / severe

1-2 minutes

Refuse push-ups

3-5

10-15

body weight

1-2 minutes

Banded one-armed low-to-high flye

3

8-10

moderate

1-2 minutes

Banded one-armed high-to-low flye

3

8-10

moderate

1-2 minutes

Function: plyometric push-up

Plyometric push-up

Reactive power doesn’t seem to be important to the chest as we don’t typically run, sprint, or jump on our hands. However, developing chest, shoulders, and triceps strength can make everything from throwing to throwing up to hitting easier. Using plyometrics to train this skill seems like a puzzle to the upper body as plyos are essentially jump training. A plyometric push-up makes sense here, however, as no additional equipment is required and can be reduced on the knees if necessary. Position this exercise at the beginning of your routine when you are freshest.

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  • Start in a push-up position with your body in a straight line from head to toe with your hands just outside shoulder width and your elbows pointing back. Don’t let your elbows flare as this will lift your shoulders and put strain on your rotator cuff tendons.
  • Tense your core to keep your hips in place, then bend your elbows to lower yourself until your chest is a few inches off the floor and your elbows are bent outward and backward at an angle, like a capital letter “A”. If your elbows are too wide, it can put strain on your shoulders. If they are too close to your sides, it will decrease the emphasis on your chest muscles.
  • Quickly change direction by vigorously pushing up and away from the floor as quickly as possible and with enough force to temporarily catch air. Make sure your body stays in a straight line from head to toe – don’t let your back or hips cheat on themselves.
  • On the way down, catch yourself with your elbows bent around the middle of the next rep so that you’re taking on the reactionary forces with your muscles instead of your joints and tendons. Slow down and sit back before the next rep to exercise your smaller stabilizing muscles to activate and slow down your body weight.
  • Exhale from the floor with each firm squeeze to keep your abs moving, which will help support your spine, and keep your gaze on the floor a few inches in front of your hands.
  • This movement can also be done from the knees. However, because there is less range of motion, it is faster. Be ready to catch yourself on the descent.

Example function pec workout

exercise Sets Representative resistance Rest

Plyometric push-up

3-4

6-10

body weight

15-30 seconds

Band Power shoulder extension (swimmer)

3-4

6-10

middle band

15-30 seconds

Medicine ball chest pass

3-4

6-10

6-12

15-30 seconds

Medicine ball overhead slam

3-4

6-10

6-12

15-30 seconds

Medicine ball squat + overhead toss

3-4

6-10

6-12

15-30 seconds

Sample peck workout form

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