I think everyone has some body parts they’re not happy with. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been training, there’s probably still some body part that just irritates you.
For me it’s shoulders and upper chest.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m VERY happy with my pecs overall. However, I would like to develop the upper portion a little more to enhance the separating line in the middle of the chest.
Now, obviously we all know that the incline bench press is a great way to go about developing the upper chest. However, I wanted to know if there was a faster, more direct way to hit the upper chest with enough intensity to stimulate faster growth
There are 2 REALLY fantastic ways of building up your upper chest…
- Partial incline close-grip bench press
- Incline dumbbell bench press (dumbbells touching at the top)
You’ve probably heard of number 2 so let’s focus on no.1 – Partial Incline close-grip bench press.
You might be thinking, “Close grip bench press – that’s for the triceps”. You’d be right, but when you perform a PARTIAL movement it is most definitely a chest exercise.
- Have your bench slightly inclined
- Choose a lighter-than-normal weight for the bar than you would for regular incline barbell bench presses
- Grab the bar about 8 inches apart in the middle
- Lift off and lower the bar under smooth control
- You’ll feel the point at which your close grip allows you to go no further comfortably. If I had to estimate, I’d say you lower the bar only about 1/3 the way to your chest
- Now push back up under control and repeat.
If you’re skeptical about this hitting your upper chest, that’s fine, I was too. I could hardly believe how much direct stimulation these gave the upper portion of my pecs!
A quick note on the incline dumbbell bench press. Pushing the dumbbells straight up will NOT be as effective as having them meet (and touch) at the top of the rep.
Specifically, it’s the top of my RIGHT pec that I am unhappy with. What I am doing with this exercise is raising my left arm straight up and bringing my right arm over to meet it at the left side. This maximizes the intensity I can place on my right pec in particular.
At the top of the rep, the shape resembles the top of a right-angle triangle [does that create the right image for you? Can you visualize the form? If not, let me know and I’ll clarify in the comments below].
I’m very confident that I can now fill out my upper chest to match the bottom half (I’m more than happy with THAT part ).
If you are unsatisfied with your upper chest development, you MUST start to factor in one of these exercises into your chest workout.