Add these great lower chest exercises into your training if you want to improve your muscle mass, strength and physique.
What are the Benefits of a Strong Chest?
A strong chest can provide several benefits, including:
- Improved Upper Body Strength: A strong chest can help improve upper body strength, making it easier to perform daily tasks such as lifting, carrying, and pushing.
- Enhanced Athletic Performance: A strong chest is essential for athletes who participate in sports such as football, basketball, and baseball. A strong chest helps improve overall power, speed, and agility.
- Better Posture: A strong chest can help improve posture by counteracting the effects of sitting and slouching, which can cause rounded shoulders and a hunched back.
- Improved Breathing: A strong chest can help improve breathing by expanding the rib cage, which allows for deeper and more efficient breathing.
- Aesthetic Appeal: A well-developed chest can provide an aesthetically pleasing appearance and can enhance self-confidence and body image.
- Injury Prevention: A strong chest can help prevent injuries to the shoulders and upper back by providing stability and support to these areas.
These tips come from Mike Thurston, a well-known fitness influencer, personal trainer, and bodybuilder from the United Kingdom.
He has gained a significant following on social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, where he shares his workout routines, diet plans, and fitness tips.
Mike Thurston has been involved in the fitness industry for over a decade and has competed in numerous bodybuilding competitions. He is also a qualified personal trainer and has worked with clients both online and in person.
Watch the video to learn all the exercises and how to perform them correctly.
What Muscles Make Up the Chest?
The chest is comprised of several muscles, including:
Pectoralis Major: This is the largest muscle in the chest and is responsible for the majority of the chest’s mass. It is a thick, fan-shaped muscle that runs across the chest from the sternum to the humerus (upper arm bone).
Pectoralis Minor: This is a smaller muscle that lies underneath the pectoralis major. It originates from the third, fourth, and fifth ribs and attaches to the coracoid process of the scapula (shoulder blade). It assists in stabilizing the shoulder blade and moving the arm forward and downward.
Serratus Anterior: This muscle runs from the upper eight or nine ribs to the scapula. It helps to protract the shoulder blade (move it forward), which is important for movements such as pushing and punching.
Subclavius: This muscle runs from the first rib to the clavicle (collarbone). It helps to stabilize the clavicle and shoulder joint during movement.
All of these muscles work together to perform movements such as pushing, pulling, and lifting, as well as stabilizing the shoulder joint and maintaining good posture.
Decline Dumbbell Press
The decline dumbbell press is a strength training exercise that targets the chest muscles. It is similar to the traditional dumbbell press but is performed on a decline bench with the head lower than the feet.
Here’s how to perform the decline dumbbell press:
- Lie down on a decline bench with your feet securely anchored and your head at the lower end of the bench.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Position the dumbbells near your shoulders, with your upper arms parallel to the floor.
- Press the dumbbells upward and away from your body until your arms are fully extended but not locked out.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position, keeping your elbows at a 90-degree angle.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
The decline dumbbell press targets the lower part of the chest muscles, as well as the triceps and shoulders. It is an effective exercise for building strength and size in the chest muscles and can be incorporated into a well-rounded chest workout routine.
Cable Chest Fly
The cable chest fly is a strength training exercise that targets the chest muscles. It involves using a cable machine to provide resistance during the movement.
Here’s how to perform the cable chest fly:
- Set the cable machine to chest height and attach the handles to the cables.
- Stand in the center of the cable machine with one foot forward and one foot back for stability.
- Grasp the handles with an overhand grip and bring your hands together in front of your chest.
- Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, slowly extend your arms out to the sides in a wide arc, while maintaining control of the handles.
- Once your arms are extended parallel to the floor, pause for a moment, then slowly bring the handles back to the starting position in front of your chest.
- Repeat for the desired number of reps.
The cable chest fly primarily targets the chest muscles, specifically the pectoralis major, while also engaging the front of the shoulders (anterior deltoids) and the triceps. It is an effective exercise for building strength and size in the chest muscles, and can be incorporated into a well-rounded chest workout routine.
What are the Best Sets and Reps for Growing Muscle?
The number of sets and reps for growing muscle can vary depending on various factors such as the individual’s fitness level, goals, and exercise selection. However, here are some general guidelines that can be followed:
Sets: 3-4 sets per exercise is generally recommended for muscle growth. However, beginners may start with 2 sets per exercise and gradually increase over time.
Reps: For muscle growth, it is recommended to perform 8-12 reps per set. However, heavier weights with lower reps (such as 4-6 reps) can also be effective for building muscle strength and size. Higher reps (such as 15-20 reps) can also be effective for muscle endurance and conditioning.
Rest Periods: Rest periods between sets should be between 60-90 seconds for hypertrophy (muscle growth). However, for strength training with heavier weights, rest periods may be longer (2-3 minutes).
Progression: To continue to build muscle, it is important to increase the weight or reps over time. Gradually increasing the weight or reps by 5-10% every 2-4 weeks can help to prevent plateaus and stimulate muscle growth.
It is important to note that these are general guidelines, and it is important to customize your training program to your individual needs and goals. Consulting with a qualified personal trainer can also be helpful in designing an effective muscle-building program.