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8 Unorthodox Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth

Add variety and new challenges to your training.

These unusual exercises will help you force chest muscle growth. If you want a bigger chest, you’ve come to the right place.

The 8 exercises have been chosen and explained by Gravity Transformation.

Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth

“Lagging Chest? These exercises will help build your upper, lower, and inner chest. The exercises in this video are not replacements for regular pressing and fly movements. They are additional exercises that you can throw into your routine to work on a lagging portion of your chest.”

Where to Put them in a Chest Workout

“They are best positioned towards the end of your workout. You can get a more effective chest workout and, in combination with getting rid of chest fat, have wider more muscular-looking pecs in no time. Get rid of those man boobs with these exercises in combination with a clean diet. Develop your upper chest and lower chest and learn new chest exercises to see better results as soon as possible.”

Chest-Exercises-and-Athletes Exercises to Force Chest Muscle GrowthSource: Photos Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

Why Use these Exercises?

“What if you’re doing plenty of bench press but you’re still stuck in terms of adding muscle to certain portions of your pecs? This is known as a lagging muscle group, and many guys, myself included have struggled with developing either the upper, lower, or middle portion of their chests. So today I want to give you 8 unique exercises that you can throw into your routine to target your chest in a different way and force lagging portions of your chest to grow.”

Incline Swiss Bar Press

“First let’s start with incline log or swiss bar presses. If you don’t have a log bar you can use a swiss bar instead. The point is to use a bar that allows you to take a wide neutral grip. This will hit your upper chest in a different way than regular bench press while still allowing you to go really heavy.”

“With regular incline presses, many people allow the front of their shoulders to take over the movement and take tension away from the upper chest. Taking a neutral grip will allow your elbows to follow a narrower path where they’re closer to your body, keeping tension on the upper chest.

Technique

“To begin you’re going to grab the neutral grips on a log bar or a swiss bar and lay back on a bench set at 30 to 45-degree incline.”

“Then press the weight starting from your sternum and ending directly over the line of your shoulders. This should create a slight arch-like path.”

“You want to follow this same arch-like path on the way down. You want your hands to end up around your nipple line and then repeat for reps. By the way, if you don’t have either of these bars, unfortunately, the tricep bar won’t work because it’s too narrow of a grip but you can technically use a trap bar instead. The only downside is that you will have to go lighter because there will be a lot more stabilization involved.”

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Cross Body Incline Cable Chest Press

“Next is a unique cable exercise the cross body incline cable chest press. You can see right away that your starting position is very different than most typical chest exercises. Even though there’s no such thing as an actual inner chest muscle, or an outer chest muscle, by changing the angle that you perform presses from, you’re able to place more tension on different portions of your chest.”

“The cross body incline chest press is very effective at putting more tension on the inner and upper portion of the pectoralis major.

Technique

“To begin, you’ll take a seat on a bench, but you’re not going to sit straight back, instead, you’re going to sit at an angle turned towards the arm that you’re going to be pressing with. From there you’ll grab the cable and press it straight across your body. By pressing this way across the midline of your body you increase the recruitment of the chest muscle fibres closer to the sternum. From there you’re just going to simply lower back down and repeat for reps, making sure to do each side on each set.”

Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press

“Moving on we have a dumbbell pressing exercise that can help you target the top portion of your chest, the reverse grip dumbbell press.”

“The incline press has long been used to target the upper chest. But the more your elbows spread away from your body the more your anterior deltoid will take over the upper chest’s role in lifting the weight. One great way to get the elbows closer and to incorporate more upper chest is to use a reverse grip.”

“You’re going to take a seat on a bench set at about a 30 to 45-degree angle. Then you’re going to lay back and press both dumbbells straight up with your palms facing up towards your head. Then slowly lower back down, and as you come down, you want to follow an arch-like path so that the dumbbells end up at about your nipple line. Then press back up in that same arch like path and repeat for reps.”

Single Arm Crossbody Pec Deck Fly

Another exercise that can help with lagging muscle growth around the sternum is the single arm crossbody pec dec fly.

“Now I’ve heard people say that going any further past the midline of your body is not effective for chest growth. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. As you go past the midline of your body with these kinds of exercises, you’re able to activate the chest in its most shortened position.”

“If you don’t believe me, feel free to try this without any weight at all…”

Watch the video below for the full descriptions for all the exercises.

Video – Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth

Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth

  1. Incline Swiss Bar Press
  2. Cross Body Incline Cable Chest Press
  3. Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press
  4. Single Arm Crossbody Pec Deck Fly
  5. Cable Fly
  6. Angled Single Arm Dumbbell Press
  7. Cross Body Fly
  8. Low to High Dumbbell Fly

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Muscles of the chest and shoulders

The chest and shoulders are the largest muscles in the body and are used to move your arms. They’re also responsible for keeping you upright, so they have a lot of responsibility.

Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth – Pectoralis major

The pectoralis major is a broad, flat muscle that covers the anterior surface of the chest and forms most of the upper part of the anterior wall. It arises from:

  • Anterior surface of sternum, clavicle and upper 6 ribs
  • Upper part of fascia over pectoral muscles

Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth – Anterior deltoid

The anterior deltoid is responsible for flexion of the arm, which means it moves your shoulder joint so that your forearm points downward.

You can see this motion in the arm position of a person doing pushups or sit ups. The anterior deltoid also helps with supination of the forearm, or turning it so that palm faces up.

It also assists with adduction and depression of the arm—both referring to movements where you bring something closer to your body’s centre line.

Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth – Posterior deltoid

The posterior deltoid is another shoulder muscle that lies over the back side of your upper arms and moves them back.

Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth – Teres major

The teres major helps rotate your forearm inward toward yourself while keeping its connection with other muscles in place. The teres minor helps rotate it outward toward yourself while keeping its connections intact as well.

Long head of the triceps brachii

The long head of the triceps brachii is an arm muscle. It makes up a large part of the back side of your upper arms, and it crosses both shoulders.

Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth – latissimus dorsi

Latissimus dorsi is a large muscle that extends from the lower back to the humerus. It is considered the largest muscle on your back, and it originates from your upper and lower body.

The latissimus dorsi is involved in arm movements, and it can be used for climbing or swimming.

Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth – trapezius

The trapezius muscle is a large muscle that covers the back and sides of the neck, and extends down to the upper back. It’s made up of three separate parts:

  • The upper or supraspinatus part begins in the upper third of your shoulder blade (scapula) and attaches to your shoulder blade at its base.
  • The middle portion attaches between your shoulder blades and extends down your spine to connect with other muscles at the base of your neck.
  • The lower portion, or rhomboid major, starts at each end of your collarbone (clavicle), runs under each arm to attach around where two ribs meet in front of each breastbone (sternum).

Muscles of the chest and shoulders

The pectoralis major is the largest and most superficial muscle in the chest. It originates at the outer border of each clavicle and inserts into each coracoid process, pectoral fascia and medial lip of linea alba. The anterior deltoid is a shoulder-forward muscle that flexes, adducts and internally rotates your arm; it’s located near the anterior aspect (front) of your shoulder joint.

The long head of triceps brachii is part of a three-headed muscle that extends from top to bottom along the posterior aspect (backside) of your upper arm. Latissimus dorsi connects two bones: ribs 6–12 with spinal processes T7–T12, as well as thoracolumbar fascia with sacral crest (lowest tip on S1).

Its job description includes extension, adduction, internal rotation and transverse extension—all functions related to moving your arms away from one another or towards one another across your body when seated upright.

Conclusion – Exercises to Force Chest Muscle Growth

Use these exercises to force chest muscle growth and take your physique and training to the next level.

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