Your chest muscles represent the core of your upper body strength, as they’re one force connecting your arms, shoulders, and lats. Building out the chest muscles is a common goal among bodybuilders and anyone who wants to look sexy in a muscle shirt, or without a shirt. Do these three things to boost your chest workout and get ripped pectorals.
Take up boxing
Out of all your upper body muscles, your chest muscles generate the most punching power. If you want strong pectorals—or better yet, a boxer’s physique—try boxing classes or use an instructional DVD. Besides the overall conditioning, you would get in a boxing class, you’d also build a lot of chest strength using a punching bag under the instruction of a teacher. Each punch is a full-body movement, and it allows you to use your chest in a way that combines its power with that of all other upper body muscles.
Do more bench presses
According to research sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, the barbell bench press is the number 1 most effective chest-building exercise, helping you the most muscle gain in the least amount of time. Bench pressing is intimidating to some, but it’s perfectly safe if you choose the right weight for you and know the correct technique. Make sure the bench is well-adjusted for you; your feet should be flat on the floor, and your back should lie flat on the bench. With your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, grip the bar and then slowly press it upward until your elbows are straight. Then, slowly reverse the movement until the bar is just above your chest. Press up and lower down again to complete another rep.
Start using cables
Cable machines give you the control it takes to isolate muscles that are otherwise difficult to isolate for strength training. A great exercise that builds chest muscles is the bent-forward cable crossover. You’ll need a cable machine that has two cables with handles. Stand with your feet just slightly wider than hip-width.
Hold the handles with your arms out wide, just below the level of your shoulders. With your elbows bent just slightly, bring your hands together, moving them inward across your chest. Slowly re-open your arm and then repeat for another rep. By isolating the chest muscles, this exercise makes your pecs gain better definition so that they look chiseled.