Getting a naturally big chest is difficult. Men with average genetics are lucky to see any significant muscle development up top. But a man with clear goals can build a more muscular chest through the right exercises and dedication over time.
In this article, you’ll find all the information you need to get started: what muscles form the chest, how to build big, defined pecs for your upper body, and some helpful tips for getting started.
What Muscles Form the Chest?
The pectoralis major muscle is what’s responsible for creating that impressive chest. It does so by aiding in flexion and extension of the arms. The muscle originates at your upper back, making two cords that run downward over the front of each shoulder. It inserts into a tendon at the front of your upper arm, which is responsible for flexing and rotating the forearm at the elbow.
This action occurs when you do chest exercises like bench press or flys. If you want to build a muscular chest, then you’re going to have to target this well- developed muscle in your workouts.
The second part of the pectoralis muscle is the pectoralis minor muscle. It’s a smaller, thinner muscle that also originates in your upper back and inserts into your chest bone. The muscle helps with shoulder motion when you raise your arms forward toward your body or behind you – not chest exercises though!
If you’re looking to add more definition to your chest, then making sure that you work both parts of the pectoralis muscle is critical. Just know that if you’re focusing on building a big chest, then it’s fine to skip the isolation exercises for your minor muscles.
The last part of the pecs are these small, round little muscles called the “pectoralis major fascia.” They run in between your pectoralis major and minor muscles on your upper chest. Although they won’t show up when you flex, it’s still important to train this muscle group to help with shoulder motion as well.
To really build a muscular chest, then you need to make sure that you work each part of the pecs effectively. This is where isolation exercises actually come in handy. You can also use isolation exercises to give your pectoralis major more definition, which is a good way to impress others with how defined your pecs are at the beach or pool!
How to Build Big and Defined Pecs for Your Upper Body
Training the chest isn’t hard. Just follow these steps so that you can start building a bigger, more muscular chest today!
Step 1: Choose the Correct Exercises for Your Chest Workout
Selecting the best exercises to build a big and defined chest is easy once you know what exercises to pick. There are three different categories of chest exercises: fly’s, presses, and curls. What you do depends on your chest goals as well as your upper body workout routine. For example:
If you’re looking to build a stronger bench press, then you might want to focus on doing more presses for your chest. These exercises strengthen the pectoralis major muscles in your pecs by allowing you to lift more weight when you bench. Since your chest is a big muscle group, it’s better at supporting these larger loads than smaller ones.
If you’re looking for upper body definition (i.e., getting that six-pack look), then flys are the way to go. They not only work the pectoralis major muscles, but they also isolate the minor and fascia muscles. Doing so will give you a more defined chest when you flex.
Curls are great for toning your chest muscles, especially if you want to enhance your pecs with some vascularity underneath them. Pec curls help build up that muscular ridge around the top of your pecs, which make them look like carved pieces of marble.
Step 2: Workout Your Chest Properly
This might be the most important step in building a bigger, more muscular chest. You have to work out this muscle group properly in order to get the best results from your efforts. Try to focus on these five points in your chest workouts for the best results:
- Train your chest at least three times a week. If you limit yourself to just once a week training, then you won’t build much muscle mass! You need to train your chest more frequently to see the type of progress that every guy wants. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first day or week of training. Be sure to hit it!
- Warm up accordingly. Stretching and light cardio are great ways to warm-up for a big chest workout session. You can even do a specific warm up for the chest, which may help you lift more weight than usual when you work out later in the session.
- Use progressive overload in your strength training exercises. Progressive overload means that you’re lifting more weight, doing more reps with a higher intensity, or both. At first your muscles will be acclimated to working out and it can feel like an easy workout to do chest exercises. But as time goes on, the body needs to adapt and “overload” itself to get bigger muscles. If you don’t overload the muscles, then they won’t grow!
- Take your time on chest exercises. Don’t rush through each set of an exercise just so that you can move onto the next one quickly. If you want a more defined chest, be sure to take your time at the peak of each rep so that you can feel the muscle group being worked. This will also help to avoid injury due to improper form and rushing through sets too quickly.
- Use a lot of weight. If you want big muscles, then don’t lift only light weights when training chest exercises. You’ll need to challenge your muscles by lifting more than they’re used to. For big chest muscles like the pectoralis major, you’ll need to lift weights over 80% of your 1 rep max for at least 6-8 reps!
Step 3: Follow a Workout Program for Your Goals
The final step to building big pecs is to follow a workout routine that fits your goals and needs. Here are some examples of chest workouts programs (which you can choose from depending on your preferences):
1. The In-Season Workout Program: This is the best plan if you’re looking for mass, strength, power, and overall upper body definition! You’ll be doing three strength-training workouts per week with a little bit of weightlifting and cardio in between each session. Follow this plan if you’re looking for results!
2. The Off-Season Workout Program: If you want to build muscle size and increase your strength at the same time, then this is the best workout program for you! You’ll be doing four strength-training workouts per week, along with some cardio on the weekend for a nice change of pace. Follow this plan if you want to get big!
3. The Full Body Workout Program: This program is great for beginner bodybuilders who are looking to add muscle mass and strength in a safe manner. You’ll be doing full body workouts three times per week, with a rest day in between each session. Follow this plan if you want to get big and strong!
If you want a big and defined chest, it’s important to focus on developing all three muscle anatomy types that are in the chest region. Some bodybuilders focus only on pushing motions, which can lead to an imbalanced and asymmetrical chest.
If you want to develop the center of your chest more, then you’ll need to do some incline pressing moves with dumbbells. To grow the outer part of your chest, make sure you do pull-ups with your palms facing away from you as well as pullovers with a barbell next to a bench.
Using both flat bench presses and fly’s will also help!
Flat bench presses using dumbbells and barbells The flat floor press exercise is particularly effective because it lets you focus on the lower portion of your pecs. Since your chest consists of three muscle groups, it’s important to train all of them.
Exercise #1: Incline Dumbbell Presses for the Lower Chest
Have a close grip on the dumbbells, which means your palms should be facing each other. Bring them up over your head and lower them behind your head until you feel a stretch in the shoulder. Focus on using more triceps than pectorals when you do these incline presses.
Exercise #2: Seated Dumbbell Flies for the Outer Pectorals
Stretch out your arms to both sides and then bring them together, focusing on feeling this exercise in your outer chest muscles.
Exercise #3: Seated Barbell Shoulder Presses for the Upper Chest
Do shoulder presses with a barbell and hold it over your head. Make sure you keep your elbows slightly bent, to avoid putting too much pressure on your rotator cuff. Then, slowly lower the weight behind your head until you feel a stretch in your pectorals.
Exercise #4: Wide-grip Pull-ups for the Inner Pectoralis Major
Stretch your arms out to each side and bring them together in front of you. This exercise focuses on your inner chest muscles, so keep your back straight throughout this move. If you do these pull-ups in a full range of motion, you’ll target the lower pectorals more.
Exercise #5: Palms-Facing Pullovers for the Outer Pectoralis Major
Lie down on an incline bench and hold a barbell with both hands in front of your face. Then, bring it behind your head and stretch out your arms fully.
This move will feel best on the outer pectorals head, so make sure you don’t arch your lower back upward throughout it. Start with a light weight and then hold the barbell in that position for 60 seconds if possible.
Exercise #6: Flat Floor Presses for the Inner Pectoralis Major
Lie down on the floor and then place a barbell over your chest. Keep you elbows locked by your sides, so that your palms are facing forward. Then, lower the weight under control until you feel a stretch in your inner pectorals muscles.
Exercise #7: Flat Bench Presses for the Upper Pectoralis Major
Lie down on a flat bench and then grab the bar with an overhand grip, which is shoulder-width apart. Then bring it above your chest until you feel a stretch in your upper pectorals. Make sure you keep your back straight during this move!
Exercise #8: Dumbbell Flyes for the Outer Pectoralis Major
Stretch your arms out to each side and then bring them together in front of you. When you do these chest presses, focus on feeling this move in the outer pectorals head.
Exercise #9: Flat Dumbbell Flies for the Inner Pectoralis Major
Lay down on a flat bench with a flat bench press bar and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Then, slowly bring your hands up to the side of your head until you feel a stretch in your inner pectorals muscles.
Exercise #10: One-Arm Bench Presses for the Upper Pectoralis Major
Grip one end of a bar with both of your hands, with an overhand grip. Then bring the bar up above your chest until you feel a stretch in your upper pectorals and then slowly lower the weight back to its starting position.
Exercise #11: Flat Bench Flyes for the Upper Pectoralis Major
Lie down on a flat bench and then grab a dumbbell in each hand. Then, lift them up above your head until you feel a stretch in the upper pectorals and lower the weights back to their starting position.
Exercise #12: Incline Bench Flyes for the Outer Pectoralis Major
Place an incline bench at about 15-20 degrees below horizontal. Then, grip a dumbbell in each hand and slowly lower them down to the sides of your chest, until you feel a stretch in the outer pectorals head.
Exercise #13: Lying Dumbbell Flyes for the Outer Pectoralis Major
Grip both ends of a dumbbell with an overhand grip, then lie on a flat bench. Then, slowly lower the weight down until it’s touching your chest and then raise upwards until you feel a stretch in the outer pectorals head.
Exercise #14: Dumbbell Pullovers for the Outer Pectoralis Major
Lie on an incline bench with your face up and grab a dumbbell from each hand. Then, slowly bring them above your head until you feel a stretch in the outer pectorals muscles.
Exercise #15: Cable Crossovers for the Outer Pectoralis Major
Begin by grabbing a D-handle with both hands and then move it straight over your chest so that you feel a stretch in your outsides pec muscles.
Exercise #16: Cable Crossovers for the Inner Pectoralis Major
Begin by grabbing a D-handle with both hands and then move it straight over your chest so that you feel a stretch in your insides pec muscles.
I hope you enjoyed reading it and that I was able to help you achieve the chest of your dreams!
Disclaimer: The contents of this site, such as text, graphics, images, and other materials contained on the page are for general information purposes only. This article is not a substitute for professional advice on the topics mentioned. This article does not create any form of offers to any legal or professional service. The site assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in the contents. In no event shall the site be liable for any special, direct, indirect, consequential, or incidental damages or any damages whatsoever, whether in an action to follow the content, negligence or other tort, arising out of the use of the contents of the article. The blog reserves the right to make additions, deletions, or modifications to the contents at any time without prior notice. The site does not warrant that the site is free of viruses or other harmful components. It may contain views and opinions which are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other author, agency, organization, employer or company, including the site itself. It also does not provide professional advice, diagnosis, treatment or any legal service. The site does not endorse official procedures, legal actions or qualified services and the use of its contents are solely at your own risk.