Suggestions for Upper Chest

Discussion in 'Training Forum' started by RealET, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. RealET

    RealET Member

    For at least a few years I’ve always started with incline bench. Slight incline. I haven’t even touched flat bench in years. My upper chest just doesn’t seem to grow as much as my lower chest. Sometimes I feel like I have tits

    Any advice for upper chest?
  2. johntt44

    johntt44 Member

    Have you tried reverse grip bench press? It really contracts my upper pecs hard, much harder than incline.
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  3. brutus79

    brutus79 Member

    Work lower chest... in my experience chest is chest. Your pectoral muscle is one muscle- so often I see incomplete benching... no lock out chest contraction at the top, no pause on the chest. Makes all the world of difference. Flys seem to make the inner parts of the chest more sore, but i have done only flat bench for long periods of time and didn't notice any better development than when i was benching at all angles
  4. MindlessWork

    MindlessWork Member Supporter

    Good post and wouldn't the different angles of pressing hit the muscle in different directions?
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  5. BigNattyDaddy

    BigNattyDaddy Member

    Dumbbells work well if you have shoulder or elbow pain, for me they do at least.
  6. AlwaysHungry

    AlwaysHungry Member

    Wide grip smith incline
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  7. They should. The chest is composed of two basic areas clavicular and sternal head which ideally require their own special attention. A very basic and all around good program for chest should include:

    • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3x6-10
    • Flat Dumbbell Press: 3x6-10
    These are great for mechanical tension.

    Also, you could add two finisher exercises like:

    • Cable Flyes: 3x10-15
    • Pec Deck: 3x10-15
    And/or opt for different metabolite techniques if it's really a lagging part. Giant, drop sets and isolation pre-exhaust are all great.
  8. RomanMVP

    RomanMVP Member

    On your inclines make sure you always retract your scapula, and take a towel rolled up and place it down the middle of your back, pull those shoulders blades towards the towel and STRETCH at the bottom all the way down before you push up. Kal Szkalak used to do this back in the 70s, only instead of using a towel he'd use a 2X4. OUCH!!
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  9. High incline dB press and incline pronated Grip dB flys helped build the upper shelf up for me. Experiment with various rep ranges. Also, build the rest of your chest as well (adding a little extra focus to upper). Possibly train chest twice per week focusing on upper first during the week at your strongest and lower and flat movements second. Last thing I’m gonna say is using the smith machine as well for high incline presses was great for me to really get great contractions and mind to muscle connection.
  10. tengtren

    tengtren Member

    Try this thing @Mac11wildcat does with a close grip handle on a smith machine, but put it on an incline
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  11. Mac11wildcat

    Mac11wildcat Member Supporter

    Your pec is two muscle groups; major and minor, but the major has the clavicular and sternal heads attaching to your clavical and sternum respectively.

    The easiest way to identify exercises for each is the direction of the fibers. But for most people the simple fix is just benching correctly. Scapula retracted and focus on moving your elbow around your shoulder, not moving the weight upward (that will be the biproduct).

    IMO if you want to hammer the clavicular portion because you’re convinced it doesn’t grow, get some feeling in it first and then hit incline bench movements (where you can get some real tension). Try the guillotine press, incline HS seated slightly sideways, or reverse grip bench press and then move into a heavier overall chest movement.

    Just my .02.
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  12. RomanMVP

    RomanMVP Member

    Altogether now: The Smith machine is an awesome piece of equipment!
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  13. Mac11wildcat

    Mac11wildcat Member Supporter

    You’re not wrong
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  14. valuum

    valuum Member

    Wait so when you do the close grip attachment, do you sit parallel with the bar? So do you have to like straddle the sides of the smith machine?
  15. Mac11wildcat

    Mac11wildcat Member Supporter

    Lay on a bench that’s directly under the bar between the posts of the smith. The bar should be along your body’s center line (this only works on a vertical smith, not the angles ones).

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  16. valuum

    valuum Member

    Damn, the one at my gym is angled. Plus it just seems crooked as fuck. In prison people do something similar with dumbells but once you get to using heavier weight the range of motion is nothing. That looks nice though, I always like doing something close grip.
  17. Mac11wildcat

    Mac11wildcat Member Supporter

    Can be done with a board/bar across a chest press machine as well. Not exact but close enough.
  18. T-Bagger

    T-Bagger Member

    LOL, what? I thought only pussies used the Smith? :rolleyes:
  19. Mac11wildcat

    Mac11wildcat Member Supporter


    Attached Files:

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  20. Mac11wildcat

    Mac11wildcat Member Supporter

    I trained today with your question in mind. Give this a shot.

    -Low Incline DB Press (15deg) up to 1 heavy 12-15 rep set focusing on elbow arc, not pressing the weight

    -Smith guillotine 3x12 (Bar to clavicle, do NOT go heavy too quickly and do not do this regularly!)

    -Incline barbell 3x12

    -Cable Flyes (highest pulley, slight lean forward, flye down to your chest level) 3x8-12

    -Lying HS Press 4x8-12 (sub seated flat Press is you don’t have the lay down one)

    -Pec Deck (no back arch, scapula retracted as always) 2x12

    Chest press machine 5x15 (bonus, just extra pump).

    This seems like a lot but the number of working sets is relatively low for us juiced folks.
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