You have probably spent countless hours in the gym and done many exercises to train your chest muscles. Unfortunately, these training hours have not yet ensured that you have as symmetrical and trained chest as Arnold Schwarzenegger. Now it will be very difficult to achieve that perfection anyway, but who does not dare, who does not win! You train your chest muscles by including the 7 exercises that we have collected for you in your training schedule. We are also going to tell you exactly what the chest muscles are, so that you not only know what to do, but you also know exactly why you are making which movements and which muscles you are using with these movements. Wet your chest!
What are your chest muscles?
At the level of your chest there are various muscles that together form your chest muscles. We will briefly discuss them with you. First you have the musculus pectoralis major or the large pectoral muscle, and in addition there is the small pectoral muscle or the musculus pectoralis minor. Maybe they are better known to you as pecs.
The large chest muscle is a superficial muscle that consists of three parts;
- Pars clavicularis;
- Pars sternocostalis;
- Abdominal part.
The three parts actually run from the sternum and collarbone to the humerus, and have different functions in different combinations. For example, one of the functions of the large chest muscle is that you can move your arm towards your body. A second function is that the muscles help you if you want to lift your arm in front of your body, and finally this muscle also helps if you want to turn your shoulder towards your chest.
In addition to the large chest muscle, the small chest muscle or the pectoralis minor muscle is also located at the height of your chest. This muscle is located in the front of your chest and underneath the large pectoral muscle. Thanks to the small pectoral muscle, you can pull your shoulder down and forward. In addition, the small pectoral muscle also ensures medioration. This basically means that you can turn your shoulder blades towards the spine.
How do you get pecs like Arnold Schwarzenegger?
You can train your chest muscles with different exercises. In the one case these are isolation exercises where you really only train your chest muscles and in the other case it is compound exercises where you train multiple muscle groups. The emphasis, however, will always be on the chest muscles.
Before you start training it is of course wise to warm up your muscles first by means of a warm up. Then you can get started with the heavier work and really train your chest muscles well. Many of the exercises that we have listed require the use of weights. We leave it entirely to you which weights you choose. Make sure you don't choose too heavy weights. It is probably better to do a little more repetitions of an exercise with a lower weight than to sustain an injury because you performed the exercise with too much weight.
Exercise 1: Push-up
The first exercises is one to get in a little bit. You do not need any additional weights for these exercises. Your own body weight is more than enough.
We are of course talking about the push-up. You probably already know how to do this exercise and you already perform it regularly when you are training, but we still want to explain it to you again.
To start, you train both the small and the large chest muscle when performing a push-up. As a true bodybuilder, you should absolutely perform this exercise.
When performing a push-up, you first lie down on the floor and then stand in the starting position. For this you only support with your toes and hands on the floor. Your hands are shoulder width and your arms are straight. Make sure that your body is from your heels to your head as much as possible in a straight line. Then bend through your arms until you get as close to the ground as possible without touching it. Now extend your arms so that you are back in the starting position. You can then repeat this as often as you want.
When performing the push-up, make sure that your body remains as straight as possible throughout the exercise. Only your arms are allowed to bend, not the rest of your body. You can optionally perform the push-up with push up stands.
Exercise 2: Bench press
Now it is really time for the heavier work: bench press. During this exercise you mainly work on one specific part of the large chest muscle, namely the pars sernocostalis, or the middle part of the chest muscle.
To start with bench press it is important that you first hang the correct weights on the barbell. Again: do not exaggerate in the weight that you hang on the barbell. It is better to do more repetitions with a slightly lower weight than to overload yourself and end up for weeks with an injury.
When you have chosen the correct weights, you lie down on a pressure bench. Your head is of course under the barbell and the backrest is horizontal. Put your feet firmly on the floor and grab the barbell with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width. Then push the barbell out of the rack it has been resting on until now and lower it to just above your chest. While doing this, inhale. Hold this briefly and push the barbell up from your chest and triceps as you exhale. You also hold this briefly, and then repeat the exercise.
When bench pressing, make sure that you only move the barbell straight up and down, not forwards or backwards. If you do, there may be weight on the wrong joints, which can cause injuries. And that is of course something that you naturally want to prevent at all costs.
Exercise 3: (Incline) dumbbell press
The following exercise is basically very similar to the bench press, but it's not quite the same. In contrast to the bench press, the dumbbell press requires extra forces from your muscles, because you not only have to push the dumbbells up and then lower them in a controlled manner, but you also have to keep them well balanced. An extra challenge that you will undoubtedly be able to tackle with ease!
To perform the dumbbell press, grab the dumbbells and lie down on the bench. Then you put your feet firmly on the ground and let the dumbbells rest on your legs for a while. While you are now lying back on the bench, move the dumbbells from your legs to just above your chest. Next, stick your elbows out so that they are at a right angle to the rest of your body. Your forearms, in turn, are at a right angle to your upper arms.
Now lower the dumbbells until your elbows are slightly below the fitness bench and the dumbbells are slightly above the height of your chest. Now push the dumbbells upward by straightening your arms. Just make sure the dumbbells don't touch each other and try to keep them as straight as possible. When you want to lower the dumbbells again, tighten your chest muscles well. Repeat this until you reach the desired number of reps.
For extra variation you can also perform this exercise as a inclined dumbbell press. Here you do not perform the exercise on a horizontal bench, but on a bench where the backrest is approximately at an angle of 30 degrees.
Exercise 4: Cable crossover
We have had enough of the barbell and dumbbells and make a short trip to the cable station. As you probably know, you can also train your chest muscles in this. This exercise involves all three parts of the large chest muscle, so you train it extra well.
Go to a cable station and set the correct weight. Then grab both cables and stand in the middle so that there is equal tension on both cables. Spread your legs and put one leg in front of the other. Keep your back straight and your palms face forward. Then you pull the cables towards you by moving your arms forward from the sides of your body. While doing this, gently exhale. As you inhale, then move your arms outward again, lowering the weights. Now repeat this until you have reached the correct number of reps.
When performing this exercise it is important that you take it easy. The point is not that you perform the exercise as often as possible very often, but that you perform the exercise calmly and with the right technique.
Exercise 5: (Incline) dumbbell flyes
When performing dumbbell flyes, you train both the large and small chest muscles.
To be able to perform dumbell flyes, you obviously need dumbbells. Choose the right pair and sit on the end of the fitness bench. You can rest the dumbbells on your thighs for a while. Just make sure you hold them so that your palms are facing each other. This is important for the rest of the exercise. Now lie back on the bench and stretch your arms above your head. Then move your arms out and down. When you have lowered the dumbbells to chest height, push them back up by contracting your chest muscles.
While performing the entire exercise, it is important that you do not fully strengthen your arms and do not lock your elbows. Always keep your arms slightly bent and you will be able to perform the exercise like a true champion.
Tip: Do you especially want to train the upper part of the large chest muscle, the pars clavicularis? Then choose not to perform the dumbbell flyes on a flat bench, but on a bench with the backrest raised. The procedure of the exercise is basically the same, but you use other parts of your muscles a little more.
Exercise 6: Dips
Dips can be performed in different ways. So you have a variant that especially you triceps trains, but the variant that we are going to discuss naturally focuses primarily on the chest muscles.
To dip, go to the dip station, set a weight and grasp both handles properly. Then raise your legs so that they do not lean on the floor or on the supports. Next, lean your chest slightly forward until it hangs approximately at a 30-degree angle. Because of this change you have transformed the triceps dip into a version that mainly trains your chest muscles. Now lower yourself until your shoulders and elbows are at the same height. You probably already guess the next step: push yourself up again until your arms are stretched again. You can now also repeat this until you have reached the desired number of reps.
Do you want to make the exercise a bit heavier? Then you can get a dipping calls hang around your waist with extra weights. Because you now have to push an extra weight up and lower the exercise automatically becomes heavier.
Exercise 7: Chest press
Finally, a final exercise to train your chest muscles. This exercise must be performed on the chest press machine and will particularly appeal to the large chest muscle.
To perform the exercise, it is important to attach the correct weights to the machine and adjust the seat to the correct height. You want to train your chest muscles, which is why it is important that the handles are at about the same height as the center of your chest. Take the time to set up the machine. It is better to make a few more adjustments than not to do the exercise properly. That is a waste of your training time.
Once the machine is properly set up, you take a seat. Make sure that your head and back are well supported against the backrest and that your feet are firmly on the floor. Now grab the handles and make sure to keep your wrists straight throughout the exercise. Next, you are supposed to push the weight forward by straightening your arms. As you do this, breathe out deeply. If you then lower the weight by bending your arms, inhale so that you have enough air again for the next rep. Now perform this exercise as often as you want.
To make the exercise a little heavier and keep your muscles constantly working, you can choose to never lower the weight completely, so that it can never really rest on the other weights. Your muscles must always keep on applying force in this way to keep the weights up.
Have you gone through all the exercises? Then it's over! You now know exactly with which exercises you train your chest muscles. Of course, you don't have to perform all of these exercises every time you hit the gym, but you can include them in your training program so that you might one day approach Arnold Schwarzenegger's perfection.
Which exercises do you like to train your chest muscles with? And which exercises provide the most results?
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