Building Your Upper Chest

How to build and form your upper chest muscles

When you’re first starting out, it’s important to concentrate on building mass steadily across the entire body, not just concentrating on one place. It’s not advised to try and focus on one area and build that up. Worrying on specific areas at the beginning shows to be a waste of time and a waste of your focus and energy.

If you’re really concerned about your upper chest, though, there are a few exercises that can be done to bring strength to this area.

Can You Really Target The Upper Chest?

This is open to debate amongst most bodybuilders with some saying that specific targeting of the upper chest isn’t possible and others saying that it absolutely is possible. Because of this, a lot of weight lifters work on gaining overall mass on the theory that this will encourage the muscles in the chest to build anyway. The main muscle that people focus on is the pectoralis major. What most people don’t know is that there’s a secondary muscle just above this named the clavicular pectoralis. This muscle is usually grouped in with the major, but does actually have its own nerves and fiber angles that are unique to itself.

Building your chest - Pectoral Muscles

You can move the focus to this muscle with a few exercises and ensure that it gets a work out and that it builds muscle.

The Exercises

There are three very good exercises that you can do to bring focus to the clavicular pectoralis These are as follows:

Dumbbell Flyes at an Incline of 30 degrees

Dumbbell Presses at an Incline of 30 Degrees

Barbell Presses at an Incline of 30 Degrees

The Benefit of These

Performing these three exercises, especially at an incline, puts the pressure and stress on to your chest and takes it off of the shoulders. It also means you’re controlled and you’re not risking any imbalance when you’re lifting and having the potential to overpower one arm and not the other.

The incline needs to only be slight, any more than this will shift the focus of the exercise to a different area and cluster of muscles and mean that you’re not working the areas that you want to.

The dumbbell press in particular is brilliant for ensuring your form is right to build the mass in your upper chest as it automatically forces the body in to a natural arch form which aids the chest in becoming stronger. Low reps in these is all that is necessary.

Important: Form

As with all exercising, making sure you’re keeping a proper form is very important. Failure to have the correct form when you’re exercising can mean that the stress is being applied to other areas of the body and not the area you want to focus on.

Make sure you:

  • Keep your lower back arched
  • Push your shoulder blades back and down
  • Focus on the force coming from your elbows, not your hands
  • Keep your elbows angled (45 degrees) in relation to your body