A tight, toned and defined chest is a goal many men and women strive for and can be achieved with the right upper chest workout. Focusing your attention on exercising at an incline will target the upper portion of the chest, creating lean, sculpted, firm, elevated pecs.
Use the Incline Bench
One of the simplest ways to ensure you target your upper pecs and sculpt a tight, toned chest is to use the incline bench. The ideal angle to perform incline exercises for your upper chest is between 30-40 degrees. This will focus all the energy and attention on the upper portion of your to create the sculpted and defined look you are after. Just be careful not to raise the incline more than 40 degrees or you will move the focus to your anterior deltoids (front of your shoulder).
Use a Variety of Exercises
One the best aspects of training your chest is that you are able to use a variety of exercises to create the look you want. From compound exercises through to isolation exercises you have a lot to choose from. To create a sexy sculpted chest combine exercises such as presses, push-ups, dumbbell flyes, and cable cross-overs to really work the upper chest.
Your New Upper Chest Workout
The following exercises are a great place to start to sculpt your chest. Aim for at least three sets of 10-15 repetitions at a weight that should heavy enough that you find the last two repetitions a little hard to do.
1. Barbell Incline Press – Set the incline bench at an angle between 30-40 degrees and load the appropriate weight. Preform barbell press as you would a bench press, focusing on your upper chest.
2. Swiss Ball Incline Push-up – Place your hands on either side of a swiss ball and balance on your toes so there is a straight line running from your feet to your shoulders. Keep your abs contracted for support and perform your push-ups as you would if you were on the ground. This version is far more intense the regular full push-ups and perfect for sculpting your chest.
3. Dumbbell Incline Chest Flyes – Once again set the incline bench between 30-40 degrees and select an appropriate dumbbell weight. Raise your arms straight into the arm so that your knuckles face the ceiling. Pull your arms apart until you feel tension in your chest and your elbows go back no further than your shoulders. Pull your arms back to the starting position.
4. Low Cable Crossovers – Attach the loop handles to the bottom of the cable machine and hold one handle in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lean forward slightly from your hips. Starting with your hands by your hips, slowly take your arms out to the sides and pull your arms towards your chest and stop in front of your hips (your arms should follow a semi-circle). Feel a squeeze in your upper chest as you hold your hands together in front of your chest, then reverse the direction, taking your arms up to your chest and back out to your hips.
These four exercises will make a great addition to your upper chest workout. Perform them two to three times a week and you will see results in six to eight weeks.[stextbox id=”grey” caption=”About the Author”]Emma holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement) degree and has over 10 years experience in the health and fitness industry. During this time, Emma has worked as a personal trainer, sports trainer (TAC Cup U18 AFL), and a health promotion officer.[/stextbox]