Do you want to improve your pec workout? Well, you came to the right place. We’re going to show you how to do this with a few healthy tips and 3 simple exercises.
Let’s start with the tips first and then we’ll get on to the exercises.
- If you’re healthy inside, your outside will show it. One way to improve the health of your heart, and therefore the appearance of your pecs, is by doing good old-fashioned cardio, like jumping rope. Doing this for about 20-30 minutes two or three days a week can work wonders.
- Combining cardio with eating clean will create the best results. Whole foods with lots of proteins, complex carbs, and healthy servings of fats are what we’re talking about.
- We’ve gone into depth about pre-, during, and post-workout diet in this article here.
- You’ll also want to stretch your pecs. A huge misconception about building up your chest muscles is that throwing a bunch of weight on the bar and doing bench presses will do the trick. This isn’t the case. Not only will you be sore after pressing all that weight, but doing bench presses will limit your range of motion if they’re done alone. Stretching will help with both of these issues.
Now let’s move on to our favorite 3 exercises for your pec workout.
3 Exercises for Your Pec Workout
#1 Dumbbell Flyes
For this part of your pec workout, grab some moderately weighted dumbbells. It’s important not to go too heavy. You don’t want to injure your shoulder or rotator cuff.
Lie down flat on a bench with your head down and feet planted. Holding the weights in front of you with your arms straight out, face your palms to each other at chest level.
Inhale as you move your arms apart, slightly bending them at the elbows as they become parallel with your body. Exhale quickly to activate your pecs as you bring the weights back to the starting position.
Repeat this exercise about 5 times for 3 sets, two or three days per week, and you’ll see some gains in no time. You can also increase the weights slightly or the number of reps as you become stronger.
#2 Cable Crossovers
For this next exercise in your pec workout, you will need a pulley system machine.
Set the handles at one of the higher notches, depending on your height.
Take a step in front of the machine with your hands inside the grips, arms outstretched slightly behind you. With straight arms, bring the handles forward slowly and touch your palms together below chest level. To get the most out of each crossover, hold this position for a few seconds to really exhaust your muscles and then slowly stretch back up to the starting position.
Repeat this exercise about 10 times for 3 sets.
If you don’t want to visit a gym or buy this machine, a similar exercise can be done using dumbbells.
Stand with your feet apart, and bend slightly forward at the hips with your back in a neutral position. Hold your dumbbells out to the side at chest-level with slightly bent arms. Keep that bend as you move them forward to touch your palms together in front of you. In the same controlled way, move them back to the starting position and repeat.
The appeal about the pulley machine is that you aren’t working against gravity as much as you are with the dumbbells, and therefore you can focus more on working out your pecs than keeping your arms from falling. It’s up to you to decide which is the best fit for your workout and budget.
#3 Alternating Push-Ups
These aren’t the traditional push-ups you’re used to. Instead of lowering your body parallel to the ground with both your arms, you’ll use one pec muscle at a time to hold your body weight.
You’ll start in a normal push-up position and bend only one arm, which will put your body weight down to one side. Straighten that arm again and then bend the other arm.
If you’re not able to do this movement at first, start with your hands on an incline, such as on a bench or gripping a kettlebell set.
At an incline, you’ll reduce the stress on your upper body and disperse it throughout the rest of your body; you’ll still get the same effect of the normal alternating push-ups, just on a less intense level.
We recommend doing three sets of these until muscle exhaustion. You don’t want any energy left in your muscles when you’re done with this workout.
These three exercises for your pec workout should really only be done two or three days per week to give yourself enough time to recover. Any more than that could cause injury, and that means you’ll need even more time to recover and get to the point you were at when you started building your pecs.
Once you get these basic exercises down, you can change them up a little bit by doing some adaptations. For example, you could do alternating one-armed dumbbell flyes. You could do cable crossovers starting closer to your body versus a wider starting point. You could switch up the incline of your alternating push-ups, or the width of your stance.
Bodybuilding is about confusing your muscles. If your body gets used to specific movements, you’re not going to be growing from them anymore. Use your imagination and change things up week by week; that will give you the most overall improvement.
If you’re looking for more ways to improve your chest muscles, check out our article on our favorite rowing machines. Using one of these will provide a lower-intensity workout that will still help build your pecs.
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