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Master the Art of the Upper Chest Workout at Home With These 5 Workouts


It is safe to say that after my break away from being fit and healthy I had lost muscle mass. After my last daughter was born, when I finally made it back to the gym, I could barely complete 8 reps on the Bench Press at 10 lbs! I honestly felt so embarrassed of myself.


Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled to have experienced pregnancy, and was over the moon that I was a mom for the 4th time.


But let's face it...pregnancy can take a havoc on your body. I felt like I was starting all over again. I had gained 40 lbs and all of my muscle...gone.





So, I needed to come up with a plan. I figured the best thing I could do for myself was to be able to sit down and make up a nutrition and exercise plan. I had to bring out my knowledge from my personal training courses to help myself, which I had done before, so I thought it wouldn't be that difficult.


Boy, was I wrong. With 4 kiddos all under the age of 7...oh man, I had my hands full. And finding time to workout and plan was VERY limited.





My Health and fitness goals did get put on the back burner for quite a while. Not to say that it wasn't important, because it was.


But, staying up all night with a baby, taking 2 kids to school AND having a toddler running around was a lot to get use to.


Not to mention the daily chores around the house; laundry, errands, cleaning and meal planning.





Anyways, once I finally had some time, I sat down with my fitness planner and listed ways to keep healthy and fit. I also made it a priority to plan healthy post workout meals and make time for my health and fitness routine.


My goal now was to make sure I was eating healthy and exercising and focus on my fitness program.





I wanted to start on my upper body because I gained a lot of weight in my arms and chest. And I needed to keep my upper-body muscles in balance, which will improve my posture.


As expected, carrying around a baby for 9 months, my posture was so out of alignment. I needed to build muscle...bad.


In order to build a solid upper chest, I needed to create my fitness program. It had to be beneficial and set up with structure. I complied a list of the best upper chest exercises take into account the movement of the arms and position of the body. .




WHAT IS THE UPPER CHEST?

The upper chest is a portion of the pectoralis major called the clavicular head. There are muscle fibers in the upper chest that run in a different angle than the lower chest muscles. When gathering exercises for the upper chest, you want to keep in mind exercises that involve shoulder flexion and horizontal shoulder adduction.



BENEFITS OF TRAINING UPPER CHEST

Here are just a few benefits of regularly doing upper chest exercises.


Improved Functionality: Keeping your chest strong and mobile allows you to perform better in every day tasks


Look Better: . Building up the clavicular head or upper chest will have you looking better in and out of clothing; this goes for both men and women. Strong muscles can also help to improve posture.



UPPER CHEST TRAINING


If you want to focus on the upper chest, you’ll need to make sure of certain training variables. When you are looking into workout programs, there are two areas that you can tweak to stimulate the upper chest. These are simple and easy to do, as they are related to the positioning of your body.


Pressing Angle: You may be aware that an incline bench angle will hit the upper chest more than lying on a flat bench.


Sets, Reps & Load: You should be training the upper chest with a variety of rep ranges and loads. If you complete the same exercises, the amount of reps and sets, your body will get us to it and won't be able to build muscle. You might be stuck in a plateau and not see any results. Below, I have listed the amount of reps you can do if you are focusing on power, strength or endurance. I usually start off by complete 6 - 12 reps, which is in the Hypertrophy category. As you keep up your routine, feel free to change it up to get better results and gains that you are looking for.

  • Power: 1-3 reps

  • Strength: 4-6 reps

  • Hypertrophy: 6-12 reps

  • Endurance: 12+ rep



5 BEST UPPER CHEST EXERCISES


After I had sat there in my kitchen, re-reading my personal trainer handbook, I had pulled together the 5 best upper chest exercises that you can incorporate into your workout program if you are trying to build your upper chest. I would recommend trying to use an assortment of them because our bodies are very good at adjusting and getting use to a certain exercise.




1. BENCH PRESS

Ah, yes...the classic bench press. The Bench Press is a good exercise to work the upper chest because you can push heavier loads than an incline which can stimulate new muscle growth. I also love this exercise because you can easily turn it into a home chest workout by using dumbbells instead of a barbell. All you need is a set of weights. You can easily find these on Amazon. I recommend using the LifePro Adjustable Dumbbell Set.


How To:

  • Lie down on your back, then reach up to grab the bar with both hands using an overhand grip just wider than shoulder-width apart

  • Retract your shoulder blades, then un-rack

  • Slowly lower the bar to mid-chest while keeping your elbows at 45-70 degrees from your sides until the bar reaches your chest

  • Press up until your arms are fully extended or just before lockout to increase time under tension

  • Repeat for desired reps

*Please remember not to use more weight than what you are comfortable with. If it is too heavy that you can't perform well and your form isn't good, you need to re-think your weight amount.






2. Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press


Oh man, the Reverse grip dumbbell press is a bit challenging for me. This exercise involves changing your grip from overhand to underhand as it involves more energy and more muscle building from the upper chest.


How To:

  • Set up a bench on an incline of 30-45 degrees

  • Grab dumbbells, then get into position on the bench

  • Start with palms facing you, and the dumbbell handles are to the side of your mid-chest with the dumbbells at a 45-degree angle

  • Press straight up until your arms are fully extended

  • Slowly lower to starting position

  • Repeat for desired reps



3. DUMBBELL PULLOVER

I think this might be one of my favorite upper chest workout. This exercise works the chest, lats, and serratus anterior.


How To:

  • Place your upper back on a flat bench so that your body is perpendicular to it

  • Your head will hang over the edge of the bench. Plant your feet on the floor hip-width apart. Your hips will be slightly lower than your shoulders

  • Hold the dumbbell with your hands in a diamond shape, so the weight is resting on your palms

  • Start with the weight directly over your chest, keeping your elbows slightly bent, slowly lower the dumbbell over your head until your arms are aligned with your torso

  • Pull the dumbbell back to starting position and emphasize the chest contraction

  • Repeat for desired reps



4. RESISTANCE BAND PUSHUP

I'm not going to lie, I am a HUGE fan of resistance bands! They are super easy to use and can be used for muscle building in the entire body. This exercise is super easy because it is simply a pushup with added resistance. If you don't have resistance bands, I'd recommend getting some on Amazon. I highly recommend using TheFitLife Exercise Resistance Bands.


How To:

  • Wrap band around your back and under your arms, then loop over your hands

  • Get into position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with the band anchored under your hands

  • Keeping your body in a straight line, lower your chest towards the floor until you’re a few inches from the ground

  • Press up by contracting your chest until your arms are fully extended

  • Repeat for desired reps




5. PIKE PUSHUP

I'm a huge fan of bodyweight exercises. They are easy to do and you can really get in a good workout with just your bodyweight. I like the pike pushup because it also works your shoulders and triceps. With the pike push up you won’t be keeping your body in a straight line.


How To:

  • Set up a sturdy platform (chair or bench)

  • Facing away from the raised surface, put your feet on top of it, then walk your hands out while keeping your body in a bent position

  • Slowly lower your chest to the floor by bending at the elbows until your chest is a few inches from the floor.

  • Press up by contracting your chest, triceps and shoulder until your arms are fully extended

  • Repeat for desired reps



There you have it. The 5 ways you can complete an upper chest workout at home. I know I was super excited to have finally completed the list and boy does this give me quite a good workout. Hopefully, these upper chest workouts will be able to help you in your health and fitness journey too.



Have you tried any of the upper chest workouts? Or do you have anything to add to the list? Comment below to share your thoughts!

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