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Developing a Full Chest

There seems to be a lot of confusion out there about how exactly to develop a full, balanced chest. While I generally believe that the upper pecs are the key to bringing out the entire chest, I think it’s important for advanced level trainers to employ a wide array of movements that attack the pecs from a variety of angles.

In addition to the basics, here’s some of the best exercises to round out your pec development with:

High Cable Crossovers: this is an excellent movement to hit the lower pecs as well as the difficult to develop inner pecs. Good development of the inner pecs, of course, gives you that nice separation that is a hallmark of a first-rate physique.

Low Cable Crossovers: these are also great for hitting the inner pecs—continuous tension is the key here.

Bench Press (Wide Grip): extend your grip out on the flat bench press to shift the emphasis to the lower pecs.

Bench Press (Close Grip): the mid-range section of this movement really targets the inner chest pretty intensely. Later in the movement, of course, the triceps and upper chest take over.

Decline Bench Press: these, of course, primarily hit the lower pecs hard. If you move your grip in a bit and really emphasize the top of the movement, you’ll get good stress on the inner pecs as well.

Dumbbell Flyes: if performed strictly, Dumbbell Flyes can hit the inner chest, though you really need to squeeze your pecs together hard to get the full effect. I like to alternate doing Dumbbell Flyes on the flat bench, incline bench, and decline bench.

Dips: the elbows-in variation place the bulk of the emphasis on the lower pecs, while the elbows-out style will pull the inner pecs more into the exercise.


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