Top Chest Exercises: Exercises to Develop a Strong and Functional Upper Body

The large muscles in the chest area known as the pectoral muscles are the focus of chest exercises, which are a common type of resistance training.

You can work your chest muscles to build strength and definition with pushups and bench presses.

The chest muscles are one characteristic feature of strong anatomy. They carry out actions like pushing a door open and trimming a tree branch with a pair of loppers. They are the main muscles developed when talking about upper body strength (“How much can you bench, bro?”).

The chest muscles stand out among muscle mass for bodybuilders and people who value overall physical attractiveness, and powerlifters rely on them for the bench press to achieve the highest lift.

But because they make arm movement easier, these muscles are also crucial from a functional standpoint.

Studies on perceived attractiveness have found that men’s low waist-to-chest ratios are thought to be the most alluring physical trait (1 Trusted Source). This happens when a person has a wider chest and a smaller waist.

Everyone can gain from strengthening the chest muscles, regardless of whether their objective is to have sculpted pecs or simply to be able to play Twister with their kids on the living room floor.

What do the chest muscles do?

The pectoral muscles, also referred to as the chest muscles, are composed of three main muscles:

muscles in the pectorals
Minor Pectoralis
anterior serratus

muscles in the pectorals

The larger of the two chest muscles, this one is in charge of most of the chest’s motion. It is divided into two sections: the sternal head and the clavicular head (upper chest) ( lower chest ).

Minor pectoralis:

Underneath the pectoralis major muscle is this smaller muscle. In contrast to the pectoralis major, it is not as heavily involved in chest movement and is only responsible for stabilizing the shoulder blade.

The anterior serratus:

On the side of the thorax, there is a muscle called the serratus anterior. It is a small, flat muscle that attaches to the anterior surface of the scapula from the surface of the upper eight ribs ( shoulder blade ).

A less well-known chest muscle is the subclavius. A smaller accessory muscle, its main function is breathing (2 Trusted Source).

The pectoralis major is a unique muscle because it has two heads, the sternocostal head and the clavicular head. These are antagonistic to one another, so as one contracts, the other relaxes.

As you raise your arm in front of you, the clavicular head flexes your upper arm bone, or humerus. As the humerus is adducted and helps the humerus rotate internally, the arm is brought closer to the midline of the body.

The sternocostal head, on the other hand, causes the arm to be retracted from a forward or flexed position. Additionally, it helps with motions like horizontal adduction and the humerus’ internal rotation (as if you were bear hugging someone).

The pectoralis minor stabilizes the shoulder blade by protracting it, or pulling it forward and down against the rib cage. It also aids in stabilizing the shoulders and breathing.

The serratus anterior starts on the outside front of the first through eighth ribs and ends on the medial border of the shoulder blade (closest to the spine). By bringing the shoulder blade closer to the ribs to prevent scapular winging, it stabilizes the shoulder during pushing motions.

Developing a well-defined chest muscle

You may be wondering what “muscle definition” actually means. It can be challenging to define.

The size of a muscle must increase in order to be visible. The muscles are gradually forced past their resting state during this procedure, known as hypertrophy, in order to promote growth. It occurs when a greater amount of protein is consumed for muscle growth than is broken down for maintenance.

However, you also need to lose body fat if you want to see more muscle definition. For women who have breasts, it probably won’t be easy to see much chest muscle definition.

If muscle definition is your goal, you’ll need to work your chest muscles for hypertrophy while also cutting calories in order to see your muscles more clearly. Controlling your diet and upping your aerobic exercise will probably be required for this.

What foodstuffs should you eat if building your chest is your goal?

Proteins are the building blocks of muscles. They are the building blocks of muscle, so the more you eat of them, the more likely it is that you will gain muscle (called muscle protein synthesis). On the other hand, muscle protein breakdown, a typical process, also occurs at the same time.

It is generally recommended to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and a variety of protein sources to reduce body fat. If you are unsure of how to do this safely, you should consult a dietitian.

Increased muscle protein synthesis is favored by a higher protein intake. This leads to muscles that are bigger. Currently, most people should follow the recommendations of the American Dietetic Association. Each kilogram of body weight requires 8 grams of protein (4).

However, a recent review of the literature suggested that individuals who engage in resistance training for muscle growth consume 1.6–2.2 g/kg of body weight per day. Furthermore, three to five hours should pass between protein-heavy meals.

A 150-pound (68-kg) person would need to consume 109-150 grams of protein per day in order to develop muscular hypertrophy while performing regular exercise.

The study also suggests eating high-quality proteins like whey and casein. These aid in controlling appetite.