When it comes to developing your chest, it requires a tremendous amount of time and dedication. Like any other muscle group, getting a big chest is going to require a huge investment. This is why knowing the correct approach beforehand is essential to not only developing the chest faster, but will help you from seriously injuring yourself as well.
One of the most popular chest exercises out there is the bench press. It is one of the first exercises we are introduced to in weight training, and is one that most people are familiar with.
With that being said, many people still don’t know how to properly perform the bench press. One of the most common mistakes people make is bringing the bar down towards their collarbone instead of more towards the middle of the chest.
This difference in form is huge, as the more north the bar is, the more strain you are putting on your joints. When you bring the bar down towards your neck instead of your chest it makes your elbows flare out, which puts more of the force of the weight on them.
To avoid this, make sure to bring the bar down south of your nipples when lifting, which puts your elbows and shoulders in a less compromising position.
Most people know the concentric portion of the lift is important, however the eccentric can really be the key when it comes to building a bigger chest. The eccentric movement is the portion of the exercise where the muscle is lengthening instead of contracting, which is a component in every type.
This would be the downward movement in the bench press for example, which is just as important to chest growth as the concentric pushing part of this exercise.
Working on negatives alone is a good idea as well, as you can lift much more on the downward movement in the bench press as the upper, usually in the range of 20-25% more for most people. Being able to lift more weight is going to help you pack on more muscle much faster than you could without it, so don’t neglect negatives!
One of the biggest motivators we have in exercise is achieving our goals. Without having a clear goal in mind, getting motivated to get to the gym and go all out can be difficult. You should set small goals along the way to help you stay focused and motivated to keep progressing.
Another thing that can really help you reach your goals is to work out with a friend. If you are able to try to find someone that is at a similar fitness level as you, so you can progress together. Competition is a great motivator as well, so exercise with a friend if possible.
Not wrapping your thumbs around the bar while bench pressing a straight bar can be tempting as it is more comfortable for many people. It can help to reduce pain in the wrist which is a major issue for many people as they start advancing towards heavier weight.
The idea behind why you should be wrapping your thumbs around the bar is simple; it is much safer than not doing so. The bar can slip out of your hands without the proper grip, and is extremely dangerous if you don’t have a spotter which is the case for many people.
Another huge mistake people make is not switching up their routine, which can really hurt them when it comes to their chest development. Flat bench press is the most popular chest exercise, and most people tend to do that one first all the time. This can really hamper your progress in other areas because of all that energy you are spending beforehand.
Flat bench press is great for middle chest development, however you want a more well rounded chest you should vary up your routine. You should switch things up by doing inclines or declines first instead. This will help you better develop your upper and lower pecs as well, making you look more aesthetically pleasing as well as being stronger.