When it comes to arm movement and chest strength, your pectorals are key.
From playing a role in your upper body range of motion to helping you breathe in deeply, these muscles are incredibly important to your everyday function. That’s why pectoral exercises are a necessity when it comes to rounding out your workout routine!
The Structure Of The Pectorals
Your pectoral muscles reach down as low as your sixth rib, and up through your clavicle.
Often referred to as the pecs or simply the chest muscle, the pectorals are the largest muscle in your chest area!
These muscles are responsible for the movement of your arms and shoulders.
A Variety Of Pectoral Exercises Through History
Because of how large the muscle is, pectoral exercises have been a staple in the weightlifting and powerlifting communities for some time now.
With the popularization of weights used in the 19th and 20th centuries, exercises designed to target the pectoral muscles emerged.
Today, pectoral workouts make up a portion of well-rounded weight training routines.
Chest Building Exercises
Some of the most pectoral exercises include:
- The barbell bench press
- The flat bench dumbbell press
- The machine decline press
Set Up For Chest Strengthening Exercises
To get ready for any of these exercises:
- Determine whether you want to use free weights or a cable machine.
- No matter what equipment you’re using, adjust your weights to make sure that they’re at the right level for you.
Engaging The Pectorals
Ready to build a bigger chest? One exercise that you won’t want to miss is the cable fly! To start:
- Grab the handles of your cable machine with each hand. Stand in between the two in a staggered stance, with one foot slightly behind the other.
- Keep your arms outstretched with a slight bend, and lean forward at your hips.
- Slowly move your hands in towards one another, pulling against the resistance of the machine.
- Once you’ve gotten your hands as close as you can, hold them there for a brief count.
- Carefully release, bringing your hands back to their starting outstretched position.
- Repeat steps 3-5 for the desired number of repetitions.
Pectoral Strength Is A Win
Not only will you help build your chest by doing pectoral exercises like the cable fly, but you’ll also help improve your posture.
On top of this, your press strength will significantly improve with pectoral workouts. This can be applied to other upper-body building exercises that you may do.
More Pectoral Work
The cable fly isn’t the only way to get your pectoral workout!
If you don’t have a cable machine, consider using dumbbells to complete the exercise. For this variation, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and hold your dumbbells out to the side with arms outstretched.
As with the cable fly, slowly bring your hands and the dumbbells together, then reverse the movement.
All The Pectoral Possibilities
The really great thing about pectoral work is that it doesn’t just improve one isolated muscle. Sure, the workout is designed to pump your chest, but in performing pectoral exercises, you’re really helping improve your strength, stability, and posture as well!