Pectoral exercises: how to train them in the gym?

Pectoral exercises: how to train them in the gym?

We analyze the chest exercises in such a way that the correct technique can always guide us in our executions in the gym.

The pectoralis major is a muscle composed of three distinct portions: a portion called the clavicular, a sternal-costal and an abdominal. It originates from the costal cartilages 2-6, from the body of the sternum, and from the medial and lower portion of the clavicle. It fits on the humerus. This muscle, together with the latissimus dorsi, turns out to be the largest intra-rotator of the humerus of our body. The other functions of the pectoralis major are flexion and adduction of the humerus to the shoulder-humeral joint. We analyze the chest exercises in such a way that the correct boldenone undecylenate 300 can always guide us in our work.

Flat or inclined bench presses with a barbell

The most activated muscles are the pectoralis major, the brachial triceps and the anterior deltoid. I start from this exercise because everyone wants to do it but nobody (or almost) is able to do it correctly.

The first thing to do when approaching a flat barbell bench is to focus attention on the structure of our body. Often in the gym, we see people performing this chest exercise with their legs raised, crossed, with their back «curved», with their back flat, with their shoulders forward; let us now try to clarify and decipher the correct positioning to be maintained throughout the exercise.

Meanwhile, we can immediately say that the main danger of this movement is not the back, but the shoulders. 
«Isn’t your back?». No, the back in the supine position is unloading, as the weight falls on the shoulder-humeral girdle.

To avoid injuries it is necessary to learn to move one’s shoulder blades and increase the level of proprioception. The shoulder blades must perform these movements: depression, adduction, cranial rotation, and posterior tilt. Put simply, you have to drop your shoulders, send them back and keep them in this position.

Then place your hands on the barbell with a grip in which your thumb wraps around the tool. It will help you support the barbell and not risk dropping it. The width of the grip must be wide, at least like the shoulders, but also greater. The important thing is that the elbows always remain under the wrists and the forearms are perpendicular to the floor.

The execution of this chest exercise begins with the barbell above the neck with the arms fully extended and runs along an imaginary line that reaches up to the nipples, then the tool must come into contact with the chest, without resting. 
Feet well resting on the ground in order to have stability and a seat that never detaches from the bench to avoid compensation. As for the exercises for high pectoral muscles, in the variant with inclined bench, the objective is to recall a greater activation of the clavicular portion of the breastplate. Scientific studies show that tilting the bench below 45 degrees does not cause greater activation of the «high chest», above 45 degrees the clavicular portion is activated more. Unlike what one might think, it is not so much the inclination of the bench to influence the activation of the high chest but the width of the grip: the more you tighten the grip the more you work the upper part of the chest.

Chest press

In this pectoral exercise, the muscles most involved are the pectoralis majortriceps brachialis and anterior deltoid. The Chest Press provides an execution similar to that of the Panca Piana with adducted and depressed shoulder blades, elbows lower than the shoulders, straight wrists and forearms perpendicular to the wall, physiological lumbar curve.

Once we have ascertained the structure to maintain during all the repetitions, we can explain the adjustment of the seat. The knobs should be placed approximately at the height of the nipples and not at the shoulders or at the top of the abdomen.

 Execution of the chest press

This positioning allows maintaining the correct position during the exercise. The Chest Press has two possible sockets: one prone and one neutral. Using the prone grip we recall the Panca Piana exercise by stimulating the sternocostal portion of the pectoralis major.

Taking advantage of the neutral grip, the elbows move closer to the body, and the movement changes from being a sagittal/horizontal to a pure sagittal hybrid with a greater activation of the clavicular portion of the breastplate as previously analyzed.


Dumbbell crosses or cable crosses

The muscles most involved in crosses with dumbbells or crosses to the cables are the pectoralis major, the pectoralis major, the triceps and the anterior deltoid. In both exercises, the starting position provides for the abduction of the humerus of about 60 degrees in partial rotation and slightly elbowed elbows (20-30 degrees).

The concentric phase ends when the elbows are fully extended above the chest. For hypertrophic purposes, it is convenient to stretch the elbows at the end of the repetition so that there is a complete muscle shortening. In the execution of high standing cables, the most activated portion of the pectoralis the sternum-rib and with regard to the correct position to be assumed, it is advisable to move forward with respect to the line of the cables to allow correct muscle stretching. In the standing exercise on the lower cables, the clavicular portion of the pectoralis major is activated. The cables, unlike the weights, allow maintaining more a direct voltage.


Pectoral Machine

In the pectoral machine, the muscles that are most activated are the pectoralis major, the anterior deltoid and the coracobrachialis. It is a machine and as such it does not bring all the benefits in terms of developing coordination skills, body pattern, joint stability, proprioception, which instead the exercises performed with free weights bring. However, it remains a complementary exercise useful for the activation of the bibs in the context of hypertrophy.

In the execution of the Pectoral Machine, it is not recommended, especially in subjects with shoulder pain, to rest the elbows on the bearings (as in the image above). Better to stretch the arms, adduct the shoulder blades, hold the bearings with the hands with the humerus abducted at 60 degrees in order not to lose the correct scapular position.

In this way, the exercise will resemble the crosses to the cables but your shoulders will certainly benefit from it. In addition, in the classic exercise, the movement is performed completely in shoulder rotation. The action of the pectoralis major is to rotate the humerus, consequently, it seems a contradiction to adduce the arm keeping the humerus in extra rotation.

Pectoral exercises with free body

Now let’s look at two years for free-style chest, the dip parallel and pushups, the push-up.

In the Dip at the parallel bars, the most affected muscles are the pectoralis major, triceps brachialis, anterior deltoid, and pectoralis minor. «It is a multi-joint exercise in which the shoulder and elbow perform a flexion and an extension movement respectively.» [1]

Obviously, this exercise is also to be carried out in the correct scapular position during the whole arc of movement to safeguard the shoulder joint. It is not advisable to go too low, it is sufficient that the humerus is parallel to the ground to make the exercise effective.

The more the torso is tilted forward, the greater the activation of the pectoralis major. The longer the torso remains straight, the more the work is localized on the triceps. It is also important to activate the entire core district in advance in order to have effective stabilization.

It is advisable to use this exercise with caution, in trained, strong subjects with good joint mobility, only in certain training periods.

In Pushups, the push-up, the more involved muscles are pectoralis major, triceps brachial, anterior deltoid and serratus anterior. We assume that they are not called «pushups» as they are such when there is no point of support for the affected limb.

Secondly, we can say that this turns out to be an excellent exercise for both the pectorals and the triceps. Some authors say that keeping your elbows wide during the descent can cause problems in the elbow joints in the long run.

What we know for sure is that the more we tighten the grip the more we activate the upper portion of the breastplate. The important thing is that from the beginning to the end of the movement there is a correct scapular structure, that the abdominals, the buttocks, the twins and all the other muscles that you manage to contract are contracted.

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