One of the most neglected areas for recreational weight lifters is the upper pec region. I believe that this is due to an overuse of the flat and decline bench press. Lifters tends to gravitate towards these variations because they allow the trainee to lift the most weight. Unfortunately, the flat and decline bench press also shift most of the stress to your triceps and lower pecs.
To correct this, and to prevent droopy-looking pecs, it is important to include some exercises for the upper pecs in your chest muscle building program. Below are my top three picks for upper chest exercises:
1. Smith Machine Low-Incline BB Paused Bench
Set-up an adjustable bench at a 15-30 degree angle. Take a wide grip on the bar and lower it until it touches your upper chest. Pause just above your chest for three seconds and then drive the weight up. The pause kills your stretch reflex and forces your pecs to do more work.
2. Incline BB Bench Press
This classic is still one of my favorites for a chest muscle building program. The angle of the bench should be 30-45 degrees. Use a wide grip and lower to the upper chest and press back over the face.
3. High Incline DB Overhead Press
Set-up an adjustable bench at 70-80 degrees. Make sure to keep your head against the bench throughout the movement. Lower the dumbbells as far as possible on every rep to get a good stretch and activate the upper pecs.
If you find yourself suffering from droopy-pecs, use one or more of these exercises to add mass to your upper chest. In fact, I suggest dropping flat and decline presses in favor of these variations for an entire training cycle.
Remember that building muscle and strength is a coordinated effort of an all-around training, nutrition, and supplementation program.
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