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Posted in: Articles by ProSource, Featured Content, Training Articles, Muscle Mechanics
By Eric Velazquez, NSCA-CPT | Jun 13, 2012

ELEVATED CHEST image Grow your upper pecs by mixing in an
occasional top-heavy chest routine

Attention, lifelong bench pressers: You aren't doing yourself any favors by starting every routine at the flat bench. In fact, if you compare your southern-heavy chest with the chests of the men you aspire to look like, the most telling difference will likely be in the upper pecs. Most professional bodybuilders realize this sooner than later, almost always through judges' feedback. You just didn't have the upper chest mass, kid.

You may not be stagebound with sequined posing trunks, but you can definitely benefit from elevating your training priorities to attack this oft-undertrained area. Try this assortment of tips to bring your pecs into balance.

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Since the dawn of time, gym rats have preferred to start off chest day with a flat-bench barbell press. This staple mass-builder is great for building overall chest mass but once you work up to appreciable levels of size and strength, it's time to go with the incline. Starting your routine with the incline press - using dumbbells or a barbell, ideally - will help you dig into those upper chest fibers when you are fresh. Now, those 4-5 sets of 8-10 muscle-building reps will be dedicated to this overlooked area.

Since you are no doubt a fan of isolation moves such as the pec deck and cable crossover, why not apply that type of laser-like focus to your upper pecs? Moves such as the low-pulley cable crossover and incline dumbbell flye provide a welcome change from your love of flat-bench exercises and could be just the stimulus your chest needs to start growing upstairs.

The push-up is a great move for targeting the pecs, as well as the front delts and triceps. If you simply elevate your feet, you mimic the angle of an incline press. (Note: This will be called the decline push-up since your feet are elevated and your torso is at a decline). And since you can handle your bodyweight for more reps, doing this as a finisher helps you exhaust whatever you have left in the tank with your upper pecs.

Try this routine every other week, or simply include these moves in your existing routine, to start building a chest with good development from north to south.

Exercise Sets/Reps
Incline Dumbbell Press
Smith-Machine Incline Press 4/10-12
Incline Dumbbell Flye
Low-Pulley Cable Crossover
Decline Push-Up
2/To Failure

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Disclaimer: The articles featured herein are for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Specific medical advice should only be obtained from a licensed health care professional. No liability is assumed by ProSource for any information herein.

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