How to Get a Wider Chest
Men’s physique is often defined by the strength and width of their chest. It’s undoubtedly one of the first areas noticed by women. The good news is that no matter where you’re starting from, building a stronger, wider chest is a fairly simple process. In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at how to get a wider chest.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at how the chest is made up in order to better understand how we can strengthen and widen it. The chest is made up by two muscles: the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. We have to strengthen each of these muscles equally to build a strong, defined chest.
The Pectoralis Major
The pectoralis major is the thick, large, chunk of muscle located in the upper chest. It fans across the chest and is attached to the skeletal system. The two muscles meet at the clavicular head, which is near the collarbone, and the sternal head, which makes up most of the bulk in the middle and lower portion of the chest.
The two pectoralis major muscles are commonly referred to, as the “pecs.” Together, they create the bulk of the chest. A well-developed pectoralis major is mostly apparent in males, as the breasts of a female cover the muscles.
The Pectoralis Minor
The pectoralis minor, also known as the second pectoral muscle, is located directly underneath the pectoralis major and works in conjunction with the pectoralis major. This means, it’s important that we develop both of these muscles equally.
When the Major and Minor Work Together
The main purpose of the pectoral muscles is to control the movements of the arms. This is done through the shortening of the pectoralis major pulling on the humerus bone later creating lateral, vertical, or rotational motions. Both pectorals also play an important role in deep inhalation as they pull the ribcage in order to create room for the lungs to expand.
Six other sets of muscle fibers have been recognized within the pectoralis major muscle. These six muscles allow portions of the muscle to be moved self-reliantly by the nervous system.
Avoid Injuries to Pectoralis Major
Injuries to the pectoralis major are one of the most common injuries when it comes to weight lifting. Weight lifting exercises that place excessive strain on the shoulders and chest are awesome for muscle growth but greatly increase the risk of injury – especially when athletes lift with poor form. When it comes to the pecs, there are three levels of strains that commonly occur:
• Grade 1 Strains: These include a few torn muscle or tendon fibers. The loss of strength is minimal and the recovery process if fairly quick.
• Grade 2 Strains: These encompass more torn fibers, loss of some strength, and a longer rehabilitation period.
• Grade 3 Strains: Grade 3 pectoralis strains are rare yet, painful and debilitating. They can have long-term effects on an individual’s strength, power, range of motion, and performance. In most cases, the muscles will never be able to fully recover its original strength.
How to Get a Wider Chest
So, now it’s time to get down to business. It’s important that you understand the way the chest is developed and the potential injuries that can occur when you use poor form or lift weight that is too heavy. However, now it’s time to get down to actually building a wider chest.
There are a few major keys in order to achieve a wide chest; they are:
1. Train with a Full Range of Motion
When training, be sure to stretch the pectoral muscles as much as possible when at the bottom of the movement. While some areas of the chest cannot be separated when working out, they can be focused on. Be sure to work at all various inclines ranging from decline to 45 degrees.
2. Multiple Movements First
Multiple movement exercises hit the highest number of muscle fibers as possible. Doing this will always help release the maximum amount of testosterone produced and growth hormones during your exercise. In turn, this will enable your body to build muscle quicker and more efficiently.
3. Include Dumbbell and Barbell Exercises
We previously looked at the barbell squat vs the dumbbell squat. But, the same rings true when it comes to chest exercises. Performing the same exercises with barbells and dumbbells will attack the muscles slightly differently. Thus, it is always best to design a workout routine that includes both barbells and dumbbells to build chest muscle.
However, keep in mind that using dumbbells gives you a chance to isolate the left and right pec muscles by using a dumbbell in each hand. It is impossible to accomplish this with a barbell. Dumbbells also will enable you to get a better and wider range of motion, which forces the chest muscles to work even harder.
4. Use Isolated Movements Toward the End
After you’ve crushed an efficient chest workout with various sets of pressing exercises, the work is just beginning. It’s now time to finish your workout with isolated movements like flies and cable crossovers. These workouts will utilize lighter weights and higher counts of reps, but they will push your gains to new heights and take your workout to the next level.
5. Don’t Forget the Legs or Back
Don’t focus too much on the chest and overlook the other muscle groups. As with all muscle growth, the growth actually occurs during the rest period. Give your chest at least 48 hours between workout sessions. And while you’re resting the chest, use that time to attack your other muscle groups.
Your legs and back are the fundamentals to lifting heavy weights. Leg training on heavy levels supports testosterone and growth hormone release. This will in turn aid in building the bigger chest. Training the back will ensure that that your posture and posterior to anterior strength remain in balance.
Previously, we’ve taken a look at our best tips for build chest muscle quickly. We’ve also looked at how to build chest muscle at home. If you’re looking for the best chest exercises and tips to build chest muscle, please continue to those articles.
When you’re ready to get started and build serious chest muscle, we’ll be here to give you a boost.