People who strive hard to get a good built make sure that their chest muscles are toned up and are in shape. The best way to tone those chest muscles is by working out and putting such exercises in your routine that help to develop chest muscles. But here is the point to consider, most of people just work on their upper chest muscles and neglect the lower chest that is also known as pectoral muscles. Pectoral muscles are actually responsible for building good shape to your chest and your body. Strengthening your lower chest improves several movements of the body and also brings balance to midline. Today, we are going to discuss about some exercises to improve your chest muscles.
5 Exercises for Toning Chest Muscles
1. Incline Pushups
Push-ups are a great way to build your chest and put your muscles into function. Push-ups help increase strength in the whole upper body and back. Doing push-ups from an incline position actually helps shape your chest as it increases tension on the lower part of it. You normally need a bench or platform to do this exercise.
To do this exercise, stand in front of a bench. Place your hands shoulder width apart on the bench now. Get into a plant position with your back and legs straight extending to the very end. Now slowly bend your arms as you do in the normal push-ups. Your hands should be close to your chest and then slowly raise your body again. Perform 10-12 reps for this exercise, do just one set in initial phase.
2. Decline dumbbell press
This is just a level up of normal dumbbell press. It can be done through both dumbbells and barbell. Put the bench slightly lower than its flat height towards your chest. This will target your chest at an intense level. It is a great exercise for shaping and toning your chest. It is not very easy and you may need support of someone while doing this exercise for first few times. It shapes your pec muscles and makes them strong.
To do this exercise:
- Decline the bench at 45 degrees.
- Now lie down on it and take dumbbells in your hand. Place the dumbbells such as your palms face inwards.
- Keep the back flat to avoid any jerk, do not take very heavy weights as it can strain your back and triceps.
- Hold the dumbbells shoulder width apart and rotate your wrists. Bend your arms at 90 degree angle from the elbow.
- Now slowly inhale, then while exhaling extend your arms outwards your chest.
- Hold there for 2 seconds and return to initial position. Do 12 reps of this exercise once. Take rest in between if you need to.
3. Cable Crossover
A Cable crossover has to be done with the help of machine. It is helpful in toning up your lower chest and upper chest as well. By changing slight position of your hands you can regulate the part on which you need to put the pressure on. Setting up high pulleys will tone your lower chest and setting lower pulleys will make your upper chest.
For this exercise, attach one handle to each pulley and then keep the desired weight according to your level. Take one handle in each palm which needs to be facing downwards. Stand in the centre of the cable machine and put a little tension on the cables. Take a foot forwards and lean a bit. Extend your arms out to the side with elbows slightly bend. Now bring your hands together in front of your body while exerting pressure, then return to initial position. Do 10 reps of this exercise in a set of two.
4. Parallel-bar dips
This is an advance exercise and tones the chest muscles as well as strengthens the back muscles. Parallel-bar dips activate multiple muscle groups in the chest, arms, shoulder and back. During this exercise make sure you are in the correct position. You need to lean little forward to create an impact on the chest. Bars should also be on the same level; otherwise it can put pressure on your shoulder muscles of one side.
To do this exercise:
- Grip the bars tight and push the body above with help of your arms.
- Now inhale while bending your arms and leaning torso forward.
- Continue lowering your body slowly till you feel the stretch sensation in your chest.
- Hold there for 2 seconds and come back above the bars.
- Repeat this exercise for as many times as possible without overdoing it. Do not overexert pressure on muscles at any point.
5. Decline Dumbbell Bench press with Rotation
This exercise is variation of dumbbell press which makes that exercise more advance. It targets your chest muscles and tones the lower chest to gain a good body shape. Decline dumbbell press is slightly more complex as there are multiple movements involved. Use a slightly lighter weight than usual for this exercise to avoid muscle fatigue.
Lay down on the bench that has been put on decline at 45 degree. Now take one dumbbell in each hand with palms facing inwards. Raise your hands over the chest straight, then slowly bring it down. Keep your palms outwards while bringing it down until the dumbbells are parallel to your body. Not inhale slowly, and press the dumbbells up while rotating your palms outwards to make thumbs face each other. Hold for 2 seconds and then bring it down to the original position. Do this exercise in 3 sets with 8 reps each.
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