November 28, 2011
This article is Part 3 of 7 of the new “Getting A Better Body” series that I'm writing for the upcoming launch of Tri-Ripped, which you can read more about by clicking here (which will also give you access to the other 6 articles in this series)
Whether you’re a guy or a girl, a better chest is something that can help you look fabulous in a swimsuit, triathlon suit, jeans and a t-shirt or a business suit.
But getting a better chest goes far beyond simply looking good or having nice pecs.
This is because the chest muscles are responsible for flexing your upper arm bone (as you’d do when swimming), moving the arm inwards (as you’d do when holding bike handlebars) rotating the arm bone towards the body (as you’d do when running), and breathing deeply (as you’d do during any intense physical exertion).
Because of those actions, getting a better chest is crucial to both aesthetics and performance – whether you’re a power lifter, weight lifter, recreational exerciser or endurance athlete.
So here are three ways to take your pecs to the next level and get a better chest:
1) Press From All Angles.
Don’t just bench-press or do push-ups. Instead, include exercises on a decline or incline bench, or with your feet or hands elevated to work all angles of your chest. On a weekly basis, you should include incline, decline, and flat chest pressing or push-ups so that you attack your chest muscles from all angles. For variety, do exercises like decline pushups, incline bench press, and dumbbell chest press. You can even incorporate explosive angled chest exercises such as medicine ball chest throws (shown below):
Flies help develop the inner pec muscles that presses have a hard time targeting, and there are many variations of the fly that you can use, including machine chest flies, decline dumbbell flies, flat dumbbell flies, seated cable flies, and standing cable flies. When you do flies, don’t go outside your comfortable range of motion, as it can be easy to hurt your shoulders if you don’t do flies properly. A standing cable chest press (shown below) can also help develop the inner chest muscles.
3) Work Your Postural Muscles.
Slouched shoulders can make your chest look droopy, so when you’re working your chest, you also need to include shoulder posture exercises like seated rows, single arm cable or dumbbell rows, pull-downs and pull-ups. When you’re at your computer, reading a book, or sitting in a car, bus or airplane, always make sure you’re not letting your neck or shoulders roll forward, as this can lead to a sagging chest. Notice in the video below how I keep my shoulders squeezed back as I perform seated rows:
It's that simple! Press from all angles, do flies, and work your postural muscles, and you'll be able to watch your body transform and get a better chest that looks and performs like an Olympic athlete.
But no discussion of how to get a better chest would be complete without addressing “man boobs”, which are medically referred to as gynecomastia – or abnormally large mammary glands. This condition is not physically harmful, but can be embarrassing and an indicator of more serious underlying hormonal conditions.
If you’re a guy, and you find that no matter how much you work your chest, you can’t get rid of the extra fat tissue on the chest, you should:
1) See an endocrinologist or a naturopathic physician. Sex hormone imbalances and a reaction to pharmaceutical drugs are commons causes of man boobs. Also, check out the transcript for Podcast Episode #152, in which I talk about gynecomastia.
2) Wear compression garments. Compression sports-wear, such as supportive t-shirts, can help with both appearance and comfort as you work on getting rid of man boobs.
3) Watch your diet. Some folks simply store more fat in certain areas – and any caloric excess is going to go straight to your trouble spot, especially if that’s mammary tissue! For getting rid of man boobs, pay special attention to limiting alcohol, sugars, and processed fats such as baked goods and vegetable oils.
If you want to learn more about how to swim, bike and run lightning fast, but also have a nice body, (and get access to the other 6 articles in this series) then check out the video below, or head over to http://www.Tri-Ripped.com for a brand new approach to training for the ultimate triathlon body.