Ep. #1075: The Final Information to Decrease Chest Exercises
[00:00:00] Whats up, I’m Mike Matthews and that is Muscle for Life. Thanks for becoming a member of me as we speak to study one thing that’s on the thoughts of many males in gyms in all places. And that’s methods to get a greater chest, a much bigger chest, a stronger chest, a extra proportionate chest, a extra aesthetic chest. And in as we speak’s episode, I’m gonna focus particularly on the quote unquote decrease chest. There’s lots of speak about creating the higher chest. I’ve written about this. I’ve spoken about this. If you happen to wanna study creating the higher portion of your chest particularly, simply head over to legionathletics.com and seek for Higher Chest, and you’ll find stuff that I’ve produced on that.
However in as we speak’s episode, I’m gonna discuss concerning the Decrease portion of the chest, which is one thing that I’ve not particularly written or spoken about. I haven’t recorded an episode like this earlier than, and so I assumed it will be worthwhile as a result of [00:01:00] I get requested extra usually about creating the higher chest, however many individuals, often guys, uh, additionally will ask about creating a greater decrease portion of the chest.
Can that be emphasised in our coaching? Ought to it’s emphasised in our coaching? And if you will emphasize it, how do you go about that successfully? Okay, let’s begin this dialogue by answering the primary query that ought to be answered, which is, is there such a factor because the decrease chest? Properly, to reply that, let’s speak about chest anatomy.
So after we check with the pecs, the PECS main, Muscular tissues, the big fan formed muscle tissues of the chest. We’re referring to muscle tissues which have two important sections. They’ve two heads to make use of the technical time period, the clavicular head or the higher pec, that’s the higher portion of the chest and the sternocostal head, which is the center portion, as [00:02:00] effectively because the decrease portion of this muscle.
And lots of scientists take this additional they usually additionally divide the sternocostal head into two subsections. The manubrium portion, which makes up the majority of the sternocostal head, the center portion, and the stomach portion, which is the small area on the backside. Of the pec and just a bit attention-grabbing anatomical facet.
Analysis reveals that the pecs particularly have lots of variability by way of how they develop, how they appear, how they connect to the skeleton. In actual fact, in response to some analysis, the pecs are six occasions extra probably than some other muscle group to look and to hook up with the skeleton in numerous methods.
And in order that helps clarify why we see lots of variability in Pec improvement, uh, in varied individuals, uh, that we see within the gymnasium and that we see on-line. And that’s additionally one of many the explanation why we will all construct [00:03:00] large and powerful pecs, however we will’t essentially construct the precise kind of pecs that we would need, that we would see, uh, on another person within the gymnasium or on-line.
Their pecs could also be materially completely different than ours by way of construction, and finally that’s going to dictate how these muscle tissues look after they turn out to be effectively developed. And so anyway, the pecs have these distinct parts, this higher portion, this center portion, this. Decrease portion, and that has led many individuals to imagine that we will emphasize these completely different parts with sure kinds of workouts.
For instance, you’ve in all probability heard that if you wish to emphasize the higher portion of your pec, you need to do incline. Urgent otherwise you wanna do reverse script urgent. And if you wish to emphasize every of the parts equally, possibly with a slight emphasis on the center portion, you need to do flat urgent.
And if you wish to maximize decrease chest [00:04:00] improvement, you need to do decline urgent or dips. And there’s truly some reality to this as a result of research present that the incline bench press, for instance, is especially impact. Diviv at coaching the higher portion of the PECS and that the flat bench press is very efficient at coaching your pecs as an entire.
But it surely does have a tendency to emphasise the center portion of the muscle and the first motive for why incline urgent and reverse grip urgent emphasizes the higher portion of the pex. And why flat urgent emphasizes the. The center portion, uh, extra so than the higher or the decrease, has to do with the anatomy of those completely different muscle heads and the angles during which they hook up with the skeleton.
And I, I don’t must get into the small print right here, however suffice it to say that resulting from anatomical variations, significant variations between these completely different muscle heads, they [00:05:00] could be. Focused, they are often emphasised with sure workouts. Now, what concerning the decrease portion of the chest of the Pex, which is the main target of as we speak’s episode?
Properly, let’s discuss concerning the decline bench press, which many individuals say is improbable for creating, for concentrating on. The bottom portion of the chest, however analysis reveals that that’s in all probability not the case. For instance, in a single research that was performed by researchers on the College of Queensland, they discovered that the flat and the decline bench press have been equally efficient at coaching the Sternocostal head of the Pex, together with.
The stomach, the bottom portion. There’s one other research that was printed within the European Journal of Sports activities Science that discovered that the decline bench press isn’t any more practical at activating that lowest portion of the Sternocostal head of the PEX than the flat bench press. And research like these have led many individuals within the evidence-based health [00:06:00] area to say that, attempting to emphasise the decrease portion.
Of your Pex is generally a idiot’s errand that you need to simply follow the flat bench press as a substitute of the decline bench press due to a higher vary of movement and simply higher throughout efficacy, and that you simply must also work in some incline, bench urgent, possibly some reverse grip bench urgent.
To emphasise the higher portion of the PS, and that has been validated in scientific analysis that does work, and that is also helpful as a result of the higher portion of your PEX can lag behind the center and the decrease, however primarily the center, the. Largest portion of your PEX in improvement. If you happen to don’t embody some workouts that focus on the higher portion, order that activate the higher portion of your PEX greater than only a conventional flat press or a decline press, in case you’re doing that or a dip or any variation of.
Urgent Actually, that [00:07:00] doesn’t put you in an incline place or doesn’t contain that reverse grip. And I had that downside years in the past as a result of for a few years I did lots of flat urgent, principally no incline urgent in any way, no incline, barbell urgent, no incline dumbbell urgent. Simply lots of flat and lots of variations of, of flat presses.
And that did produce a good quantity of. Development. My chest bought large, nevertheless it had a. Backside heavy look, it didn’t look proportional. While you checked out it from high to backside. The, the center was fairly pronounced, the underside was fairly pronounced, however that higher portion was considerably much less developed and it, it regarded a bit bit odd.
If you happen to actually checked out it, possibly you wouldn’t discover it instantly. You’d simply assume, oh, that dude has an enormous chest. However in case you inspected my pecs, You’d see that the higher portion was fairly flat, fairly underdeveloped, and then you definitely simply had this [00:08:00] large bulbous center portion and decrease portion. I imply, I’m exaggerating a bit bit, however that’s not less than how I perceived it.
And I corrected that with lots of incline urgent, some reverse grip as effectively, however largely simply lots of incline urgent. And in my expertise, most women and men have the identical difficulty. In the event that they’ve been coaching for a while they usually’ve been doing lots of flat urgent and they should do a good quantity of incline urgent to steadiness out all of the flat urgent, possibly decline urgent as effectively that they’ve been doing.
However, and this is the reason I’m recording this episode, there are various individuals who have underdeveloped decrease parts of their chest. And so they need to know the easiest way to appropriate that. They’re doing lots of incline urgent, they’re doing lots of flat urgent. Possibly they’re doing reverse grip, urgent in another variations, and it isn’t producing the decrease chest that they need, the look that they need, and they also need to know.
Is that attainable? Properly, the scientific proof doesn’t make [00:09:00] this abundantly clear. There’s not a minimize and dried reply that I’m conscious of in scientific analysis, but when we take a look at what we do know primarily based on the present analysis, I do assume it’s attainable. And this is the reason I discussed earlier. That the completely different segments of your chest, of your pecs work in another way primarily based on what kinds of actions you’re doing.
And significantly that is gonna be actions together with your arms and shoulders. So for instance, in a research that was performed by scientists on the College of Wallen Gong, skilled, weightlifters carried out a sequence of actions in opposition to various ranges of resistance whereas researchers measured. Muscle activation in every phase of their pecs.
And what the researchers discovered is that the decrease segments of the pecs, proper, the stomach portion have been most energetic when the individuals carried out shoulder abduction, which is pulling your arms to your sides. So think about your arms are out. To your sides [00:10:00] parallel with the bottom, and then you definitely carry them to your hips.
That’s shoulder abduction. And the researchers additionally discovered that the decrease portion of the PS have been extremely energetic throughout shoulder extension, which is the place you carry your arms in an arc from out in entrance of you. So in case you straighten your arms and put them out in entrance of you and then you definitely transfer them.
Downward to your sides and even transfer them again behind you. In order that arcing movement is shoulder extension in addition to horizontal shoulder flexion from 30 levels of shoulder flexion. Uh, complicated. I do know. However that’s principally shifting in the identical means as you’ll on the decline. Bench press, in case you can simply think about that movement.
Now, some individuals may symbolize that analysis as definitive proof you could certainly goal the decrease portion of your PECS by merely mimicking these kinds of actions, doing workouts, uh, utilizing resistance, clearly, uh, with these kinds of actions. And that’s not fully unreasonable, however sadly it isn’t that straightforward.
[00:11:00] As a result of that research solely measured muscle activation. And naturally muscle activation is important for muscle progress, however merely demonstrating muscle activation doesn’t essentially imply you will produce muscle progress. There’s extra that’s required to develop a muscle than merely activating it. And likewise we’ve to keep in mind that the research I simply talked about was not a power.
Coaching research. It didn’t take a look at how these completely different workouts skilled the PS and the way a lot muscle progress occurred consequently, it merely checked out muscle activation within the pecs and the way it adjustments primarily based on completely different actions. Now, that mentioned, It’s proof that we might be able to goal the decrease portion of our PEX simply as we will goal the center or the higher portion of our pex.
Theoretically, we should always be capable to do that given what we all know concerning the anatomy of the Pex, and given a few of this analysis on how these completely different segments of [00:12:00] the pecs turn out to be kind of energetic relying on how we’re shifting our arms and the way we’re shifting our shoulders. And so my advice then is that this, in case you really feel just like the decrease portion of your PEX is lagging, it isn’t creating proportionately in comparison with the center portion particularly, possibly even in comparison with the higher portion.
You’ve been doing lots of flat urgent, lots of incline, urgent, possibly another variations that are supposed to emphasize the center or the higher portion of the pecs, and that has. Not been sufficient to get the look that you really want due to this lagging decrease portion, then you definitely actually can incorporate or prioritize sure workouts that theoretically could, possibly even ought to activate the decrease portion of your packs greater than different workouts that you simply may do.
And earlier than I get to the particular workouts, let me simply remark shortly on incorporate, prioritize. So in some circumstances [00:13:00] there are going to be workouts that you’re in all probability going to be doing anyway, just like the flat bench press, barbell or dumbbell. That’s the king of chest workouts. You need to just remember to are progressing and you’re getting sturdy at flat urgent.
As a result of that’s going to provide you lots of chest progress. It’s going to emphasise the center portion of your packs, nevertheless it additionally does practice the decrease and the higher parts, a lot in order that some individuals don’t must do a lot. Else, they only must get sturdy on their flat urgent at first. And so they have a terrific chest.
Possibly that’s not most individuals, however that is perhaps you. In case you are comparatively new to this and also you’re unsure but how your physique and the way every particular person muscle group goes to answer your coaching. And so the flat press might be straightforward to include in your coaching. It’s in all probability already in your coaching.
Uh, Repeatedly some kind of flat press. Now, one thing [00:14:00] like a dip will not be, I see much more individuals doing the barbell bench press and the dumbbell bench press in my gymnasium than I see individuals doing the dip, particularly. The weighted dip. And in order that’s an train that you could be not be presently doing, uh, that you could be need to incorporate in your coaching.
And so far as how to do this, I might suggest not less than three to 6 units per week of an train, or two workouts, possibly even three workouts. In case you are doing, let’s say six units per week and also you need to do two units per train that. Goal, or not less than that theoretically goal the decrease portion of your packs and 6 units goes to be more practical than three.
Three could be a a minimal. And in case you are an skilled weightlifter, you may must do greater than six units. You may must do upward of 9 units per week. Of workouts that hopefully are concentrating on the decrease portion of your PEX to actually see a [00:15:00] distinction over the course of a number of months. In order that’s incorporating.
Now, so far as prioritizing, what I’m referring to is the order during which you do workouts in a exercise, as a result of analysis reveals that you will take advantage of progress within the first, in all probability two workouts, possibly three, however most individuals, it’s the primary. Train or the primary two workouts that you’re doing in your coaching and anyone who has skilled a good quantity is aware of why.
You might have essentially the most vitality focus energy within the first 20 to half-hour of your coaching. That’s the primary one to 2 workouts, assuming you’re doing, let’s say three to 4 units per train, and so you should utilize that to your benefit if you find yourself attempting to. Concentrate on or prioritize sure muscle teams or sure segments of muscle teams on this case.
So let’s say for a while your flat urgent has come within the second or the third slot, uh, or possibly an train like a dip. Uh, was thought-about extra of an adjunct [00:16:00] train if and if you have been doing it and it was your second or third train in a chest exercise or an higher physique exercise, or a push exercise, effectively, if you wish to prioritize the dip since you have been attempting to prioritize the decrease pecs, then you definitely would transfer the dip possibly to the primary place.
You may begin your exercise, you heat up. After which you’re doing, let’s say, weighted dips. In case you are an skilled weightlifter and you’re sturdy, and let’s say you’re doing heavy, possibly 4 to 6 reps per set, possibly six to eight reps per set, relying on how your coaching is programmed, and that will now be your first train as a substitute of the flat bench press, for instance, which is how you’ll usually begin, or the incline bench press, which possibly is the way you have been beginning your.
Chest coaching beforehand, and simply these two factors alone could make an enormous distinction within the improvement of your most popular muscle group or muscle teams, ensuring that you’re doing sufficient onerous units per week of [00:17:00] workouts. Which can be emphasizing the muscle group or the phase of the muscle group that you simply need to deal with essentially the most, and ensuring you’re prioritizing these workouts in your exercises.
Very efficient technique for specialization coaching, because it’s usually referred to as the place you’re specializing in specializing in creating often one or two particular. Key muscle teams. Okay, let’s get to the workouts. First on the listing needs to be the flat barbell bench press, or flat dumbbell bench press. These are principally interchangeable.
Uh, the flat press is the king of chest workouts. It truly is only a foundational train. It trains your higher portion of your chest, your center portion, your decrease portion, and it means that you can deal with heavy. Weights successfully, try to be doing a little kind of flat urgent, not essentially at all times.
Once more, it will depend on the place you’re at, the place you’ve been, the place you’re attempting to go, nevertheless it ought to be a [00:18:00] common function in your higher physique coaching. Subsequent within the listing is the dip, which is a superb train, I believe a extremely underrated train for coaching your higher physique, pushing muscle tissues, your pecs, your shoulders, your.
Triceps. And if you’re doing it, if you wish to emphasize the decrease packs, lean barely ahead. Don’t be straight up and down. The upright dip is a good train, however that’s going to shift among the emphasis to your triceps. However you probably have a slight ahead, Lean. That ought to shift the emphasis to the decrease portion of your PEX for anatomical causes I shared earlier.
Subsequent up, we’ve the decline bench press. Now, I do know I discussed that there are a few research that point out that this train isn’t any more practical for activating the decrease portion of the pex, however given among the different analysis, significantly on how the PS work and the way every phase of the PEX works, I’m not [00:19:00] solely.
Satisfied. Uh, I perceive that the burden of the proof doesn’t look good, however there may be not that a lot analysis to go on and mechanically talking, it truly would make sense if the decline bench press. Emphasised the decrease portion of the pecs, not less than extra so than the flat bench press and the uh, incline bench press.
And what we do know concerning the decline bench press is that if nothing else, it’s an efficient chest train. Possibly it’s no higher than the flat bench press or the incline bench press, however you aren’t going to be impairing your chest improvement by doing a little decline, bench urgent. And so I do assume it’s value attempting if you wish to emphasize the decrease portion of your pecs and simply.
See how your PS reply. How does it really feel, particularly within the decrease portion of your Ps? Like for me, for instance, I very a lot really feel the emphasis on the decrease portion of my PS after I do a dip, and [00:20:00] I really feel it to a level on the decline bench press, however I really feel it. Extra within the dip. So I choose the dip over the decline bench press, however I’ve heard the alternative from different individuals, and that’s in all probability, once more, resulting from lots of the variability within the construction of the ps.
Now, after I say decline, bench press, after all, I imply barbell and dumbbell. These are each nice workouts. One isn’t essentially higher than the opposite. The subsequent train is the dumbbell, pullover and train that I really feel like has fallen out of recognition. I don’t see many individuals doing this train anymore, not less than not as many individuals because it did 10, 15 plus years in the past.
However that is an train that trains shoulder flexion, which implies that it might be significantly effectively suited to coaching the decrease portion of the pex, and it additionally trains your PEX in a stretched place, which is mostly useful for muscle progress. Subsequent up we’ve a cable [00:21:00] pullover, which is only a cable variation of the dumbbell pullover.
Some individuals discover it extra snug, uh, it trains the higher physique very equally, trains the pex very equally. It very effectively could emphasize that decrease portion of your pex and one distinctive profit. As a result of it’s a cable train, it retains fixed pressure in your. pecs all through every rep, which is nice for constructing muscle due to course mechanical pressure is the first mechanical driver of muscle progress.
The first driver not associated to hormones and different chemical substances within the physique. And so after we can hold fixed pressure on the goal muscle group all through each rep of each set, that may be more practical. There are another components to contemplate, but when we simply remoted that one issue that’s best, uh, in comparison with.
Possibly an train that produces excessive ranges of pressure on the goal. Muscle group throughout, let’s say a portion of every rep, however [00:22:00] then it produces a lot decrease ranges of pressure throughout different parts. So a easy instance of this can be a biceps curl, proper? So if you’re on the backside and you’re attending to concerning the midpoint, possibly a bit bit larger than the midpoint.
Excessive ranges of pressure, proper? That’s when the train is tough, however then if you find yourself going from midpoint or a bit bit above the midpoint to the highest, the utmost contraction of your biceps, that may be a lot simpler, proper? That’s the simplest portion. When you get by way of, actually it’s the primary half the motion, you will full the rep.
And so then what we’ve with many workouts that contain biceps curling is a scenario the place, Excessive ranges of pressure are produced, that’s nice. After which decrease ranges of pressure are produced, which isn’t unhealthy, however it will be higher if it have been simply excessive ranges of pressure all through the whole thing of each rep.
[00:23:00] And with biceps curling, you possibly can really feel this distinction in case you do what’s referred to as a cable drag curl. If you happen to look that up and see how that feels. In comparison with, let’s say, only a conventional dumbbell biceps curl or barbell biceps curl, and that’s very straightforward to perform with a cable, much less so with free weights. It may be finished like within the case of an incline dumbbell curl.
That’s one of many the explanation why that train is considerably more durable than let’s say, a standing dumbbell biceps curl. However anyway. Getting again to the cable pullover, we’ve a, an identical impact right here the place you’re getting fixed pressure all through each rep of each set. And let’s transfer on to the following train, which is a excessive to low cable fly.
Uh, that is additionally sometimes called the decrease chest cable fly as a result of it trains shoulder abduction. Bear in mind bringing these arms in towards the [00:24:00] center a part of our. Physique or down towards the center a part of our physique. And which means that you could be, I might say, in all probability are emphasizing the decrease portion of the pecs extra so than flies which can be carried out with the handles about on the center of your torso or at your toes.
And one different tip right here is to maximise decrease pec involvement, you need to carry your fingers collectively and even barely previous one another. So crossing on the backside. Of every wrap about six to eight inches in entrance of your thighs as a substitute of bringing your fingers to the entrance of your torso or the, or the entrance of your chest, which is what most individuals, not less than I see within the gymnasium, uh, doing excessive to low flies do.
So as a substitute, you need to get. Low, six to eight inches in entrance of your thighs, fingers collectively, or fingers even crossing. Okay. The ultimate train is the decline dumbbell fly, which is just a dumbbell fly finished on a decline bench, and that is [00:25:00] additionally probably good for emphasizing the decrease portion of the chest. And likewise dumbbell flies are nice as a result of they practice your pecs with lots of stretch, so, When the pecs are absolutely stretched, they’re beneath load, and analysis reveals that that may be significantly good for exciting muscle progress.
All proper, in order that’s it for the workouts so far as placing them collectively right into a exercise. Uh, I did converse to that not less than briefly a bit bit earlier, however simply to verify it’s clear, a quite simple means of going about this. Let’s say that is gonna be a, a push exercise or a chest exercise. You can begin with a staple, a flat bench press of some form, barbell dumbbell, and you can do.
Three, 4 units, heavy weight, 4 to 6 reps per set, possibly six to eight reps per set. Then you can transfer to an train that emphasizes the decrease portion of the pecs, however can also be only a nice throughout, uh, pec train, like a dip, for instance. Add weight in case you are sturdy. I might say if you are able to do greater than [00:26:00] possibly eight to 10 reps, add some weight, carry that down into the six to eight, possibly even the 4 to 6 rep vary.
Then you possibly can transfer on to one thing that’s a bit extra of an isolation train. It’s not as tough because the heavy compound actions like a dumbbell pullover. Possibly you do three or 4 units there, six to eight reps per set, and you can end with some excessive to low cable flies. Uh, three to 4 units, possibly eight to 10 or six to eight reps there, and that will be a extremely efficient chest exercise or push exercise that.
Focuses on coaching the center and the decrease portion of your pecs.