The Best Exercises For The Top Of The Chest

When it comes to building mass on your chest, it’s easy to end up with an over-developed lower chest while the upper area lags behind. The lower section of the chest is thicker and generally more responsive to growth, meaning you can quite easily end up with a much bigger lower chest and the much-maligned ‘moobs’ look that goes with it.

The ideal chest should be essentially a vertical drop rather than a slope, and to achieve this you’ll need to spend some time working the upper chest. Much of the work needs to be done on an incline bench, and will largely involve isolation rather than compound lifts.

One of the best exercises for the top of the chest is incline dumbbell fly’s, which help to isolate the upper chest without too much involvement from the anterior deltoid. Alongside this exercise, there are a number of movements incorporating the bench, barbell, dumbbells cables and machines which will help you sculpt the chest you’ve always wanted.

Incline Dumbbell Fly’s

  1. Set up your bench at a 45-degree angle and hold a dumbbell in each hand, feet firmly on the floor
  2. Hold the dumbbells above our chest with your arms fully extended and your palms facing each other
  3. Lower the dumbbells towards the floor in an arc, maintaining a slight bend in the arms
  4. Return to the starting position in a controlled manner

 

Incline Cable Fly’s

  1. Set up your bench at a 45-degree angle between two cable towers.
  2. With your palms facing up, grab a handle in each hand
  3. Squeeze your chest and pull the cables upwards in an arc, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows, until your hands meet above your chest
  4. Pause briefly before lowering your hands in a controlled manner

 

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

  1. Set up your bench at a 45-degree angle and hold a dumbbell in each hand, feet firmly on the floor
  2. Start with a dumbbell in each hand, at shoulder height, with your arms wide and elbows pointing towards the floor.
  3. With our palms facing each other, raise the dumbbells together above your chest until they are almost touching
  4. Slowly return to the starting position

 

Incline Bench Press

  1. Set up on an incline bench set at a 45-degree angle
  2. Hold the bar just outside shoulder width, with your feet shoulder-width apart
  3. Lift the bar off the rack and position it directly above your chest with your arms straight
  4. Lower the bar in a controlled manner until it just touches your chest
  5. Push the bar back up to the starting position until your arms are fully extended
  6. Repeat for the target reps

 

Incline Chest Press

  1. Set up the incline press machine so that the handles are near the top of your chest
  2. Push the handles out until your arms are fully extended (without locking your arms)
  3. Pause briefly before lowering the handles to the starting position in a controlled manner

 

Dumbbell Bent Arm Pullover

  1. Set up on a flat bench with our head hanging slightly over the edge
  2. Take a dumbbell with both hands and raise the weight above your chest
  3. Slowly lower the dumbbell in an arc over your head and towards the floor, keeping your elbows in
  4. Pull the weight back up to the starting position above your chest

 


  • Updated July 15, 2020
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