By UK Personal Trainer
Jamie Wykes Hobday
The upper chest is typically one of the toughest areas of the upper body to develop.
There are various reasons for this, and like most things, there are ways to work around it.
Here are five reasons why your upper chest is lagging in comparison to the rest of the chest region.
#1 Always Starting With a Flat Bench Press Movement
If you start every workout with a flat bench press; then the majority of your energy will be put into the flat chest.
This could be the same if you started with an incline movement; more energy will be put into it – therefore it may benefit your training to mix up chest exercises each week in order to spread the focus amongst different angles of the chest.
#2 Not Prioritising
The upper chest may ignored completely if workouts are focused on middle and lower chest movements such as bench press, crossovers, dips etc.
This is especially prominent if the incline is left until the end, where energy levels will be low.
#3 Not Changing The Stimulus
Not changing the stimulus and avoiding going past failure is what can set your upper chest behind the rest of your body.
Adding overload methods to take your body part past the point of failure will breakdown larger numbers of muscle fibres (therefore stimulate excessive muscle growth) as oppose to simply stopping at the point of failure.
To prevent this, try the following overload methods;
✓ Partner assisted reps
#4 Lack of Variation
The incline area can be targeted in a whole host of movements applying barbells, dumbbells, cables, smith machines and general resistance machines.
✓ In order to prevent plateauing or just getting bored with your program, try to switch up the training equipment used in each session.
#5 Failure to Split Chest Workouts
We are always ‘inclined’ to split our leg session into 2 sessions (Quads/Calves and Hamstrings/Glutes), so what makes our chest any different?
They are both large muscle groups and for this reason, splitting up the sessions can be applied.
Try applying one chest session per week designated to upper chest and then assign the other session to lower/middle chest.
Take Home Message
If your upper chest is lacking a bit of shape and volume, consider some of the above points and mix up your training routine!
Record any improvements to see what works best for you.