Muscle Anatomy – Chest Part One

Muscle Anatomy – Chest Part One

– Hey, what’s up, guys? I’m Rob Riches, filming again for here at Global Fitness, and on today’s video, we’re gonna take a really deep look at the chest, in particular, the muscles that make up the region of the chest, the function of the chest, and also a few exercises
that will allow you to really focus on the areas
of the chest that you want. (banging) (rock music) Let’s start off with having
a look at the actual muscles that make up the chest. And believe it or not,
there’s four in total. I think we’re all familiar with the large fan shaped muscle
here of the pectoralis major. And to start things off,
there’s two areas of the chest based on the insertion and
the origin points on the body. If we consider the upper
region of the chest, this is still the pectoralis major, but you can see here,
if I move the label out, that the upper region attaches
to the clavicle bone here, down just kind of a little
bit higher than the midpoint on the upper arm bone, the humerus. So the upper portion of the chest here is slightly different from the main width, the main mass of the chest,
as well as the lower region, which is called the sternal head. And the reason for that is all about how and where that muscle
attaches on the bone. If we look at the top
portion of the chest, in fact, if I move this
diagram out of the way, we’ll place it just there, think of the chest as two
large muscles, if you like, the upper region of the
chest and that midsection. We can see here the upper
attaches to the clavicle. The midsection attaches more to the central
chest bone, the sternum. Knowing where the upper
region of the chest attaches and that main midsection of the chest is really important to know, especially when we start to look at some of the exercises later on and how they target and work
particular areas of the chest. But more on that later. Let’s carry on for now, looking at the muscles
that make up the chest. You might just see two more here, the pectoralis minor and
the serratus anterior. There’s actually one more hidden away just here, subclavius. It’s a cylindrical type muscle that’s attached really to the upper rib and also to that clavicle area. That really just helps us adduct and bring the arm in across the body. The two muscles that we’re really focusing
on when we weight train are the large pectoralis major and also the serratus anterior. The minor muscle, the smaller muscle of the chest that sits under that large one, really just assists with
keeping the arm down at the side and also when we do exercises like flies. But as far as developing both mass and real strength and power, it’s this large, fan-shaped
muscle, the pectoralis major, that we need to keep in mind. But now that we’ve taken a lot of the muscles out of the way, we can really just see
that top chest muscle, the pectoralis major, attaches
to the bone structure. Like I said, the upper
portion of the chest, the clavicle down to the arm bone, and then that mid, big
section of the chest, the one that we really hit
with a lot of the exercises, is attached mainly to the sternum. This really comes into play when we consider the big movements, such as the press and also dumbbell flies as to how to really work
particular areas of the chest. But before we get to that, let’s consider the main
function of the chest. And really, this is to
close the arms in like this, kinda like a big bear hug. So looking at dumbbell flies
or cable flies later on, really work the chest
as it’s designed to do. The big press movement, yes, whilst it works mostly
the pectoralis major, you also bring into play some of the front deltoid and the triceps, as well as the back. So a note on back training, as well. Just because of the placement and the attachment of the chest muscles, you really do need to work the back to develop a strong
chest as well as a back. Both go hand in hand. You can’t have a great
chest without a great back. We’ll look at some of the exercises that can be performed later on to really enable you to do this, especially when you start
combining exercises, such as dumbbell flies with chin ups. Speaking of stretchers, just because of the
attachment and insertion around the humerus, that
bone there for the arm, a lot of the chest gets worked when we’re opening out the arms. So it makes sense when
performing exercises such as your bench
press, dumbbell presses, and especially dumbbell or cable flies is to allow a full range of motion. Basically, you wanna go as far as you can to stretch and open out that chest, which enables a larger range of motion, enabling you to focus
on that deep contraction at the top of each rep. Speaking of the function of the chest, there’s really three key movements that the chest assists in. And that is raising of the arm, like so. You have adduction, like
flapping the wings of a bird. And then also rotation of the humerus. Think about an arm wrestler, too, when you’re doing this movement. Basically, we want to incorporate all three of those movements
throughout our chest workout to ensure that we’re fully working an overall development
of the chest muscle. Now, let’s think of this for a second. If we put that large pectoralis
major back onto our body, we can break this into four quadrants. You think of it as the
upper portion of the chest, the lower region of the chest, as well as the outer
and the inner section. And there’s a number of different exercises
and training techniques that will enable you
to focus on each area. Now, let me start off with this. We all have slightly different bodies. This si due to genetics,
as well as how we train, so take a very real look at your physique, because if you’re
following someone online, they may be focusing more
on weak point training, whereas if you’re just starting out, your goal really should be
to focus on the big basics, building mass, strength, and power before you start to think more about conditioning and detail. You’re not just working
one particular muscle. Take the bench press, for example, the king of all upper body exercises. You’re working all of the muscles that we’ve spoken about today, but, because of the angle at
which you’re performing that, it’s pretty much sectioned
across the main portion here. You’re not bringing too much
into play the upper region, unless you start to increase
the incline of the bench. So with that being said,
let’s have a look at exercises for the upper
region of the chest first, and for this you can’t go
wrong with the incline, whether it’s performed with
either a barbell or dumbbells, which actually allow for
a longer range of motion. I would suggest starting
off on barbell presses. You can do this on a fixed incline, or, like I show in this section, you can actually use an incline bench, lift the weight up yourself, get into position, and then perform that. By doing this, you are enabling a lot more of the synergistic muscles, so muscles like the pectoralis minor and also that serratus anterior, and it allows you to really focus on strength and power with that. But that’s more of an advanced technique. For now, stick with your
inclined barbell presses, and if you really want to focus more on that inner area of the chest here, try a more narrower grip. Instead of taking a slightly
wider than shoulder hand grip, take it about shoulder width grip, still with an overhand
grip, thumbs locked around. Therefore, as you lower the
bar down with a tighter grip, as you push up, your chest is
already somewhat compacted. You can focus even more
on that contraction and the squeeze up at the top. What about the lower section of the chest? Well, we’ve considered incline. How about decline? Well, let me offer an
alternative to decline. You see, when performing a decline press, you’re putting a lot of unnecessary stress on the upper region of
your front shoulder. In fact, when any press movement occurs, you’re also engaging your front anterior
deltoid and your triceps. There’s a couple of ways that we can lessen their involvement to focus more on the chest. This really comes down
to three quarter reps. Take your flat bench or
even an incline press and think about performing that movement with only three quarters of
that full range of motion. Therefore, you’re not fully
bringing into your triceps and your anterior deltoid
at the top of that movement so you can focus more on
just training the chest and exhaust that without relying on the anterior deltoid and the tricep. That lower region of the chest, a great alternative exercise
to pressing on a decline bench is actually performing parallel bar dips, which yeah, typically, is
aimed towards the triceps, but by tilting forwards at the waist, you bring in a lot of those more inferior muscles of the chest, more deeper on the surface, and also those under pectoralis minor, especially with how deep you can go compared to that of a decline press. So just to summarise,
upper portion of the chest, get those incline barbell
presses and dumbbell presses in. For the lower region, yes, you can do a decline
press with barbell or dumbbell, but don’t forget about
the parallel bar dip, leaning forwards at the waist. You can also add some weight on, either between the knees with a dumbbell or with a weight belt, adding
additional poundages on. So that’s the upper and the
lower region of the chest. What about affecting more the
outer portion and the inner, which is especially
vital if you’re looking to get ready for that
competition or photo shoot or really just wanna show
a fully developed chest? Well, with this one, we can think about the
placement of our hands, especially on a barbell. Take a wider grip. Sure, you can’t manage as much weight, but like I said, this is more about specialised weak point training rather than your initial,
basic, fundamental exercises where you might be looking at
more mass, power, and size. So a wider grip, incline
or flat bench, and focus on only about the first three
quarters of that range of motion instead of locking out
the arms up at the top. And then to focus on the
inner section of the chest, simply narrow your grip, a little bit more inside
that width of your shoulders so that as you press up you already have the chest muscles engaged before you get to the top, therefore, you can fully focus on squeezing and contracting them. Another area for the inner
chest is with dumbbell flies, especially with cables, performing these in the old fashioned way of the cable crossover. Pulling one arm down over the other allows just that little
bit extra range of motion that you’re not gonna get
when performing with dumbbells or even a machine. Now, whereas the large exercises
such as your bench press and various dumbbell presses and flies will allow you, certainly
early on in your training, to develop some mass, power, and size in the large pectoralis major, when you want to start
focusing on some more detail and really fine tuning your physique, certainly if you’re looking at getting up on stage or for photo shoots, you want to start thinking about more of the underlying muscles, especially with that serratus anterior. These are those finger-like muscles that wrap around just above
the abdominal section there and just below the pectorals that really show that you’ve
fine tuned your physique and you’ve got that
conditioning and detail down. And for this, you can’t do much better than the dumbbell pullover. Think about this. If you are training for
the likes of a competition or just more of a well
rounded, developed physique, you wanna ensure that you
have a well developed chest, but also it’s proportional and you have enough thickness and density in the upper region. And for this, you have to do exercises like the dumbbell pullover, mainly because of its thoracic expansion, its effect to increase the
diameter of your ribcage. There’s several different
exercises that you can perform to really target and work
the serratus anterior, and these consist of
the dumbbell pullover, performed either lengthwise
or across the bench, a hanging serratus crunch, which is kind of like doing
a chin up in the early stages but instead of lifting yourself up, you’re simply engaging, contracting those finger-like muscles just to shift your body weight
to the left and to the right. Really great exercise. Takes a lot of practise, though. And then also, your rope pull down, performing it with both
arms or a single arm, but not quite like the way that you’d perform an abdominal crunch. For this one, keep the arms straight and just focus on pulling that rope down. You’ll feel the intercostals
and the serratus anterior crunch down and contract. So really, there’s three
fundamental movements of the chest. You have a press, you have
a fly, and also a pullover. My recommendation would be, focus on the big muscle groups first, get your bench presses with barbell, lift as much weight as you can. Rep range, eight to 10. And then start to work your way down to more inner and outer portions using dumbbell flies, cables, as well as various techniques such as that three quarters of the way up and a closer, more narrow grip to focus on that full extension of the arm and get that deep contraction
to focus on the inner section. Finally, if you do have some weak areas that you really want
to work on and develop, think about priority training. So incline presses first off. Then move on to your flat bench presses. And also, the decline,
those parallel bar dips, to really work the lower
section of the chest if you’re uncomfortable
or you don’t like using those decline presses as much. Finally, with chest, as
like any other muscle, it takes time to really
build out and develop, so if you are just starting
out on your training journey, think about the big, mass
building exercises first. Don’t try and work in everything at once. Dedicate three to six months
to improving your strength and working on your overall mass and size before you then start to think about the smaller, more detailed focus training. All right, guys. That wraps up the end of our video today taking a look at the muscles of the chest. If you’d like to find more information about this particular video
or any other muscle groups, you can read my full article
over at or by simply clicking on the link below. With that being said, like the video? Leave a comment and subscribe
to the YouTube channel. Be sure to stick around
for next month’s video when we’ll be looking at more muscle groups down to the bone. I’m Rob Riches. Thanks again for watching. I’ll see you guys soon. Take care. (banging) (rock music)

One Reply to “Muscle Anatomy – Chest Part One”

  1. The accompanying article, with full images, explanation, and workouts to follow, is now up on our website here:

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