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10 Best Upper Chest Workouts

Upper Chest Workouts


Do you want to build an impressive and well-defined chest? If yes, then you are very lucky, that you come to the right. The well trained upper chest is very important to achieve a balanced and stunning chest. This article will cover the most effective exercises for upper chest that will assist you in achieving a chiselled and upper solid chest.

When you think about chest exercise, most people focus on only the lower and middle chest and neglect the upper chest area. Meanwhile, neglecting the upper chest could cause an imbalance in chest muscle development, slowing your progress overall. By focusing on and training those muscles in your chest’s upper region, you not only increase the appearance of your body but also enhance the strength of your functional muscles and posture.

In this blog, we’ll explore the upper chest’s anatomy to understand its significance and discover various exercises specifically created to target this particular area. 

Be prepared to feel the heat and see impressive upper chest strength and definition improvements! Remember that consistency and good shape are essential to achieve desired results. Let’s discover the top 8 best upper chest workouts and secrets to having a solid upper chest that can set you apart!

Benefits of Upper Chest Workouts

In terms of chest strength, training the chest’s upper muscles can provide numerous advantages. Let’s examine the benefits of including upper chest exercises in your fitness routine.

  1. Improved Aesthetics: Building a well-defined upper chest creates an appealing and attractive body. A well trained upper chest can add dimensions and depth to your chest, making an alluring and full appearance. It contributes to the highly desired “cliff,” also known as “shelf” appearance, in which the muscles in your upper chest look distinct from the collarbone. This makes your chest look more striking and muscular.
  1. Balanced Chest Development: Most people focus on the chest’s middle and lower regions, but ignoring the chest’s upper part can lead to an imbalanced chest appearance. A solid upper chest ensures that your chest muscle is balanced to create an aesthetically balanced and harmonious physique. It helps to prevent any weak regions and allows the muscles in your chest to grow equally.
  1. Improved Functional Strength: Strengthening your chest muscles is more than just aesthetics. It improves your strength and endurance, especially when you push. Suppose you’re performing  everyday activities like opening doors or participating in activities that require an upper solid chest. In that case, it gives you the strength and stability needed for maximum performance.
  1. Posture and Shoulder Health: The posture and health of the shoulder Muscles depends on the upper chest, specifically the clavicular fibers of the pectoralis major, play an essential role in maintaining good shoulders and posture. A weak upper chest could result in rounded shoulders. When you train the upper chest, it improves the alignment of the postural muscles and prevents injuries to the shoulder by strengthening the muscles that help support the shoulder joint.

After discussing the advantages of chest development, it’s time to learn and include specific exercises in your workout routine. In this section, we’ll provide you with the top 8 exercises for upper chest that will aid you in getting excellent results.

Top 8 Exercises For Upper Chest

1. Incline Bench Press

Incline Bench Press | Upper Chest Exercises

Incline bench is absolutely one of the best upper chest exercises that should be included in all of the best upper chest workouts. A flat bench works all round for pecs, but with this exercise ( due to incline angle ), your upper pecs are under tension along with deltoids and triceps. Which helps to target multiple muscles and helps to build strength to lift more in flat bench exercise.

How To Do It :

1. Set the table in the squat rack or power stage and then adjust the table at the angle of 45 degree.

2. Load plates according to your body strength.

3. Lie down on the table with chest up, slight arch and core muscles engaged.

4. Grip the barbell with your hands wider than shoulders. Unrack the bar and move towards the chest until your arms become perpendicular to the shoulder joints.

5. Inhale, and slowly move the bar down towards the chest until it touches the chest.

6. At bottom pause for a second and with the same movement return the bar to the starting position and exhale at top.

7. Repeat this movement for a dedicated number of reps.

Tips: While performing heavy lifts, it’s important to stand support behind to help you rack and unrack the loaded barbell. It’s not important to go overhead with an incline angle, 30 degree angle is enough to target upper pecs.

Sets and Reps : 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, maintaining a good form.

2. Incline Dumbbell Fly

Incline Dumbbell Fly | Upper Chest Workout

Now let’s begin upper chest workout with dumbbells, also called dumbbell fly.

As you know, dumbbells are very effective to include in any exercise. For the upper chest we will go with an incline dumbbell fly. This will help to double the effect of your workout. Moreover, it greatly works on pectoralis major and overall chest development, with good range of motion.

How To Do It :

1. Adjust the seat at the angle of 40 degree in incline position.

2. Choose dumbbells according to your strength and note that you will not be able to lift as much as you can with a simple bench.

3. Sit on the table by holding dumbbells in both hands or lie them on your thighs.

4. With the help of thighs, push dumbbells upward or towards chest and lie in cline 

5. Control them on your shoulders and lift at an upward position. This will be your starting position.

6. Inhale and slowly lift dumbbells outwards and downwards (fly),  until you feel good tension in your chest.

7. Exhale and bring the dumbbells down to the starting position with the same movement.

Tips: Avoid lifting too heavy, it can lead to shoulder injury or may result in imbalance. If you want to learn the perfect way of lifting dumbbells in a perfect arc, then imagine hugging with dumbbells. Don’t blast dumbbells with each other, try to maintain a small distance.

Sets and Reps : 3 sets of 10-12 reps, maintaining a good form.

3. Incline Hex Press

Incline Hex Press | Best Upper Chest Workout

Incline hex press is one of the best upper chest exercises for targeting upper chest muscles. It helps to contract the upper chest pecs naturally as you squeeze muscles by elevating this upper chest dumbbell exercises on an incline bench. It not only helps in muscle contraction but also helps in recruiting upper chest muscle fibre.

How To Do It :

1. For performing this upper chest workout, choose a stable bench and set at the angle of 45 degree.

2. Now choose a dumbbell according to your body strength and sit on a bench by placing dumbbells on the thigh.

3. By generating force with feet and thighs, lift dumbbells and place them at the level of the chest around your nipples.

4. Push dumbbells toward each other and inhale, lift dumbbells upward with force.

5. Continue lifting dumbbells until you feel a good contraction in your chest.

6. Pause for a moment, exhale and slowly bring down dumbbells to the starting position.

Tips: Don’t hurry or bounce weight in this exercise, feel your muscles and lift. Keep your chest up, shoulder back and core muscles engaged. Keep your feet flat on the floor to maintain stability. Ensure to perform reps with full range of motion and avoid locking elbows at top for preventing injury.

Sets and Reps : 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps, maintaining a good form.

4. Incline Dumbbell Pullover

Incline Dumbbell Pullover | Upper Chest Workout With Dumbbells

Inlice dumbbell pullover is a great exercise for finishing in the upper chest. It is an underrated exercise for upper chest development. A lot of people may know dumbbell pullovers only for flat bench, but they may not be aware that it also helps to tone upper chest pecs by performing on incline bench.

How To Do It :

1. Adjustable bench is needed for performing this exercise.

2. Set the bench at the angle of 45 degree and pick dumbbell according to your capacity.

3. Sit on an incline bench with feet on ground just like you are performing dumbbell presses on an incline bench.

4. Ask your spotter to handle your dumbbell from behind. Hold the dumbbell with both hands, palm facing upward.

5. Inhale and lower dumbbell backward by engaging core muscles, chest up and upper lats.

6. Move dumbbell backward and down until you feel upper lats muscles are in motion.

7. Exhale and then return to the starting position with same movement.

8. Repeat number of reps according to your schedule.

Tips: To get the full effect of this exercise, keep your target muscles engage in whole movement. If your connection with muscles lost, then you don’t receive a good pump. Start with light weight and gradually increase the weight as you become capable of lifting heavy weights.

Sets and Reps : 3 sets of 10-8-6 reps, maintaining a good form.

5. Upright Dumbbell Raise

Upright Dumbbell Raise | Upper Chest Workout At Home

This is another great exercise for upper chest development which requires no equipment except a pair of dumbbells. It can be performed anywhere, whether you are not able to go to the gym. Upright dumbbells are a great alternative for high. If you want better development of your chest muscles, then try this exercise at the end of this workout.

How To Do It :

1. Choose dumbbells and stand shoulder width apart with dumbbells in both hands.

2. Keep your palms facing forward and lift both dumbbells at same time and bring them in front of your chest.

3. Avoid momentum and continue lifting dumbbells until your upper chest muscles get squeezed.

4. Inhale and slowly bring down dumbbells to the starting position by feeling upper chest muscles.

5. Complete your desired number of reps with this movement.

Tips: Avoid momentum and keep your chest up, shoulders backward and core muscles engaged while lifting weight upward. Properly squeeze muscles by holding dumbbells at top position for a few seconds. Perform this exercise with lightweight dumbbells and keep tension in chest muscles while lifting or lowering weight.

Sets and Reps : 4 sets of 15-12-10-8 reps, maintaining a good form.

6. Low to High Cable Crossover

Low to High Cable Crossover | Cable Upper Chest Workout

Cable upper chest workout is a strength exercise which is usually performed on a cable machine with adjustable pulleys and by making a grip with handles. Low to high cable crossover target muscles in upper chest workout, specially pectoralis major, anterior deltoids and triceps. Let’s get a detailed overview of performing this chest exercise.

How To Do It :

1. Attach d-shaped handles to the pulleys on both sides of the cable machine and set the pulleys to the bottom.

2. Grasp the handles with overhand grip and palms facing forward.

3. Pull cable with handles and stand in the middle of the machine with your feet shoulder width apart and make slight bend in your knees.

4. Move step forward, in order to increase tension in cables or to increase contraction in the chest.

5. Keeping slight bend in elbows, pull cable upward towards the chest.

6. Continue pulling upward, until you feel great contraction in your upper chest muscles .

7. Pause the contracted position for a moment. 

8. Then, return to the starting position with the same movement or in a controlled manner.

Tips: Avoid momentum or jerking while pulling handles upward. It’s important to engage core muscles and keep slight bend in your knees. It’s very important to have a mind connection while performing to get the full effect of this upper chest workout.

Sets and Reps : 3 sets of 10-12 reps, maintaining a good form.

7. Chest Dips

Chest Dips | How To Workout Upper Chest

Generally dips are known for triceps, but it also targets upper chest muscles. In fact, it’s one of the best ways for increasing strength and hypertrophy, because your chest remains under tension for the maximum time rather than a little tension. Performing dips also helps to increase lockout strength, which will be beneficial in overhead presses, olympic performances and bench presses.

How To Do It :

1. Start this exercise by standing on the foot rests and grab the handles with neutral grip, palms facing downwards.

2. Make a strong grip with your hands and jump off the ground.

3. For targeting the upper chest, you need to bend your upper body slightly forward and this will be your starting position.

4. Inhale and slowly lower your body keeping chest up and shoulders backward until your upper elbows are bent at 90 degree.

5. Pause at the lowered position for a moment.

6. Echale and return to the starting position by pressing through your triceps and engaging your upper chest.

7. Repeat this movement according to your goal.

Tips: In order to target the upper chest, you need to place your hands slightly wider than shoulders width apart. Get more tension in the upper chest by leaning your upper body slightly forward. Perform this exercise in a fully controlled manner and avoid jerking and momentum. Also, focus on proper breathing while lifting or lowering your body.

Sets and Reps : 3 sets of 12 reps each, maintaining a good form.

8. Decline Push-ups

Decline Push-ups | Exercises For Upper Chest

Push-ups with elevated lower body are known as Decline push-ups and are a great upper chest workout at home. It is a variation of traditional push-up exercise which generally targets the upper chest. In this variation your feets are placed on the bench and your upper body elevated at floor.

How To Do It :

1. For performing this exercise you need a bench or stable surface with height parallel to your knees.

2. Assume just like a normal push position with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder width on the floor, fingers pointing forward.

3. Place your feet back on the bench and make sure your body is making a straight line from heels to head.

4. Keep your upper chest, core muscles and triceps engaged while performing this variation.

5. Inhale and lower your body by bending elbows and try to touch the floor with your chest.

6. Pause a second at bottom position, exhale and return to the starting position by pushing through your triceps.

7. Repeat this same movement for desired no of reps.

Tips: Make your body form a straight line from head to heels and there should not be a bump in the lower back. Breathing is very important while performing this exercise to give oxygen to the working muscle for getting a better pump. Avoid performing half reps, your every rep should be in full range of motion.

Sets and Reps : 3 sets of 15 reps each, maintaining a good form

Also discover full chest workout – How to build Chest Muscles

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