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"Anatomy for Strength and Fitness Training" describes the pectoralis major muscles -- also called pecs -- as a large group of muscles that extends over the chest attaching the ribs to the shoulders. Because the pec muscles are all connected, any exercise that engages the pecs will target the side of the pecs too. Perform strength training exercises that target the chest at least two days per week, with one day in between each training day.
Position yourself on all fours with your knees under your hips and your wrists directly under your shoulders. Stay in this position with your knees bent if you are new to pushups and are just developing arm strength. When you are ready to increase the intensity of the pose, step back into plank pose.
Step back with both of your feet and balance on your toes in plank pose. The only parts of the body that are touching the floor are the palms and the toes. Engage your hips and thigh muscles to keep the hips elevated.
Bend your elbows close to your sides and lower yourself down to the ground, stopping right before you hit the ground.
Hover above the ground for a few seconds and press yourself back to the starting position. Throughout this exercise keep your core muscles engaged and do not let your hips sag toward the floor.
Lie on your back on a weight bench with both feet flat on the floor.
Hold a barbell or a pair of dumbbells at your chest, palms facing the ceiling.
Extend your arms away from the body, directly over the chest. Pulse your pectoral muscles for one second at the top of the extension.
Bend your elbows and slowly lower the barbell or dumbbells back down to your chest.
Stand over a parallel dip bar.
Hold one bar with each hand, palms facing each other.
Extend your arms fully, lifting yourself above the parallel bars.
Lean forward until your chest is at a 30-degree angle from your hips.
Bend your elbows and lower your body forward until you feel a deep stretch across your chest.
Pause and pulse your pec muscles for one second.
Press your palms into the bars and use your chest muscles to press yourself back to the starting position.
- Perform three sets of 12 to 15 repetitions, pausing in between sets for a rest. If you cycle through the repetitions with ease, it's time to increase the amount of weight you are using.