Top 5 Exercises to Increase the Size of your Pecs
If you’re looking to increase the size of your pecs, you’re not alone. Many people want bigger pecs, but don’t know the best way to do it. Fortunately, with the right exercises and diet, you can increase the size of your pecs but it does take time. And of course, with a lot of persistence, dedication, and hard work!
The first step to increasing the size of your pecs is to focus on chest exercises. Chest exercises are essential for building muscle mass and increasing the size of your pecs. Examples of chest exercises include bench press, push ups, chest fly, and chest press. These exercises should be performed with light weights or bodyweight to start with, increasing weight as you become stronger, and always using proper form. If you’re unsure of proper form, speak to our team at Surrey Physio who can advise you.
In addition to chest exercises, you should also focus on triceps and shoulder exercises. Triceps and shoulder exercises are important for building the muscles that complement the pectorals (the triceps work synergistically with the pecs). Examples of triceps exercises include triceps overhead press, triceps extensions, and triceps dips. Examples of shoulder exercises include lateral raises, military presses, and front raises.
To see results from your workouts, it’s important to have a high-calorie diet with some preference towards protein meals. Eating a diet rich in protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats is necessary for building muscle mass. It is very important that you get enough calories and protein to fuel your workouts and to aid the building of muscle. Eating several meals per day with dedicated protein meals are important if size is your goal. You will need to eat regularly, and a lot. The more you eat, the bigger you are likely to get. Muscle growth requires protein. Eating a variety of lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and ensuring you have the right vitamins and minerals is important. You should seek support and guidance from a nutritionist with experience in weight gain and bulking.
We do see people come in for physio at Surrey Physio with pectoral chest pain. This can be down to a number of conditions, but first, seek medical advice from your GP or doctor because the biggest cause of chest pain is the heart. If you strain a pec muscle from lifting weights, we can definitely help you. We also help in cases of costochondritis (inflammation of the ribs/costal cartilages where they attach to the sternum).
1. Barbell Bench Press
Lie on the bench with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart to create a stable base with your head on the top of the bench, arms straight with your shoulder blades retracted and hands in an overhand grip on the bar. Slowly lower the bar to your chest and aim for the sternum, touch the bar with your chest while ensuring your elbows don't flare outwards and that they remain tucked close to your body. Press the bar up back to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps, three sets.
2. Dumbbell Fly Bench
Lie on the bench with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart to create a stable base with your head on the top of the bench, start the movement with a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing inwards with straight arms. Retract your shoulder blades and drive the dumbbells vertically away from you, with your elbows bent at the top of the movement. Lower the dumbbells laterally away from your body while your elbows remain locked, lower to the chest line and bring back up to the starting position and repeat for 10-12 reps, for three sets.
3. Weighted Wide Press-Ups
Lying flat on the floor with your hands in a wide press up position either have your partner balance the plate on your upper back, or start in a kneeling position and raise the plate above your head placing it between the shoulder blades. Lower one hand onto the floor while holding the plate with the other and once stable lower the other hand onto the floor. From the starting position lower yourself to the ground with a braced trunk keeping the elbows tucked close to the body, push away from the floor to return to the starting position. Repeat 10-12 reps, for three sets.
4. Barbell Incline Bench Press Pause
Lie on the bench with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart to create a stable base with your head on the top of the bench, arms are straight with your shoulder blades retracted and hands in an overhand grip in a comfortable position on the bar. Slowly lower the bar to your chest and aim for the sternum, touch the bar with your chest while ensuring your elbows don't flare outwards and that they remain tucked close to your body. Pause for 1-2 seconds before driving the bar up vertically to the starting position and repeat 10-12 reps, for three sets.
5. Mid Cable Cross-Over
Stand with one foot in front of the other to create a stable base with a cable machine handle in each hand, bend your elbows slightly and retract your shoulder blades. Drive one handles towards your chest line keeping tension on the pectoral muscle and ensuring the bicep muscle does not overly assist while the opposite arm stays stationary. Once the arm is at the chest line, in a controlled movement bring it back laterally maintaining a slight bend in the elbow and repeat with the opposite arm. Repeat for 10-12 reps, for three sets.
By following these steps, you can increase the size of your pecs with time. With the right exercises, diet, and rest and recovery, you can achieve your fitness goals and have bigger, stronger pecs. Remember though, there are no safe ways to make quick gains. This requires dedication and persistence, so keep at it.
(Physios and Therapists: these videos are provided by Rehab My Patient – the best exercise prescription software for therapists to prescribe exercises www.rehabmypatient.com. Patients: if you are a patient needing advice, call Surrey Physio to book a telephone/video consultation with one of our expert physios or osteopaths, or book in face-to-face for an appointment. You can call us on 0208 685 6930 or book online by clicking the link at the top of the page).