10 Best Upper Chest Exercises for Mass and strength

If you want to build your upper pectoral muscles, and searching for the Best upper Chest exercises and workouts for Mass and strength that you can do in your chest workout regime, then you are in the right place. We’ll take a closer look at the chest anatomy and exercise mechanics that help to effectively target the upper chest muscle.

Chest Anatomy and How Upper Chest Worked

The muscles of the chest consist of the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor.

The pectoralis major itself is comprised of two heads, each of which may be worked differently depending on the angle of adduction; an upward angle of movement emphasizes the upper, or clavicular, head, while a lower angle emphasizes the lower, or sternal, head of the muscle.

The pectoralis minor is s the triangle-shaped muscle located under the pectoralis major, a layer deeper, and draws the shoulder blades down and forward.

The chest muscle is commonly known as the pectoralis (pecs) muscle, which is divided into upper and lower sections. The upper region of the chest is the hardest area of the chest to build.

Cable fly Muscle Worked

If you’re looking to build more thickness, muscle, and strength in your upper pecs, here are the best upper chest exercises and workout that you need to add to your training regime. Having a well-developed upper chest contributes to the fullness of the upper body and has functional benefits.

Sufficient size and strength will contribute to the greater strength in the Barbell Bench Press and Barbell Overhead Press. To achieve this requires training with a variety of exercises to develop the upper pectorals.

10 Best Upper Chest Exercises and Workout

Here is the list of 10 best upper chest exercises which help to build well-developed chest.

1. Incline Bench Press

Incline Bench Press exercise focuses on the upper chest more and therefore helps build massive upper pecs. It is the best exercise to develop muscle mass in the upper and middle Pectoral region.

Incline Bench Press
Muscles Involved

Primary: Upper pectoralis.

Secondary: Anterior deltoid, triceps.

Steps
  1. Lie on an Incline Bench set at about 30-45 degrees.
  2. Lift the weight off the rack and hold it above you at arm’s length.
  3. Lower the bar until it just touches above the nipple area.
  4. Raise your arms until they are nearly locked out.
Tips
  • Perform press in a controlled manner.
  • The bar should be lowered slowly until it has reached the upper chest and take a pause for a moment.
  • Set a bench at about 30-45 degrees inclined. Do not go more upright as the stress shifts more to the shoulders rather than the chest area.

 2. Incline Dumbbell Press Exercise

Incline Dumbbell Press Exercise is an excellent way to develop the middle and the upper pectoral muscles. Just like Incline Bench Press, the Incline Dumbbell press works mostly on the upper pecs, but dumbbells allow full range of motion, and therefore in some ways better than the bench press. It adds an extra range of motion at the top for complete chest development. Also, dumbbells demand better coordination forcing the stabilizing muscles to assist as well.

Incline Dumbbell Press
Muscles Involved

Primary: Upper pectoralis [major].

Secondary: Anterior deltoid, triceps.

Steps
  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells, and lie on an incline bench (30-45 degree inclined).
  2. Clean the dumbbells and lift them straight overhead. Feel a good chest squeeze at the top.
  3. Lower the dumbbells and feel a good chest muscle stretch at the bottom.
Tips
  • Exhale whilst pushing dumbbells upwards and do in a controlled manner.
  • Set bench at about 30-45 degrees inclined. Do not go more upright as the stress shifts more to shoulders rather than chest area.
  • Vary bench angles to hit different angles of the chest.

3. Incline dumbbell fly

The incline dumbbell fly is a variation of the dumbbell fly. The incline dumbbell fly is an isolated strength exercise that targets the upper chest muscle. Do not perform a basic flat bench fly because the incline bench position allows for the isolation of the harder-to-develop upper pectorals

incline dumbbell fly
Muscles Involved

Primary: Upper pectoralis

Secondary: Anterior deltoid, triceps.

Steps
  1. Set an incline bench at a 30-to 45-degree angle. Lie on the bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your arms straight up from your shoulders and the dumbbells directly over your upper chest.
  3. Slowly lower your arms out to your sides until your wrists come to about shoulder level or slightly above
  4. Bring your arms back toward the midline of your body, focusing on using your pec muscles to draw them back together.
Tips
  • Perform press in a controlled manner.
  • Set bench at about 30-45 degrees inclined. Do not go more upright as the stress shifts more to shoulders rather than chest area.

4. Incline Cable Fly

Incline Cable fly is one of the most suitable exercises for isolating the upper chest muscles. Performing this exercise with cables instead of Dumbbells allows for constant tension, which helps build Upper Chest fibers. This constant tension cannot be achieved with Dumbbells.

Incline Cable Fly
Muscles Involved

Primary: Upper pectoralis [major]

Secondary: Anterior deltoid, triceps.

Steps
  1. Set an incline bench at a 30-to 45-degree angle. Lie on the bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your arms straight up from your shoulders and hold the cable directly over your upper chest.
  3. Slowly lower your arms out to your sides until your wrists come to about shoulder level or slightly above.
  4. Bring your arms back toward the midline of your body, focusing on using your pec muscles to draw them back together.
Tips
  • Exhale while you exert.
  • Vary the position of the bench to hit different angles of the upper chest.
  • Hold and contract the chest muscles when hands are together.
  • Set bench at about 30-45 degrees inclined. Do not go more upright as the stress shifts more to shoulders rather than chest area.

5. Low Pulley Cable Crossover

Low pulleys cable crossover exercise helps to build huge pectorals. The cable provides constant tension helping build upper pecs. Standing cable crossovers exercise helps to develop and define upper and inner pectoral muscles.

Cable provides constant resistance and helps develop central chest muscles and providing the much-needed stress and inner pecs, for which bodybuilders crave.

Low Pulley Cable Crossovers
Muscles Involved

Primary: Upper pectoralis [major]

Secondary: Anterior deltoid, triceps.

Steps
  1. In a standing position, grab and hold the handles of overhead pulleys on both sides.
  2. Bend slightly forwards, and extend your arms feeling a good stretch in your chest muscles.
  3. Now flex your arms with elbows slightly bent to get a good chest contraction.
  4. Unlike chest flies, you can crossover the center to get full Pec contraction.
Tip
  • Exhale while you exert.

6. Decline Push-Ups

Push-Ups is one of the best bodyweight upper chest exercises that train your entire upper body, shoulder, chest, and arms. Push-Ups can be a real challenge if done from various angles. Intensity is the key here to Build Muscle and Strength.

Decline Push-ups are similar to normal push-ups but with your legs on a bench. Although this is called the Decline push-up, it focuses more on the upper pecs. Also, because your lower body is raised from the floor, the resistance your body provides is increased compared to doing the pushup on the floor. This makes the decline push-up harder than the standard push-up.

Decline Push Ups
Muscles Involved

Primary: Upper Pectoralis

Secondary: Shoulder, triceps.

Steps
  1. Your hands are placed firmly on the floor and spaced slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Put Legs on the bench or the pad roller.
  2. Now raise yourself off the ground straightening your elbows and your arms. Keep your elbows close to your body.
  3. Raise until your elbows are almost near to locked, and pause for a moment at the top of the movement.
  4. Now lower your body under slow sustained motion, feeling the motion all the way down until your chest is very close to the ground.
Tips
  • Exhale while you exert.
  • Vary the position of the bench to hit different angles of the upper chest.

7. Incline Hammer Strength Machine

Incline Hammer Strength Machine allows for complete contraction of the Upper Chest. The machine is designed to only target the Upper Chest to makes it one of the great upper chest exercises. One can better isolate certain muscle groups with a machine due to its fixed movement pattern.

It also allows for less opportunity for form breakdown. If you are simply going to fail a repetition, you can lower the machine back down without any chance of injuring yourself.

Incline Hammer Strength Machine
Muscle Involved

Primary: Upper Pectoralis major.

Secondary: Forearms, shoulders, and triceps.

Steps
  1. Sit on a Hammer Strength incline machine and adjust the seat to align the handles with your chest.
  2. Grasp handles and sits up straight with core tight and back pressed against the seat.
  3. Press handles up and out to a full arm’s length just before your elbow locks and then return to the chest.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Tips
  • Exhale whilst pushing dumbbells upwards and do in a controlled manner.
  • Change grip positioning to target different parts of the muscles.

8. The Landmine Chest Press

The Landmine Chest Press is not a popular exercise, yet it provides many benefits in regard to the upper chest. It can be performed in a standing position, thus increasing core involvement to improve the core stability and strength of the abdominal muscles.

The Landmine Chest Press
Muscle Involved

Primary: Upper Pectoralis.

Secondary: Arms, Core, and shoulders

Steps
  1. Stand holding the weighted end of the barbell with both hands in front of your chest.
  2. Make sure the barbell is wedged securely in a landmine device or corner.
  3. Your feet should be level and shoulder-width apart.
  4. Press the weight up with both hands until your arms are extended, then bring it back down slowly.
Tips
  • Hold a neutral spine throughout the movement to prevent injury.
  • Exhale on pushing movement, and inhale when returning to the starting position.
  • Contract the chest muscle at the top of the movement.

9. Incline Reverse-grip bench press

An Incline bench barbell press with a reverse grip actually shifts the most focus to the upper pecs. Start out light and make sure your thumbs are hooked around the bar for safety.

The reverse-grip bench press may not seem like an upper chest move, but it is absolutely an upper pec exercise as explained in this exercise anatomy.

Reverse-grip bench press
Muscle Involved

Primary: Upper Pectoralis [major and minor].

Secondary: Front deltoid, Triceps, Biceps, forearm muscles.

Steps
  1. Lying on a flat bench, grasp the bar with a supinated (reverse) grip, hands shoulder-width apart, and thumbs around the bar.
  2. With your elbows tucked in close to your sides, slowly lower the bar down to your lower pecs.
  3. Press the bar back up to the start position in a slight backward arc without letting your elbows flare out.
  4. Don’t lock out your elbows at the top of the rep; keep a bend in your arms, maintaining control of the weight at all times.
Tips
  1. Hold a neutral spine throughout the movement to prevent injury.
  2. Perform press in a controlled manner.
  3. Exhale on pushing movement, and inhale when returning to the starting position.
  4. Contract the chest muscles at the top of the movement.

10. Incline-bench Dumbbell Pullover

Incline Bench dumbbell Pullovers is the best exercise to build a strong rib cage and build serratus anterior muscle to build an upper chest and back.

The incline dumbbell pullover allows for a wide range of motion, thus providing a deep pectorals and lats stretch. This exercise is done lying across on an Incline bench with a heavy dumbbell.

Incline Bench dumbbell Pullovers
Muscle Involved

Primary: Upper Pectoralis major and minor,

Secondary: Deltoid, Back, Serratus, Triceps.

Steps
  1. Set the bench position between 30-45 degrees. Now lie across on an Incline bench.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands, and get it straight over your chest.
  3. Lower the dumbbell in an arc slowly getting a good stretch in your rib cage.
  4. Lower the dumbbell as far as possible, and then raise it back to the starting position.
Tips
  • Maximum stretching ensures the greatest expansion on the rib cage.
  • Vary the position of the bench to hit different angles of the upper chest.

Conclusion

This exercise is highly recommended for anyone interested in building upper body strength and gaining muscle size. It is easy to do and requires no more scientific details and fancy equipment. If you do these upper chest exercises consistently, the results will speak for themselves.

Thanks for reading, enjoy upper chest Exercises !

Stay Fit, Live a Happy and Healthy Life

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