Are you making these common chest-training mistakes?
The gym is a testosterone arena, where men use the size of their chest and how much they can bench, as bragging rights. Even if you’re the kind of guy who doesn’t get involved in this pissing party, you know you’re (un)knowingly comparing yourselves to other guys in the gym. So why isn’t your chest building up as fast as theirs? Before you go blaming your genetics, chances are that you’re probably making one of these blunders:
Over Dependence On The Flat Barbell Bench
If you make a beeline to the flat bench every day, you’re not alone. While it’s great for strength development, it’s not the top most chest-stimulating exercise. Plus, Project Swole elaborates that overusing this exercise could result in saggy-looking pectoral muscles. Bodybuilding.com recommends variations such as flat bench with dumbbells, as well as, incline and decline benching positions.
Picking Weight Over Form
To give your chest a complete workout, it calls for your ability to properly control the weight. If you go with your ego and rack up the weight, you won’t be able to bring the dumbbells and barbell as close to your chest as possible. You’ll also be relying on momentum to bounce your way through the reps; which is cheating.
Disproportionate Shoulder Rotation
Are you spending more time massaging your sore shoulders than actually exercising? This could be due to poor form and improper technique. If you keep rounding your shoulders forward, you’ll most likely damage your AC joint. Bodybuilding.com recommends simply reducing the amount of shoulder rotation by keeping your shoulder blades retracted though the entire movement.
Your feet shouldn’t be moving around during your set. Instead, they should be firmly rooted to create enough stability to help you bench more weight. How To Beast explains that they should be slightly behind your knees, pushing downwards and forwards. This motion will strengthen your quads for maximum support, additionally keeping your butt firmly planted on the bench.
Forgetting Your Upper Chest, Back And Triceps
It’s easy to get caught-up focusing on your mid/lower pecs. What you don’t realise is that if you develop the upper chest region as well, your torso will have an impressive overall appearance and eliminate those pesky man-boobs. If you’ve been neglecting this region, Ignore Limits recommends that you start your workout with incline exercises and do them as often as you do your mid/lower workouts. The triceps and back are in the mix because they contribute to the progress you make with chest training. If you don’t concentrate on these areas as well, the body equilibrium will prevent your chest from growing. As Project Swole puts it, “it doesn’t want you to bench 300 but only be able to use 135 with bent over rows.” You should be able to do the max when it comes to triceps and your chest, and back training should ultimately match.