Chest muscle training


The training of a muscle group is always derived from the anatomical direction of movement of the muscles.
The chest muscles are responsible for:

  • Anteversion (move the arm forward)
  • Adduction (Bring the splayed arm up to the body)
  • Internal rotation (turning the shoulder inward)

Accordingly, chest training is always a modification of one of the mentioned directions of movement of the shoulder joint (articulatio humeri). In most cases, the exercises are adduction movements in the shoulder joint (bench press, push-ups, butterfly).

In today's strength training, the chest muscles are preferably trained by male studio visitors. In particular, the bench press as a sub-discipline of powerlifting is used to determine the maximum strength in chest muscle training.
It is usually a targeted muscle build-up of the large pectoral muscle, only shot putters and powerlifters focus specifically on maximum strength. Knowledge of the individual aspects of muscle building is a prerequisite for the hoped-for goals.

Areas of application

There is hardly any chest muscle training health-promoting aspects it is only included in the area of fitness and Hypertrophy training applied. In recent years, targeted training of the chest muscles has also been used more and more by women. The chest muscles should be 1.5 times stronger than the upper back muscles. If there is a muscular dysfunction, a targeted one can be used Chest muscle training or its antagonists restore balance.

Figure chest muscles

Figure chest muscles: A-muscles of the anterior chest wall and B-female torso

Chest muscles

  1. Pectoralis major
    (Collarbone - proportion) -
    Muscle pectoralis major,
    Pars clavicularis
  2. Pectoralis major
    (Sternum - ribs - area) -
    Muscle pectoralis major,
    Pars sternocostalis
  3. Pectoralis major
    (Abdominal area) -
    Muscle pectoralis major,
    Pars abdominalis
  4. Anterior saw muscle -
    Muscle serratus anterior
  5. Raven beak
    Upper arm muscle
    (second layer) -
    Muscle coracobrachialis
  6. Sternum muscle (often absent) -
    Sternalis muscle
  7. Small pectoral muscle
    (second layer) -
    Muscle pectoralis minor
  8. Broad back muscle -
    Latissimus dorsi muscle
  9. Raven beak process -
    Coracoid process
  10. Collarbone -
  11. Sternum - sternum
  12. Deltoid -
    Muscle deltoideus
  13. Fat and connective tissue,
    as well as glandular lobes -
    Glandula mammaria

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations

Pectoralis major muscle illustration

Illustration of the large pectoral muscle (Musculus pectoralis major): chest seen from the front (A) and from the side (B).

Pectoralis major
Pectoralis major muscle

  1. Pectoralis major (1a. + 1b. + 1c.)
    Pectoralis major muscle
    1a. Collarbone portion -
    Pars clavicularis
    1b. Sternum-rib area -
    Pars sternocostalis
    1c. Abdominal area -
    Pars abdominalis
  2. Collarbone -
  3. Upper arm shaft -
    Corpus humeri
  4. 7th rib - Costa VII
  5. Costal cartilage -
    Cartilago costalis
  6. 2nd rib - Costa II
  7. Sternum - sternum

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations

From a medical point of view

The Chest muscles is considered an antagonist (Opponent) the upper back muscles. In some strength athletes, a typical posture with slightly hunched shoulders can often be observed. This is due to the fact that the chest muscles from their insertion and origin, when shortened due to excessive training, reinforce the natural kyphosis of the thoracic spine.
Furthermore, care should be taken not to go through Overtraining or wrong movements one Torn muscle fibers in the chest to provoke.

It is therefore particularly advisable to stretch the chest muscles at regular intervals and to specifically train their antagonists.

Tip for women

Hold your hands tighter on the bar when you bench press. As a result, the inner part of the chest muscles is trained more.

Pectoral exercises

The exercises in chest muscle training naturally result from moving the large chest muscles.
The pectoralis major is for that Adduction, Anteversion and Internal rotation responsible in the shoulder joint.
All exercises that can be selected can be traced back to at least one of these directions of movement. The combination with the training equipment: barbell, dumbbell, Theraband®, fixed equipment, Pezziball and training with your own body weight results in countless variations for chest muscle training without taking the change in intensity into account.

1. Bench press

The bench press is one of the most classic exercises from the Chest muscle training. Bench press is next to Squats and Deadlift a discipline from powerlifting. The athlete lies on his back on a bench. The hands reach shoulder width apart on the barbell. Note: The bench press has a particularly high risk of injury shoulder, not in the field of Spine.

For more detailed information on this exercise, visit our topic Bench press

2. Bench press dumbbell

The Bench press with dumbbells is next to the classic barbell bench press one of the most effective exercises for training the big ones Chest muscles. The isolated operation of the arms ensures that the chest muscles are stressed evenly. Note: This form of chest muscle training is more demanding in terms of coordination.

For more detailed information on this exercise, visit our topic Bench press dumbbell

3. Flying

The flies in chest muscle training can be used as a form of Butterflys can be understood while lying down. The athlete lies on a bench and holds the bars to the side of the body.

For more detailed information on this exercise, visit our topic Flying

4. Butterfly

The butterfly is mainly performed while sitting. The athlete grabs the guide of the device with his arms stretched or bent. The butterfly is at Chest muscle training used to define the chest muscles. For more detailed information on this exercise, visit our topic butterfly

5. Butterfly cable pull

The butterfly on the cable pulley is increasingly used by advanced athletes in chest muscle training, as the coordination requirements are higher here. An even resistance, however, enables optimal training success.

For more detailed information on this exercise, visit our topic Butterfly cable pull

Training with dumbbells

The advantage of Dumbbell training for building the Chest muscles is that you can do the exercises too at home with your own dumbbells can perform and free movement is possible. In contrast, the movement sequence is precisely specified on devices (for example, you can only push the weight in one direction on a line). This allows the Equipment training coordination cannot be trained as well as with dumbbells. However, it is suitable Dumbbell training hence above all for advancedwho have enough strength to perform the exercise correctly without the aid of a device and therefore do not have such a high risk of injury.

The athlete now has to ask himself whether he is better Barbells (are held with both hands) or Dumbbells (are only held with one hand) should be used. Even if there are faithful followers of both methods, one is Most effective combination of both. The dumbbell is ideal around Imbalances (for example, by shortening muscles). The weaker muscle group can be targeted here and after regular training the strength ratio of the muscles to each other (antagonists) is brought back into harmony. When doing weight training with the Barbell the stabilization and auxiliary muscles become less active because you can hold the dumbbell more stable with both hands. This allows the Better shape the desired muscle group individually.

Training without equipment

The advantages of the Chest muscle training without equipment lie in the fact that you don't have to visit a sports studio (free training) and at the same time mostly one good coordination training it is because your own body weight has to be held and balanced.

Here are some examples of exercises without dumbbells or equipment:

  1. pushups and their modifications (see below)
  2. Dips: Two sturdy chairs (best covered with heavy books so that they cannot fall over) are a little more than shoulder width apart and placed with the backrests facing each other. You stand between the chairs, put your hands on the armrests and lift yourself off the floor. Then you slowly lower your body down and then pull yourself up again. You should start with small subsidence begin.
  3. Isometric chest press: This exercise can even be done in the office. When standing or sitting, the arms are bent and the palms are held together in front of the chest, with the elbows pointing outwards. The hands will be for about Pressed firmly for 15 seconds, then the tension is slowly released. This process is repeated several times.

Training for the man

A well-trained, strong one Chest muscle is very important for strength athletes. It is not only indispensable for many movement sequences and sports, above all swim and Punch sports. Rather, it also has an aesthetic use, because it is not for nothing that it is called colloquially "Belly in, chest out". Defined chest muscles leave the man particularly athletic look, even if they cannot be seen directly, but just fill in the shirt well, for example. That makes them one of the most important muscle groups in Bodybuilding and Weight training, especially for lay people who do not do high-performance sports but only want to improve their appearance.

The foundation for good chest muscle training is Stretching. Especially when doing office work, you usually sit with your torso bent forward, so that the pectoral muscles would shorten in the long run. Hence a daily stretching very important (about five minutes are enough). A good, intense chest muscle workout consists of several exercises such as pushups, Dumbbell flys (Flying), Dips and twisted push-ups (After the push-up, one arm is raised towards the ceiling, the weight is shifted to the other).

Workout for the woman

For a long time, women's chest muscle training was rather neglected and was assigned to building a male stature. Lately is But chest muscle training is also a trend for women. A strong chest area looks very self-confident and many hope that training will also result in a nicer, tighter cleavage.

The training does not have a direct impact on the female breastbecause they made connective tissue as well as fat and glandular tissue and this is not changed during muscle building (only by reducing body fat at the same time will the size of the breast itself change). However, the Chest muscles provide natural support for the bosomthat sits just above the small and large pectoral muscles. This allows the chest muscle training to work similarly to a push-up bra.

Training for women usually consists less of dumbbell exercises and more of it Exercises with your own body weight or with one Thera-band (Alternatively, tights can be used). It is the same with a man as it is with a woman pushups a good basis for chest muscle training. Beginners can also do this on their knees or begin on a raised object and not on the floor.


pushups are the classic chest and arm muscle exercises. The best thing about the push-up is that it can be modified in many ways. For example, in several levels of difficulty due to the height of the hands:

  1. Hands pressed against a wall at chest height
  2. Hands on a waist-high object (e.g. desk)
  3. Hands on a knee-high object (e.g. bed)
  4. Hands on the floor

In addition, the position of the hands to each other can vary, push-ups with the hands close together are much more difficult than with the hands shoulder width apart.

That too Lifting the legs (e.g. on a chair or leaning against the wall for professionals) has a clear impact on the demands of the exercise.

Some interesting variations are the following:

  1. Gliding push-ups: There are two towels under the hands. When lowering the hands slide apart, when lifting they are brought together again.
  2. Scorpio push-ups: When lowering, one leg is bent and the foot is guided over the other leg towards the back. The hips and upper body turn slightly with it.
  3. Staggered push-ups: As usual, one arm is placed at shoulder level, the other at chest level. When lowering, the rear arm in particular is stressed.

Further information

Further information for individual muscle groups with different forms of exercise can be found here

  • Arm muscle training
  • Abs workout
  • Leg muscle training
  • Shoulder muscle training
  • Neck muscle training
  • Chest muscle training
  • Back training
  • Expander training
  • Weight training without equipment
  • Strength training exercises
  • Training plan
  • Male chest
  • Pectoralis major muscle

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