How to Build Upper Body Strength in the Pectoral Muscles

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One of the main areas you should focus on when building upper body strength is your pectoral muscles. Build upper body strength in the pectoral muscles with help from a fitness instructor and yoga teacher in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Personal Fitness & Health
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Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Chris Zeitler. I've been a personal trainer for about fifteen years now, and a wellness coach for True Body Movement. Today, we're going to talk a little bit about how to train the pectoralis major which are the chest muscles. So, the chest muscles are basically responsible for a squeezing motion or a pushing motion. So we're going to go through a few exercises that show you how to use those muscles in a very effective way. So we're going to start with a band and actually this is an exercise that we call, got kind of a funny name, the He-man. And what you're going to do is actually bend your knees, get a nice wide stance, and you're going to squeeze your chest muscles as you bring the band in and then soften them and stand up a little taller and then squeeze in and come back up. So, as you can see this is a squeezing motion that trains the chest muscles. We also have another way to train the chest muscles, which is with a ball. And this one I use with my clients that typically have problems with their wrists and don't want to be doing push ups or pulling motions. So, with this ball we're actually going to squeeze it and maybe make a fist to add extra tension in the upper body, and squeeze the ball. Just kind of like a He-Man, and it's a squeezing motion. And your goal is to feel those chest muscles right up when your elbows are nice and hard on this ball. So, another exercise where we can use the ball is actually going to involve the weights. So any weight that feels right for you can be up to about fifteen to twenty pounds. We're going to use eights today. You're going to roll out on to the ball, bring yourself far enough forward that you can get your head on the ball for a nice comfortable pillow, arms go up overhead and this is called The Fly. And basically your arms are going to be like wings. Open up and then come down and squeeze together, open up and squeeze together. So, this one again is a squeezing motion. So, for our last exercise, this is the most well known of all the chest exercises. This is just a regular old push-up. And you could do a push-up on your knees or on your toes. Today we're just going to place our hands about shoulder-width apart, extend our legs back straight. Try to make a perfectly straight body from your shoulders to your toes. And then you're going to lower down and then just push up. Your elbows kind of go out to the side. So this is a pushing motion that you get to use your chest muscles. For a modification you can put your knees on the ground and we'll lower down and push up, giving your body a little less strain in the lower back if that's the place that you want to protect. So for your chest exercises, using a variety of exercises are always recommended. You can do a squeezing or a pushing motion. This has been Chris Zeitler, a True Body Movement fitness and wellness coach. Thank you for checking out on how to train your pectoralis major muscles.

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