Muscles of the chest are composed of the pectoralis major and minor which are responsible for shoulder flexion, adduction and rotation. They are exercised to strengthen the upper body.
Pectoral Muscles – Signifying Strength and Virility
The pectoralis major is thick and fan-shaped while the pectoralis minor is thin and triangular. Pectoral muscles are used to define the range of motion of the arms. Since chest width and bulk are construed as symbols of strength and virility among men, exercises that develop such muscles are practiced by them. Weight lifting is the most common. Other exercises targeted at pectoral muscles involve pushing motions while encountering resistance such as push ups and the chest press. Building these muscles also mean developing back muscles so that a balance is struck between pushing through pectorals and pulling through back muscles.
Pectoral Workouts – Developing the Chest
Developing the chest means engaging in pectoral workouts. Upper chest muscles can be developed through the incline bench press where one lies on a slanted surface at a 30 to 45 degree angle. It is advised not to bounce the bar off the chest when performing this exercise. Legs must be supported by the lower end of the equipment or on the floor and the buttocks must stay on the bench throughout the exercise. The lower chest muscles can be exercised when the bench press is done in reverse, with the head lower than the buttocks. Pectoral workouts also involve doing pec-deck flys.
Pectoralis Major Exercises – Strengthening
One can perform pectoralis major exercises without going to the gym. One can do a chair bench press using an elastic band at home. The band is wrapped around the chair with the individual sitting on the chair. With the arms holding the ends of the bands, they can be extended straight out front with the resistance originating from the band. The exercise can also be varied by wrapping the band around something stationary like a post or grills. The individual does this with a standing position and putting one foot in front of the other for stability. Push ups can also be done at home and varying its intensity by using just one arm when pushing or pushing against a medicine ball.