Build a Bigger Upper Chest with These Exercises

Want to build a bigger chest? Check out two exercises and follow a workout plan from STACK Expert Joe Giandonato.

Reverse-Grip Bench Press

It's no secret—every guy loves to train his chest. Lifters and athletes alike usually dedicate one or two days a week to this pursuit. Whether you desire to enhance your pressing prowess or merely fill out tank tops and V-necks, these upper-chest exercises will help.

Barbell Incline Press

  • Lie on an incline bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • Grasp the bar with a shoulder-width grip.
  • Have a spotter help you unrack the bar.
  • Pull your shoulder blades back, flare your lats and tuck your chin to your chest.
  • Engage your core and keep your hips locked.
  • Draw the bar to your chest while keeping your upper arms at a 45-degree angle.
  • Drive the bar up so it's over your chin.

Sets/Reps: 3-5x3-5, with 3 to 5 minutes rest between sets if strength is your goal; 3-5x6-12 with 2 to 3 minutes rest between sets if your goal is size.

Reverse Grip Bench Press

The Reverse Grip Bench Press, a favorite among old-school bodybuilders, is performed on a flat bench and involves an underhanded grip. The grip limits the amount of weight you're able to lift initially.

  • Lie on an incline bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
  • Grasp the bar with a firm underhanded grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Engage the muscles of your upper back and lats to ensure optimal shoulder positioning.
  • Imagine yourself "rowing the bar" to your lower chest as you lower it.
  • Touch your chest or come within an inch or two of it.
  • Pause briefly before pressing the bar back to starting position.

Upper-Chest Workout Program

Since handling loads equal to your normal Bench Press won't be possible off the bat, strength coach Josh Bryant suggests a three-week wave with Reverse Grip Bench cluster sets to maximize upper-body development.

Week 1: Do 60 percent of your "regular" Bench Press max for three reps. Rest 25 seconds. Repeat this for five minutes. For the last set, do as many reps as possible, stopping one shy of failure.

Week 2: Do four reps then rest for 25 seconds. Repeat for five minutes. For the last set, do as many reps as possible, stopping one shy of failure.

Week 3: Do five reps, then rest 25 seconds. Repeat for five minutes. For the last set, do as many reps as possible, stopping one shy of failure.

Week 4: Off.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: CHEST | BENCH PRESS | BENCH | PRESS