The idea of being able to sport a truly muscular chest is appealing for many men – and for good reason! There is something about a wide broad chest that is synonymous with manliness, and the broad chest is not only a good sign of strength and health but it is an aesthetic that is often appreciated by men and women alike!
The good news is that there are several exercises that not only help develop the chest muscles but some that even aim at those outer pecs to really bring those connecting muscles home.
Bench press isn’t going to do it alone.
If you want a truly epic, dare we say even Schwarzenegger-like chest, you’re going to want to make sure to add some of these outer pectoral muscle exercises to your workout regiment!
Top 5 Outer Pectoral Workouts (Plus a Bonus!)
1: Incline Flys
These are a classic chest exercise and are especially good for working those outer pecs. Set the bench to an incline, generally somewhere between 45 and 60 degrees for the best combination of safety, comfort, and effectiveness.
There’s no fancy twist on the exercise, these are the classic incline flys, done with dumbbells, with a strong emphasis on form over total weight.
While lying on the bench, you want to extend each arm out away from your chest slowly, lowering each dumbbell as you do until your arms are are parallel with the ground.
Inhale as you do this, and make sure your arms are at least slightly bent as you do so.
Once your arms are parallel then you raise them again, exhaling throughout the movement until each dumbbell nearly meets at the top, your arms fully extended above your face.
The reps are based on weight and where you’re at but the emphasis here is good form. You don’t want too much weight. If you lift too much weight you can easily hurt the very muscles you’re trying to build up and protect.
Good form is more than enough to get the full benefit. If you don’t know where to start, go with lower weights and work your way up.
2: Pec Dec Flys
We won’t spend too much time on this one because anyone who has spent time in the gym or workout room knows this machine.
This is the “classic” chest machine with your arms starting parallel to your body, one to each side, then you push the paddles towards the middle where they meet out in front of your chest.
These are a great exercise for both the inner and outer chest muscles and belong to pretty much any type of chest workout so don’t forget to get your reps in on this popular machine!
3: Cable Crossover Flys
If you want the best possible chest you need some resistance training thrown in there, and there’s no better way than getting the cables ready.
Before starting make sure you have the same weight on both sides, and set up the cables so when you grab each one in hand it’s going to begin lifting the top bar of weight from the resting position.
Then you want to do your best Hulk Hogan impression, even crossing the wrists a little in front to make sure each pectoral muscle gets the full range of motion so you can maximize your results.
If you grew up watching WWE (then WWF) wrestling, do your best Hulk Hogan impression and get pumped up to the “Real American” theme song in your head as you work the reps, focusing on really feeling it through the arms, chest, back, and sides.
These are an outstanding exercise to hit all your chest muscle groups and supporting muscle groups.
4: Wide Grip Bench Press
Hey, just because you can’t get a dream chest on bench press alone doesn’t mean you need to throw out the baby with the bath water!
Make sure to keep the bench press in there, but when you specifically want to boost those outer pectorals, it’s all about the wide grip, baby!
This is for a solid bar and a wide grip means you’re gripping outside of your shoulders. This can be done on a regular bench or an incline bench, and is a great supplement to your traditional bench press to make sure all of your pectoral muscles are feeling the love.
Normal grip is great for inner pecs. If you want to hit the outer pecs, it’s all about the wide grip!
5: Machine Straight Arm Flys
First make sure you’re in proper position by adjusting the seat so the handles you grasp are parallel with your arms – not angled too far up or down.
Once you know you have the best starting position, you need to plant your feet and use the same basic motion as the pec dec flys. Because of the machine set up your arms are stretched out more to hit those outer muscles and you’ll have a larger range of motion.
This also means less weight is needed so if you’re new to this exercise be sure to work your way up to be on the safe side.
Bonus: Add extra push to your push-ups!
One simple adjustment to the common push-up can make a big difference when it comes to filling out those outer pectoral muscles.
Do push-ups as you normally would with perfect form, but when you rise keep pushing into the ground as hard as you can with your palms, like you’re trying to push the earth down.
This little adjustment really pushes the outer connecting muscles and can do some serious work in bulking and cutting them to give you your best possible chest.
There are a lot of great exercises out there that can help you get bigger, stronger, and better pecs. The ones covered in this article will give your chest everything it can handle.
If you make sure to frequently rotate these five major exercises into your workout regiment you will find yourself with outer pectoral muscles the envy of even the most dedicated local gym rats!