Building a bigger chest isn’t something that happens overnight: it takes time and consistency in training. But in a new video on the Athlean-X channel, strength coach Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. outlines two tips which could help speed up your progress, by slightly adjusting the way you work your chest muscles.
He illustrates the first of his technique tweaks on the bench press. “Get down to the bottom of the bench and exaggerate the height of your sternum,” he says. “It’s going to get those shoulders back and the chest prominent.”
Then, to make sure that you’re recruiting your chest muscles as much as possible rather than relying on your shoulders, he advises trying to press up through your index finger and thumb. “It starts the adduction at the shoulder, which is going to ensure that the chest initiates the contraction,” he says.
This principle can be applied to pretty much any chest exercise, and Cavaliere demonstrates it on an array of different moves. In the cable crossover, he adopts a staggered stance and squares up his chest so that his sternum is prominent, and initiates the motion with the same fingers. “The chest is staying in front, the shoulders are staying behind,” he says. “It underscores how important it is to focus on the hand, because your shoulder’s just going along for the ride, your chest is just going along for the ride: the initiation of the movement is what you’re doing with your hand on the cable.”
When it comes to doing pushups, Cavaliere notes that taller men or guys with longer torsos tend to begin the move with a hollowed out chest with a more prominent shoulder placement, when again, what they should be doing is the opposite. To get into this position, Cavaliere advises doing a hand release pushup to ensure your chest and shoulders are where they need to be.
This article was first published on Men’s Health US.