It’s a well-known fact that the majority of bodybuilders suffer from the same pectoral deficiency. They begin training at a home gym on a flat bench. The first 2-3 years of their training is usually devoted to training chest using the flat bench press. As a result, these new bodybuilders develop thick lower and middle chests which appear shallow and flat in the upper area. It’s only when they join a gym that they manage to discover the incline press, evaluate their physique and admit a weakness, and work to improve it through exercise selection.
There are plenty articles out there about the importance of training upper pecs more in order to attain a fuller upper chest. However, most of them tend to neglect the second-most common chest weakness: Poor shoulder-pec tie-ins. Open up any muscle magazine, and there is a good chance you’ll see two things. First, you’ll see something, somewhere, about training upper chest. Second, you will invariably see an article about training shoulders. However, despite the fact this part of the body is prominently displayed in every front bodybuilding pose, you will likely not see anything about training the pectoral-deltoid tie-in area. Until now! The pec-delt tie-in area is most effectively trained using the following movements.
They’re ugly, they’re heavy, but they get the job done. This movement is the most productive for adding thickness to the outer chest. Start your workout with them if you want to challenge the outer pectorals when you’re at your freshest and strongest. Don’t be afraid to train to failure and drop this medium weight safely when you do reach failure. The weight used should be far less than that which you use for dumbbell presses. Work in the 6 to 12 repetition range.
These can be performed with the handles set above the head, at waist level, or down near the floor. They work the tie-in differently at each angle. Most trainers agree the lowest position is the best for targeting this area. Work in the 10 to 18 repetition range.
If you’re having problems “feeling” the outer pectoral muscles when training, it might be time to try the pec-deck machine. It’s a tad elementary, and it does limit your range of motion. However, it does control the movement along a pre-determined path, which can improve your control over angles when using free weights or cables. Work in the 10 to 18 repetition range.
Extreme stretching & more
At the conclusion of your workout, it’s very important to grab a post or piece of machinery and really stretch the pectorals to their limit. Avoid jarring stretching, which does include the infamous “clapping pushup”, which can be very dangerous and lead to tears. Grab a post or machine and slowly “pull”, making your movement slow and deliberate for several minutes. Deep tissue massage of the outer pectoral area may be a good idea as well. Lactic acid is broken up, and the area is them able to perform better in future weight training sessions.
Emphasizing Pec-Delt Tie-Ins by Dane C. Fletcher