T Nation

Building Up the Upper Pecs


Just a quick question, what exercises would you guys recommend for building up the upper section of the pec for someone that is shoulder dominant?

I was thinking incline flys? would that reduce the work done by the shoulders? any others?

Thanks in advance



try dumbell presses but when u lower the dumbells bring ur elbows in to about 45 degrees from your body. its what several guys in my gym recommended to me they say it takes the stress off the front delts


My upper chest has grown a lot since:

-Chest day consist of mostly incline work, and all my incline work is done FIRST
-Incline wide-grip smith benching
-Focusing on feeling the pecs stretch on each rep


I had the same issue about 2 years ago. I'll come back with a program as soon as I get it.


Definitely Incline Bench. My weak point is my chest and I've tried a lot of different things, mainly flat DB bench which was ok but as soon as I started Incline Barbell and DB, my chest has grown a lot, and especially the upper portion.

I do 6 sets of Incline, ramping up the weight for the 3 sets, then going down and ramping up for the next 3 sets again. My Incline Bench has also gone up dramatically, right now I'm doing 225lbs about 6-8 times and before that I would be doing 185 for the same amount of reps.


incline dbs... worked pretty well for me in building up mass in my upper chest.. ive also heard some people mention the 45 degree angle thing to take the stress off the front delts sid is talkin about.. never tried it though..


What do you guys mean? Like this?


Incline Bench but very light.

Come down to just below the chin almost to your throat. Pause for 3 seconds or so and then press back up.

Do this for 12 reps or so.

If you angle your chest so that it is almost running parallel to the floor you will notice a nice stretch in the upper pecs.

That was a lagging part of my chest for me...and this is how I fixed it.

I actually picked it up from a buddy who used to be 'shoulder dominant' and he pointed me in that direction.

It's basically just forcing you to use your chest instead of anterior deltoid to move the weight.


Hell yeah. I used to do wide grip benches to my neck in a similar fashion. Vince Gironda said this is how you build your upper pecs, not with incline work. Sure he was a nutty old coot, but try doing a couple of sets and you may actually feel it better.



Sounds good, will give that a try.


Would you use this then as a "isolaton" exercise towards the end of the workout (like people use pec-decs etc) to failure or would you say it should be used more as a compound exercise?


either one. lol

it shouldn't really matter because in the end you are blasting chest anyways.

what it is doing is forcing you to train like a bodybuilder in that you are focusing on using the muscle you want to train to move a weight...instead of just focusing on moving the weight...make sense?

If you are shoulder dominant and incline then I bet you use shoulders for a good bit of the press...instead this now forces you to focus on your pecs...

so it can be the focal point of the workout or the finisher...your choice...either way pick a weight that you can do properly and feel it in your pecs...


Gerdy, how much stress does doing the neck presses put on the front of the shoulder joint? I irritated my right shoulder a few weeks ago. Lifts are still going up but I have to be extra careful not to make it worse. Have you noticed any extra stress on the shoulders; anything more than normal BB benching (elbows flared, bottom 2/3 ROM) produces?


As a powerlifter, both my front delts and upper pecs love paused one-board presses try 5x5?) followed by incline dumbell benching on a mild incline (3x10-12?) follow with isolation work if you will.


flat bench smith machine presses. Lower weight up to around the neck area and squeeze coming up. Be very careful and go light you don't need to lift heavy to put size on all the time or bring up a muscle group.


Here's a suggestion from my brother (DPT).. he says that instead of bringing the bar down during incline presses high on your chest (as most trainers do), you would actually recruit more upper pectoral fibers by coming lower at the bottom, and then when you push the bar up, create an arcing movement to endup over your upper chest (Hope I was able to accurately create the image.)



I think that's why hammer strength machine for that exercise is so effective.


Thanks for the replies guys.

The exercise you mentioned Gerdy seems to be working well, i can deff feel the pecs working more.

Stu think i know what your saying, will give it a go cheers....btw looking impressive.