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Exercises to Target Traps/Rhomboids, Teres, and Chest?

Okay so many of you have seen my post recently on semi-writing my own routine and I know I’ve been blowing up the beginner’s forum lately but I just have a couple more questions…

I’ve been reading up a lot (probably too much because I’m becoming overwhelmed haha) about anatomy and realized there was more to back and chest than just rowing and pressing.
I learned more in depth about the iliac, thoracic, and lumbar fibers of the lats and how to hit them in different degrees of rows/pull downs. I also learned about the clavicle, sternal, and costal part of the chest and how you need more than just a chest press to develop all areas.

So my questions are:
What movements hit all three areas of the chest the most? I read that floor press hits the sternal and clavicle part of the chest. So what hits the costal?
And then regarding back, what hits the traps and rhomboids then if pull downs and rows mainly hit the different fibers of the lat?
Should the teres major be considered than as well when working out back or is it hit in most rows and pull downs?

Am I overthinking this? :woman_shrugging:

Your time would be better spent lifting things rather than thinking about lifting things.


Get on Instagram and follow Paul carter and read all his IG stories too. He does a lot of answering questions. I think you’d benefit from it based on your posting


I actually do follow him haha which is why I started overthinking all this because I want to make sure I’m hitting everything :sweat_smile:

But definitely need to just start lifting and playing around with exercises and learn from there.

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Why don’t you join one of his group sessions. Like Valkyrie or garage gangsters?

The only people who really need to focus on this level of detail are competitive bodybuilders. And, maybe, people with extremely specific pre-existing injuries near those areas.

Everyone else, I mean, like, everyone else will be able to develop a solid looking physique without getting much more complicated than “horizontal press, vertical press, horizontal pull, vertical pull”.

Play around with some variety in those categories, for the physical and mental benefits, but absolutely do not stress about sufficiently targeting your iliac lat fibers or underemphasizing your costal pecs. That’s like stressing over eating 45 grams of protein per meal instead of 42 grams of protein per meal.

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Push your hands together like this, squeezing your pecs. Keep your arms bent, then raise and lower your hands. Feel different parts of your chest work as your arms are in different positions. Imagine an incline, decline or flat bench. Think of your costals. What hits them best?

Then straighten your arms while you continue to squeeze your hands together with your pecs. Raise and lower your arms, and feel different areas of your chest working as your arms are in different angles and alignments. Feel the tension with straight arms, like in a fly.

Try pumping your arms, like moving your hands towards and away from your ribs,while you still squeeze your hands together. Think about doing a pressing motion, adding in some adduction motion, like a dumbbell press.

Now reverse your hands so your pinkies are driving into each other and your knuckles are pointing towards your face. You’re simulating the underhand or Supinated grip. Go through the process again, feeling things out with this underhand grip.

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Not experienced enough haha. Otherwise I would.

@AllNaturalMama haven’t you been on stage? Or am I thinking of someone else?

Yes I’ve been on stage. But honestly at the time, I definitely was not ready to be on stage. I had only been lifting a little over a year and didn’t really think beyond having a big squat, bench, and deadlift and needing a big back for the figure division. Now that I’m coming back after an injury, I’m just wanting to be smarter about lifting.

But as I’ve been told, I’m overthinking too much so I’ll try not to and just get my butt in the gym and figure out what does and doesn’t work :joy::sweat_smile:

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There you go!

Honestly, you can’t do it all at once anyway - so you’ll find what works and you’ll focus there.