I have really long arms (i'm about 6'3", with about a 6'8-9" wingspan) and also have pectus excavatum (a chest deformity), and i dont know if that effects it, but i just cant seem to really 'hit' my chest. ive tried BB & DB presses, pushups, inclie, decline, flat, pullovers, and it just seems to all go to my shoulders or triceps. any suggetions?
Read the Dave Tate article on this site, it was just posted about 2-3 weeks ago. Also when you bench squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep them pretty tight throughout the movement and keep your rear shoulders drilled into the bench. Also try supersets, superset flat bench with db incline presses until failure for 4 sets, then tell me you arent feeling it.
I don't know what type of training you're doing, but when I went to a split that worked about 2-3 muscles per day (or less), my "mind-muscle connection", especially with my chest improved dramatically. Now when I even barbell press with a closer grip I really feel it in my chest. I think its a matter of feeling the muscle group through different movements and through the pump.
try putting the bench on the lowest incline when doing any pressing work. Also I agree with the above on squeezing shoulder blades together and bringing your sternum up some. Do partial reps like right here for an example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apVL66zbJpg&feature=channel_page
here's the low incline db
also don't neglect peck deck/db flys also!!
If you want to hit your chest on pressing movements, widen your grip. Just like close grip bench focuses on the tris, wide grip focuses the impact on the chest.
Well, my arms are just about as long as yours(6'7ish) and I too have had some difficulties with activating the chest on pressing movements. Wide grip neck presses are great. DB presses with your hands at a bit of an angle like / . Also, decline press.
But really, for me, I've noticed that, even when I don't 'feel it', my chest still grows and gets stronger. So I mostly just focus on increasing the weight and reps that I do, and getting stronger.
I also have a similar build and sometimes also struggled to feel my chest untill I tried this super set. Start with flat DB flys (thumbs in) and superset it with wide grip incline BB press (performing 1.5 rep technique). Works like a charm. If you feeling super strong, do strip sets for the flys
thanks alot for the advice everyone! but i have a question. i've always heard Decline Presses put the focus on your triceps and less on your chest. is that not the case?
Well, they might technically put more focus on this or that, but the thing is, I can decline press about 50 pounds more than I can bench press, so even if there is slightly less direct stimulation going to the chest, it's still a lot of weight, and your chest is still involved.
For a stubborn muscle (in your case your chest) you should use a pre-fatigue approach.
You start with an isolation exercise (DB Flys, Cable-Crossovers etc) and then you do a compound move, say Flat BB Bench Press for instance. By isolating the muscle you 'prime it' which allows you to recruit it more easily with the compound exercise, plus it also enhances the mind-to-muscle connection.
Read this VERY HELPFUL article by CT: