If I could give you one tip for your chest workout that would improve the results you see on every chest exercise you do, this would be it. I’m calling this one the chest workout “master tip” for good reason. In this video, you will see how you can instantly fix one thing about every chest exercise you do that will increase the results you see from doing the exercises.
It starts with a quick test. Stand up and raise your arm up over your head as far as you can. When there, take a look at yourself in the mirror and see if you did what I am showing you not to do; shrug your shoulder. You can test by pulling your arm downward without bending the elbow. If you see the space increase between your head and shoulder then you likely did what most people would when asked to lift their arm and used a great deal of upper trap to do this.
The upper traps are overactive in virtually every single person, mostly because of the postures that we find ourselves in every single day. We are either sitting at a desk hunched over or texting on our phone, both of which tend to cause us to inadvertently shrug. The traps can get a bit tight and tend to jump into action every time we go to execute a chest exercise where we are pushing a lot of weight.
We can’t allow this to happen. Not only is this not wanted but it is actually getting in the way of a complete chest contraction. For best results and strength of contraction in your chest you want to be able to get your shoulder girdle depressed not elevated. The lower traps are the primary muscles responsible for depressing the shoulder blades prior to executing reps on your chest exercises but your pecs assist. When depressing your shoulders during a chest exercise you immediately feel the intensity of the contraction increase in your chest.
This can be applied to every single chest exercise you do, which again is why this is called the master tip. Prior to performing a bench press for example, you want to lay back on the bench and pull your shoulders down towards your feet. Think of it as trying to elongate your neck. While holding the shoulders down the whole time you begin pressing the weights. Feel the stronger contraction in your pecs and make sure to keep the traps from migrating up as you continue your set and fatigue.
The next exercise you can do this on is pushups. Before you fix this, you may want to actually just check your traps. Likely they are going to automatically shrug because of the overactivity. Correct it the same way by activating the lower traps and pulling your shoulders down. From here, continue to do your pushups feeling the stronger contraction every rep.
Finally, you can do this on the dip and the crossover as well. The dips present a special challenge just because it’s harder to control the tendency of the shoulders to shrug up due to the weight of your body that has to be lifted. Either way, the same tip applies and when you fix it, you will see much better results from every exercise in your chest workout.