When people say they want to work the outer chest, a common target area, they are generally referring to the width of the pectoral muscles. Although, physiologically, there is not an outer-chest muscle group, there are exercises that build a broader chest. Concentrate on form and consistent timing while building mass through traditional pressing motions with heavy weights for a chest-expanding workout.
The wide-grip bench press is performed on a flat bench. Lie face up on the bench and grip the bar wider than shoulder-width but within 32 inches. Unmount the bar and slowly lower it in line with your breast bone until it nearly touches your chest. Use a forceful motion to push the bar back up until your arms are extended. Lower the bar back down to complete a repetition. Perform four sets of six to 12 repetitions, increasing the weight with each set. Stretch your shoulders to warm up your muscles before performing this exercise. Do not over-stress your shoulders during bench presses.
Adjust the bench to a 45-degree angle. Sit down and grip the bar at shoulder height. Unmount the bar and perform the exercise as described in the step above. Perform four sets of six to 12 repetitions while increasing the weight with each set. This exercise works the upper pectorals as well as the outer chest, and can be performed with dumbbells for variation.
Leave the bench at the 45-degree angle. Sit on the bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Raise the dumbbells to chest level. Extend your arms and spread them outward so your body forms a "T" shape. Allow your elbows to bend naturally. Pull the dumbbells together in an arcing motion so that they nearly meet above the center of your chest. Complete the exercise by reversing the arcing motion and returning to the starting position. Perform three sets of six to 10 repetitions while increasing the weight with each set.
Attach a handle to one end of an elastic exercise band. Mount one end of the band to a strong anchor point, and hold the handle in one hand. Allow the band to stretch to create the desired amount of tension and let your arm extend out to your side. Use an arcing motion to pull the handle forward so that the handle slightly passes the center plane of your body. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. Complete the desired amount of repetitions, and switch hands to complete a set. Do three sets of eight to 12 repetitions while increasing the tension with each set.
Grip a set of parallel bars with a neutral grip, and hold your body off the ground with your arms extended. Bend your elbows to lower your body while tilting your body forward about 30 degrees until you feel a stretch in your chest. Flex your chest and extend your elbows to return to the starting position. Perform three sets until exhaustion. This exercise works the triceps as well.
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