Best Upper Chest Workout

Upper chest cable cross


If you are looking for best upper chest workout there is a good chance that your upper chest is one of your weakest muscles and for a good reason when we start working out we mostly train middle chest even when we reach intermediate or advance trainer level at gym mostly I see 90% of people start their workout with flat bench press, flat bench press is good for lower and middle chest but it doesn’t targets your upper chest as much, your upper chest is a separate muscle and its made up of clavicular head and a part of pectoralis minor where as your lower chest is pectoralis major though in anatomy clavicular head is part of pectoralis major but that is separate part which needs to be hit separately hence you need to include few upper chest exercises in your chest workout in order to stimulate growth in your clavicular head region.

Flat bench press is favorite exercise of someone who likes to train hard. Not only that flat bench press is sort of a sign of strength. When you talk to your school or work buddies that you have joined gym first question you get asked is what do you bench? Bench press is like an ego of bodybuilder more you lift on bench more bad ass you are so its understandable if you are not doing much upper chest workout and mostly focused on flat bench press and increasing strength for your middle chest so you can lift 200 pounds on bench.

If you are searching for best upper chest workout that means you have come to your senses that bodybuilding is not about getting stronger and its certainly not about pressing more weight on bench its about symmetry. Yes, symmetry! You need to grow each and every muscle in proper proportion so your one muscle is not lagging behind other and you have good symmetrical beach body, there is no point of having biceps bigger than shoulder like wise having good lower and middle chest but lacking in upper chest area is not good for symmetrical body we are body builders aren’t we?

Start with upper chest workout first

Always start your exercise with upper chest or whatever muscle you feel is lagging behind. Don’t just go to gym and spend all your energy lifting as much weight as you can on flat bench press and get exhausted in the process and when it comes to upper chest workout you are so tired that you lift lot less weight on incline bench press, this will only hurt your workout for upper chest and your weak muscle will fall further behind. Always start your workout with muscle that you think is weak and you want to give special attention to that muscle, in this case start with incline bench press and incline dumbbell flies. Yes you will lift less weight on flat bench press but if you want to get symmetrical upper chest I suggest you keep your ego outside when enter gym and start thinking like a bodybuilder. Your chest workout should look like this:

  • Incline bench press or incline dumbbell press
  • Incline dumbbell flies
  • Flat barbell press or flat bench dumbbell press
  • Flat dumbbell flies
  • Cable cross (optional)

Always include isolation movements

Dumbbell flies

For upper chest workout don’t ignore isolation movements like dumbbell flies, you won’t be able to left as much weight for dumbbell flies as you can for dumbbell press but what I see most trainers do is they skip dumbbell flies altogether this has to do with myth that dumbbell flies don’t add any mass to your muscles but rather flies are for shape as I have explained in my previous article about biggest myth of bodybuilding this is a myth that flies don’t add to size in fact flies add more to size then compound exercises.

Isolation exercises target main muscles which you are working out which in this case will be upper chest you will be lifting less weight because you will be lifting weight mostly with your chest with some support from triceps but should is not involved in flies which is heavily involved in dumbbell press and bench press. More muscles involved will help you lift more weight but lifting less weight with only target muscles is more beneficial than lifting more weight with non targeted muscles. This doesn’t means for your upper chest workout you only need to¬† do isolation exercises, you need to perform compound exercises as well this is because compound exercises help in boosting testosterone and growth hormone in your body which helps in gaining size.

Ditch smith machine

For upper chest workout at-least ditch smith machine and do incline bench press on incline barbell press. Smith machine is mainly used for safety but you can achieve same level of safety by asking someone to stand as spotter when you are performing bench press, this will also help you lift more weight on bench without having to worry about dropping barbell on your neck. Smith machine is not as effective as incline barbell press because machine makes it easier for you to push weight and its more of an unnatural movement any way so why not stick to compound natural movement?

Form is the key

When performing lower, middle chest or upper chest workout specially barbell press or dumbbell presses make sure to keep you back steady and don’t raise your back when performing presses this is bad form this will not only cause injury to your back but this will also hurts your workout. As I explained before goal of bodybuilder is not to lift heavy weight, yes you need to push yourself and perform exercises with principle of progressive overload but bad form is not the answer to lift more weight, you need to lift more weight in proper way with proper angle and that is what will target muscles which you are targeting instead of lifting barbel or dumbbell with your back while performing upper chest workout try to lift them with your triceps and chest.

Train upper chest twice a week

I know what I said about not training your muscle twice a week in my previous article but I was talking about training same muscle group with high intensity twice a week for example if you train your upper and lower chest twice a week doing 120 reps for each workout with high intensity that would be bad.

What I mean about performing upper chest workout twice a week is that you can train your upper and middle chest on chest day and after giving at-least 48 hours rest to your chest train upper chest again by doing one to two exercises with any other muscle triceps, legs or shoulder it doesn’t matter really but remember not to train at high intensity when training second time on the same week. Always train with moderate intensity but hitting your weak muscle twice a week will surely help you build that muscle stronger. Arnold had best chest muscle that we know of and he himself admitted that he paid special intention to his chest muscle and back muscle than any other muscle and you can see his chest size.


Most people don’t train upper chest correctly and sometimes upper chest is lagging behind because of genetics but you can overcome all of that by following above advice if not all I am sure one of them will work for you, in my personal experience training upper chest twice a week with moderate intensity has helped me over come my weakness and build good upper chest.

Spread the love

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *