Putting on mass isn’t an overnight miracle, because it requires time and dedication to the iron and your workout routine, especially when you want to build mass for your chest area and back.
The chest exercises work the pushing muscles in the body (chest, front deltoids and triceps) while the back exercises involve the pushing muscles (back, biceps and rear deltoids).
The chest area is made up of two muscles – pectoralis majoris and pectoralis minoris. These chest muscles start at the clavicle and go to the sternum and the armpit area. The best way to work your chest is to break the muscle in three parts – the upper, the middle and the lower portions of the chest. All these different portions are stimulated by changing the angle of the execution for an exercise.
The upper and the lower portions of the chest are stimulated by exercises done on a 30-45 degrees incline bench such as dumbbell bench press, decline barbell, or incline dumbbell flyes. The middle portion of the chest is best worked when doing exercises on a flat bench such as flat barbell and dumbbell bench press.
Let’s see a list of exercises that best work the chest muscles:
Sculpting a bigger stronger back takes work but it comes with a long list of benefits. For example, you will stand taller because training your back means targeting the weak points that lead to poor posture.
The strategy for working your back is simple enough:
If you want a wide, thick and strong back, these are the exercises you’ll want to do:
Now let’s combine the two and take a look at a workout routine that works your chest and back at the same time.
Deadlifts – with your feet flat beneath the bar, squat don and grasp the bar with a shoulder-wide mixed grip. Lift the bar by fully extending your hips and knees. Pull your shoulders back at the top of the lift.
Bench press – lie on the bench and take the barbell from the rack over your upper chest using a wide oblique overhand grip. Lower the weight to your chest, then press the bar upward until arms are extended.
Dips – mount a wide dip bar using an oblique grip and keeping your arms straight with your shoulders above hands. Slightly bend your knees and hips and lower your body by bending your arms, allowing elbows to flare out to sides. When you feel a slight stretch in your chest or shoulders, push your body up until arms are straight.
Barbell bent-over rows – slightly bend your knees and bend over the bar with your back straight. Grasp the bar with a wide overhand grip and pull it to your upper waist. Return until your arms are extended and shoulders are stretched downward.
One arm dumbbell rows – grasp the dumbbells with your palms facing the front of your thighs. Position your other hand for support and pull the dumbbell to front of shoulder with elbow leading, allowing your wrist to flex as the dumbbell rises upward.
Barbell shrugs – stand holding barbell with an overhand or mixed grip and shoulder width or slightly wider. Elevate shoulders as high as possible, then lower and repeat.
Before you perform this workout routine take some time for a warm up and stretch. About 10 minutes of light cardio on a treadmill, elliptical or stair stepper should be all you need to warm up.
To stretch your chest you can extend your arm straight out to the side and grip a wall or machine, then twist your body forward lightly to begin stretching out your chest.
To stretch your back, you only need to sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor and twist your upper body so your shoulders rotate to one side. You can use the chair for support, holding on to get a deep muscle stretch.