Chest Pressing 101 – Optimal Exercise Execution
When it comes to chest training most people opt-in for bench pressing, as the movement allows the trainee to use higher loads in a compound movement. While pressing can be a good exercise for the chest it is important to look at a few factors to optimize your training and prevent injuries.
There are 3 divisions to the pec; clavicular, sternal and costal. While all of the muscle contracts, portions of the muscle have a different mechanical line of pull
depending on where the humerus is positioned thus biasing that portion more. This means that for overall chest development you will need to change the arm position to emphasize pec divisions at one point in your training cycle.
The clavicular division “originates” from the clavicle and its fibres insert more distally on an angle on the humerus. This portion of the pec also helps with flexing the humerus to approximately 60 degrees.
Coaching Tip – Focus on a lower arm position and adducting your arm towards your clavicle. (Low to a high position)
The sternal division “originates” from the sternum and its fibers insert more horizontally on the humerus. Most powerful horizontal adductor of the humerus, generally most overdeveloped division.
Coaching Tip – Focus on a horizontal arm position and adducting your arm to the sternum
The costal division “originates” from the costal cartilage of ribs 1-6 and its fibres insert more proximally.
Coaching Tip – Focus on a higher arm position and adducting your arm to the base of your rib cage. (High to low position)
Note; Cable flyes are a better alternative for costal portion of the pec due to the anatomical structure and stability.