Chest Day … you either wouldn’t dream of skipping it … or you see it as unnecessary.
Chest isn’t typically a muscle guys overlook.
For the ladies… there seem to be misconceptions when it comes to training chest.
We will go over a few of those a little later in this article.
If you are neglecting training your pecs… You could be missing out on those sculpted shoulders you are working hard to build!
I’ve talked to many of our female clients that say it wasn’t until they started adding a chest workout to their weekly regime .. that they began to see sculpted shoulders.
This is because many of the exercises performed for chest hit the front delts pretty hard.
In this video, we go over how chest development plays a role in shoulder gains, give you some chest training split ideas, and the perfect chest workout that will place extra tension on your shoulders!
Here are SIX exercises I would suggest for chest that also work the front delts.
Almost any chest exercise will hit the delts a little bit (mainly the front delts) … but the best way to target the shoulders when training chest … is going to be on an incline.
Do these 6 Exercises as a stand-alone chest workout that will also hit your front delts hard…or pick a few and add them to your current chest workout.
Incline Plated Bench Press (medium grip)
Instead of a FLAT bench press, you will want to do bench presses on an incline bench instead. This will put much more emphasis on the front delts. When flat, they are not activated very much.
Incline DB Press
If you don’t want to use plates, you can also do an incline chest press with DBs and an incline bench. I like to do both. Starting with plated then moving to DBs. If you do both, you will probably want the weight to be lighter with DBs and heavier with the plated version.
When it comes to bench angle, you don’t want the incline to be too low. The incline for the DB version will be just slightly less than when using a bar and plates. You will do the same pressing movement that you do with the plated version. Make sure you go slow and controlled and really squeeze both your chest and your delts.
Incline Reverse Grip Alternating Press
On that same incline you would use for the DB press .. or maybe even go one notch back .. reverse your grip .. palms facing toward your face .. and perform presses this way, alternating from one arm to the other. This will really work that tie-in between your upper chest and front delt. The key here is to really focus on squeezing at the top.
Supinated Smith Machine Shoulder Press (or Barbell)
This exercise is known for delivering that “push-up-bra effect.”
Similar to the reverse grip DB Alternating Press .. by drawing your elbows forward, you are working the intended target…the anterior delts. To keep your triceps out of the equation, you don’t want to go anywhere near full arm extension,
Low Cable Chest Cross-Overs
Lowering the pulleys to their bottom-most position shifts the emphasis to the upper pecs…which also means … your front delts. Lock your elbows in a slightly bent position and hold that arm position throughout the entire controlled movement. Really take a second to SQUEEZE your chest and shoulders at the top.
Bodyweight Leaning Dips
When you think of dips, you may think triceps. That is true if you stay in an upright position. Using an assisted-dip machine .. if you lean forward and dip .. you will be focusing on using your chest and front delts .. NOT your triceps. Make sure you lean and use mind-muscle connection! This is a great finisher .. you may only be able to get in 3 or 4. Just burn it out a few times at max reps!
Chest Training Concerns (For Females)
I’ve heard many reasons why girls are fearful of training chest. Most believe they are gonna get these massive muscular pecs and lose their feminine shape.
This isn’t true. It takes lots of volume and lots of training time to develop that kind of muscle mass.
The solution isn’t to NOT train chest … the solution is the WAY you train chest.
Chest/Shoulder Training Split Tips
As you now know, the chest and shoulder muscles are both used in many of the same movements. This is great for getting in some extra front delt training .. but it also means you need to be smart about your training split!
Training chest and shoulders on back-to-back days may result in a decrease in performance in the muscle trained on that second day. You need to give them time to recover if training them separately.
Let’s say you train Chest on Monday .. if your front deltoids are sore or fatigued from that workout … then the shoulder workout you initially planned for Tuesday will likely suffer.
You will want to wait an extra day or two to allow your shoulders more recovery time before training them.
The same rule applies when training shoulders. Since you do hit your upper chest some, make sure and give ample time to recover before you hit chest.
Because these two muscles pair well together, for some of you, especially ladies not trying to BUILD their chest, it may be beneficial to train shoulders and chest on the same day.
Since shoulders are your focus .. hit shoulders first .. then finish up with chest.
On the flip side, if your chest is lagging or building a bigger chest is your primary goal .. you will probably want to perform chest exercises first if you combine chest/shoulder day.
The basic rule of thumb .. whether training on the same day or splitting it up .. always train your weaker, or more desired muscle, first in your workout plan.
Training Chest Prevents Injury
Weak pecs can lead to muscle imbalances .. which can result in injury.
Neglecting strengthening your chest could also result in posture problems. Rounded shoulder posture is a common sign of a shortened pec minor muscles.
So if for no other reason … get some chest work in .. to avoid imbalance and injury!
Give THESE EXERCISES a go…
you will no doubt see improvements in your shoulders!
If you want to get the most out of your health and fitness journey, you should be training and eating based on your genetics.
The way you train and eat should not be “one size fits all”… it should be based on your BODY TYPE.
Check out this FREE BODY TYPE QUIZ! It will quickly tell you what your body type and instantly give you some tips to get started with a plan that is best for your body!