How To Build Big Pecs – Close Look

November 17, 2021 0 Comments


Building a big and well defined chest is one of the things that many bodybuilders focus on in their training. A big muscular chest can really accentuate your physique. In this article I will outline how to build big pecs. I will be looking at the exercises that you can use to build big and well defined chest muscles. 

Problems With The Bodybuilding Bench Press

A lot of bodybuilders do their barbell bench presses using the “bodybuilding” style of benching. Whilst it is true that this style of benching will recruit more muscle fibres in the chest, it is not worth doing. This is because bench pressing with flared elbows is one of the worst ways that you can perform the exercise. As the weight gets heavier you increase the risk of pec tears and shoulder injuries massively.

Instead when performing the bench press you should tuck your elbows in on the way down, when coming back up flare your elbows out gradually on the way up. The correct way to bench press is pictured below. It will still work the chest muscles and help to build them but without incurring massive risks of injury in the process. 

bench press technique

Dumbbell Benching For Big Pecs

The dumbbell bench press in my view is superior when it comes to building big pecs. I do a lot of dumbbell benching in my own training, in particular on the incline. It is highly recommended to perform this exercise if you want big pecs. The big benefit that comes with using dumbbells is you are not locked into a specific plane of movement like you are with a barbell. You have more freedom of movement, lots of stabiliser muscles also get recruited to balance the dumbbells. Dumbbell benching smokes your pecs the most.

Incline dumbbell benching will hit the upper pecs really hard and help to develop the overall fullness in the pecs. In addition to these benefits it has significant carry over to the standard barbell bench press when it comes to strength. Make sure when you are dumbbell benching to position the dumbbells at a 45 degree angle by twisting your wrists inwards. Pictured below is the correct way to perform the dumbbell bench. Also when pressing the dumbbells up, press them up in a straight line. A lot of people bring the dumbbells together on the way up which is inefficient and a waste of energy. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. 

dumbbell bench

Push Ups

Push ups are an incredible exercise for building big pecs. They are very simple but effective. You would do your push ups with your hands a standard distance apart, tucking your elbows slightly on the way down. You can do them as normal or also do incline push ups and decline push ups as variations.

The incline push up is where you position a flat bench in front of you and use this bench to perform your push ups. A picture of an incline push up is shown below. A decline push up is where you position your feet on a flat bench, elevate your body off the floor and perform push ups that way. All three of these variations are amazing at building big pecs.

In fact during lockdown when all the gyms were closed, these were the variations of push ups I used to train my chest at home. Even though I have a weight bench, dumbbells and a barbell at home, I still used old school push ups and made very good progress with them. To make the push up movement even harder and stimulate more muscle growth in the pecs you can use resistance bands to add more tension and load. This is exactly what I did when I performed the different variations.

Click Here To See The Resistance Bands That I Use

incline push up

Pec Flyes

Pec flyes are a fantastic finishing movement to pump a lot of blood into the pectoral muscles and help to grow them. The great thing about pec flyes is that there are so many ways you can perform them. You can use a pec deck machine – this is a machine that is available in every gym. Alternatively you can perform flyes using dumbbells on an incline bench or a flat bench. In addition, you can also use resistance bands and do flyes with them for unique stimulation. A cable crossover machine can be used to perform flyes as well for constant tension throughout the movement. It is easy to see the utility of this exercise and the endless ways in which it can be performed. This exercise is widely used in the bodybuilding community and is very popular. I always perform pec flyes once per week in the 12 rep range and squeeze and hold the peak contraction on every rep. The pumps are insane!


pec flyes


In closing, this article has been all about how to build big pecs. I hope that it has been informative and explained well the pitfalls of the bodybuilding bench press. In addition I have mentioned the exercises that I feel are the best for developing big and muscular pectoral muscles. If you just implemented dumbbell bench pressing into your routine on a consistent basis and push ups as a finishing move from different angles, you would see tremendous chest gains.

The technique is very important on these exercises as I hope that I have conveyed. I see many people for instance doing dumbbell bench presses in a subpar manner. They are unknowingly short changing their efforts at inducing the best possible growth of their pecs. By ensuring you perform all of these exercises with the right technique you have all the tools you need to make amazing gains.

If you have any questions about anything I have touched on in this article, please leave a comment below. I love to read your comments, I feel this is a great way of interacting with my readers. Additionally if you perform any different chest exercises let me know. As always, enjoy your training!





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