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Ultimate Upper Chest Workout to Complete Your Pecs

We don’t care who you are, Monday is international chest day. If that doesn’t sound right, hand in your bro card, your protein shaker, and get the f*ck out of the iron house. Nothing starts the week like getting those pecs pumped and poppin’ with a shirt-ripping chest workout.

But, what about upper chest bro? Are you giving it the love it deserves too?

Now, when we hit the bench for a session of, um, benching, most of us go flat first. It’s where we started out during the smaller days, and it’s our favorite place as beasts.

But there’s an inherent problem in our logic. By starting every single upper body session on a flat bench, we target the mid-chest when we’re fresh. So understandably it doesn’t take long for the upper and lower pecs to start falling behind.

Once this happens the armor like breastplate we desire becomes harder to achieve. Therefore, we need to make sure every single pectoral muscle fiber is all aboard the gainz train. Use this upper chest workout to give yours some well-deserved attention.

Article Brodown

  • What is the upper chest?
  • How to hit it
  • Ultimate Upper Chest Workout
  • Final Rep: Article Summary

Arnold Schwarzenegger performing incline bench press to develop upper chest


What is the upper chest?

Ever seen a gym dude with round and pointy pecs? Yeah, looks kind of dumb right.

Rather than owning a masculine, barrel-like torso, these bros look like they used two boneless breasts out of a KFC bucket for homemade implants. Not cool.

This our friend is a common case of, “I only ever bench flat, bro”, resulting in an unnatural, unfinished and cartoonish look.

However, if the same guys started to use upper chest exercises, their pecs would appear flatter, fuller, and better proportioned.

Your upper chest isn’t a myth. It’s a cold hard (warm and muscular) fact, bro.

Inside the Pectoralis Major

pectoralis major diagram

The main muscle that forms the chest is the pectoralis major, which is split into two heads.

Dominating the center is the larger Sternocostal Portion or Sternocostal Head. Then, up top, we have what is known as the Clavicle Portion or Clavicular Head.

If you’re after a solid well-rounded physique you must train this area. Notice we say area, and not so much muscle. This is because you can’t isolate the clavicular head from the remaining pec major, but we can emphasize the focus on it during exercise.

Fortunately, there are many ways to fire up these muscle fibers. Ignite your upper pecs today with this ultimate workout.

bodybuilder utilising incline bench press for upper chest

Ultimate Upper Chest Workout

Bro, we’ve pooled together our anatomy and training knowledge to bring you the best upper chest workout possible.

Each exercise has been carefully selected by our team or trainers purely for effectiveness. Together they’ll challenge and pinpoint your often-overlooked area, giving your torso that strong, thick, warrior look.

You might only need to complete this workout once or twice a week. If you’re already smashing chest on a different day, wait at least 48 hours before nailing this upper part routine.


Rest, Reps, and Sets

Rest for between 60 – 120 seconds for optimized recovery. Studies have shown this time to be the most effective for increasing muscle size and mass, so ditch the 30 seconds broscience bullsh*t.

Finally, before you go blast those pecs to pieces, you’ve got some planning to do. Build your own rep and set formula using the following ranges:

Reps: 8/10/12

Sets: 2/3/4

Hit lower reps at a heavier weight for strength goals. However, if hypertrophy is your focus, go for higher reps’ using a lower weight.

For both goals the final rep of your set should feel like your last possible effort. So, if you choose to shoot for 12, your last rep should feel like you couldn’t push out another. If the rep range feels too easy step up the load, bro.


bodybuilder performing incline dumbbell press

Ultimate Upper Chest Workout Exercises

  • 1: Incline Bench Press
  • 2a: Lower Incline Dumbbell Press
  • 2b: Lowe Incline Dumbbell Flye
  • 3: Flat Bench Reverse Grip Bench Press
  • 4: Landmine Chest Press
  • 5: Decline Push Up


Workout Tips

  • Stay away from the smith machine. Whilst you might be tempted to set the bench inside, it’s a bad idea bro. To optimally train the area we want to challenge it fully with free weights. Controlling a wild dumbbell or barbell places extra stress on the muscle fibers, leading to overall tastier gainz.
  • For the incline bench press ideally hit an angle of 45 to 60 degrees. You’ll find this much easier to achieve if your gym has an adjustable bench, which we recommend you use for all exercises.
  • Perform exercises 2a and 2b back to back. Supersets will truly attack and exhaust the stabilizing muscles supporting the small area. Plus, who doesn’t love a burning superset to really push the pace?
  • Lower incline exercises call for the bench to be adjusted to a less severe angle. This, in turn, will help target different areas of the upper chest.
  • If those decline pushups feel all too easy, get steeper bro. Adjust your positioning so you’re pushing against a more acute angle. Make gravity your b*tch, bro!
  • Squeeze the pecs with every movement. Not only does this help mind-muscle connection, but it also increases metabolic stress too.
  • Exhale when pushing, inhale whilst relaxing.


professional bodybuilder Jay Cutler showing developed upper chest
Professional bodybuilder Jay Cutler showing a lean, mean, and powerful upper chest


Keep a flat back throughout every exercise. Arching up and out of the bench will pretty much nullify the benefits of an incline. If you feel this happening, it’s a sign that the load needs to be lowered.

Always use strict form and complete every rep using a full range of motion. Half-assed efforts get half-assed results, bro. Don’t risk cheat reps and bad form for a higher number on the bar.

You’ll see much more gains by performing proper, smooth, and fully complete repetitions. Trust us, bro, it’s simple science.

Whilst it might seem you’re working harder pushing a higher number, you’re not working smarter. Eventually this kind of b*tch ass behavior will lead to an injury and muscular imbalances.



When gripping the barbell always use an overhand hook grip.

Because you are inclined, there’s a greater risk of dropping the bar with a ‘suicide grip’. For those who don’t know this is when the thumbs are not wrapped around, and the bar is free to roll from the palm.

If you’re like us and like to push some savage AF numbers, using any other grip is super dangerous. Plus, there’s nothing more embarrassing than the clang of a dropped bar. It’s just not worth it, bro.

Set your hands a little wider than shoulder width when grabbing the barbell. Your bench press grip can ultimately determine your overall ROM.


Final Rep: Article Summary

For many bros the upper chest is an area that faces a lot of neglects. It’s not like we don’t care, we just forget to vary up our angles of attack when working the pectorals.

But, by mixing it up on the bench and messing around with other inclines we can hit the Clavicular Head hard. Changing our approach to regular chest exercises gives different areas a chance to work harder, ultimately making their own gainz.

Rounded pointy pecs are not a good look for anybody, especially an alpha male. Building the upper chest creates a barreled torso that screams masculinity. It will stand strong like a solid plate of meaty body armor, looking natural, assertive, and complete.

So, what’re you waiting for bro? Get out there and claim your right to a manly upper-body today.


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