Have you ever looked at Christiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski or Hulk with a bit of envy? Or maybe you look at pictures of Chris Hemsworth or a young Arnold Schwarzenegger and admire their muscular figure? Well, you’re not alone in admiring these remarkable figures. In truth, everyone does.
As eye-catching as these figures are, they did not appear overnight and resulted from consistent lower chest and upper abs workouts. Keep reading to find out more about these workouts.
What are workouts?
Workouts are physical activities that involve your body being in active motion. Workouts help your body maintain physical fitness and improve overall health and wellness. Workouts are performed for different reasons depending on your fitness goals. Whether it’s improving your strength, developing muscle, preventing aging, or enhancing growth and cardiovascular function, workouts will help you attain it.
Workouts also help your mental health. Medical practitioners often prescribe workouts for depressed patients or people going through severe stress because workout helps relieve tension and bring your body to equilibrium.
Workouts are not necessarily stressful and rigorous physical activities. They may range from light activities like taking a walk and stretching your body to more high-impact activities like mountain climbing and weight lifting.
For most athletes, a workout is an essential aspect or part of their training process, helping them develop endurance, build muscle and a stronger core. Besides, workouts help prevent health issues cardiovascular dysfunction since they improve blood flow around the body.
There are generally four divisions of workouts. They include workouts for flexibility, endurance, strength and balance.
You can expose any part of your body to any of these workouts to help improve your fitness. Here, we’ll look at workouts covering the lower chest and upper abs.
Workout for Lower Chest
Lower chest workouts will be ideal for you when looking to develop and strengthen your pectoral muscles.
The Pectoral Muscles
The pectoral muscles are the primary muscles of the chest and determine how it will look externally in terms of shape and size. The pectoral muscles are also responsible for controlling the movement of the arm, including how you rotate and flex them. This means that when you have weak pectoral muscles, there are chances that you will have difficulty rotating and flexing your arms normally.
The pectoral muscle is subdivided into the major pectoralis and minor pectoralis. The major pectoralis is fan-shaped and extends from the chest bone and clavicle to the upper arm bone. In contrast, the minor pectoralis is triangular and extends from the rib bones to the scapula.
Lower chest workouts engage both pectoralis muscles, which helps to build up the lower chest strength and size.
How often should you do lower chest workouts?
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, you should perform muscle-strengthening activities at least two days a week.
In one session, you may do 8-12 reps which hold a slight benefit on its own. Thus, 2-3 sessions per week will bulk the benefits and help develop your lower chest.
What workouts for lower chest should you do?
While there are various workouts that you can do to develop your lower chest, you will get the most benefit from the following;
- Incline pushup
Incline pushup is a workout type that primarily helps you build and develop your back and upper body. This workout involves staying in an inclined position, which engages your lower chest and helps build it.
You will need a flat workout bench, jump box, or step platform for this workout.
How to do a lower chest pushup:
- Place the flat workout bench in front of you and place your hands shoulder-width apart on the edge of the bench.
- Stay in plank position. This is done by extending your legs backward until your legs and back are straightened and keeping your weight on the balls of the feet.
- Bend your arms slowly to lower your chest toward the bench while keeping your elbows and arms close to your body.
- Then push your body away slowly from the bench while extending the arms but maintaining a slight bend in the elbow.
- You can do this about 8-12 times, then repeat.
A dumbbell lower chest workout is a very efficient workout for the lower chest. A dumbbell allows you to strength train your arms as you like. The decline dumbbell press involves a broad range of motion that simultaneously engages your arm and lower chest, helping you develop your lower chest efficiently.
For this workout, you only need two dumbbells and a decline bench.
How to do a dumbbell lower chest workout:
- Lie on the decline bench while making it at a 45-degree bend, then put a dumbbell on your hand.
- Allow the dumbbells to rest on the thighs while your palms face inward, and your back lays flat.
- Raise the dumbbells over your chest while extending your arms upwards and facing your hands inward.
- Hold the dumbbells shoulder-width apart and rotate your wrists until your palms face outwards.
- Allow your hands to bend 90 degrees at your elbow, placing the dumbbells at the edge of your chest.
- While you do this, inhale and exhale, and use your chest to push the dumbbells up, hold for about 1-2 seconds and then lower the dumbbells slowly.
- Do this 8-12 times for a set and repeat.
Cable crossover is another efficient workout for lower chest. This workout uses a cable machine that offers different lower back exercise options depending on the position of the pulleys. You can also adjust the pulley to target the lower chest efficiently.
How to do a lower chest workout with a cable machine:
- First, place the pulley above your head, attach a handle to each pulley, and select a comfortable weight for yourself.
- Grab each of the handles with your palms facing downwards
- Stand in the middle of the cable machine, then take two forward steps to help put a little tension on the pulleys.
- Step and lean forward, extending your arms out to the side while keeping your elbows slightly bent
- Bring your arms together in front of your body and exhale, then return to the starting position by slowly extending your arms and inhaling.
- Repeat this 8-12 times per set.
Workout for Upper Abs
Your upper abs is a part of your core that comprises muscles in the upper back (neck region), lower back, mid-back, abs and hips. The upper ab is also the superior portion of the rectus abdominis, popularly called the six-pec muscle responsible for spine flexing.
Upper abs workout helps your overall strength and core development, resulting in an athletic figure.
What workouts for upper abs should you do?
Various upper ab workouts will help you attain a “six-pec” body shape. However, some are more efficient and will deliver results quicker. You should try out these workouts for upper abs.
- McGill Curl Up
McGillCurl up is a type of workout for upper abs that involves the flexing and extension of your spine. Asides from helping to develop your upper abs, this workout also helps to reduce lower back pain and improve posture.
How to do the McGill curl up upper abs workout:
- Lie on the ground and face up with one of your legs bent and foot flat on the floor while the other leg is straight.
- Put your hands on your back to maintain a natural curve in your lower back.
- Inhale and exhale, then lift your breast bone upward and keep your neck long.
- Stay in that position for about 2-4 seconds, slowly lower down, and repeat.
- Hollow Hold
The hollow hold is a workout for upper abs, which resembles an upside-down plank. This workout helps to develop stability and helps to protect your spine as you brace.
You do not need any equipment for this workout.
How to do the hollow hold workout for upper abs:
- First, lay on the floor flat on your back.
- Next, extend your arms overhead, with legs pressed together.
- Then lift your legs and upper core off the floor.
- Hold yourself in this position for a few seconds.
- To do hollow rock, rock back and forth in this position while minimizing movement in the hips and shoulder area.
- Weighted Strict Toes To Bar
A weighted strict toe to bar is a type of upper abs workout that helps to increase your shoulder strength, upper back strength, adductors and grip.
This workout allows for movement with weights, making it very efficient in achieving upper ab hypertrophy.
You will need a med ball and chin-up bar for this workout.
How to do weighted toes to bar upper abs workout:
- Place a med ball between your ankles, squeeze on it and then jump up. Grab the chin-up bar with a wider than shoulder-width grip. Squeeze the legs, thighs, med ball, and gluteus together while you lift your toes and med ball to the bar.
- Touch the ball between your hands to the bars and lower the ball down slowly while pushing your upper body forward. You can repeat this.
BENEFITS OF LOWER CHEST AND UPPER ABS WORKOUT
Although seemingly strenuous, upper ab and lower chest workouts have numerous benefits for the human physique, health and mood.
Amongst others, some of the common benefits of these workouts include;
- It helps to improve posture
Lower chest and upper abs workouts help to improve posture and correct lousy posture when already present. Since your lower chest and upper abs muscle play a prominent role in determining how you stand, workout in the lower chest and upper abs helps stabilize your shoulder joint, preventing slouching or bending.
- Better Breathing
Lower chest and upper abs workouts help in better breathing. Since the pectoralis are attached to the ribs, lengthening them through lower chest workouts allows you to breathe more deeply, which in effect allows you to take in more oxygen
- It helps to improve sports performance
Lower chest and ab workouts help athletes improve their overall performance. These workouts improve stability, flexibility, endurance and strength, qualities needed to become a world-class athlete.
- It relieves lower back pain
Back pain is prevalent in young and old persons alike. Lower chest and upper abs workout helps reduce pain as the muscles in the back are being stretched during exercise, thereby giving you relief.
PRODUCTS THAT CAN HELP TO SCALE UP YOUR LOWER CHEST AND UPPER ABS WORKOUT
Certain products can help you achieve greater efficiency in upper abs and lower chest workouts.
- The OPTP stretch out strap with Stretching Exercise Poster allows you to conveniently stretch your core muscles (lower back, upper back, mid-back, hips and abs), arms, legs, and shoulders.
- The Innova Inversion Table comes with adjustable headrest, reversible ankle holders, padded handles, and padded backrest and headrest. It helps you to be comfortable and perform your workout safely and efficiently.
Workouts for lower chest and upper abs are an efficient way to attain the admirable body physique of Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, or Chris Pratt… Basically, any Chris at all
Despite their benefits, it is essential that you are not overworking yourself to avoid injuries. Work closely with a fitness coach to figure out the best options for you, and ensure to use equipment that eases the strain of your workout and provides some comfort.