Everyone wants to get a big chest, and the most difficult part of the chest to target for the vast majority of people is the upper chest. When first starting to work out, most of us do some basics such as flat barbell bench press and flyes. After getting a little more knowledge, you have probably learned that there are different sections of the chest you can target. Your chest muscles, or pectorals, are made up of two major muscles: the pectoralis major (the largest muscle) and the pectoralis minor (much smaller muscle). Both of these muscles together make up the majority of the chest. There are also two other smaller muscles called the serratus anterior and the subclavius, which complete the anatomy of the chest.
Most people think of the chest as one muscle, and some will even tell you that you cannot target different parts of the chest separately. I call bullshit on those people and the proof is in the DOMS (Delayed onset muscle soreness) that occur the next day in certain parts of the chest. Different parts of my chest are always more or less sore depending on what exercises I have done.
Personally, I tend to lack the upper chest, or sometimes referred to as the “shelf” that really accentuates the overall look of the pecs. That is why I have researched on ways to target the upper chest, specifically in the upper center. After lots of research, I found the perfect exercise to target the upper chest. It’s called the landmine press.
The landmine press is a very simple exercise that you can use to target either your chest or shoulders depending on how you do it. To target your chest, it is quite simple:
How to perform the kneeling landmine chest press:
Use an olympic straight bar and place one side against a corner in the gym. If you are lucky enough to go to a gym that has a platform that you can securely insert one end of the bar into, by all means use it. On the other end of the bar (nearest to you), load up some weight. Start with a low weight so you can get the hang of it. Get on your knees in front of the bar, and clasp the end of the bar with both hands interlocking to form a solid base. Be sure to keep your back straight through the exercise, and a lifting belt may help you if you are prone to back injuries. Lift the bar up where your starting position will be slightly below your chin. Slightly lean in towards the bar, and press the weight upward, concentrating on contracting your upper pec muscles at the end of the movement. Pause for a couple of seconds and slowly bring the weight back down to your start position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
After the very first day of performing this exercise, my upper chest was hella sore! I have been consistently using this exercise for a few weeks now and am already noticing more definition and mass in my upper chest. Add this in to your chest routine and before you know it, you will get some great gains in your upper chest and finally get that “shelf” you are looking for.
Have you used the kneeling landmine press to target your upper chest? Let us know how it is working for you in the comments below.