What would be the best exercises for developing a upper chest ?

I know the answer would be inclined Press movements but some how these don't really help me. Know matter how many I do, I can't get my upper chest sore. May the way, I do them or my anatomy my shoulders and triceps do a lot of the work when I do inclined movements.

On a flat bench, I can do 200+ pounds bench press.

I heard Push ups are a great way to isolate the upper chest. I am planning to include them in my routine.

Any other suggestions you have.

  • 3
    Whether you're focusing on strength or size, soreness is surely not the best indicator of progress (see fitness.stackexchange.com/a/815/22); instead use a progressive system of measurement.
    – G__
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 16:27
  • Greg : I do make good strength gains on any exercise if I put it up in my SS routine. My problem is my lower chest is more developed than my Upper chest when I try to emphasize it I am not sure I am able to isolate it enough neither do I see much returns in terms of size.
    – Geek
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 16:36
  • How big are you? Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 18:15
  • While this may sound obvious: ensure that you are eating enough to promote muscle growth. Even with proper exercise, if you don't fuel your body it won't grow.
    – Moses
    Commented Oct 28, 2012 at 22:42
  • @DaveLiepmann , Moses : Yes, I eat enough. Like I mentioned I have a defined lower\mid chest and a strong back with good arms. The shoulder also develops well with more volume. However the upper chest doesn't respond. To be honesst I have failed at exercises(either weight or volume) but never felt a pump in the upper chest area. I am 6ft 1 inches and 198 pounds.
    – Geek
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 5:51

2 Answers 2


Try incline dumbbell or cable flyes at the end of your chest routine, that should do it. At least it nicely pops out my upper chest.

Well cable flyes would definitely be better because of the constant pull.


The flat and inclined bench press are the best for chest development. What you might be looking for is a program that provides the volume required to push your muscles into growth. Typically, a 5x5 program focuses more on strength and a 3x8 program more on size. The amount of weight used and number of time a week you're lifting is also a factor. If you're your current routine is within your 'comfort zone', then you need to look to get out of it and either push more weight OR more often.

  • Somehow the best program that worked for me(after years of experimenting) was Starting strength. This gave me the best size and strength results for all body parts. The once a week routines seem to be less volume for me and the typical 3x8 (2 or 3 exercises) per body part twice a week quickly makes me a touch smaller. I know it is not easy to comprehend :-) One small tweak that I did to SS from my side was to do 5x6 instead of 5x5. I think my body doesn't like more than one exercise per body part. I would like to know your thoughts on this. How would you add volume to such a guy ?
    – Geek
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 6:02
  • @Geek - I'm on the Mad Cow program 5x5 - hitting the bench twice a week. Are you progressing with the weights? how much are you adding a week? Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 11:39
  • i gain around 5 pounds a week. Bench is 200 pounds. inclined bench is 150 pounds.
    – Geek
    Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 19:04
  • 1
    @Geek - so, from reading the responses, etc - it seems you're benching what you weigh (about 200lbs) and I'm assuming 5 reps at that level. On the madcow program I didn't feel a 'pump' until I got to 220lbs at 5 reps, so I would imagine if you're adding 5lbs a week, the pump your looking is about a month away Commented Oct 29, 2012 at 19:58

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