The Best Upper Chest Workout – 5 Top Exercises in 2023

Best Upper Chest Workout

A well-developed upper chest is essential for a balanced and aesthetically pleasing physique. More than appearance, a strong upper chest is vital in daily activities and sports. It contributes to improved upper body strength and stability.

A strong upper chest can bring about many benefits. One of them is that it allows you to breathe better. The muscles in your upper chest play a crucial role in breathing. So, strengthening these muscles can lead to better respiratory function and lung capacity. 

Staying up-to-date with the latest exercise techniques is important. This allows you to have an effective upper chest workout.

We will delve into the top 5 exercises in 2023 that you can incorporate into your upper chest workout. This ensures that you achieve the best results possible. 

Everything varies in effectiveness, versatility, and adaptability to various workout environments. By incorporating these into your routine, you’ll be well on your way to a well-defined upper chest.

The Importance of Upper Chest Workout

A well-rounded routine encompasses a variety of exercises that target different muscle groups. One of the often overlooked but essential components is the upper chest workout. 

An upper chest workout is crucial for several reasons. It helps develop the clavicular head of the pectoralis major. This also contributes to a well-balanced and proportional physique. 

This muscle group is also crucial for maintaining proper shoulder function and stability. It reduces the risk of injury during daily activities or sports.

Having this type of workout in your routine can result in a well-rounded fitness regimen.

  1. Improved Physique

A well-defined upper chest contributes to a symmetrical and appealing physique. This workout helps to enhance the appearance of your pectoral muscles. It makes them look full and well-rounded. By this, you create a balanced upper body that speaks about your dedication to fitness.

  1. Increased Functional Strength

An upper chest workout is not for aesthetics; it also boosts your functional strength. This means that focusing on your upper chest enhances daily performance tasks. Lifting heavy objects becomes much more manageable with strong upper chest muscles.

  1. Better Posture

Strong upper chest muscles play a crucial role in maintaining good posture. They support your upper body and prevent rounded shoulders. Incorporating an upper chest workout into your routine can strengthen these muscles. It also promotes proper alignment and reduces the risk of postural issues.

  1. Enhanced Athletic Performance

This region is integral to various sports and activities. This includes swimming, boxing, and tennis. Strengthening your upper chest muscles can improve your power, endurance, and athleticism.

  1. Injury Prevention

Focusing on your upper chest can help prevent injuries. You must ensure that your muscles are well-developed. A strong upper chest also stabilizes your shoulder joints. It reduces the risk of strains and other injuries.

Exercise 1: Incline Barbell Bench Press

The incline barbell bench press is a staple in any upper chest workout. It effectively targets the clavicular head of the pectoralis major. 

This exercise is excellent for upper chest development. It is also considered one of the best compound movements for upper body strength.

Proper Setup and Form

Incline Barbell Bench Press - Best Upper Chest Workout
Incline Barbell Bench Press

To perform the incline barbell bench press correctly, pay attention to the following key aspects:

  • Bench angle: Set the bench to 30-45 degrees. This emphasizes the upper chest muscles without too much stress on your shoulders.
  • Hand placement: Position your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the bar. Ensure that your palms are facing away from your body.
  • Feet position: Plant your feet on the ground and hip-width apart. Ensure to maintain balance and stability throughout the movement.


The incline barbell bench press offers many benefits, including:

  • Targeting the clavicular head of the pectoralis major.

This exercise targets the upper chest. It helps to create a balanced and well-developed chest.

  • Compound movement

The incline barbell bench press engages different muscle groups. This includes the shoulders and triceps and the upper chest.

Exercise 2: Low-to-High Cable Fly

The low-to-high cable fly is another great addition to your upper chest workout. This isolation exercise emphasizes the upper chest muscles. It also maintains constant tension throughout the movement.

Setup and Form

Low-to-High Cable Fly - Best Upper Chest Workout
Low-to-High Cable Fly

Proper execution of this upper chest workout requires attention to the following details:

  • Cable height: Adjust the cable pulleys to the lowest setting. Ensure they are at the same height on both sides.
  • Body alignment: Stand in the center of the cable machine with a staggered stance. You must maintain a slight bend in your knees and a tight core for stability.
  • Arm movement: Grasp the cable handles with your palms facing up. With slightly bent elbows, raise your arms wide until they meet above your chest. Slowly lower them back to the starting position. Ensure to maintain control throughout the movement.


You can incorporate the low-to-high cable fly, whether part of a 3-day upper chest workout plan. This will help you achieve a well-defined and muscular upper chest. This upper chest workout offers several advantages:

  • Isolation of the upper chest

You can emphasize this area and stimulate more muscle fibers. This can lead to increased muscular development.

  • Constant tension

Using cables ensures maintained tension throughout the entire range of motion. This can lead to more effective muscle stimulation.

Exercise 3: Incline Push-Ups

The incline push-up is also important to an effective upper chest workout. This bodyweight exercise is perfect for an upper chest workout at home. It requires minimal equipment with any fitness level.

Proper Setup and Form

Incline Push-Ups - Best Upper Chest Workout
Incline Push-Ups

To perform incline push-ups, follow these guidelines:

  • Elevated surface: Choose a sturdy, elevated surface to place your hands on during the exercise.
  • Hand and feet positioning: Position your hands on the elevated surface, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Extend your legs behind you and your toes on the ground.
  • Body alignment: Keep your body straight from head to heels. Ensure to engage your core to maintain stability throughout the movement.


Incline push-ups offer several key advantages for your upper chest workout:

  • Bodyweight 

This exercise relies on your body weight. This makes it convenient for an upper chest workout without a bench or other equipment.

  • Adaptable for any fitness level

You can change incline push-ups to suit your fitness levels. Do this by adjusting the height of the elevated surface or the distance between your hands and feet.

Exercise 4: Landmine Press

Another effective exercise in your upper chest workout is the landmine press. This unique movement allows for unilateral strength development. It also promotes shoulder stability.

Setup and Form

Landmine Press - Best Upper Chest Workout
Image credits: overtimeathletes/Youtube

To execute the landmine press correctly, follow these steps:

  • Landmine attachment: Secure one end of a barbell into a landmine attachment or place it into a corner. This is important to keep it stable during the exercise.
  • Hand positioning: Stand facing the landmine attachment and grip the free end of the barbell with both hands. Ensure to interlock your fingers and place them over the bar.
  • Stance and body alignment: Assume a staggered stance with one foot slightly in front of the other. Maintain a slight bend in your knees and keep your core engaged as you press the barbell upward. It is also important to extend your arms fully.


The landmine press offers several key benefits for your upper chest workout:

  • Unilateral strength development

Each side of the chest works independently. This exercise helps to develop strength and muscle symmetry on both sides.

  • Shoulder stability

The landmine press promotes shoulder stability. To do this, you must engage the rotator cuff muscles and stabilizers.

Exercise 5: Svend Press

This unconventional yet effective movement isolates the upper chest. It emphasizes the pectoral squeeze. 

Proper Setup and Form

Svend Press - Best Upper Chest Workout
Image credits:

To perform the Svend press correctly, follow these guidelines:

  • Hand positioning on weight plates: Hold two weights with your palms facing each other. Be sure to apply pressure to keep the plates in contact.
  • Elbow alignment: Keep your elbows close to your body. Always align your wrists throughout the movement.
  • Range of motion: Extend your arms forward, fully pressing the weight plates away from your chest. Then, return to the starting position, maintaining pressure on the plates.


The Svend press offers several unique benefits for your upper chest workout:

  • Targeting the upper chest

Strengthening the upper chest can improve posture and shoulder health. This promotes proper alignment and reduces the risk of injury.

  • Focus on pectoral squeeze

The Svend press emphasizes the pectoral squeeze. This upper chest workout helps to stimulate muscle growth and enhance muscle definition.

Tips for Maximizing Your Upper Chest Workout

Now that you know the best upper chest workouts, here are some tips to maximize your results. 

The Importance of Progressive Overload

To stimulate muscle growth, it’s essential to implement progressive overload. This involves gradually increasing the demands on your muscles over time. 

Here are some strategies to help you achieve progressive overload:

  1. Increasing Weight

As you get stronger, increase your weight during your upper chest exercises. This challenges your muscles and promotes growth.

  1. Varying Rep Ranges

You must alternate between high-rep, low-weight, and low-rep, high-weight sets. This is important to challenge your muscles in different ways and avoid plateaus.

  1. Utilizing Tempo

Experiment with lifting tempos, such as slow eccentrics or paused reps. This can help you stress your upper chest muscles more and encourage development.

Implementing Proper Rest and Recovery

Giving your body the necessary tools to recover can help you avoid overtraining. Consider these recovery strategies:

  1. Sleep

Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. This is important to support muscle repair and growth. Sleep is essential for maintaining health and maximizing your workout performance.

  1. Nutrition

Consume a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. This can help you fuel your workouts and support muscle recovery. Proper nutrition is vital to any successful upper chest workout for mass.

  1. Stretching and Mobility Work

You must incorporate stretching and mobility exercises into your routine. It helps you promote muscle flexibility and joint health. This can help you maintain a full range of motion during your upper chest workout.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are some effective exercises for targeting the upper chest?

Incline bench press, incline dumbbell press, incline dumbbell flyes, push-ups with elevated feet, and incline cable flyes are some good upper chest exercises. These exercises target the pectoral muscles’ upper part.

2. How often should I train my upper chest?

The frequency with which you train your upper chest is determined by your overall workout program and goals. Each muscle group, including the upper chest, should be trained at least twice a week, with enough rest days in between.

3. Can I do upper chest exercises without a gym or equipment?

Yes, you may do upper chest exercises at home or without any special equipment. Push-ups with elevated feet, incline push-ups using a stable surface such as a chair or bench, and pike push-ups are all great upper chest bodyweight workouts.

Level up Your Chest

Incorporating these workouts target the clavicular head of the pectoralis major. These workouts also help you build a strong and well-defined upper chest. 

Remember that consistency and commitment are crucial to any fitness journey. 

As you embark on a more developed upper chest, don’t forget to focus on progressive overload. You must also pay attention to rest and recovery to maximize your gains. 

With dedication, you’ll soon see the benefits of these best upper chest workouts. In no time, you can achieve the physique you’ve always desired.

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