It has to be said that a well-muscled chest, flexing under a tight t-shirt, is a look that many men who get into fitness want to achieve. If you’re desperate to learn how to flex your pecs, then don’t worry – we’ve got you covered! Follow these 4 steps, and you’ll be bouncing your pecs and courting admiring glances, before you know it!
Can’t Flex Your Pecs? It’s All About The Mind-Muscle Connection
The truth about being able to flex your pecs is that it isn’t a skill that we would need in the natural world.
There isn’t any obvious benefit that comes with gaining the ability to flex your pecs. Apart from attracting admiring glances, of course!
If we look at what the main functions of the pectoral muscles are, we learn that they help to move the arm toward the mid line of the body as well as to internally rotate the arms.
Most obviously though, they assist with extending your arm out in front of you.
As humans, we don’t naturally have much cause to push heavy weights away from us – especially when standing – so naturally, a heavily muscled chest is not a normal feature.
For this reason there isn’t a naturally strong mind-muscle connection with the pectoral muscles.
In contrast, the biceps are used very obviously when we need to pick an object up.
Because of this, from an early age we build a sense of connection to the biceps and are able to flex them at will, no matter the position our arms are in and regardless of whether they are lifting anything.
So the key to learning how to flex your pecs lies in establishing a solid mind-muscle connection
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Step 1: Stair Push Ups
You’ll never establish a mind-muscle connection with your pecs if you don’t have any in the first place!
So to address any under-development in your pectoral muscles, we’re going to get your blood pumping.
The first step in your journey to pecs that prance under your shirt, is to build some muscle.
You’re going to do this progressively, using movements that will build a strong mind-muscle connection.
The movements we’ve selected also develop your pecs in such a way that will guarantee you achieve the most noticeable pec flex.
We start with the stair push-up.
This is like a standard pushup, just completed on the stairs.
Because you are performing the exercise in a more upright position, it’s much easier than a standard position.
You can vary the difficulty by changing which stair you place your hands on – the lower the stair, the harder the press up.
This means that you can progress to lower steps as you get stronger.
Here is a great demonstration of the stair push-up being completed with perfect form:
Step 2: Push Ups
When you are able to complete 20 step push-ups in a single set, you are then ready to attempt standard push-ups.
Check out this article for tips on how to perform the perfect push up.
By the time you’re able to perform 20 standard push-ups in a single set then you’re ready to make things a little more difficult by using push-up stands.
Push up stands are a great tool that allow you to increase the range of motion on your press ups. For such a cheap and compact piece of training equipment, they make a huge difference to your body weight chest workouts.
When you can comfortably perform 20 deep push-ups using push-up stands you will have gained a noticeable amount of muscle on your chest.
To make things even harder, you can perform your push-ups with your feet raised on a chair or sofa.
Step 3: Alternating Decline Dumbell Chest Presses
Now we get to the secret exercise that will guarantee your pec-flexing success: the alternating decline dumbbell chest press!
That’s a mouthful!
We’re not concerned about the amount of weight lifted for this exercise, but instead you need to focus on form and speed of execution.
You want to lift slowly and really focus on the mind-muscle connection.
This guy does a good job of the incline bench version of the exercise, so adapt what he does for a decline bench.
The decline bench is important because it emphasizes the lower pectoral and when developed, this gives the most impressive flex when you contract the muscle.
This exercise will help with isolating each pec so that you can perfect the pec-bounce – like this guy!
Step 4: Flex Your Pecs!
In terms of timescale, we’d suggest you spend a week on each of the three steps we’ve outline above. Be sure to target a minimum of 60 reps per workout, and repeat the workout 4 times per week.
As an example, say you’re starting at Step1: Stair Push Ups, split your 60 reps up into sets of 10.
Start on stair 5 and work hard to make sure you complete your 6 sets of 10 reps.
If you complete that workout with relative ease, increase the difficulty next time by moving down to the fourth step and try to squeeze out an extra two reps per set (6 sets of 12 reps).
Keep trying to increase the intensity and volume (total reps completed) of each workout as you progress through the week.
Similarly, for each of the other steps, try to beat your total number of reps from the previous workout.
By the time you get to the end of your third week, you should’ve developed sufficient muscle mass across your chest to finally be able to flex.
To achieve the flex, first of all relax your chest with your hands by your side.
Focus on your chest, particularly the tendon that runs from where your armpit and pec meet.
As you focus, contract the pectoral muscle, move your attention to the inner-bottom of your pec at the center of your chest.
Squeeze the pec!
Congratulations! You’ve just flexed your pecs!!
Before You Go
Flexing your pecs is a fairly modest fitness goal and there’s so much more you can acheive with a good fitness plan.
So why not stick around and read these articles, which we promise will inspire you to take your fitness to the next level:
Read our review of the Hyperbolic Stretching Program and learn how we got flexible fast.