Having a skinny, bony chest is no laughing matter, especially for a guy. Everywhere we look, we’re bombarded with images of massive pecs and barrel-chested guys, and we’re made to feel like a big, muscular chest is the epitome of masculinity.
While much of this is rubbish used by the media to sell products and engineer society, there’s an age-old idea that a muscular chest denotes a more attractive and confident man. Just take a quick look at any ancient Greek or Roman statue and you’ll rarely see a skinny chest.
The benefits of putting some solid muscle on your lean chest aren’t just skin deep. Having stronger pecs will improve your posture and prevent your shoulders from sagging; This will help you avoid back problems and also improve your confidence, since posture has a lot to do with how we feel.
Below you’ll find 3 great exercises you can use to put some rock-hard muscle on your skinny chest and cover those bones. I have chosen them because they work the 3 main areas of the pectoral muscles (external, internal and upper pectorals). Many skinny guys make the mistake of focusing on one area and end up underdeveloping the rest.
3 exercises to get rid of a thin chest:
This is the absolute king of chest exercises and certainly the most famous. He must perform this regularly to get rid of the skinny chest on him.
Lie down on a weight bench and grip the bar with your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Lift the bar off the rack and slowly lower it toward your chest, stopping when the bar is one inch from your chest; don’t let it rest or bounce off your chest, like you see a lot of people do at the gym. ..this is not only dangerous but reduces the effectiveness of the exercise. Now push the bar up until your arms are almost straight, never lock your elbows.
This is one rep…do 6-10 reps and 3 sets with a weight that means it’s hard to complete the set.
The standard way to perform this exercise above works the entire chest with an emphasis on the outer pecs (if your grip is slightly further apart than shoulder width). You can work the upper pecs by tilting the bench up, or the lower pecs by tilting the bench down.
Dumbbell flyes (or cable crunches)
This is a fantastic exercise for the inner pecs and getting that great line in the center of the chest.
Lie down on a weight bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold them above your chest with your arms slightly bent. Then slowly lower the dumbbells one to each side in an arc so that they are level with your chest and your arms are out to the sides. From here, arch back up to the starting position, making sure to focus on the inner pecs and trying to “tighten” them as much as possible.
Perform 6 to 10 repetitions and 3 series of these. Again you work the upper pecs by inclining the bench. You can also perform this exercise standing up using a Cable Crunch machine. I personally recommend using free weights whenever possible to get rid of a thin chest as they will help you build muscle and get stronger faster, but the cable crunch is a great alternative.
Overhead Dumbbell Presses
These are great for the upper pecs and shoulders in particular.
Sit upright on a bench with a back and take a dumbbell in each hand. Raise them to the starting position, which is on either side of your head, just above your shoulders, with your palms facing forward.
From here raise the weights by straightening your arms and bringing the weights together overhead. Hold for a second, and then slowly lower them back to the starting position. Repeat for 3 sets of 6-10 repetitions.
Focus the effort on your pectorals and not so much on your arms to get the most benefit from this exercise.
If you can’t access a gym or any weights, I recommend you start doing push-ups for your lean chest. These are still an extremely versatile exercise and you can work the entire chest area simply by changing the width of your grip, tilting your feet, changing the pace of each repetition, using a gym ball to support your feet, and many other techniques.
The key to success with pushups is consistency and increment. By gradually increasing the number of repetitions each day, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll shed your skinny chest and build big, muscular pecs.