FTM Chest Workouts
Many FTMs envision having strong and well-defined upper body muscles to mark their successful transition. This is by no means a necessity, but the concept of engaging upper body workouts has gained popularity among the female to male trans people. Developed chest muscles can benefit trans men prior to upper body surgery by providing a foundation for muscle mass post-surgery. In addition, evidence suggests that a strong upper body will improve recovery from upper body surgery. A stronger upper body does not define a person’s masculinity in any respect. Still, if you are a transmasculine person looking to increase your muscle mass, various innovative fitness regimens could help you achieve your goals. This article is simply a guide to help you implement an appropriate workout routine to strengthen and grow your chest muscles.
The Muscles Of The ChestThe three fundamental muscles that make up the bulk of the chest include:
- Serratus anterior
- Pectoralis major
- Pectoralis minor
The Pectoralis MajorThis muscle is assisted and supported by many smaller muscles, including the serratus anterior. The subclavius and the anterior and lateral deltoids stabilize the pectoralis major in its contraction during chest exercises like bench press and push-ups. The pectoralis major has two heads; both a clavicular head and a sternocostal head. As one head contracts, the other relaxes. They are therefore referred to as antagonistic. You can observe the clavicular head flexing the humerus (the upper arm bone) by raising your arm to the front. The same muscle is responsible for adducting the humerus inward to the midline of the body as well as rotating the arm. The sternocostal head functions to bring the arms back down from a flexed or forward position. This muscle is also involved in moving the arms in horizontal adduction and rotating the humerus.
The Pectoralis MinorThe pectoralis minor’s job is stabilizing the shoulder blade. It does this through a movement referred to as a protraction of the shoulder blade, where the pectoralis minor pulls the shoulder blade forward and down to the rib cage.
The Serratus AnteriorThis muscle implants on the medial border of the shoulder blade and have a kind of sawlike implantation into the first eight ribs. The serratus anterior muscle stabilizes the torso and secures the shoulders during pushing movements in a workout. Many people put a great deal of emphasis on training the major muscles like the pectoralis major in preparation for top surgery or simply to enhance chest muscles. Although this is important, many other crucial muscles in the back, shoulders, and arms go a long way in maintaining a healthy posture and improving your balance. Top surgery is, in fact, major surgery and requires an appropriate preparation period and a time to rest and recover. Exercise can do wonders in easing this process.
Dos And Don’ts In Upper Body Workouts
- Don’t overdo it
- Poor form and too much weight
- Be cautious of shoulder impingement
- Start light and improve your form.
- Incorporate different exercises
- Allow yourself recovery days.
- Never skip leg day!
What To Eat To Define Your ChestProtein, protein, protein! Consume an adequate amount of protein-containing foods to give your muscles everything they need to grow and recover. If your body is wanting, it will start breaking down your muscles to utilize energy. To make things easier, purchase a quality protein supplement, but be wary of consuming too many other unnatural substances that will only set your health back. It is actually very simple to follow a well-balanced diet that will help you gain muscle. Include a variety of foods such as fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources to get the best results. If you are unsure about portions sizes, it is best to consult a dietician on what would support your body best. When you consume a large amount of protein, your muscles can only grow. Those engaging in resistance and weight training are advised to consume around 2 grams of protein per one kg of body weight daily.
Top 5 Best Chest Exercises
- Start on your hands and knees and rise into a plant position. Keep your spine straight and your core tight.
- Bend your elbows at a forty-five-degree angle and slowly lower your chest to the floor. Focus on keeping your entire body straight and controlled.
- Try going as low as you can without losing balance or form. Try laying your body on the floor before pushing back up if you are just starting out.
- Press your body up until your arms are straight. Focus on the alignment of your pelvis and back.
- Repeat this action 10-20 times and complete 3 sets.
- Remember to keep your ankles, hips, and shoulders in a straight line. If this movement feels too strenuous, try performing it from your knees instead of on your feet.
2.) Flat Bench Press
- Lie flat on your back on the bench with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Grasp the barbell or dumbbells tightly and lift the weight off the rack.
- Move the bar upward in a straight line and lower it back down with your elbows bent at a 45-degree angle.
- Pause for a second at the bottom and repeat the movement.
3.) Cable Crossover
- Start in position at a cable machine or an overhead resistance band with a moderate weight that will challenge you while training your body to maintain good form while completing the movement.
- Grasp the handles or the band and keep them in front of your chest,
- Contract your muscles and pull the handles down and forward at the level of your belly button. If you wish to engage your serratus anterior muscles, cross the hands of the machine or band.
- Hold it there in a tensed position and slowly relax to bring your hands back to the starting position. Remember to keep your feet planted firmly and do not sway to your heels and toes as you complete this exercise.
- Try starting with around 10 repetitions and completer 3 sets.
4.) Resistance Band Pullover
- Ties your resistance band to a solid structure and lie flat on your back with your head facing the anchor point.
- Hold the band over your head and ensure that there is a slight resistance. Keep your palms facing away from each other and point your thumbs to the sky.
- Ensure a tight core and straight elbows as you pull the band to your hips before slowly resuming the starting position.
5.) Chest Dip
- Stand between two parallel bars at a dipping station in the gym, and grasp the bars with your palms facing in.
- Lift your body up by pressing into your hands and straightening your elbows.
- Slowly lower your chest toward your hands, pause, and repeat the exercise.
- Aim to complete around 3 sets of 10 repetitions.