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Transform a sunken chest with targeted strength-training exercises.
If your chest appears more sunken and scrawny than big and brawny, exercise can help you bulk up. A big, broad chest is a coveted feature by many, and there are several effective resistance exercises you can use to target the two sets of muscles in your chest - pectoralis major and pectoralis minor - and make big muscle gains. By creating an appropriate workout plan to change your sunken chest, you can see results in a couple of weeks.
Dip for Strength
The chest dip is one of the most effective exercises for working both sets of muscles in your chest: pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. Mount yourself on a wide dip bar, hands in an overhand grip, one foot crossed over the other behind you. Keep your back straight and your hands aligned with your shoulders. Flex your elbows, lowering your body down until you feel a light stretch in your chest. Raise yourself back up for one rep.
Try to Fly
The dumbbell decline fly is another essential component to your routine. This isolated exercise targets the pectoralis major muscles. Lie flat on a weight bench, your legs bent and feet secured under the foot pad, arms extended above you, hands directly above your shoulders. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in. Move your arms out to the sides, until they're almost parallel to the floor. You should feel a light stretch in your chest and shoulders. Return to your starting position to complete one rep.
Boost Power with an Incline
To build a big chest, the pushup is an integral exercise to include in your total workout plan, because it directly targets the larger pectoralis major muscles in your chest. Doing it on an incline creates even more resistance, which means better results for you. Stand in front of an elevated platform that comes to about waist-level, facing the platform. Place your palms flat on top of the platform and rest on the balls of your feet, keeping your arms extended. Your body should form a straight line from head to heel. Flex your elbows, keeping your arms close to your sides, lowering your chest down to the platform. Push yourself back up by extending your arms, then repeat.
Don't Be a Pushover
The lying dumbbell pushover exercise helps change a sunken chest by increasing the size and strength of your pecs. Lie flat on a weight bench, shoulders back, legs bent off the edge with your feet flat on the floor. Extend your arms straight above you, your hands aligned with your shoulders, holding onto the top end of a dumbbell with both hands. Hold the dumbbell with a heart-shaped grip so your palms are facing away from you, the weight directly above your face. Flex your elbows, slowly lowering your arms and bringing the weight behind your head. Return to your starting position for one rep.
Determine Sets and Reps
Even with the right resistance exercises, you won't get results if you don't plan your workout right. Aim for three to four sessions a week, on nonconsecutive days when possible, to give your muscles adequate resting time to recover before the next workout. Start with a single set of 12 to 15 reps. To bulk up your chest, work your way up to the highest weight you can manage, and stick to fewer reps and sets. Three to five sets of five to six reps with a minute or two rest in between sets is an effective workout plan for a sunken chest. Start with a lighter weight, gradually increasing the amount of weight you're using. The American Council on Exercise warns to keep the increase between 5 and 10 percent at the most, to avoid issues such as strength imbalances and postural difficulties.