5 Red Flags of a Weak Chest (FIX THESE!)

5 Red Flags of a Weak Chest (FIX THESE!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today we’re talking about red flags for
chest weakness. I’m going to try to help you identify whether
you have any of these red flags that will help you understand you need to do something
to strengthen your chest. To start creating a better looking chest and
overcome any imbalances you may have developed over time. Now, I can tell you this: if your chest looks
like this – Jesse’s chest – it’s a major red flag, right there. JESSE: Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Jeff! That’s what I used to look like. This is what I look like now. JEFF: I appreciate you being here because
I have a muscle marker here. And…there you go. There’s your red flag. JESSE: That’s ridiculous. JEFF: Anyway, guys. Wear it like a scarlet letter, Jesse. Guys, I’m going to help you determine these. Now, one unique thing about the chest, unlike
upper scapular muscles, back muscles; you’re not going to see these weaknesses from postural
appearance alone. Rounded shoulders could mean, yes, a tight
chest, but it doesn’t have to mean a weak chest. So I’m going to have you do some things
with me, play along, do some of the exercises, and you’ll reveal the weaknesses very quickly. I’m going to show you what to do to fix
all of them once and for all. The first red flag you want to be careful
of is, when you’re performing either a bench-press, or a dumbbell bench-press, or even a pushup,
as you’ll see in a second. It’s what happens as you press the weight
away from you. Now, when I’m down here what’s happening? We know that a properly executed bench-press
should have the shoulders pulled back and down. You’ve heard that tip many, many times before. That’s fine because you can do that, but
if you start to notice that the shoulders start to get in front of the chest on every
rep, especially as you start to fatigue. That would be a major red flag, on top of
a red flag that you have a weak chest. Why is that happening? Because we know that the shoulders are going
to participate in pressing the dumbbells off your chest. Especially at the bottom. And we’re going to get to this in more detail
in a second. But as I start to press, if my chest is weak
it’s supposed to take the brunt of the load from here on the way up, until the triceps
really kick in. But if I don’t have good strength there
then the shoulders are going to continue to try and follow the weight up. Another interesting point is when the shoulders
protract, when I get from here up and they protract, and follow the weight, I’m effectively
shortening the distance that I have to press the dumbbells. It’s an inherent cheat. The reason why that’s happening is because
you have that chest weakness. Now, you can do the same thing and see the
same thing here, as I mentioned on a pushup. As I press away what’s happening? Are my shoulders pushing me away, or is my
chest actually doing the pushing? We can tell if the shoulders stay back behind
the chest. If your shoulders can stay back here and the
chest can press away on both exercises, you’ve probably got adequate strength in your chest. If not, you find that it’s trailing behind
the dominant shoulder, you’re going to want to do something about it. The next major red flag we have to cover here
is a comparison between your overhead press and your bench-press. The thing is, you’re looking for the discrepancy
here. If you are someone that’s getting close
to hitting your bodyweight on an overhead press, but you fail to come close to a 1-1/2-times
bodyweight on a bench-press then you need to look more into the weakness of your chest,
because it’s there. Guys, your bench-press is using your shoulders,
your triceps, and your chest to perform the lift. An overhead press while using all three of
those muscle groups, of course, is more heavily reliant on the shoulders because of the angle
of the press against gravity. If you’re excelling here, then you likely
don’t have a shoulder weakness. However, when you take that same shoulder
strength in your bench-press and you suffer dramatically to get to the strength standard
of 1-1/2 times bodyweight that means that chest is lacking. I’m going to tell you what to do about it
but understand it’s a major red flag. Red flag number three is back here in the
bench-press and it has to do with the contributing muscles to the press, like I mentioned. The shoulders, the chest, and the triceps. It’s ‘where in a bench-presses are you
actually falling?’ Because it tells a lot about where you’re
weakest. If I perform a bench-press rep, obviously
I have to get the bar down to my chest. I have to press it back up to the top to lock
out. If you are failing constantly in the middle
of the rep, right about here, you get it off your chest, but you can’t really get it
through the middle here, and you can’t get it to lock out – can’t even reach that
portion – it’s most likely because your chest is the weakest point. It’s the weakest link. Why is that? Because when we’re at the bottom of a press,
the shoulders are in their most advantageous position to do the pushing. I did mention in the beginning how you want
to try to get the chest to help out and recruit from down there by getting the proper position,
but it’s not to discredit the fact that the shoulders are going to be contributing
the most off the chest. At the very top, to get through lockout, your
triceps are going to be recruited maximally. However, getting though that midrange is where
the chest is going to be called upon the most and if you always fail in that middle portion
of the rep then you need to start looking at your chest. Again, I’m going to tell you exactly what
to do to fix this. Just be aware that’s a major red flag that
your chest is not contributing enough. Moving onto red flag number four is dealing
with the pushup again. You want to do the pushup as I’ve showed
you in step 1; with that chest sticking out in front of the shoulders. But the first thing is, can you do 25 of them? Yes, 25. More importantly, it’s not just about overall
strength when we’re talking about red flags for weakness. We also want to know what the quality of your
muscle endurance is. Can you continue to produce a movement over,
and over again, especially pushups where we can measure that? Here’s an interesting twist, though. What you want to do is take what I just told
you about the bench-press, put the chest into its most vulnerable position, and be able
to still execute the reps. Here is your task. You want to be able to get down to the ground
and complete 25 repetitions with 5 second intervals spaced in between, holding in that
hardest position. So, you come down to the ground. You do 1 pushup, 2, 3, 4, 5, down in that
midrange, and hold. 2, 3, 4, 5. Come up, five more. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. In the middle. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Go again. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Down for five. So, this is now 15 repetitions with 15 seconds
of holding. Now I come up. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. A five second hold here. That would be my 20 reps with 20 seconds of
holding. Then finally, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and hold. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Not easy. Burning, but burning right where we want it
to be. I want to see if you can do that all the way
through the duration. Again, if you can’t it’s an indication
that you may not be lacking overall strength, but you’re certainly lacking some muscle
endurance. That’s a key factor as well. You’ve got to address it all. Last, but not least, another red flag, and
it has to do with a comparison strength. That is how you perform on a dip. If you perform better on an upright dip than
you do on a properly performed chest dip with your torso leaning forward, you’ve got a
chest weakness. It’s something you want to address. Let me demonstrate. If you’re able to do more up here upright
dips keeping your torso up straight than you are when you get your body leaning forward
here – like that – then what you’ve done is put the chest in a better position
to help out in the exercise. As you’ve angled your body forward you’ve
taken the triceps away as the main mover of the exercise, but you’ve also exposed the
fact that being able to do less in that position means you’re weaker there. So most importantly, those are your red flags. But what do you do about it? We want to start right here in the dip. One thing you don’t want to do is always
treat this as a bodyweight exercise that you continue to rack up rep, after rep, after
rep. Introduce some weight. Introduce a weight belt with an added weight
plate so you can start to overload this exercise. I don’t care if it brings down the number
of reps you can perform. It’s going to help bring up the strength
in this exercise, which will help carry over to all the other things and address this chest
weakness. So, we want to make sure we do that. Again, we talked about the initial exercise. Where you’re pressing from. If you’re performing your bench-press, if
you’re performing your pushups the tendency is to allow the shoulders to start to drift
in front of the chest. Don’t do that. Become consciously aware, because of this
video, that you don’t want that to happen and allow the chest to initiate the movement
and stay out in front of the shoulder. The next thing, when we’re talking about
the bench-press itself, that midrange, that’s where you’re weakest. So why don’t you work on that? You can do partial repetitions, in addition
to your full range of motion repetitions, but do some additional partials as some extra
work to address your weakness. Also, introduce some pause reps. They don’t always have to be on your chest
when you initiate the pause. You can do that in the midrange of a rep and
then continue the rep from there. Finally, you want to make sure you’re introducing,
not just those three big exercises. As much as we love dips, bench-press, and
pushups, you want to make sure you’re strengthening the chest because that’s where your weakness
is. A great way to do that is to introduce some
exercises that take the chest through full adduction, crossing midline – like a crossover
– that’s going to allow you to load up the weight as well. This doesn’t have to be done as a weak and
light exercise. You can add up some weight here. Just make sure you’re doing them through
the full range of motion because that’s one of the things that’s lacking. Guys, when it comes to training your chest
you’ve got to make sure you’re overcoming the weaknesses that you have. But it first comes by identifying what those
weaknesses are. Hopefully this video has allowed you to find
out where you’re weakest, and however many red flags you have. The more you have, the more you have to address
this. If you’re looking for a program that builds
in ways to overcome all these red flags, we make sure to overlook nothing in our training. When you train like an athlete everything
matters. All of our programs are available at ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, if you’ve found this video
helpful leave your comments and thumbs up below. Let me know what else you want me to cover
and I’ll do my best to do that for you. If you haven’t already, please subscribe
and turn on your notifications. You don’t want to miss any of the new videos,
including the other ones we’ve put together in this very series of red flags. All right, guys. I’ll see you again soon.

100 thoughts on “5 Red Flags of a Weak Chest (FIX THESE!)

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  2. I have a question about the failure point on the bench press.

    I find myself failing most often at the mid range point for the bench press exactly as described, but, I'll only find myself doing this at the end of my sets as I normally do my final set until failure.
    My question is, is there a different failure point that I should be looking for? Should I avoid doing bench press until failure?


  3. The pushups u did are against the rules you yourself have imposed… They are halved, not complete

  4. You are transforming me, Dad iiiiii mean.. Jeff😬. 😅Sorry, Totally slipped up there.

    These videos are amazing! Staring at your perfectly sculpted, beautiful body, in a NON HOMOSEXUAL way😉😉, is great motivation to sculpt my sack of shit body into something better!

    Joking aside, these videos are easy to follow along, very informative, and are ACTUALLY changing my life. So thank you. Keep being great, my brother! {Rips own shirt off like Hulk Hogan in his prime}

  5. Can't bench 1.5 times bodyweight=weak? That doesn't sound right .. ..1.5 times will be lifted by someone who is pretty damn strong for his weight

  6. If i remember correctly you showed on a different video the advantage of pushing the last bit of the chest by pushing the shoulders forward on a chest exercise. Am I missing something?

  7. Again your videos are of the highest of quality, love watching and learning from them please keep up the good work !!!

  8. I have a much harder time feeling my pecs contract when I do bar or dumbbell work, compared to push-ups or other bodyweight chest exercises. It is probably due to improper form since my shoulders tire out much sooner than my pecs, but I can never make it feel "comfortable" (as in natural.) Unilateral presses are the only weighted form where I can really feel my chest squeeze.

  9. Does using the shoulders too far forward also a sign of over extending instead of just weak chest? I’ve been pushed by spotters and trainers in past to use that movement because they say I’m not fully extending until my shoulders go that far but what your saying makes sense to me because I always felt that I’m using more shoulder strength in my chest work outs and thought it was wrong but no one understand me.
    It was only recently I also discovered I was taught wrong on bench and pushups wrong for years with no correction.

  10. Saw this video from a friend two weeks ago and I looked up some of your bench pressing videos and it helped a lot. I moved up from benching 100lbs to now 180lbs all because I identified my weakness and gotten my position right. Thank you Jeff 🙏🏻

  11. Thanks for your incredible helpful Videos, since I found you on YT my training intensity gone up insanely 😀

  12. Hey Jeff, i did dips 2weeks ago and next day my sternum started popping, it feels like i have some inflamation there. Any tips to help it heal quicker?

  13. I like the total body workout with dumbells,, it is short and does not take long, wondering if there is a TBW using other methods that is short too ?

  14. Very informative…innovative…..and to the point on point…..no unnecessary squabbling……..yea reel talk

  15. interesting. i purposely move my shoulder forward to help my chest pop out of my body, resulting in a more chiseled separated look.

  16. when it comes to pressing 1.5x the bodyweight, another thing to consider is their fat percentage. someone who is 150lb with a 5 percent bodyfat should be able to bench 225 lb no problem. but if a person have like 40 percent bodyfat, it'll be very difficult to press 1.5 of their bodyweight.

  17. I like how quick and to the point these videos are. Not only covering the issue, but tips to improve also. Can watch on the way to the gym and try to implement into the routine

  18. When I do dumbell bench press my left arm tingles from the elbow down to my wrist, and sometimes my little finger loses grip and my arm genuinely shakes uncrontrollably. It only ever happens to my left arm but not my right! I dont know why this happens, but has anyone else ever experienced this?

  19. I have been watching Jeff's videos for years now, and I have learned so much from him that I have incorporated into my own training, as well as included into my clients training programs. Thanks for all the great content!

    P.S. Looking lean lately Jeff, lookin' lean

  20. I’m lucky, I have a nice chest. And it’s really really weak. Thanks Jeff. 👍 I look forward to addressing my weakness and working on it. Keep uploading stuff, could you talk about hip abducters and foot supination/pronation relating to anterior pelvic tilt? Or upload about squatting without having quads bear the load (disproportionately) and having pressure on the lower back (lumbar.) My squat looks great in the mirror, but I need to work on my feet and I’d like help taking pressure off my back and using my glutes instead of my quads to lift. Thanks!

  21. Been doing bench presses for years and never thought of this and I'm pretty sure my Ben h leads with my shoulders will Che ck next time. Cheers for the heads up.

  22. Well thank God!! I’m doing most of them correctly. I never push away too much i keep the tension on the muscle and do the small reps

  23. I watch jeffs video before hitting the gym just to make sure I'm this shit right. After the gym, I check the video again and I get this little voice in the back of my head telling me "Ya see! Jeff did it differently. Go back and do that shit right again!!" And it makes me feel like If I'm not making any progress.

  24. Mannnn I have to join a gym. Working out in my basements fun but that weighted press looks awesome for u and looks like fun. Thanks for all the content hope y’all are doing well 💯🤟

  25. 1.5 my weight? Then my entire gym crew including instructors are weak. Am 66kg and my best without spotter is 50kg (55 if am really struggling) damn I feel like a cripple now.

  26. Looks like the implants went into the wrong place on those arms. Damit those are some weird looking arms y’all.

  27. It’s been awhile since I have worked out but just got into the gym again. I also come from a Bach in exercise physiology with minor in nutrition. My question is I read it’s good do do 20 mins of cardio aka bike after a workout cause your body burns the fat as fuel since ur muscles are already sore. Is that true? Thanks

  28. you forgot that if not done properly one can create shoulder injury by over straining to compensate for weak chest

  29. Hi Jeff, have you ever tried to do the zero point training (ponto zero) of Fernando Sardinha, Brazilian bodybuilder? Cheers.

  30. shit, you got me, Jeff. Didnt even realise i was doing this and im honestly quite observent. Clearly not with my chest.

  31. lol when Jeff said if your push gives out around the middle of the movement…I immediately thought of my weak ass pushups 🙁
    the 25 pushups alone would destroy me. Thanks for pointing out deficiencies in my chest, which I've neglected for years.

  32. Ηey jeff and friends , i need a solution for my problem . I have strong upper chest but my lower chest is loose , what exercises should i do to make my lower chest evenly strong ?

  33. Are these dislikes coming from haters or people that disagree with his teachings and know for a fact he's lying. IM JUST ASKING.

  34. Doubt: I feel more burn on my chest, when I push it away more i.e. as you said pushing the weight using the shoulders. Any suggestions why is it so?

  35. It seems that my forearms were both fatigue after few sets of heavy weight bench press or on the machine press. Do you have any ideas about this?

  36. isn't the middle of the bench press where everyone fails? like if you're failing while the bar is on your chest it should be pretty obvious that you shouldn't even by trying that weight. i don't really get how that's a red flag tbh. if you're gonna fail anywhere i'd assume the middle of the lift is where it should occur.

  37. this is one of many tweeks that I really needed to see. I still have a problem with my front delts overtaking every exercise. Even with the cables, my delts take over and I have a really hard time activating my chest.

  38. Yes and yes. I do have weakness in the areas shown in the thumbnail for this very video. However, I'm more into bodyweight/resistance band training than a grinding it out at the gym sort of guy… so I guess, since I'm soon to be 43 years old… I'm going to have to stay weak in those areas sadly.

  39. again thank you for advise
    i always has a problem in shoulder due to a weaknes of my chest
    now start to heal due to this special workout

  40. Hey, i was born with a dislocated left shoulder, it’s a bit curved forward than my right one, but is that going to prevent me from getting a chest like yours?

  41. Loved this video Jeff. REALLY good way to assess your conditioning. I was a little disappointed with myself as I can't do dip's at all due to rotary cuff damage, it's just too painful to work through. This is an example of why 'everyone' should take on board what Jeff teaches as I'm paying the price for incorrect training techniques from my (cough) younger days.. lol. trust, bad technique catches up with you later on in life… #Gutted. respect for the vid ….

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