Welcome to our Best Chest Exercises page!
Everyone wants to build big chest muscles, bust through bench press plateaus, and improve their chest workout, but what are the most effective chest exercises to make it happen?
Lucky for you, we've pushed and pressed our way through all the weight training and body weight exercises on our Chest Exercises Main Page to answer that question.
Continue reading below to see our handpicked list of the top five muscle building and fat burning exercises to work your chest muscles.
Dumbbell Flys are definitely the most controversial of the weight training exercises on our list. This exercise goes against our generally steadfast "go heavy or go home" with compound exercises approach to weightlifting. However, the dumbbell fly allows for the greatest range of movement of any chest exercise. Your pecs are fully stretched at the bottom of the lift, contracted throughout, and them topped off with a nice squeeze at the top.
Tips: Perform this exercise last, after all of your heavier, more strenuous exercises to get the best results.
Variations: Like most of our best chest exercises, chest flys can also be performed on an incline or decline bench. The same motion can be executed using cable pulleys or machines in most gyms. You can also alter the angle of the dumbbell fly by changing the height of the cable or setting up a bench at any angle
Need More Info? For a more complete description with pictures, exercise instructions, and more tips please view our Dumbbell Flys Exercise Instruction Guide.
Pushups are an excellent body weight exercise that not only work your chest, but also blast your arms, back, and shoulders while forcing your to contract your abs. Besides calling on so many muscles to fire, pushups are probably the most versatile of any exercise and can be performed any time, anywhere.
Variations: You can target specific muscles by changing the angle of the pushup, the width of your hand base, or using equipment to alter your emphasis. See our Exercise Ball Pushups, Tricep Pushups, Wide Chest Push-ups, and/or Biased Pushups pages for more information.
Tips: View our "No Limit Pushup Workout" for an effective chest workout you can do from any location when you're unable or unwilling to hit the gym.
Need More Info? For a more complete description with pictures, exercise instructions, and more tips please view our Pushups Exercise Instruction Guide.
Dips usually aren't the first exercise weightlifters think of for chest workouts, but a slight variation of the standard Tricep Dip gives us a more targeted chest exercise and one of the best chest exercises, the Chest Dip.
The Chest Dip is a compound exercise that simultaneously works your chest, arms, and shoulders. To really focus on your chest, use a wide grip and lean forward slightly until you feel a pull on your chest muscles.
Need More Info? For a more complete description with pictures, exercise instructions, and more tips please view our Chest Dip Exercise Instruction Guide.
The Dumbbell Bench Press is a variation of the King of all Chest Exercises (shocker alert - see below), the Barbell Bench Press. One benefit to using dumbbells is that they provide a greater range of motion than barbells allow. Also, because dumbbells are controlled individually, there is no way for one dominant side to "carry" the weaker side, which prevents muscular imbalance.
It's not all rosy with dumbbells. The major drawback is that you have to use a lot less weight with dumbbell bench (and anything else with dumbbells) than barbell bench. See our Dumbbell Exercises and Barbell Exercises pages for more information.
Variations: You can target specific areas of the chest muscles by changing the angle of the bench or using an exercise ball instead of a bench. See our Decline Dumbbell Bench Press and Dumbbell Incline Press Exercise Instruction Guides.
Need More Info? For a more complete description with pictures, exercise instructions, and more tips please view our Dumbbell Bench Press Exercise Instruction Guide.
The aforementioned king of all chest exercises, the Barbell Bench Press deserves its spot on the throne. Let's be honest, even if it didn't make our list would stop incorporating it into your strength training routines?
There is something incredibly rewarding about being able to complete one more rep on bench than last week with even five more measly pounds. Press on my friends.
Variations: As shown above, this exercise can also be performed using dumbbells. Most gyms also have a variation of the Machine Bench Press. See the Incline Bench Press and Decline Bench Press Exercise Pages for variations that use barbells.
Changing your grip yields more variations of the bench press. Often forgotten about, Wide Grip Bench Pressis also a great compound movement that allows you to pile on weight. Close Grip Bench Press earned a spot on our Best Tricep Exercise list as it focuses more directly on the triceps than the chest.
Well, there you have it: all of the Best Chest Exercises for gaining muscle mass and losing body fat!
If you enjoyed our Best Chest Exercises page, check out some of our other "Best Exercises" pages and other related pages below.
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