Top Ten Best Exercises for Your Chest

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Whether you are a male wanting to pump up your pecs or a female wanting to add a little extra size to your bust, chest exercises are an effective way to reach your goals.

You can choose between bodyweight exercises or lifting weights (dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, etc. ) and get great results. The major factor is determined by your goals. If you want to add size and muscle mass, you'll need to do a different set or exercises than if you are trying to add power or strength. Larger muscles don't always equate to stronger muscles.

You have lots of muscles and muscle attachments that make up your chest region so it's important to work as many muscles as possible in as many different ways as you can. Variety is the key to keeping your gains.

Below are some of the best workouts you can do to increase both size and strength of your chest muscles.

The Top Ten

1 Push-ups

While you may think that doing boring old pushups are antiquated, try doing them right instead of the way you've probably been doing them. Keep your elbows touching your ribs/sides the entire way and when you can do 100 straight like that, start making them uneven and work up to a 1-armed pushup. I'm not talking the wide-legged Rocky style, but a true, feet together, elbow touching your side, one-armed pushup.

You can do them anywhere and it negates the excuse that you can't get to a gym. American football great Herschel Walker built his body off of just doing push-ups. If you can knock out 500-1,000 of these a day and incorporate a solid diet, your chest/arms will explode.

2 Dumbbell Press

Everyone knows the bench press but try it with dumbbells instead. You'll work on evening out your chest as well as keep better form by not compromising your back.

3 Dumbbell Flyes

There are mixed reactions to this one as there are technically better (safer) ways to work the side attachments of your pectorals but for the sake of popularity and ease, do these. Try not to go so low that you feel the stretch in your shoulders.

4 Decline Barbell Press

Get your legs higher than your head and do your bench press this way to get the lower part of your pecs.

5 Incline Barbell Press

Not a military press which will focus on your shoulders, only lift your upper body slightly more than flat to work your upper chest. As per all barbell exercises, DO NOT let your elbows flare. Keep them brushing against your sides as long as possible.

Builds the upper chest, great compound movement, what else to say? Anyone who understands bodybuilding bop will understand this...

6 Dips

Similar to the decline press, this works your chest from the bottom up. Do a regular dip but lean forward so your body is about 45 degrees to the floor. Add a dumbbell between your knees/feet for added difficulty.

7 Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

Lay flat on a bench with both hands on a dumbbell above your chest (like you bench pressed it). Slowly lower the weight over and then behind your head toward the floor, bending your arms at the elbows into a 90 degree angle. Once you lower as far as is comfortable, raise the weight back over your chest and finish with straight arms.

8 Drop Push

This one is like pushups except that you'll be exploding from different heights. Do a pushup on a pair of blocks or something about a foot tall. At the top of your pushup, drop to floor level and do another pushup. This pushup will be explosive however as you need to push yourself back up to the blocks. It's explosive and tiring.

9 Weighted Throws

Grab a weight, a medicine ball, a tree branch, whatever you can, and find a soft place to throw it out in front of you as far as you can. Sprint up to it, pick it up, then throw it again. Your motion is like a basketball player passing a ball with 2 hands. The heavier the better.

10 Isometric Wipers

Get low into the bottom of a pushup with your hands placed wider than usual. Staying low, move your upper body over your right hand (without moving feet or hands) then slowly slide over your left hand. Repeat until you're crying.

The Contenders

11 Weighted Push-ups
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