Chest Workouts

Introduction

Building the chest muscles is very important and must be on the workout routine of every fitness enthusiast as the pecs, not only aid in maintaining a robust physique but also are essential for providing support for most of the upper body movements.

For many people who go to the gym, chest training starts and ends with the bench press . Or, if they’re not into barbells, press-ups. Now those are both really good exercises, but for a truly amazing chest you need to extend your exercise beyond just those two. The good news is that below you’ll find a multitude of different exercises to perform containing a variety of chest exercises that will hit your muscles from different angles and the steps to do them,  Follow it to the letter and you’ll be the proud owner of a bigger,stronger chest in no time.

Always perform proper warm-up before starting the exercises to flex the muscles and improve blood circulation to the target muscle group. Also, ensure that you are having a rich source of lean protein,protein shakes can be bought online from the store on this website, which is essential for muscle building and recovery.

Before we start here are some general tips

1. As far as the chest area is concerned, heavy pressing motions are recommended.

2. Concentrate on compound exercises as they enable you to use more weight.

3. You need not do too many sets. As long as you maintain the posture and speed, you are good to go.

4. Do not make your chest day extremely tedious. It is the best if you stick to a few exercises and do them perfectly instead of being all over the place.

5. There are 3 angles that must be incorporated when you are working on your chest. They are inclined, middle and lower.

First we’ll start off with the basics

The Traditional Push-Up

Before getting into the advanced stuff, it’s best to ease yourself into things by starting off with the traditional push-up. Not only will it really pump up your chest but also enhance the muscles in your shoulders, abs and triceps. It may be old school, but if you do it regularly then you’re sure to be pleasantly surprised by its amazing results. So, get pushing.

Push Up

Step 1: Get down into position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart and back flat so a straight line forms from your head to heels.

Step 2: Lower your body until your chest is within touching distance from the ground.

Step 3: Prop yourself back into your original stance with all your strength by fully extending your arms powerfully.

Important Tip: Begin with 3 sets of 10 reps.

Wide Grip Push Ups

This is done exactly like a traditional push-up, the only difference being the position of your hands. It is a great exercise to improve the strength of your upper body. This exercise utilizes your body weight to build your chest muscles.

Wide Grip Push ups

Step 1: Get down on your hands and legs (plank position) and position your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: Now bend your elbows and lower your chest towards the floor as low as possible. Pause for 1-2 seconds.

Step 3: Then come back to the starting position by extending your elbows and pushing yourself up.

Important Tips: Do three sets of 14-20 reps each. The farther you put your hands out the greater the efficiency and challenge for your chest. This version puts more strain on your chest muscles so drop to your knees if your form starts to slide.

Diamond Push-Up

The diamond push-up is an advanced variation of the regular push-up, which is very effective in toning the inner pectoral muscles present in the chest region. In addition, the exercise tones the triceps, biceps and the deltoids.

Diamond Push-up

Step 1: Lie on the floor in a prone position and quickly transition yourself into a plank. Place the palms close to each other at a distance that is smaller than the width of the shoulders.

Step 2: Gradually raise yourself until the arms are fully extended and perpendicular to the body. Ensure that the body is straight throughout the duration of the exercise.

Step 3: Pause for a second and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Important tip: Vary the position of the hands to target different regions of the pectoral muscles.

Single-Arm Push-Up

The single-arm push-up is an advanced variation of the regular push-up exercise that tones the inner pectoral muscles with greater isolation. Apart from toning the pecs, the exercise is also ideal for activating the biceps, triceps, shoulders and the forearms.

.Single Arm Push-up

Step 1: Lie on the floor in a prone position and quickly transition yourself into a plank position. Ensure that the entire body is resting on the palms and the feet. Secure the left arm in position and place the right arm behind the back.

Step 2: Slowly raise your body until the left arm is fully extended and perpendicular to the body.

Step 3: Pause for a second and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times. Perform the same motion with the other arm to train the other set of pectoral muscles.

Important tip: Perform the exercise while wearing a weighted vest for added resistance and improved customisability.(Weighted vests can be found on this website)

Push-Up Hold

The push-up hold tones both the lower and the upper pecs along with a host of other stabilization muscles, including the shoulders, biceps, triceps and the core. Moreover, with its relatively simple motion, the exercise could be performed by even amateurs and novice trainers.

For this Exercise you can choose to do any of the above or below postions for the press-up hold

Step 1: Lie on the floor in a prone position and quickly transition yourself into a plank position. Position the legs such that the distance between them is approximately equal to the width of the shoulders. The upper arms must be in line with the shoulders.

Step 2: Raise your body upwards until the arms are in a fully extended position. Keep a straight torso and do not let the body sag towards the floor.

Step 3: Hold the position for 30 seconds and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Important tip: Wear a weighted vest while performing this exercise for added resistance and improved customisability.(Weighted vests can be found on this website)

Incline Push-Up

This variation of the regular push-up targets the upper pectoral muscles with greater accuracy. Along with the chest, the incline-push-up activates the shoulders, forearms, biceps, triceps and the abdominal muscles.

Incline push ups

Step 1: Stand in front of an elevated platform with your feet placed close to each other. Place your hands on the platform while maintaining a straight body. In this position, the body must make an acute angle with the floor, and the arms must be in a fully extended position.

Step 2: Gradually lower your body until the chest is just inches above the raised platform.

Step 3: Pause for a second and return to the starting position.

Perform the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Important tip: Increase the height of the elevated platform for an increased challenge.

 Decline Push-ups

The decline push-up is a more difficult version of the basic push-up. The level of difficulty is increased as you place your feet at a higher level than your hands. This exercise targets the upper chest region.

Decline push up

Step 1: Set yourself in a push-up position with your toes up on a chair. Your hands should be wider than the shoulders.

Step 2: Now lower your body downward as you inhale until the chest almost touches the ground.

Step 3: Next, breathe out and bring your upper body back to the starting position while squeezing your chest.

Important Tips: Do 3 sets of 17 reps each. The higher the elevation of your feet the more difficult the push-up and this helps in targeting the upper pecs. You can squeeze and tighten your butt to keep the lower back in position

Star Plank

The star plank is an intermediate-level exercise that targets the pectoral muscles with unrivalled accuracy. Additionally, the exercise also activates the core and the deltoids.

Star Plank

Step 1: Lie on the floor in a prone position with your feet placed close to each other. Transition yourself into a regular plank position and ensure that the entire body is resting on the palms and the toes.

Step 2: With a stationary torso, move the arms and the feet away from each other until the entire body forms an ‘X-shape.’

Step 3: Pause for a second and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.

Important tip: Do not rush through the exercise and follow a smooth, controlled motion to avoid injury.

Dumbbell Squeeze Press

The squeeze press is a dumbbell bench press with one slight difference: the dumbbells are kept in contact with each other at all times and you’re actively squeezing them inward (against each other) as hard as possible. This simple action will shift all the stress onto the pectorals.

Dumbbell squeeze Press

Step 1: Lie down on a bench with your feet on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms right over your chest. Your palms need to face each other.

Step 2: Let the weights touch each other and simultaneously squeeze them as much as possible.

Step 3: Do not loosen your grip, keep the dumbbells together and lower them down towards your chest by bending your elbows sideways.

Step 4: Push them back up and repeat.

Do 2 sets of 15 reps each.

Incline Barbell Bench Press

The incline bench press is a variation of the bench press and an exercise used to build the muscles of the chest. The shoulders and triceps will be indirectly involved as well.

Utilizing an incline will allow you to better target the upper portion of the chest, a lagging part for a lot of lifters.

 

Incline Barbell BenchPress

1. Position your body on an incline bench on a 30-45 degree angle with your feet flat on the ground.

2. Remove the bar from the rack, holding the weight above your chest — shoulder-width apart with an overhand grip & your arms extended. This will be your starting position.

3. Lower the bar straight down in a controlled but slow movement up to your chest.

4. Pause and then press the bar in a straight line back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired amount of repetitions.

Important Tips

1. While lowering the bar to the upper part of the chest, do not lower the bar to the neck.

2. Lower the bar with control and ensure that you do not bounce the bar off your chest.

 Barbell Bench Press

The bench press builds the pec major. It also develops strength in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. In my opinion, it is one of those exercises that you cannot miss.

Barbell Bench Press

Step 1: Position yourself with your back down on a flat bench placing the hands up on the bar using an underhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Step 2: Now extend the elbows and lift the bar until elbows are extended but not locked. Pause for 1-2 seconds as you fully extend your breath.

Step 3: Lower the weight directly down to the chest as you breathe inwards, keeping the movement pattern slow and steady.

Important Tips: Do 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps each. Do not push the head back against the bench. Avoid over-arching the lower back and lifting the hips off the bench.

Decline Barbell Bench Press

The decline barbell bench press is an advanced variation of the standard barbell bench press that targets the major pectoral muscles with increased accuracy. Additionally, the exercise goes a long way towards improving the triceps in the arms.

Decline Barbell Bench Press

Step 1: Set an appropriate angle and lie down on the decline bench. Ensure that you lock your feet in place before starting the exercise. Hold a barbell with a medium width grip while positioning the palms away from the body. In the initial position, position it directly above the shoulders with fully extended arms.

Step 2: Gradually lower the arms until the barbell is just inches above the chest region.

Step 3: Pause for a second and return to the initial position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Important tips: Do not use momentum to lower the weights as it could lead to a serious injury. Beginners are advised to perform the exercise with the help of a spotter.

Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

The flat bench dumbbell press is a personal favourite because of its effectiveness. The dumbbells allow a greater range of movement and activate numerous stabilizing muscles. It should be noted that dumbbells are harder to control than a barbell so it helps to strengthen the lower pecs.Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

Step 1: Lie on a flat bench with your elbows bent holding the dumbbells with an overhand grip (elbows facing upwards) beside the chest on the sides.

Step 2: Now straighten your elbows out at your sides to raise the weights upwards by both hands (your upper arm and forearm creating a 90-degree angle.)

Step 3: Bend your elbows out at your sides to lower the weights down and come to the starting position.

Important Tips: Do 2 sets of 10-12 reps. This exercise can be performed in an incline as well as a decline position. Avoid pushing the head back against the bench and lifting the hips.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

The decline dumbbell bench press is another one of the versatile lower pec exercises that develops multiple areas of your upper body aside from the basics. The decline angle of this exercise is excellent for enhancing the muscles in the lower chest while also working up your shoulders and triceps.

Decline Dumbbell benchpress

Step 1: Start by adjusting the bench at a 45-degree decline angle in relation to the floor.

Step 2: Grab your dumbbells in either hand and place them at chest level.

Step 3: Begin the exercise by pushing the dumbbells upwards with all your might.

Important Tip: Start off with 3 sets of 8 reps.

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

The Incline Dumbbell Bench Press is one of our favorite bench press exercises because it provides a low-intensity variation to your repertoire.  This exercise has two major benefits over other bench exercises,

1) It utilizes dumbbells which allow for a more natural range of motion  of the shoulders and individual training of each arm. This is beneficial for those who have tight shoulders or experience discomfort during a barbell incline bench press.

2) The incline angle changes the way your pressing muscles contract which shifts the burden to your upper chest and shoulder muscles more than a flat bench press.

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

1. After setting an adjustable bench to an incline of 30-45 degrees, grab a dumbbell in each hand, lie down on your back on the bench. Push the pair of dumbbells directly above your shoulders with your arms fully extended.

2. Lower both dumbbells to the sides of your chest. Pause a second and then press the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat for the desired repetitions.

Important Tips

1. Elbows should be close to your sides throughout the exercise.

2. Avoid extending the neck.

3. Lower the dumbbells until they are level with your chest.

Cable Crossover

Cable crossover is a wonderful isolation exercise that is ideal for building the pectoral muscles. The cable machine provides smooth motion and consistent resistance, making it ideal for people of different age groups and diverse skill levels.

Cable Crossover

Step 1: Stand between two high pulleys with feet planted shoulder-width apart. Select appropriate attachments and hold them with both the hands. Take a step forward and pull the attachments towards the front until they are in line with your chest.

Step 2: Gradually move your arms in an arc to the sides until you feel a stretch in your chest. Do not keep a firm arm; bend your elbows to avoid any unnecessary strain on the biceps.

Step 3: Hold for a moment and return to the initial position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.

Important tip: Adjust the angles of the pulley to target the upper, lower and the main pectoral muscles.

Cable Iron Cross

The cable iron cross is a beginner-level isolation exercise that targets the pectoral muscles with unrivalled precision. Additionally, it is a workout that actives the deltoids and triceps.

Step 1: Select the appropriate resistance and move the pulleys to a high position.

Step 2: Stand straight and hold the handles with both hands such that the palms are facing downwards. Position the forearms right in front of your abdomen to finish the initial position of the exercise.

Step 3: Gradually raise the handles to the side in a wide arc until you feel a stretch in the chest.

Step 4: Pause for a moment and return to the initial position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Important tips: Ensure a constant tension in the cables during the entire motion. Do not overload the resistance as it could lead to a rotator cuff injury.

Incline Dumbbell Fly

The incline dumbbell fly is an isolation exercise. The incline position puts more emphasis on the upper chest and it also strengthens the shoulders as well. I have opted for this instead of the flat bench dumbbell fly, because this chest workout with dumbbell prevents the common mistake of back bending.

Step 1: Grasp two dumbbells in an overhand grip while seated on the edge of the incline bench (45 degrees).

Step 2: Carefully lie on the incline bench, bringing the dumbbells to the sides of your torso at chest level. Feet should be planted firmly on the floor.

Step 3: Slowly lower your arms out to the side of your body with your arms at right angles. The dumbbells should be slowly lowered towards the floor until your chest is comfortably stretched.

Step 4: Now bring your arms near the chest to the starting position.

Important Tips: Do 2 sets of 10-12 reps each. The elbows should be slightly bent throughout the whole movement and this should be followed from start to finish.

Pec Deck Fly

The pec deck fly is an effective isolation exercise that targets the major and minor pectoral muscles. The machine itself acts as a stabiliser and is an excellent exercise for even beginners and casual trainers.

Step 1: Sit on the machine with a straight back. Push your back towards the pad for maximum support and set an appropriate weight in the machine.

Step 2: Hold the handles with the palms facing outwards. Ensure that the upper arms are parallel to the floor during the entire duration of the exercise.

Step 3: Push the handles until they are in front of the body. Squeeze the chest while performing this movement.

Step 4: Hold the contraction for a moment and return to the initial position.

Perform the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.

Important tip: Exercise caution while relaxing the arms as an improper form could lead to a serious injury.

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