Top 5 Chest Exercises
Like most guys, you probably want a bigger, stronger chest. I don’t blame you; a developed chest is a sign of power. As a result of this being such a desirable group of muscles, there are dozens of different workouts you can find to help strengthen your pectorals. But in this list, I will try to narrow down the many many chest exercises out there to just 5 extremely effective and easily performed exercises that can hopefully better your physique as well as increase your bench.
5. Cable Crossover
Coming in at number 5 in this list of great chest exercises is the cable crossover. Adding this exercise to your workout can greatly increase your gains because it maintains stress of your muscles all the way through the motion.
To perform: Using a cable pulley machine that has a pulley on two opposite sides, set each pulley up so that it is locked in the high position. While standing, grab each high pulley using a small one-hand attachment for each hand. The position your body will be in will look like a giant letter “T.” Slowly bring your arms together in a slow and controlled fashion. While doing so, visualize that you are hugging a giant tree trunk. At the peak of this movement, really flex your pec muscles together for a one-count and then return to the start position and repeat.
4. Barbell Bench Press
The bench press may be by far the most popular chest exercise out there, but that does not necessarily mean it deserves to be number one. Regardless, it still is a great exercise that can really help develop your chest and should be worked into your workout plan.
To perform: Lie face-up on a flat bench. Grasp bar with an overhand grip. Lift off of rack and lower weight to upper chest. Press bar until arms are extended. Repeat. It is highly encouraged you have a spotter while bench pressing.
Recently, dips and seemingly vanished from the workout scene. While everyone has heard of pushups, very few people have heard of dips, despite the fact that I would argue they are actually more effective for the chest as well as triceps than pushups.
To perform: Find a set of dip bars and position yourself on them with your knees bent and your lower legs crossed. Slowly lower your torso down to where your chest nearly touches the front of the dip bar and then return to the start position and repeat until failure.
2. Dumbell Fly
Despite the fact that the dumbbell fly is such a great exercise, I hardly ever actually see it in the gym. This is very surprising as the dumbbell fly is one of the few isolation exercises for the chest.
To perform: Lie face-up on a flat bench with dumbbells directly above chest with arms extended. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the bottom of the movement, which is just above your chest. Now raise the dumbbells back to the starting position.
1. Dumbbell Bench Press
So here it is, my favorite chest exercise, the dumbbell bench press. I personally love this exercise not only because it helps develop many stabilizing muscles, but also because it does not absolutely require a spotter.
To perform: Sit down on bench with dumbbells resting on lower thigh. Kick weights to shoulder and lie back. Position dumbbells to sides of chest with bent arm under each dumbbell. Press dumbbells up with elbows to sides until arms are extended. Lower weight to sides of the upper chest until slight stretch is felt in chest or shoulder. Repeat.
*Bonus Tip* For maximum strength gains, train with the dumbbell bench press using 4-5 sets of 3-5 repetitions.