Top 10 Best Chest Exercises

Good developed chest is a clear sign that you know what you are doing.

1.Barbell Bench Press

Why it’s on the list: You can generate the most power with barbell lifts, so the standard barbell bench allows you to move the most weight. It’s also an easier lift to control than pressing with heavy dumbbells. The exercise is easy to spot and relatively easy to learn (if not master), There are plenty of bench-press programs you can follow to increase your strength.

2.Dumbbell Pullover

Some people would contend this exercise doesn’t belong on a top-10 list for chest. They’ll either swear up and down that it trains the back, or they’ll belittle it as a relic once revered but now relegated to the training scrap heap because of its potential danger to the shoulders. 

3.Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

Pressing from an incline works the clavicular head of your chest, said Brad Schoenfeld, C.S.C.S., Ph.D. Working that muscle—which resides high on your chest—gives your pecs extra pop.

Do it: Lie on a bench with the backrest set at a 45-degree incline. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight and your palms turned toward your feet.Lower the dumbbells to chest level, and then press them back up to the starting position.

4.Arnold chest press

Do it: Start by lying flat on a bench holding a dumbbell in each hand, pressed directly overhead with your palms facing towards your feet. Lower the weights down towards the chest while rotating your wrists clockwise, so that the palms face your face at the bottom of the movement. Slowly return to the starting position for one rep. Do three sets of six reps.

Trainer tip: “Really slow down the chest press in the eccentric phase—as the weights are being lowered,” suggests Lindsey Clayton, a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp and co-founder of Brave Body Project. “It helps to focus on the muscles as they lengthen, instead of as they contract, which results in a stronger and more powerful chest.”

5.Seated Machine Chest Press  

Why it’s on the list: Free-weight pressing moves on a flat bench are great, but the machine press has some unique benefits. For one, it’s easier to slow down the repetition, both in the concentric and eccentric phases. Stack-loaded machines are also great for quickly doing dropsets.

EMG research demonstrates that the machine bench press recruits much less of the three heads of the deltoid (anterior, middle, and posterior) than free-weight variations because of a decreased need for humeral stabilization.[3] This allows you to really target your pecs.

6.Cable Crossover

Wanna practice your “most muscular” pose? Join all the competitive bodybuilders out there and hit the cable-cross station for some flyes. Thanks to the cables, this single-joint movement allows for constant tension on the pecs. Our only concern? If you bend a little too much at the waist (a constant temptation when trying to squeeze heavy weights at the end of a taxing workout), you’ll shift the focus of the exercise from the lower pecs to the middle pecs. Not a bad thing, necessarily, unless you’re counting on the cable crossover to be the one exercise hitting that lower region.

7.Weighted Pushup

Adding weight to the classic exercise forces your muscles to work harder and keeps your rep range low enough that you’ll pack on serious muscle, according to Jason Hartman, C.S.C.S., a trainer for the U.S. Special Forces.Add load in the form of a plate, weight vest, or sandbag thrown over your back.

Do it: Assume a pushup position wearing a weight vest or with a sandbag draped over your upper back or a weight plate balanced on your upper back. Your arms should be straight and hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend at your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, and push your body back up.

8.Chest fly

Do it: Lie flat on a bench holding two dumbbells directly above your chest, palms facing in, and weights touching one another. With a slight bend at the elbows, lower the weights toward your sides, making sure to keep your palms facing in. Pause for a second at the bottom of the movement, then exhale and return to start. Do three sets of 16 reps.

Trainer tip: “Give an extra squeeze to your weights at the top of each rep,” suggest Clayton. “That way, you’re keeping constant tension on the muscle throughout the entire exercise.”

9.Chest dip

Do it: While keeping your feet on the ground, grasp the bars and lock out your arms until you’ve found a comfortable starting position. Then, lift your legs off the ground and lean slightly forward. Lower your body towards the floor, allowing your elbows to flare a little until you feel the stretch in your chest. At that point, press your body back up, squeezing using the chest. Do three sets of 10 reps.

Trainer tip: “If you’re having a hard time supporting your whole body, use an assisted dip machine with a knee platform,” suggests Daley. “These machines use a weight pulley system that lightens your body weight. You can also place your feet lightly on the ground (behind the body) to assist your dip.”

10.Chest Squeeze Pushup

This exercise tasks you with squeezing a pair of dumbbells together while doing a pushup.

“The squeezing action creates a stimulus that really fires up the muscle fibers in your chest,” said BJ Gaddour, former Men’s Health Fitness Director.

Do it: Place two dumbbells next to each other so that they’re touching with the handles are parallel to each other. Assume a standard pushup position, grabbing a dumbbell handle with each hand. Your arms should be straight and your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your head.

Forcefully press the weights together, and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the dumbbells. Push your body back up and repeat, but don’t stop “squeezing” the dumbbells together.

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