The Best Chest Exercises to Include in Your Workout
Saravanan "Sharu" Hariram
August 10, 2022
Saravanan "Sharu" Hariram
August 10, 2022
Most people adore a well-sculpted, broad framed chest and spend innumerable hours hitting the gym to get that perfect shape. A well-built chest is not only impressive but is strong enough to push heavy objects such as a barbell to massive cars.
There are many exercises that can help you build a genuinely spectacular chest. In addition, chest exercises can build your shoulders and triceps as well.
Before jumping on to chest exercises, let us first learn about the major chest muscles.
The Pectoralis major makes up most of your chest muscle mass. It is large and fan-shaped and is composed of a sternocostal head and a clavicular head.
The Pectoralis minor lies underneath the Pectoralis major. It helps to pull the shoulder forward and down.
Before performing any exercise or workout regime, it is imperative to prepare your body. A good warm-up is essential to avoid any accidental injuries during the workout. A thorough warm up also ensures lesser soreness in your muscles the next day.
You need to perform a full-body warm-up before beginning your chest exercises. Begin with 5-7 minutes of some low-intensity cardio. Follow it with freehand exercises. Now, move on to specific warm-up exercises to the workout you are about to perform.
The process of warming up your muscles before the workout ensures no injuries during or post the workout. Therefore, warm-up is crucial, and you should never skip it.
Getting a strong, broad chest is not an easy task. It takes time, patience and a lot of determination. These chest exercises will help you develop those Pecs in no time. However, never overwork your muscles. To gain more in a short time, people often end up overdoing the exercises.
Besides being over-exhausted and losing momentum in a few days, the muscles tire easily, ultimately harming the body. So, keeping all these pointers in mind, let us get on with some of the best chest exercises.
Push-ups are one of the best chest exercises, and you can do them just about anywhere. They effectively build upper body strength. They also strengthen your triceps, shoulders, lower back, and abdominal muscles. The steps to execute this exercise is:
This exercise targets your chest, shoulder and triceps. In addition to being a chest exercise, this push-up variation also improves your core stability. The steps to perform this is:
Dumbbell squeeze press builds strength in your chest, shoulders, and triceps. It’s a favourite amongst bodybuilders. The steps to execute this exercise are given below:
Incline barbell bench press works on your upper chest muscles. The steps to perform this exercise are as follows:
Incline dumbbell alternating bench press works on your chest, shoulders, and triceps. It increases resistance on the upper chest due to the incline angle. In addition, the alternating motion guarantees that both sides strengthen equally. The steps for this exercise is:
Chest dips work your entire upper body, including the chest, shoulders, and triceps. They build your chest muscles faster than push-ups. The steps for this exercise is:
Close-grip barbell bench press places less strain on your shoulders, shifting the emphasis to your triceps and chest muscles. The steps to execute this exercise is:
This exercise targets your chest and shoulders, and promotes greater strength, growth, and endurance since you have to contract your muscles throughout. In addition, compared to other exercises, it puts less pressure on your shoulders and elbows. The steps for this exercise is:
High pulley Cable crossover targets your lower chest muscles. It also provides constant tension throughout the movement. The steps to perform this exercise is:
This exercise targets your upper chest muscles. It works to stretch the pecs from the starting position to hit the outer pec muscle fibres. The secondary muscle involved in this exercise is the anterior deltoid. The steps for this exercise is:
This exercise targets your pectoralis muscles and increases chest strength and muscle mass. Since you perform this exercise while seated, it’s excellent for beginners to practice good posture and form. It’s also helpful for people who need to avoid standing due to a lower-body injury. The steps to perform this exercise is:
This exercise targets your chest muscles (pectoralis major), the muscles of your mid-to-lower back (latissimus dorsi), your core muscles, and your triceps. It also helps to increase flexibility in your chest and upper body. The steps to execute this is:
It is an excellent exercise which is easier on the joints but offers more shoulder mobility. In addition to building chest muscle, it also activates your triceps, deltoids and core muscles. The steps for this exercise is:
All of the above chest exercises are for those who are in the intermediate level of their training and wish to build a muscular chest. You can adjust the intensity of the exercises by either increasing or decreasing the weights used or by adjusting the number of reps performed.
Exercises and workouts are half the battle won; the other half depends on the food you eat. Diet plays a significant role in building muscles, shedding weight and toning your body. Hence, a well-rounded diet rich in protein accompanied by good chest exercises will help you build a broad, and muscular chest
Dietary guidelines suggest that you eat a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day. But to build muscle, you will have to increase the intake to 1.5 – 2.0 grams per kg of body weight. For example, if you weigh 80 kg, you need to consume 120 – 160 grams of protein per day. Foods such as chicken, fish, eggs, lentils, milk, cheese, and curd, etc., are rich in proteins. So, include them in your daily diet.
A mix of dynamic chest workouts can help you achieve your desired chest shape. Try different chest exercises and select three or four that best suits your body. However, do not overexert yourself to achieve something unrealistic.
Set realistic and achievable goals. Keep your body, age, stamina and strength in mind. Supplement your workout with a protein-rich diet to repair and rebuild your muscles. Always do a good warm-up before performing any exercise and stretch post the workout to avoid injuries.
Also, chest exercises with weights, other props and dumbbells are not only meant for males. Women need to develop strong chest muscles too. Hence, these exercises are for all.
A. Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor. The Pectoralis major makes up most of your chest muscle mass. It is large and fan-shaped and is composed of a sternocostal head and a clavicular head. The Pectoralis minor lies underneath the Pectoralis major. Its job is to help pull the shoulder forward and down.
A. Before performing any exercise or workout, it is imperative to prepare your body. A good warm-up is essential to avoid any injuries during the workout. A thorough warm-up also ensures lesser soreness in your muscles the next day.
A. Diet plays a significant role in building muscles, shedding weight, and toning your body. Hence, a well-rounded diet rich in protein will help you to achieve desired results.
A. Anybody who is at the intermediate level of their training can perform these exercises.
A. No single exercise can be categorised as the most effective chest exercise. You need to keep changing your exercises once in 4-6 weeks to get the most benefits out of a workout
A. Every chest workout should start with a warm-up. It prevents your body from sustaining any injuries during and post-workout.
A. To work the chest at home, you can do Incline push ups, Push-ups, Decline push ups, and Plyometric Push-ups (jumping push-ups),
A. A combination of 3-4 chest exercises with a high calorie protein-rich diet will help
A. Yes, push-ups work the chest. It’s one of the best bodyweight exercises to do
A. Yes, it can help build your strength and stamina for the first 4-6 weeks, But it is not really recommended to do push ups everyday. Any worked muscle would require at least 48 hrs to recover and rebuild.
A. A few possible reasons why your chest isn’t growing include: not warming up pre-workout, not lifting heavy enough, going through exercises too quickly, and not resting enough.
A. A minimum of 2-3 months is required to see any chest muscle gains.
A. A protein-rich diet is necessary to build chest muscles. It includes chicken, fish, lean beef, egg whites, etc.
A. You can choose any 3-4 exercises from the given list and train at least twice a week to build your chest muscles.