These are the best exercises to build a great looking chest.
They are not designed with strength or muscle mass in mind, but purely for definition and aesthetics.
The following three exercises will hit the:
- Upper pecs
- Lower Pecs
- Middle Pecs
Best 3 Exercises to Build a Great Looking Chest
Let’s look at them in more depth.
1 Incline Dumbbell Press (Upper Pecs)
“Science shows that a slight 30-degree incline on the bench is best to not only hit the upper pec fibres the best while minimizing the dominance of the front delts but that it also hits the sternal portion of the chest hard as well.
The arms move from the low and away position to one up and in when performing the exercise this way. The use of dumbbells also allows the hands to travel a little closer to each other at the top to achieve more adduction of the arms rather than what happens when they are fixed in place on a barbell during a barbell bench press.
Even though you lose some of the tension on resisted adduction at the top of the rep, you still get more overall adduction resistance during the dumbbell variation of the bench press than you do with the barbell version.”
2 High to Low Cable Crossover (Lower Pecs)
Jeff explains further, “This is best performed with a set of cables but it can also be done as a chest resistance band exercise.
Here you want to make sure that you are bringing the arms down and across your chest on every rep.
Many less informed trainers advise you to stop your arms at midline. Given that they don’t understand the anatomy and function of the chest muscles this is understandable, but still not right.
In order to maximize chest contraction you want to cross your arms over each other in order to allow for a greater excursion into adduction and get better chest development.”
3 Dumbbell Pullover
“Instead of flaring the elbows out to the sides and keeping the dumbbell close to the head (which would place the brunt of the workload on the lats) you want to straighten the arms as much as possible.
The finish position of the dumbbell over the chest is the same as it would be at the end of an incline bench press.
With the arms held relatively high (above the shoulders) you get the flexion of the shoulder that targets the upper pecs and minimizes the lats.
The other thing you want to do here is think about squeezing the backs of your hands together as the dumbbell approaches the end of each rep. This will further adduct your hands which will create a more intense upper chest contraction.
Finally, you can also use this exercise for chest to develop the serratus muscle. This often overlooked muscle acts as a support muscle for the lower chest and, when developed, gives that complete aesthetic look to the pecs that rounds out your complete chest development.”
Training your chest can have a number of benefits for your overall fitness and physical health. Here are some reasons why you might want to train your chest:
- Strengthening your chest muscles: Chest exercises like bench press, push-ups, and dumbbell flyes can help you build stronger chest muscles. This can improve your overall upper body strength and make it easier to perform daily activities that require pushing or pulling.
- Aesthetics: A well-developed chest can enhance the appearance of your upper body, giving you a more balanced and proportional physique.
- Improved posture: A strong chest can also help improve your posture by pulling your shoulders back and helping you maintain a more upright position.
- Increased metabolism: Chest exercises can also help boost your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories throughout the day.
- Improved athletic performance: A strong chest can improve your performance in a variety of sports and activities that require upper body strength, such as basketball, football, and rock climbing.
Overall, training your chest can have numerous benefits for your physical health, appearance, and athletic performance. It’s important to incorporate a variety of exercises into your chest workout routine to ensure that you’re targeting all the muscles in your chest, as well as other muscles in your upper body.
The frequency at which you should train your chest depends on several factors such as your fitness goals, overall fitness level, and your training program.
In general, it is recommended that you train your chest muscles at least once per week to see improvements in strength and muscle growth. However, some individuals may benefit from training their chest more frequently, such as 2-3 times per week, especially if they are more experienced lifters and are looking to target specific areas of the chest.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t train your chest muscles on consecutive days as this can lead to overtraining and increase the risk of injury. Additionally, it’s important to allow your muscles to rest and recover between workouts, so that they have time to repair and grow.
Overall, the frequency at which you should train your chest will depend on your individual goals and fitness level, so it’s best to consult with a certified fitness professional who can help you design a personalized workout plan that meets your needs.
There are several effective chest exercises that individuals can perform safely in the gym. When performing any exercise, it’s important to use proper form, start with an appropriate weight, and gradually increase intensity to avoid injury. Here are some common chest exercises that are generally safe when executed correctly:
- Barbell Bench Press:
- Lie on a flat bench with your feet flat on the ground.
- Grip the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width, lower it to your chest, and push it back up.
- Keep your back and glutes in contact with the bench and maintain a controlled motion.
- Dumbbell Bench Press:
- Similar to the barbell bench press, but using dumbbells.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand and press them up while lying on a bench.
- Dumbbells allow for a more natural range of motion and can help prevent muscle imbalances.
- Incline Bench Press:
- Similar to the flat bench press, but performed on an inclined bench (30-45 degree angle).
- Focuses on the upper portion of the chest and anterior deltoids.
- Dumbbell Flyes:
- Lie on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Start with your arms extended and slightly bent at the elbows, then lower the dumbbells in a wide arc while keeping a slight bend in your elbows.
- Focus on feeling a stretch in your chest before returning to the starting position.
- Cable Chest Press:
- Using a cable machine with adjustable handles, stand facing away from the machine and grasp the handles at chest height.
- Step forward, extend your arms, and then bring them back in front of your body while keeping tension on the cables.
- Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
- Lower your body towards the ground by bending your elbows, then push back up.
- Modify the difficulty by adjusting hand placement or doing knee push-ups.
- Machine Chest Press:
- Sit down on a chest press machine and adjust the seat and handles to your comfort.
- Push the handles away from your chest while keeping your back against the pad.
- Machine Flyes:
- Similar to dumbbell flyes, but performed on a machine.
- Sit down and adjust the machine’s arms, then bring them together in a hugging motion.
Remember these safety tips:
- Warm up before starting your chest workout to prepare your muscles and joints.
- Use proper form to prevent injury. If you’re unsure, ask a fitness professional for guidance.
- Start with a weight that allows you to complete your desired number of repetitions with good form.
- Gradually increase weight and intensity over time to avoid overexertion.
- Listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard, especially if you’re new to exercising.
If you’re new to weightlifting, consider working with a personal trainer to learn proper technique and develop a safe and effective workout routine tailored to your goals and fitness level.