The 5 Most Effective Chest Exercises
When it comes to heart health, incorporating cardio into your weekly routine is key. When searching for a great-tasting Phyto Perfect Meal Replacement, BioHealth has your back. And when it boils down to pumping up the pecs, standard push-ups tend to get all the praise— but they aren’t the only way to build size and strength in the chest.
In this post, we’re diving into the world of fitness to uncover the most effective chest exercises to help you build mass, boost strength, and create a powerful physique you’re proud of.
Whether you’re totally new to the gym, a seasoned bodybuilder, or simply can’t stand to do another pushup (we don’t blame you) — these exercises were made for you.
Ready to reach your fitness goal? Let’s get started!
But First, What Exactly Are The Chest Muscles?
Before diving headfirst into the greatest chest exercises of all time, here’s a quick lesson for those who slept through anatomy in high school:
Your chest muscles are some of the most powerful muscles in your upper body and play a major role when it comes to pushing movements — from pushing the door wide open to lathering up your hair with shampoo in the shower. Needless to say, they’re pretty important!
The chest area is made up of two primary muscles:
- Pectoralis Major. The largest of the chest muscles, this fan-shaped muscle spans across your chest and is responsible for many things, such as flexion, adduction, and internal rotation of the humerus.
- Pectoralis Minor. This chest muscle is small and thin with more of a triangular shape. It sits just below the pectoralis major and serves many different functions, such as moving the shoulder blades and ribs.
Often referred to as the pecs, these muscles take up most of the chest wall and are key in arm motion and deep inhalation.
In addition to your pecs, the chest is also home to the serratus anterior. This muscle is located at the side of the chest wall and is responsible for scapular protraction (aka — pushing away from your body).
Pro Tips To Get The Most Out of Your Chest Training
If you think you can just stroll into a gym and pump some iron to grow your chest without any clue in the world as to what you’re doing, you may struggle to pack on size.
Here at BioHealth, we’re all about working smarter — not harder. When you take time out of your busy schedule to work on your overall fitness, don’t spin your wheels with bad technique or performance supplements that don’t work.
Before starting the effective chest exercises we have listed below, check out these pro tips first to help you get the most out of your training:
Tip #1: Practice Good Form
You won’t just find it difficult to get any gains without good form, but you’re also almost guaranteed to injure yourself. And if you injure yourself, you’ll have to put your fitness goals on hold until you heal, which can take quite a bit of time, depending on the injury.
Tip #2: Go Heavy
Since your pecs make up a large muscle group, you need to train them with heavy resistance and progressive overload, which means you’ll gradually increase the weight, frequency, or number of reps. This will combat the dreaded plateau and challenge your body while helping your chest get stronger.
Tip #3: Get Enough Quality Shut-Eye
Believe it or not, when you deprive your body of oh-so-glorious sleep, the essential hormones needed to rebuild muscle become depleted. In other words, if you don’t catch some quality zzz’s every night, recovery will take much longer, and you’ll struggle to build strength.
Tip #4: Use High-Performance Supplements
On your journey to a bigger and stronger chest, a premium quality protein isolate powder — like our Precision ISO Protein — can nourish your muscles to help your body transform sooner rather than later.
Masterfully crafted with you in mind, our Precision ISO Protein is the ultimate gym buddy. You can drink it before, during, or after your workout to build lean muscle and strength while fueling recovery. Not to mention it tastes undeniably amazing; this GMO-Free formula will help keep you on track with your nutrition and fitness goals while providing your body with the nutrients it needs to grow. What’s not to love?
The Best Chest Exercises
Ready to hit the gym and build your pecs? Try these five effective chest workouts below:
1. Barbell Bench Press
The epitome of a strong chest, the bench press is great because it zeroes in on the pecs.
Simply lie down with your back perfectly flat on the bench and with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Get a good grip on the bar and when you’re ready, bring your elbows back even with your shoulders. Let the bar gently touch your chest before driving back to full extension in one fluid motion.
This exercise can also be swapped for dumbbell presses, decline bench press, incline press (using only your right hand or left hand), or incline dumbbell press/incline dumbbell bench press.
2. Dumbbell Fly
In an isolation exercise, dumbbell flyes work both the larger pectoralis major and the smaller pectoralis minor.
Position yourself comfortably on an incline bench. Hold a moderately heavy dumbbell in both hands with your palms facing in. Bring your arms straight above you and as you exhale, lower them both out to your sides to about shoulder height. Pause for a moment before slowly raising your arms back up to the start position. Make sure there is a slight bend in your elbows and that your arms are open at an angle. This exercise can be swapped with a pec-deck flye.
3. Close-Grip Chest Press
This chest press variation switches up your grip on the dumbbells so you can really focus on squeezing your pecs throughout every rep.
Lie down flat on your back with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing each other. Keeping the weights together, press the dumbbells up over your chest until both arms are straight. Then, slowly reverse the motion to get back to the start position.
Note: We did this exercise on the floor, but it can be done on a flat bench too.
4. Cable Crossover
Unlike free weights, cables or pulleys from cable machines provide a steady and continuous level of resistance. This helps to engage not only the pecs but the smaller stabilizing muscles, too.
Start by standing about hip-width apart with one foot in front of the other. Bend your chest forward ever-so-slightly before gripping a cable handle in each hand. Your hands should be slightly above your shoulders and elbows. With both arms almost fully extended, slowly bring your hands together in a wide arc motion. Hold for a second and then slowly return to the start position.
5. Landmine Press
If you’ve never done the landmine press, then you’re missing out. This exercise works your chest, shoulders, and arms while putting less pressure on the joints than a traditional press.
To do this exercise, simply secure one end of a barbell in a corner and load your weight plates on the other end. Stand holding the weighted end in both hands in front of your chest. When ready, take a deep breath and press the weighted end up until your arms are extended. Then, slowly bring it back down.
A Final Word
And there you have it — five of the most effective exercises for any chest workout routine to help build mass and boost strength. Just remember, if you don’t have good form or lift heavy, it may take you much longer to reach your fitness goals. We also recommend fueling your body with high-performing supplements to support you on your journey to better health and help fuel the best chest workouts there are.
At BioHealth, we take pride in creating some of the cleanest supplements on the planet and having some of the most advanced flavors in the industry. From caramel macchiato to snickerdoodle and peanut butter cookie to churro, just one taste, and we know you’ll be hooked!
Whether you’re on the hunt for the best phyto-perfect protein supplement on the market or could use a little help to reduce some holiday stress, with us, your choice is always simple, your nutrition is second-to-none, and your body is better than it was yesterday.
Check us out today and start building muscle mass tomorrow — trust us, you’ll be glad you did!
Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Acute Skeletal Muscle Recovery after Exercise | PubMed
Effect of acute sleep deprivation and recovery on Insulin-like Growth Factor-I responses and inflammatory gene expression in healthy men | NCBI
Progressive Overload Explained: Grow Muscle & Strength Today | NASM
These chest exercise are really helpful, keep it up.