Fact Checked

12 Best Chest Exercise You Should Add In Routine

Best Chest Exercises - (Image Credit: Shutterstock)

30-Second-Summary
  • The dumbbell bench press is among the best chest exercises.
  • Incline dumbbell fly requires you to raise your bench on one end at an angle of 45 degrees.
  • Decline dumbbell bench press requires your head to be lower than your feet, which you place on a raised bench.
  • Floor press dumbbell chest exercises involve the triceps touching the floor and not the elbows.
  • Prone fly dumbbell workout stretches chest muscles and tones the abs plus the glutes.
  • Pullover dumbbell workout helps stretch the lats muscles.
  • Decline barbell bench press enlarges your chest but take care to avoid joint injuries.
  • Incline barbell bench press makes the chest pecs snap but be wary of injuries.
  • Simple press-ups or push-ups are among the best chest exercises, and you don't have to spend money.
  • Decline press-ups help build a well-structured chest.
  • Incline push-ups allow you to use a comfortable height for your push-ups to enhance chest build-up.
  • Alternating single-hand press-ups involve pushing up with one hand ahead, but you must gain experience before trying them.

Overview Of Chest Exercises

For many people, a full chest workout involves basic chest exercises, but most aren’t effective. There are the best chest exercises to choose from that may help build your chest. 

Having a bigger chest makes you look good and feel in control. Additionally, you can push strong objects and lift weights. The chest helps in climbing, lifting, walking, and many other daily activities. 

Studies show that the human perception of a well-built male body includes a muscular and wide chest with an overall v-shaped torso. To achieve this, you need to work out using the best chest exercises that will exhaust your chest muscles in the best way possible.

How Do You Build Your Chest Muscles?

If you cherish a well-built muscular chest, there are various things you need to add to your routine to realize your dream. You need to exercise correctly and follow a balanced diet, as recommended by nutritionists and fitness experts. 

First, eat more proteins to help build and repair your muscles after a tiresome chest workout. A study published in Nutrients found that taking lean proteins helped build a lean body mass better than resistance workouts.

To be precise, eat 0.8 gram of protein per kilo of bodyweight normally, but you double the ratio to build the muscles.

Besides proteins, consume a balanced diet with vegetables, fiber, fruits, and carbs for body fuel, in the right proportions. Ultimately, you must warm up properly, do a combination of the barbell, dumbbell, plates, press-ups, chest workout, and other forms of exercise to build a perfect chest.

A study in the Journal of Physiology found that slow, controlled lifts produced greater rates of muscle growth than when done speedily.

Muscular chest

What Are the Benefits Of Chest Exercise?

  • Improved posture. The chest being among one of the largest muscles in the body plays a significant role in helping you keep a good posture.
  • Breast support. Most people believe that doing a chest workout makes your breasts smaller. But, in reality, your breasts become firmer because of the muscle-building around the breast.
  • Better breathing. A strong-wide well-built chest enhances proper breathing, giving you a chance to take deep breaths.
  • Better functionality. A strong chest contributes to better overall upper body strength that improves your ability to push things.
  • Better appearance. A nice well-built chest makes you look cool, giving you a boost of confidence. Still, you may catch the eye of the opposite sex because of how attractive you look.
  • Performance of daily activities. Each daily body activity such as lifting, holding, squeezing, or pushing requires your chest muscles. There are many chest workout plans to choose from, but it’s better to do the best and most effective ones.

Some people say that barbell training doesn’t give them a bigger chest. Fortunately, dumbbell chest exercises may be the answer to a bigger chest. This is because, dumbbell results in a stronger set of pecs, allows more movement, creates a balanced development, and offers less risk of injury.

chest exercises

So, here are our 12 chest exercises you may add to your routine to reap the benefits of chest exercise.

1. Dumbbell Bench Press

These dumbbell chest exercises require you to lie on a bench, hold a dumbbell[1] in each hand, then press the weights straight up. Bend your arms and lower them to the side of your body. So, the dumbbells lie just above your chest.

Lower the weights slowly, then push the dumbbells back to the starting position. You may squeeze the dumbbells together, then push up all the way simultaneously. This chest workout helps you flex your pecs with more motion. 

2. Incline Dumbbell Fly

To perform these types of dumbbell chest exercises, you use an adjustable bench. Then, incline it to about 45 degrees and lie back on it with a dumbbell in each hand. Turn your wrists so that your palms face each other, then press the dumbbells up over your chest while bending your elbows a bit. 

Also, you may alternate the lifts or presses, one dumbbell up, the other down for more movements and a better chest workout.

Incline Dumbbell Fly

3. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press with Raised Feet

This class of dumbbell chest exercises uses a bench raised on one side but placed on heavy barbell plates. So, your head will be at the lower end as you lie on your back on the bench with your feet flat on the raised end. 

You then hold the two dumbbells at arm’s length over your chest. Bend your elbows as you lower the weights repeatedly up and down. The dumbbell decline chest workout is excellent for the pecs and other muscles and very safe.

4. Floor Press Dumbbell Chest Exercises

To get further the benefits of chest exercise, try the floor press[2]. It works the pecs while barely stretching the shoulders. Here, the triceps and not your elbows touch the floor.

Like many dumbbell chest exercises, you hold the dumbbells at arm’s length with your palms facing each other.

But lower them until the triceps hit the floor as you lie flat on the floor. And you pause, press the dumbbells fast upwards, and twist the wrists in this chest workout.

5. Reverse Prone Dumbbell Fly

This is among the best chest exercises since it stretches the chest, with abs and glutes braced. Keeping your back flat, hold the two dumbbells in a push-up position with palms facing each other.

Then, keep your arms apart, bring your body down, squeeze the dumbbells, and start again. 

You may use dumbbells with plates, so you roll the plates during the fly. If you strain to perform these forms of dumbbell chest exercises, then do the workout on your knees.

6. Pullover Dumbbell Workout

To get more benefits of chest exercise, you may lie on the floor on your back with a dumbbell held with both hands overhead.

Then, press the weight over the chest, bend your elbows a bit, and take the hands holding the dumbbell overhead.

Do this till you stretch your lats muscles, and then bring the dumbbell over your chest again. You may combine this category of dumbbell chest exercises with deep breaths.

Pullover Dumbbell Workout

7. Decline Barbell Bench Press

This chest workout helps make your chest bigger. With your hands placed shoulders width apart, hold a barbell as you lie on your back on a declining bench.

Extend your arms all the way, then bring the barbell down over your chest. Press the barbell again, then down repeatedly, while taking gasps of a deep breath. 

You may raise your back a bit at times, or the feet too, for more benefits of chest exercise.

8. Incline Barbell Bench Press

The incline barbell press is among the best chest exercises if done safely. It makes the chest pecs snap as you press on the barbell bench through an inclined setting.

You incline the bench, lie on the bench facing up, then lift the barbell with palms facing away from you. 

To gain extra benefits of chest exercise, you may bend your arms as you lift the barbell. Next, take deep breaths as you slowly lift and squeeze the chest.

9. Simple Press Ups or Push Ups

Those without barbells and dumbbells may also rely on press-ups, which are some of the best chest exercises. Just put your feet together with your hands supporting your shoulders while you face the ground. Ensure your body is straight. 

Then, lower your chest as you bend your elbows and press back up. To ease the pressure on your triceps, you may widen your posture slightly for the best chest workout.

Simple Press Ups

10. Decline Press-Ups

To further get the benefits of chest exercise, do press-ups from a declined angle. This way, you achieve a well-structured chest as you build your muscles.

Here, you place your feet on a raised bench, then lower your torso and support it with your arms spread a bit. Push your body up and down while squeezing the chest muscles. Maintain a straight body throughout.

11. Incline Push-Ups

Further, you can benefit from the best chest exercises through inclined press-ups[3]. In contrast to the declined ones, you place your feet on the floor and support your body, with your arms placed on a raised surface or bench.

Ensure you raise your bench to a comfortable height. Next, bring your body down as you bend your elbows to flex the chest and shoulder muscles.

12. Alternating Single-Hand Press-Ups

To crown it all, you can alternate press-ups by doing them on each arm at a time. You place one hand ahead of the other to support your body while in a push-up posture.

Keep alternating one-hand press-ups, and ensure you fasten the movements as you progress. But, this is suitable for you after you master the others to avoid hand or shoulder injury.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, performing the best chest exercises benefits your health. The pecs and other chest plus shoulder muscles remain well-toned. And the chest assumes a triangular shape as it grows bigger and stronger. A well-built chest allows you to breathe better and attain overall health.

There are many dumbbell chest exercises and other upper body workouts, but we picked the twelve best. Some chest exercises that use the barbell and plates may cause chest and muscle injury. You may do most of them under supervision.

However, dumbbell chest exercises give more benefits and are safer since the weights involved are not huge. If you can’t afford the barbells and the dumbbells, you can do the push-ups, which also have great benefits for your chest pecs.

You need to alternate and combine the various forms of chest workouts to help build your chest. And don’t forget to eat a balanced diet with double proteins to optimize the benefits of exercise.

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In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

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All Health Web Magazine content is thoroughly reviewed and/or fact-checked by a team of health industry experts to ensure accuracy.

In keeping with our strict quality guidelines, we only cite academic research institutions, established health journals, or peer-reviewed studies in our content. You will be able to find links to these sources by clicking the numbers in parentheses (1, 2, etc.) that appear throughout our content.

At no time do we advise any of our readers to use any of our content as a substitute for a one-on-one consultation with a doctor or healthcare professional.

We invite you to contact us regarding any inaccuracies, information that is out of date or any otherwise questionable content that you find on our sites via our feedback form.