Many men seek a stronger, harder chest, but this is much easier said than done. Known as the pectoralis major, your largest chest muscle is used all day long. You would be surprised how many movements are reliant on your chest — meaning, the stronger your chest, the stronger your whole body will be.
5 Chest Workouts You Need to Try
On average, it's recommended that you work out your chest 3 non-consecutive days a week, ensuring you properly recover in between sessions. It's important to include a mixture of exercises, changing up your routine after a few weeks. This will help you avoid a plateau effect.
1 - Barbell bench press
This strength exercise most certainly works your chest, while also benefiting your triceps and shoulders.
All you'll need is a barbell and yourself — perfect for beginners looking to switch up their regular workout routine. If you are starting out, make sure you always have a spotter. Here's what to do:
- Lie back on a flat bench — using a medium width grip, lift your bar and lift it above you. Lock your arms — you're currently in your starting position.
- As you breathe in, bring the bar down slowly until it touches your chest.
- After pausing for a brief moment, push the bar up so that you're back in the starting position. Really focus on using your chest muscles as you push — hold the bar up for a second, squeezing your chest.
- Begin lowering the bar once again — it should take you approximately twice as long to lower as it did to raise.
- Repeat based on the amount of desired repetitions.
2 - Bodyweight flyes
Once again, this exercise focuses on your chest muscles, but will also work your shoulders, triceps, and abdomen. For this immediate exercise, you will require an E-Z curl bar. Here's how to begin:
- Place two equally loaded E-Z bars on the floor next to one another, ensuring that they will roll.
- Start over the bars, in a push-up position — support your weight on both your hands and toes. Keep your body straight with your arms extended. Place your hands on the bars — you're not in your official start-up position.
- Slowly move your hands away from the middle of your body, rolling the bars apart as you inhale.
- Once the bars are as far apart as possible, start moving back into your original position as you exhale.
3 - Standard push-up
There's a reason why some exercises go unchanged and are utilized over and over again — they work. The push-up is one of those exercises, working your chest, triceps and shoulders. In order to advance towards more challenging exercises, it's imperative that you master push-ups. If you are already quite advanced, place your feet on a higher surface to increase resistance.
- With your face down, lay on the floor with your hands approximately 3 feet apart — hold your torso up.
- As you inhale, slowly lower yourself — your chest should nearly touch the floor.
- Now exhale as you push your upper body up, reaching your original position — squeeze your chest muscles as you do so.
- Pause briefly and repeat.
4 - Incline Dumbbell Press
Working the same muscles as above, you will benefit your chest, shoulders and triceps once again. If your bench allows it, use several angles to challenge yourself. Here's how to perform this exercise:
- Once an incline bench, lie back with a dumbbell in each hand, resting them on your thighs. Your palms should be facing one another.
- Lift each dumbbell up, hold them shoulder width apart. Rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing away from you — this will be your starting position.
- Breathe out as you push the dumbbells up using your chest.
- At the top, lock your arms, pause, then begin lowering the weight. Once again, lowering the weights should take twice as long as it does to raise them.
5 - Chest Dips
This is a more intermediate exercise, working your chest, shoulder and triceps. In order to perform this exercise, you will need parallel bars — if you're a beginner, utilize a dip assist machine if available. If not, a spotter that will hold your legs is recommended. If you're more advanced, add a weight belt to challenge yourself.
- To start, hold your body above the bars at arm's length — locking your arms into place.
- As you breathe in, lower your torso, leaning approximately 30 degrees or so — you should feel your chest stretching slightly. Your elbows will be flared out at this point.
- After you feel the stretch, bring your body back into starting position, using your chest. At the top of the movement, squeeze your chest for a brief second.