When it comes to chest day, there are loads of exercises that you can do to work your pectoral muscles. A great chest workout should focus on hitting your chest muscles from a variety of different angles including decline and incline exercises. Working your chest also often involves working secondary muscles such as triceps.
Creating a powerful upper body involves a big chest. Having big powerful chest muscles can look great and improve your overall body structure. There are plenty of exercises that you can do to work your chest, we have picked our top ten favourite workout exercises for creating a big powerful chest in the gym and you can see them below.
Incline bench cable fly
Using the cables for an exercise allow you to keep continuous pressure on your muscles for a longer period of time, throughout the full range of motion. the incline cable bench fly is a great move to isolate your chest muscles and also givers you a great pump. To perform this exercise you will need a bench on a slight incline and cable machine. You should start with the cables on your side, raising them up until they touch in the middle, before slowly lowering them back down. This exercise is a great workout finisher to perform with high reps.
Bench press with the barbell requires a simple motion of raising and lowering the barbell. Using the barbell instead of dumbbells will allow you to drive more power and lift heavier. If you have the choice, use the free barbell bench instead of the assisted bench. This will give your muscles more of a workout as they have to balance and control the barbell, as well as performing the motion. The barbell bench press is great for improving your strength and is also easy to spot, so you can push yourself hard if you are working out with a partner.
Incline barbell bench press
Using the bench on a low incline allows you to focus on the top of your chest without putting too much stress on your delts. You should avoid using the bench on a high inline to avoid also exercising your deltoids. The incline barbell bench press is great to build a bigger looking upper chest by targeting your muscles at a slightly different angle to the standard bench press. as this is using the barbell it will allow you to maximise your power.
Push-ups are a great body weight exercise for increasing strength. the weighted push-up allows you to add additional weight so that you can lower the rep ranges to focus on building muscle. There are different ways that you could add weight to perform this exercise including using a plate or a weighted vest. To maximise muscle you should use a weight that is comfortable for you to perform lower rep ranges. Push-ups are great for working the chest and also work your arms as a secondary muscle. I like to use this exercise near the end of my workouts.
Dumbbell squeeze press
This exercise allows you to squeeze your muscles together, working a full range of motion and maximising muscle growth. This exercise is great to incorporate into your chest workout and provides a slightly different range of motion to your standard bench press. To perform this exercise you need two dumbbells and a flat bench. Whilst on the bench, you need to position your arms together above your chest with your palms facing each over. Lower the weights down towards your side and then bring them back up again. ensure you are squeezing them at the top when they touch.
Forward leaning dip
The forward leaning dip is a great bodyweight exercise to train your chest muscles. instead of performing a normal dip, you lean forward, focusing on your chest muscles. The standard dip is great for your triceps, but leaning in shifts the focus onto your chest. This compound exercise is great for building a powerful chest and allows you to target your chest from a different angle to your normal bench press. To ensure you are maximising the effect of this exercise, try to aim for a full range of motion. If you experience any shoulder issues it may be best to try another exercise.
Incline dumbbell press
Instead of using the barbell, this involves performing the bench press motion with dumbbells instead. Using the bench on the incline allows you to target your upper chest to build a bigger, powerful looking chest. To perform this exercise you need to lie on the incline bench with the dumbbells raised at shoulder width. Position the palm of your hands away from you and use your chest muscles to raise the dumbbells above you head. Try to pause at the top and then slowly lower the dumbbells down towards your starting position. sets of 6-8 reps on this exercise are good for building mass.
The cable crossover focuses on the outer part of your chest and is essential for an all round well-developed chest muscle. Using the cable allows you to put pressure on your muscles for the full duration of the exercise. You should start with using a low weight on this exercise to ensure you get the form correct. Lean forward on the pulley machine and with a slight bend, extend your arms. bring your arms into the centre and squeeze in the middle.
Decline bench press
as well as focusing on the upper part of your chest, the bottom is just as important for a well-built chest. The decline bench press with the barbell is great for working the bottom outer part of your chest. the motion is the same as the standard bench press but may take some practise in balancing the barbell from a decline position. Your triceps drive the barbell up at the bottom due to the decline position. I like to perform the barbell decline bench press with a low rep range, usually six reps per set.
Dumbbell pullovers target your chest muscles from a different position to your usual chest workouts. I like to perform them after performing the bench press. To perform this exercise you need a single dumbbell and a bench. this is a good exercise to lift heavy and keep a low rep range.