50+ Best Chest Workouts for Building Muscle

Contents

What are the 4 Chest Muscles Called?

  • Pectoralis major
  • Pectoralis minor
  • Serratus anterior
  • Subclavius

1. Barbell Bench Press

How to do it:

  1. Grasp the bar just outside shoulder-width and arch your back so there’s space between your lower back and the bench.
  2. Pull the bar out of the rack and lower it to your sternum, tucking your elbows about 45° to your sides.
  3. When the bar touches your body, drive your feet hard into the floor and press the bar back up.

2. Dumbbell Bench Press

How to do it:

  1. Lie back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Hold the weights at shoulder-level
  3. Then press the weights straight up.

3. Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press

How to do it:

  1. Lying faceup on a bench, holding dumbbells at the outside of your shoulders and with palms facing your thighs, lift both dumbbells over your chest.
  2.  Keeping one arm straight, lower the other dumbbell, touch the outside of your shoulder, and push it back up. At the top of the movement, push farther with both hands, as if trying to punch the ceiling.
James Michelfelder

4. Hips-Off, Single-Arm Bench Press

How to do it:

  1. Lie back on a flat bench so the right half of your torso is off bench, a heavy (40- to 50-pound) dumbbell in right hand.
  2. Brace core and press dumbbell over right shoulder. Do all reps on right side, then switch sides
Justin Steele

5. Cable Crossover

How to do it:

  1. Stand between two facing cable stations with both pulleys set midway between the top and bottom of the station.
  2. Attach a D-handle to each pulley and hold one in each hand.
  3. Keep your elbows slightly bent, and step forward so there’s tension on the cables.
  4. Flex your pecs as you bring your hands together out in front of your chest. Alternate stretching and flexing after each set.

6. Incline Dumbbell Press

How to do it:

  1. Set an adjustable bench to a 30°-45° angle and lie back on it with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder-level.
  2. Press the weights over your chest.

7. Dumbbell Half Flye

How to do it:

  1. Lie back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand, held above your chest. Lower the weights out to the side, opening your arms wide.
  2. Feel a stretch in your pecs. Bring the weights halfway up, then return them back to the bottom position. That’s one rep.
  3. Take three seconds to lower your arms and three to bring them halfway up on each rep.
James Michelfelder

8. Dumbbell Flye

How to do it:

  1. Lie back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and spread your arms wide, lowering the weights until they’re even with your chest.
  3. Flex your pecs and lift the weights back to the starting position.

9. Incline Dumbbell Flye

How to do it:

  1. Set an adjustable bench to a 30°-45° angle, and lie back on it with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Turn your wrists so your palms face each other.
  3. Press the weights straight over your chest, then, keeping a slight bend in your elbows, spread your arms open as if you were going for a big bear hug.
  4. Lower your arms until you feel a stretch in your pecs, then bring the weights back together over your chest.

10. Low-Incline Press

How to do it:

  1. Set an adjustable bench to an incline of no more than 30° or rest a flat bench on a weight plate or mat to tilt it slightly.
  2. Grasp the bar just outside shoulder-width and arch your back so there’s space between your lower back and the bench.
  3. Pull the bar out of the rack and lower it to your sternum, tucking your elbows about 45° to your sides.
  4. When the bar touches your body, drive your feet hard into the floor and press the bar back up.

11. Speed Bench Press

How to do it:

  1. Bench press as described above but do so on a totally flat bench.
  2. Use 60% of your max.
  3. So, if you think you can bench press 250lbs one time, perform your sets with 150, exploding each rep off your chest as fast as you can.
James Michelfelder

12. Landmine Press

How to do it:

  1. Wedge the end of the barbell into a corner of the room (to avoid damage to the walls, you may have to wrap a towel around it).
  2. Load the opposite end with weight and grasp it toward the end of the barbell sleeve with your right hand.
  3. Stagger your stance so your left leg is in front. Press the bar straight overhead

13. Floor Press

How to do it:

  1. Lie on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Your palms should face each other and your triceps (but not your elbows) should rest on the floor.
  3. Explosively press the dumbbells up.
  4. Lower them until only your triceps touch the floor.
  5. Pause for a moment, then begin the next rep. Increase the weight gradually each set.

14. Prone Flye

How to do it:

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and get into a pushup position on the floor with palms facing each other.
  2. Spread your arms apart as in a normal dumbbell flye and lower your body until you feel a stretch in your chest, then squeeze the dumbbells and bring your hands back to pushup position.
  3. Keep your abs and glutes braced and your back flat throughout. If you’re using plate-loaded dumbbells, you may be able to roll the weight plates on the floor during the flye.
  4. Otherwise, you can place a towel under each dumbbell to facilitate sliding. If this is too difficult, perform the exercise on your knees.

15. Pullover

How to do it:

  1. Lie on your back on the floor and hold one dumbbell overhead with both hands.
  2. Press the weight over your chest, then reach back over your head, bending your elbows only slightly.
  3. Continue until you feel a stretch in your lats, then pull the dumbbell back over your chest.
  4. Take a deep breath every time you lower the dumbbell behind you.

16. Plate Pressout

How to do it:

  1. Hold a pair of light weight plates together, smooth side out, between your palms right in front of your chest.
  2. Squeeze the plates together, focusing on your chest, and press them out in front of you until your arms are extended.
  3. Flare your lats and pull the weights back to your chest.
  4. Complete your reps and then, on the second set, press the weights downward from your chest at a 45-degree angle.
  5. On the third set, press them upward at a 45-degree angle

17. 3-Way Suspension Trainer Flye

How to do it:

  1. Attach a suspension trainer to a sturdy overhead object and lengthen the straps to a point where you would do pushups.
  2. Grasp the handles and get into pushup position with hands under your shoulders.
  3. Your entire body should be straight and your core braced.
  4. Bring your arms out to your sides as if you were giving someone a bear hug.
  5. Lower your body until you feel a stretch in your chest and then bring your arms together again.
  6. That’s one rep of the flye. Perform three reps.
  7. Then, from the starting position, open your arms but keep your elbows bent so that the move looks like a combination of a pushup and a flye.
  8. Press yourself back up.
  9. That’s one rep of the bent-arm flye.
  10. Perform three reps.
  11. From there, return to the starting position and perform pushups on the handles.
  12. All of the above equals one set.

18. Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Get into a pushup position with hands under your shoulders.
  2. Your entire body should be straight and your core braced.
  3. Lower your body, keeping your elbows tucked near your torso and your head neutral, until your chest is almost touching the floor.
  4. Fire your chest and triceps and raise your body back to the pushup position.

19. Suspension Trainer Reverse Flye to External Rotation to Face Pull

How to do it:

Reverse Flye:

  1. Grasp the handles and lean back away from the trainer’s attachment point so your weight is on your heels and your body is about 45 degrees to the floor.
  2. Allow your arms to extend in front of you.
  3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and draw your arms back until they’re 90 degrees out to your sides.
  4. (Keep a slight bend in your elbows.) That’s one rep of the reverse flye. Perform five reps

External Rotation:

  1. From the start position of the reverse flye, draw your upper arms back with your elbows bent 90 degrees and knuckles facing the ceiling.
  2. Your upper body should make a W shape.
  3. That’s one rep of the external rotation. Perform five reps

Face Pull:

  1. From there, return to the starting position with arms extended and pull your hands to your forehead, twisting your palms to face in front of you as you pull.
  2. That’s one face pull. Perform five reps. All of the above equals one set

20. One-Armed Medicine Ball Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Get into a pushup position resting your right hand on the medicine ball and left hand on the floor.
  2. Lower your body until your chest is just above the floor, then push back up

21. Medicine Ball Pushup “Drop ‘n’ Pop”

How to do it:

  1. Place both hands on the ball and get into pushup position.
  2. Quickly let go of the ball and spread your hands out to shoulder width on the floor.
  3. When you feel your chest touch the ball, push yourself up fast so your hands come off the floor and land on the ball again.

22. Close-Grip Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Perform these as you would normal pushups but position your hands close together.
  2. The closer together your hands are, the more this exercise emphasizes the triceps

23. Medicine Ball Crossover Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Perform a pushup with one hand on the ball.
  2. At the top of the pushup, take your hand off the ball and roll it to the other hand.
  3. Put your other hand and the ball, and do another rep

24. Plyo Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Perform pushups but explode upward on each rep so your hands leave the floor and you can clap before landing.
  2. When you land, go immediately into the next rep. Stop the set as soon as your movement slows down, even if it’s before six reps are completed

25. Wide-Grip Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Place your hands wider than shoulder width.
  2. Perform pushups

26. Band-Resisted Pushup w/ Feet Elevated

How to do it:

  1. Grasp the end of the band in one hand and wrap it around your back. Pin both hands to the floor with the ends of the band in your palms.
  2. Rest your feet on a box, bench, or mats so that your body forms a straight line parallel to the floor.
  3. Perform pushups

27. Band-Resisted Flye

How to do it:

  1. Attach a band to a sturdy object at shoulder height and repeat with another adjacent to it.
  2. Alternatively, tie two bands together and anchor them at the same point behind you.
  3. Hold the opposite ends of the bands in each hand and step forward so that your arms are drawn back 90 degrees to your sides and you feel a stretch in your pecs.
  4. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, bring your hands together in front of your chest as if you were giving someone a bear hug

28. Triceps Extension

How to do it:

  1. Start in a pushup position, then rest your forearms on the floor with palms down.
  2. Keeping your core tight and your body in a straight line, extend your elbows so your arms are straight.

29. Pec Deck

How to do it:

  1. Set up the Pec Deck so the vertical bars are positioned close to the machine.
  2. Adjust the seat so the handles are roughly chest height.
  3. While facing away from the machine, reach back with one hand to grab one handle, then the other.
  4. Pull the handles together and resist tension on the way back.
triloks /Getty Images

30. Wide-Grip Dips

How to do it:

  1. Keeping your arms straight, hold your body up on two parallel bars that are a couple inches wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Descend until your chest is roughly in line with your hands, then push back up to the starting position, locking out your elbows.
  3. Descend while keeping your torso slightly horizontal to the ground, which emphasizes the chest muscles over your triceps
Beth Bischoff

31. Smith Machine Incline Press

How to do it:

  1. Set an adjustable bench to a 30°-45° incline, and roll it into the center of a Smith machine rack.
  2. Grasp the bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip.
  3. Unrack the bar, lower it to the upper part of your chest, and press straight up.

32. Low-Cable Crossover

How to do it:

  1. Stand between two facing cable stations and attach a D-handle to the low pulleys on each.
  2. With a handle in each hand and elbows slightly bent, raise your arms from waist height to out in front of your chest, flexing your pecs as you bring them together.

33. Decline Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Start with hands on the floor and slightly wide, top of feet or shins resting on a physio ball.
  2. Engage core and lower body to stabilize and perform pushups more slowly.
Justin Steele

34. Back Lunge to One-Arm Chest Pass

How to do it:

  1. Stand facing a sturdy wall, 5 feet away, with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, elbows bent at rib cage, medicine ball just below sternum, and elbows pointing outward.
  2. Step right foot back into a lunge, rotate torso clockwise slightly, bringing ball toward your right shoulder, supporting it with your right hand.
  3. Keeping core tight and neck neutral, drive through left heel as you step forward with your right foot to forcefully throw medicine ball against wall with right hand. Collect medicine ball, reset, and repeat.
Justin Steele

35. Med Ball Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Assume pushup position on a medicine or Swiss ball with fingers pointed down the sides.
  2. The shoulder blades should be pushed away from each other. Lower yourself to where the chest barely touches the ball.
  3. Maintain control of the ball as you push as far away from the ball as possible. Keep your body straight from head to ankle.
Svitlana Hulko / Shutterstock

36. Medicine Ball Rotational Throw

How to do it:

  1. Stand 5 feet away from and perpendicular to a sturdy wall, so the wall is on your right
  2. Keeping chin slightly down and looking at wall continuously, rotate shoulders and arms clockwise and down to bring ball by left hip.
  3. Powerfully twist clockwise and release ball, first rotating your hips, followed by torso, then arms, and finally the ball.
  4. Catch the ball and begin your next throw. Switch sides after all reps.
Justin Steele

37. One-arm Flye Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Get into pushup position with one hand on a slider.
  2. Lower your body while sliding the hand on the slider out to the side, as if performing a flye. Keep most of your weight on the non-slider arm.
  3. Go as low as you safely can, then push up and draw your arm back in.
James Michelfelder

38. Chest Press Machine

What Exactly is a Chest Press Machine?

The chest press machine engages the muscles in the upper torso. The chest muscles are the most active area of the body during this action.

What is the Purpose of a Chest Press Machine?

The chest press machine action is a strengthening workout for the chest muscles. Furthermore, it aids in the development of the muscles in the shoulder and upper arm region. The shoulders and arms are the most active components of the body during the chest press machine action. As a result, it has a direct impact on the development of the muscles in this region.

How to do it:

  1. Load plates on both sides of a flat-press machine and adjust the seat so that both of your feet are flat on the floor.
  2. Grasp the handles and press to a full lockout.

39. Banded Chest Flye

How to do it:

  1. Wrap a band around a sturdy object or around your back and hold an end in each hand.
  2. Open your arms so you feel a stretch in your pecs.
  3. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, bring your hands together in front of your chest as if you were giving someone a bear hug.
James Michelfelder

40. High Peak Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Situate four yoga blocks or small plyo boxes under hands and feet, with hands wider than traditional pushup position.
  2. Drop chest below hand level while maintaining a straight back, then press back up into plank position. As you get stronger, bring blocks under feet slightly closer together.
Justin Steele

41. Spiderman Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Start in plank position, arms extended and your body in straight line.
  2. Bend elbows, keeping them close to your sides to initiate the movement.
  3. As you lower your body to the floor, bend your left knee and touch it to left elbow. Return to plank position. Repeat by touching your right knee to your right elbow.
Justin Steele

42. Plank to Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Begin in a forearm plank.
  2. Push from your triceps, placing your right hand on the ground, then your left hand, gradually rising to pushup position.
  3. Return to the forearm plank by placing your right forearm down, then your left. Alternate which arm leads the movement.
James Michelfelder

43. One-arm Hang Snatch

How to do it:

  1. It’s a full-body exercise with power coming from the hips, but your chest is the unsung contributor of this move providing stability in the “catch” phase.
  2. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell straight down in front of you. Keeping your back flat and chest up, push your hips back and down to lower the weight between your knees.
  3. Explode in one motion, extending the hips quickly and pulling the dumbbell straight up. When the weight reaches maximum height, drop your body underneath and catch it overhead. Lower back to starting position, and repeat; switch sides after all reps.
James Michelfelder

44. Split-Stance Head-to-Hip

How to do it:

  1. Stand in a split stance three feet in front of a wall holding a medicine ball at chest level with your arms straight.
  2. Bring the ball to your chest and throw it as hard as possible against the wall.
  3. Catch the ball and go immediately into your next throw. Midway through the set, switch legs.
  4. *From this split-stance position, you can also throw a medicine ball from chest level with arms straight. Catch the ball and go immediately into your next throw. Midway through the set, switch legs.
Justin Steele For Men’s Journal / Shutterstock

45. Medium Cable Flye

How to do it:

  1. Attach a D-handle to both cable pulley attachments. Grab one in each hand and walk out a few feet so there’s tension in the cables.
  2. Keeping elbows up and slightly bent, fists parallel to shoulders, press hands around and forward to meet each other, like you’re hugging a tree. Reverse for 1 rep.
Ian Maddox

46. 3-Way Pushups

How to do it:

  1. Do 10 traditional pushups (hands directly under shoulders).
  2. Next, do 10 diamond pushups (index fingers and thumbs touching).
  3. Lastly, do 10 wide-grip pushups (hands wider than shoulders).
Justin Steele For Men’s Journal

47. Burpee

How to do it:

  1. From a standing position, squat, place your hands on the ground, and “jump” your feet out into a pushup.
  2. Perform a pushup, then jump your feet to your hands. 
  3. Jump as high as you can, throwing your hands over your head, then immediately repeat movement.

48. Dowel Rod Pushup

How to do it:

  1. Place a broom handle or dowel rod along your spine and keep it centered on your back as you perform traditional pushups. Not only does this force you to use proper form, but it also requires you to stay focused and engaged.
Rido / Shutterstock

49. Landmine Standing Reach

How to do it:

  1. Stand facing landmine, feet staggered slightly, right foot in front, landmine in left hand close to shoulder.
  2. Press left arm forward and overhead, and pull right elbow back, to start.
  3. In a swift motion, drop barbell to shoulder and thrust left hand up at a 45-degree angle, then quickly return to start for 1 rep. Do all reps on left side, then switch sides
Justin Steele

50. Incline Cable Flye to Chest Press

How to do it:

  1. Adjust a bench 45 degrees to the incline position in the middle of a cable machine with handle attachments to the lowest setting on either side.
  2. Grasp handles, then sit with arms extended, slight bend in elbows, palms facing each other. Contract pecs to bring hands together. Squeeze at the top, then slowly lower.
  3. Perform prescribed reps then change hand position to a wide incline cable chest press.
Marius Bugge

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