List of Chest Exercises & How To Do Them Properly

chest exercise list

If you want to train your chest muscles entirely using their all functions, you should include flat, incline, decline presses, chest flys, and pullover exercises.

Also, you should use free weights and machines to attack your chest muscles from all angles. This way your pecs will develop properly. But, do not forget that your chest basically contains only two muscles, the pectoralis minor, and major. So, there is no need to morsel your training. You can read about the anatomy here.

The shape of your chest mainly depends on your genetics, but with various chest exercises you can build up muscle mass and shape its form.

Below, I put together a list of exercises for the chest with tutorials and tips how to perform the moves correctly to get the best results. You can filter it by the used equipment and type. If you are a beginner, I'm sure you will find this list useful.

1

Flat Bench Press

Flat Bench Press

This exercise has an effect on the pectorals, delts, and triceps. I believe it is the most important exercise for the upper body.

While you perform this move, do not gauge your back and do not keep your breath in. When you lower the barbell inhale when you push exhale. Always pay attention to use the right amount of weight you can handle safely and doing the move correctly.

You can find excellent tips on how to increase your bench press here.

2

Flat Bench Press With Dumbbells

Flat Bench Press With Dumbbells

It is great to shape the middle part of your chest, but it is good for the entire pecs. The benefit of it is that you can do a wider range of motion than if you use a barbell. So, it is a great alternative to the classic bench press.

While you do the move keep your elbows away from your body. Also, your palms should look forward.

3

Incline Bench Press

Incline Bench Press

This move works the upper part of the pecs, the delts, and the triceps. The big benefit of it is that your upper chest will look broader and thicker that looks cool even if you wear a T-shirt.

If you use a wide grip and lower the weight to your collarbone, you can reach better pump in your muscles.

4

Bench Press With Close Grip

Bench Press With Close Grip

This movement is great to shape the inner part of your pecs.

You can also do it on incline or decline position to works your chest muscles in different angles. A good alternative is the close push up.

Image credit: fitnessandpower.com

5

Dips

Dips

The dip is a perfect move to work your chest, especially if the bars are rather far away from each other. The close bars works your triceps more. So, if you want to focus on your pectorals use a wide grip. It works the outer parts of the chest really well.

6

Chest Flys on Flat Bench

Chest Flys on Flat Bench

There is no need to use too heavy weights for this movement as you will not be able to perform it correctly, plus you can easily get an injury.

There is no need to do it with straight arms, you can bend your elbows a little bit. Try to lower the dumbbells below the level of your body.

7

Seated Chest Press Machine

Seated Chest Press Machine

You can substitute the bench press exercise with machines, but this way the secondary muscles that stabilize the moves will not develop so well. So, I think it is not a decent alternative to the flat bench press.

On the other hand, it can be useful for beginners who cannot handle heavier weights yet. Or for trainees who have no help or suffer from injuries.

If the machine is adjustable, regularly change the width.

8

Dumbbell Pullover

Dumbbell Pullover

This is a rather universal move that engages the chest and the back muscles. It is excellent to stretch your pecs making it broader. You can also do it with cable crossover machine.

9

Cable Cross

Cable Cross

This exercise is useful to isolate the pecs. So, your chest will be more defined. It seems to be easy, but it is an intermediate level exercise that is usually done incorrectly by beginners.

Bend forward a little bit and bend your elbows slightly as well. Keep the flexed position for a few seconds before letting your arms back.

10

Flys on Decline Bench

Flys on Decline Bench

This type of flyes stimulates the lower-outer part of the chest. It may make them lower pectorals wider. Regularly change the angle of the board for even better stimulation and bend your arms a little bit.

11

Peck Deck Machine

Peck Deck Machine

It is useful for focusing on the inner regions of the chest muscles. Doing flys on this machine is maybe better than the free weight version because the muscles are still under pressure when they are flexed.

12

Decline Bench Press

Decline Bench Press

It has a similar effect as the dip, so it works the lower parts. I like it because I can handle heavier weights.

Image credit: www.bodybuilding.com

13

Bench Press with Smith Machine

Bench Press with Smith Machine

The advantage of the Smith Machine is that you can work out without help. However, it does not engage the stabilizing muscle groups so well. With the help of it, you can do a smaller range of motion so you will be able to handle heavier weights in case your want to boost strength.

14

Low Cable Chest Fly

Low Cable Chest Fly

This is an upper chest exercise but also works the shoulders. At the top of the move stop for a few seconds and flex your muscles.

15

Cable Crossover Flat Bench Fly

Cable Crossover Flat Bench Fly

It is an alternative to flat bench flys the difference is only that the resistance is generated by the cable machine. This way the resistance is more continuous. At the top of the move flex your muscles for a few seconds.

You can do this exercise on flat, decline and incline bench as well.

16

Dumbbell Bench Press on Decline Bench

Dumbbell Bench Press on Decline Bench

It has almost the same effect as the negative barbell bench press. But it engages the stabilizing muscles better and provides a wider range of motion.

17

Push-Up Variations

Push-Up Variations

Push-up variations are the best bodyweight compound exercises for strengthening and shaping the upper body. As you can see from the chart below, there are a lot of variations that forms the chest muscles in different ways.

With these variations, you can substitute chest exercises with machines or free weights. That means you can work your chest at home without going to the gym.

If you feel the resistance is not enough, you can do one hand versions or use a weighted vest.

You can learn more about push up variations here.

Credit: strength.stack52.com

18

Bench Press with Reverse Grip

Bench Press with Reverse Grip

This move puts more pressure on the triceps and shoulder muscles than the traditional one. It is not an easy move and can be dangerous because of the unstable grip. However, it is suitable to add some versatility to your chest workout plan.

19

Incline Dumbbell Press

Incline Dumbbell Press

This movement stimulates the upper part of the pecs but also works the deltoid and the triceps. Do this move continuously without stopping, and your palms should look forward.

20

One Arm Press on Chest Press Machine

One Arm Press on Chest Press Machine

It is good for the upper and inner parts. It is important to keep your back straight and pressed to the board of the machine. Do not turn your upper body forward while you make the move. Fix you back.

Sometimes, if the machine is adjustable, change the angle and the width of the handles.

It is good if you want to focus on just on the right or left side of your chest if it is high and dry.


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