7 Standing Chest Exercises for Shaping Your Pecs

standing chest exercises

When we think about chest training bench press and push-ups are the first moves that come up in our mind. Without a doubt, they are excellent practices to develop the size and strength of the pecs.

However, what if I told you there a few beneficial standing chest exercises. Yes, you do not need a bench. Hence, you can do them at home.

Anyway, why we need such moves if the regular ones are effective?

Firstly, it is always good to add some variations to your chest workout plan to engage the muscles in different ways. This way they have to adapt to the new motions, so they develop in size, strength or they become more defined. To sum up, it is an excellent way to get the benefits of progressive overload which is required for gaining.

Another reason is that no matter how much you love working out, sooner or later we get bored doing the same exercises ever and over again.

So, let’s see the moves that you may have never done before.

Tutorials for Standing Chest Exercises

To show you the drills I used the video from BarbarianBody. Thank you very much for him for the great ideas and presentation.

1. Svend Press for isolation

svend chest press


This is a perfect move to isolate the pecs to make them more popping our and defined. It is also great to finish your chest training to pump blood to your pecs.

The motion is pretty straightforward. You just need to push the weight plates away from your chest by squeezing the plates together. When you push them away make sure your arms are parallel to the floor and press the plates as much as you can. Focus on your pecs instead of your arms and shoulders.

How can you make the exercise more intense?

The more you squeeze the plates together, the more your pecs are engaged. That is why using two plates are much better than using one only because pressing together is much harder.

You can also increase the speed but keep the proper form.

Another way is to use heavier weights since it is harder to press together and hold them.

On the other hand, this exercise is not about using a hefty load, it is mainly about focusing on the chest muscles. Hence, do high reps (15-20).

2. Standing dumbbell chest fly for upper chest

Standing dumbbell chest fly


To tell the truth, this is one my favorite exercises for the upper chest. It helps to make that area broad and developed. And, you only need just a pair of dumbbells.

It seems to be straightforward to perform, but having the correct form needs focusing since we should not use the power of the arms and shoulders, but the upper chest.

So, when you lower the dumbbells keep your arms slightly bent, and move the weights behind you as much as possible to increase the range of motion. (You will feel the stretching in your pecs).

When you lift, use the upper chest power. Obviously, your arms and shoulders will work, but most of the work should be done with the pecs.

At the top of the motion, hold the dumbbells and squeeze your chest for a moment to maximize the outcome.

Compared to the previous exercise, it is possible to use heavier weights, but the load should not go to the detriment of the correct motion.

You can also perform the standing flys with one arm in an alternate way.

Do the one that activates your pecs better.

3. Resistance band flys

Resistance band flys


This is an excellent alternative to cable machine chest press.

Compared to cable this movement requires more control since the rubber bands are not driven by the cable pulleys. So, they move here and there making the exercise harder, but with that, it requires more muscle activation and control to stabilize the motion. And that is always good to gain.

Also, when you pull the bands in front since the band retraction increases drastically, the exercise gets harder. That is a great phase to maximize muscle contraction. (When you use cable machine the load is always the same.)

You can start with lighter bands and have high reps, but there are pretty strong bands out there if you want to get a huge load.


4-7. Barbell chest exercises in standing position

If you find the previous moves new and exciting, the following standing chest exercises with barbell will make you even more surprised. But, they are beneficial. On top of that, they strengthen your core and entire upper body very well.

What are these standing moves with a bar?

  • Alternating Fly / Upward Fly which are great substitutes to the dumbbell version.
  • Alternating Press / Landmine Press that targets your upper chest and great for isolation as well.

Learn the mentioned exercises from the following video.



If you want to get well-developed pecs, you need to target that area with various moves. And, these standing chest exercises are without a doubt will help. They are also useful for someone who does not have a weight bench at home. Try them and tell us how they work for you.



James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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