The Best Chest Exercises

The Best Chest Exercises
Photo by Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

Chest Exercises

Having a strong chest is essential for a balanced, healthy physique. If you're looking to add definition and size to your chest muscles, then the best exercises are key. The following article will guide you through some of the best chest exercises available to help you achieve your fitness goals.

There are several options when it comes to building chest muscle strength and size. Pushups, flyes, dumbbell presses, cable crossovers and incline bench presses are all effective for building a bigger, stronger upper body. When performed correctly with proper form and repetition range, these exercises can help build lean muscle and enhance overall performance in the gym.

It's important to remember that consistency is key when it comes to any exercise routine; so make sure you set realistic goals for yourself that you can stick with over time.

Benefits of Chest Exercises

The chest is an important muscle group to target in any exercise routine. Not only do exercises focused on the chest help build strength, they can also improve posture and reduce back pain. In this article, we will discuss the best chest exercises available and explain why they are beneficial for your overall health.

Many of us are guilty of skipping out on our chest workouts or foregoing them altogether due to an incorrect understanding of how beneficial they actually are. While it’s true that exercising your upper body can be difficult and sometimes tedious, a strong chest is essential for everyday activities such as lifting objects, carrying groceries, pushing open doors and more. Additionally, incorporating exercises that target your chest can lead to improved posture which in turn reduces lower back pain from slouching or hunching over when seated at a desk all day.

Our Top Picks

Plate Presses

Plate presses are one of the best chest exercises available, as they provide a full range of motion and target your entire upper body. Plate presses involve pressing a weight plate against your chest while lying on a flat bench, pushing the plate up until your arms are straight and then returning it to the starting position. This exercise works both the pectoral muscles in your chest as well as several other muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, and back. Additionally, this exercise can be modified for different levels of difficulty by changing the amount of weight you use or adjusting how far you press the plate away from your body. By performing this exercise regularly, you will gain strength in all areas of your chest and upper body while also increasing overall muscular endurance.

Svend Press

Svend Press is an exercise developed by Danish bodybuilder Svend Karlsen. It's a chest-building exercise that uses a combination of movements to target the upper, middle, and lower portions of the chest muscles. Svend Press can be used alone or as part of a larger workout routine. This exercise works best when performed consistently over time to help you build definition and increase strength in your chest muscles.

The Svend Press combines two primary types of movements – pressing and rowing – with the additional use of accessories like a barbell, dumbbells, and cables. When done correctly it helps to sculpt the pectoralis major muscle while also engaging smaller stabilizing muscles like the triceps, deltoids, traps, lats and core muscles for added stability and balance during each rep.

Push Ups

Push ups are one of the best exercises for targeting and strengthening your chest muscles. They’re also an incredibly versatile exercise, with a range of variations to suit all levels of fitness. The classic push up is a staple in any upper body workout routine, but if you’re looking for alternatives that add variation and challenge your muscles in different ways, there are plenty to choose from. From incline push ups to weighted versions, these effective chest exercises will help you build strength and definition in no time!

Planche Push Ups

Planche pushups are one of the best chest exercises you can do to build and strengthen your chest muscles. This upper-body exercise involves pushing yourself up from a handstand position, keeping your feet off the ground. Planche pushups are incredibly difficult and require tremendous strength, stability, and control. However, when done properly they can help to improve your stability while also targeting multiple muscle groups like the pectorals, triceps, deltoids and core muscles.

This exercise is perfect for anyone who wants to break through plateaus in their fitness routine or take their upper body strength to the next level. You will need practice and patience as you build up your strength over time with this challenging exercise; however it is well worth the effort when you achieve improved form and technique!

Archer Push Ups

Archer push-ups are among the best chest exercises for toning and strengthening your upper body. This exercise requires no gym equipment, making it an ideal workout for people on the go. It targets your pectoral muscles, as well as your triceps, deltoids and serratus anterior muscles. Because of its multi-joint motion, archer push-ups can be particularly helpful in developing muscular endurance in your chest and arms.

The main difference between a regular push up and an archer push up is that one arm moves away from the body during the exercise. Instead of keeping both hands close together when you lower yourself to the ground, you start with one hand slightly wider than shoulder width apart then move it closer to the other hand as you lower yourself down to the ground.

Plyo Push Ups

Plyo push ups are a great way to add variety and challenge to your chest exercises. This plyometric exercise helps build strength and power in the pectoral muscles, shoulders, and triceps. Not only does this move provide many fitness benefits, it also adds an exciting element of fun to your routine.

To do a plyo push up, begin in a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and feet together. Bend elbows, lower chest toward floor then explode up as you press through palms pushing body off ground into air. Land softly back in starting position with arms extended but not locked out. Repeat for 10-12 reps or as many as you can handle while maintaining form and technique. To increase intensity of this exercise add weights or use explosive jump movements when pushing up from the floor.

Spiderman Push Ups

Spiderman Push Ups are a great way to add an extra challenge to the classic chest exercise. This variation is a great way to target the chest and shoulders all in one move, and can be done with minimal equipment. Spiderman Push Ups require you to mimic the famous superhero's signature pose, as you perform a push up while raising your upper body off the floor and reaching out with one arm. It’s important not to rush through this exercise, as it requires control of your core muscles and good form throughout each rep. To get started, begin in a plank position on the ground and lower yourself down into a regular push-up before reaching forward with one hand while keeping your hips raised off the floor. Make sure you alternate arms after each rep for maximum benefit from this challenging exercise!

Decline Push Ups

Decline push ups are an exercise that has been around for centuries, and it's one of the best chest exercises you can do. Not only does it target your chest muscles, but it also works other areas of your body like your shoulders and triceps.

Performing decline push ups can be a great way to add some variety to your regular workout routine and challenge yourself even further. This exercise requires you to lift your entire body weight off the ground while maintaining proper form. To increase the difficulty, perform decline push ups with weights on or with a stability ball under one hand. You'll quickly notice the difference in muscle engagement and increased intensity when doing this exercise versus regular flat ground push ups.

Incline Push Ups

Incline push ups are an effective exercise for building chest muscles and strength. They can be done anywhere, without the need of any fancy equipment or gym membership. The incline position of this exercise allows for more force to be applied during each rep, allowing for a better workout and increased muscle activation.

This chest exercise is easy to do and offers great rewards. To perform an incline push up begin by placing your hands on a raised surface such as a bench or stool about shoulder width apart, then lower your body down until your chest touches the surface, followed by pushing yourself back up using your arms. This movement should be done slowly in order to maximize the results you receive from this exercise. To increase difficulty levels you can increase the angle of incline or add weights to make it more challenging.

Wide Push Ups

Wide Push Ups are an effective chest exercise that helps to build strength and muscle mass. This particular exercise involves placing the hands wider than shoulder width apart while performing a standard push up. This variation of the traditional push up engages the pectoral muscles, as well as the anterior deltoids, more deeply for maximum results. The further out you place your hands, the more challenging and intense this exercise will be. It's important to maintain good form when performing wide push ups in order to ensure safety and proper execution of each repetition. To begin, get into a plank position with your feet together and your arms extended wide apart from each other at shoulder level on the floor. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor before pushing yourself back up again with control and maintaining proper posture throughout each repetition.

Diamond Push Ups

Diamond Push-Ups are one of the best chest exercises you can do to get a toned, strong chest. Not only is this exercise incredibly effective, but it can also be done anywhere with no equipment. Here's how to perform this classic upper body move correctly and maximize your results.

Diamond Push Ups require you to take a narrow hand position on the floor with your thumbs and index fingers touching each other in the shape of a diamond. While keeping your back straight and core engaged, lower yourself towards the ground until your chest meets or nearly meets your hands before pushing yourself back up again for one rep. You can add more challenge by elevating your feet on an elevated surface such as a chair or bench or increasing the number of reps once you feel comfortable with the movement pattern.

Bench Presses

Bench presses are a classic exercise for building strength and sculpting the chest muscles. This popular weight-training exercise is perfect for those looking to target their chest muscles and build overall upper body strength. Using either a barbell or dumbbells, the bench press engages all of the major muscles in your chest, shoulders, and arms, making it an effective workout for most gym-goers.

By adjusting your grip width on the barbell or dumbbells, you can focus on different parts of your pectoralis major muscle group. To hit each part of this muscle fully, try close grip bench press as well as wide grip and decline presses. You can also use different types of grips such as palms facing up or down when using dumbbells to work all angles of your chest.

Dumbbell Bench Press

The dumbbell bench press is one of the most popular chest exercises for men and women. It's a great way to build overall upper body strength and target your pectoral muscles. Not only does this exercise create a strong, toned chest, but it also helps improve shoulder stability and posture.

The bench press is an easy exercise to learn, making it ideal for beginners who are just starting to workout with weights. To do the exercise correctly, begin by laying on a flat surface with two dumbbells in each hand at shoulder level. Lower the weights until they are close to touching your chest then press them back up until your arms are fully extended again. Doing 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions can help you achieve maximum gains in no time!

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

The incline dumbbell bench press is one of the most effective exercises for targeting your chest muscles. This exercise involves lying on an inclined bench with a set of dumbbells in each hand, and then pushing the weights up above your chest while keeping your elbows slightly bent. The incline angle helps to stress different areas of your pecs, resulting in greater development and tone. Additionally, as you move through the rep range with an incline dumbbell press, you can experience increased muscle activation compared to other exercises.

When performing this exercise correctly it is important that you maintain good form throughout; ensure that you keep your back flat and aligned against the bench while keeping tension in both arms at all times during the movement. Taking care to avoid locking out or overextending at any point will also help to keep tension on the chest muscles throughout the entire rep range.

Machine Bench Press

The machine bench press allows you to perform the exercise safely and effectively with no spotter required. The adjustable seat ensures that you are in the correct position for optimal results, while the weight stack provides resistance throughout each rep. Additionally, its range of motion allows for full development of all muscles involved in this compound exercise.

For best results when using a machine bench press, start with lighter weights and increase them gradually as your fitness level increases.

Close Grip Bench Press

This exercise targets the upper chest muscles while also strengthening your triceps and deltoids.

To perform a close grip bench press, you will need an adjustable bench and barbell. Lie down on the bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Grasp the barbell with both hands at shoulder-width or slightly narrower apart depending on preference. While keeping your back pressed flat against the surface of the bench, slowly lower the barbell until it reaches just below nipple level before raising it up again in one fluid motion back to its starting position.

Barbell Bench Press

The barbell bench press is one of the most popular and effective chest exercises out there. It's a compound exercise that works your chest, shoulders, and triceps simultaneously for full upper body development. Not only does this exercise help increase strength, but it also helps build muscle mass in those areas as well.

When performing the barbell bench press, make sure to take caution when lifting heavier weights - proper form is key! While lying on a flat weight bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor, grip the barbell with an even distance between your hands. Lower the bar slowly towards your chest then push up while keeping your elbows tucked at approximately 45 degrees from parallel with your torso. Inhale as you lower and exhale as you lift to ensure control throughout each repetition for maximum benefit from this exercise.

Incline Barbell Bench Press

This exercise involves lying on an inclined bench and pushing a loaded barbell above your head. It’s a perfect workout for anyone looking to build strength and muscle mass in their upper body. The incline angle of the barbell forces you to use more of your upper chest muscles, which provides greater stability and range of motion than a regular flat bench press. Plus, it increases the degree of difficulty as you lift higher during each repetition. With proper form and technique, you can get great results from this exercise such as increased strength, improved posture, and firmer pecs. As with any weight training program, it’s important to warm up before doing any workout so that your body is prepared for the strenuous activity ahead.

Decline Barbell Bench Press

This exercise works your lower chest muscles and helps improve your overall strength and power. However, it can be difficult to perform with proper form, making it easy to injure yourself if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to ensure that you stay safe while performing this exercise.

Before beginning the decline barbell bench press, make sure you have the right equipment. You will need a flat bench, a barbell and weights that are comfortable for you to lift. Always warm up and stretch before starting any workout – this will help get your body prepared for the demands of the decline barbell bench press. Make sure your bench is secure and stable before getting in position – never attempt to do this exercise on an unstable surface or piece of equipment!


Dips target your chest muscles as well as your triceps and shoulders - making them a great all-around movement for building the upper body. Not only do dips provide a challenging workout, but they can also be modified to suit any fitness level. Here’s what you need to know about doing dips correctly and safely, plus some of the best exercises to help you get started.

To perform a dip correctly, start by standing between two parallel bars with your arms outstretched above your head gripping each bar. Bend your elbows as you lower yourself down until they reach 90 degrees - then push back up and repeat the motion for desired repetitions.

Cable Crosses

Cable crosses are one of the best chest exercises for those looking to build a strong, muscular physique. It targets the chest muscles with more precision than other common exercises such as push-ups or bench presses. This exercise can be done with a cable machine, elastic bands, and even bodyweight alone. The benefit of using cables is that it offers greater range of motion and continuous resistance throughout the entire movement.

To perform cable crosses properly, you need to stand in front of the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart and your elbows slightly bent. You then grab each handle while keeping your arms straight out in front of you and slowly move them across your body until they meet on the opposite side. For increased difficulty you can bring them up higher before moving them back down again or add weight to make it harder.

Dumbbell Flyes

This exercise gives you a great range of motion, making it perfect for sculpting your chest and developing all-over definition in the area. It is a simple move that only requires two dumbbells — making it easy to do anywhere.

When performing dumbbell flyes, start by lying flat on an exercise bench with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing away from your body. Raise your arms up until they are parallel to the floor, keeping them slightly bent throughout the motion. Then slowly lower the weights back down towards either side of your body, stretching out your chest muscles as you go. Make sure to keep control throughout; don’t let gravity take over as this will limit how much benefit you get from this exercise.

Incline Dumbbell Flyes

This exercise targets the upper chest muscles, lats and shoulders. When done correctly, it can have a significant impact on overall muscle development.

To do incline dumbbell flyes, sit back on an adjustable bench set to a 45 degree angle and hold a pair of dumbbells above your head with your arms slightly bent. Keeping your elbows slightly bent and palms facing each other, slowly lower the weights in an arc-like motion outward from your face until they’re level with your shoulders. Maintain this position for a few seconds before returning to the starting position by pushing your arms up to their original starting point in an arcing motion.

Decline Dumbbell Flyes

When done correctly, decline dumbbell flyes involve lying on a flat bench and holding two equal-weighted dumbbells above your chest with straight arms. From there, you slowly lower them out to your sides until they reach chest level before pushing back up to the starting position. While this exercise is great for increasing strength in your upper body, it also requires strict form to avoid injuries such as shoulder impingement or rotator cuff strain.

Floor Flyes

To perform Floor Flyes correctly, start by lying face up on the floor with your arms extended straight above your head. With control, slowly bring your arms out to either side until they form a "T" shape at shoulder level. Make sure to keep your elbows slightly bent throughout this movement. Hold for 2-3 seconds before slowly returning to starting position; repeat for desired number of reps.

Machine Flyes

When performing this exercise correctly, you want to make sure you keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the motion. Start by sitting on the machine and positioning your arms at shoulder-width apart on either side of the pads. Then press against them away from each other while keeping your elbows slightly bent until you feel a good stretch in your chest area before returning to starting position. Make sure to breathe deeply while doing this exercise so that you get enough oxygen into your muscles during each repetition.

Maximize Chest Gains

The chest is a key muscle group for any bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast looking to build strength, power and size. While there are many exercises that can be used to target the chest muscles, not all of them will provide maximal gains. To maximize chest gains, it is important to understand which exercises work best for developing a strong, muscular chest.

In this article we have highlighted some of the best exercises for targeting the chest muscles. These include classic movements like bench presses and push-ups as well as more advanced variations such as cable flys and close grip presses. Each of these exercises adds an extra challenge to your workout routine and can help you achieve bigger gains in less time. Furthermore, combining different exercise types together allows you to target both the upper and lower parts of your chest simultaneously in order to create an aesthetically pleasing physique.