12 Effective Exercises For The Chest Muscles

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The exercises in this selection will help you build voluminous and shapely chest muscles. Some of these exercises require dumbbells, resistance bands and bars, while others can be done without special equipment.

Movement without special equipment

1. Complex of three push-ups

With this complex you can train all parts of the chest muscles one by one. Each of these exercises was explained in detail by Lifehacker in this article.

  • Do a push-up with your feet in an elevated position. This exercise works the upper part of the pectoral muscles.
  • Immediately after, do a push-up on the floor with your arms wide apart. The arms are flush with the shoulders. This type of push-up pumps up the middle part of the pectoral muscles.
  • In the last push-up of the set, the arms are held in an elevated position. This will load the lower part of the pectoral muscles.
chest workout at gym step by step

If you want it more difficult, put a backpack with dumbbells or other weights on your back. The most important thing is that the backpack fits snugly against your back and doesn’t move during the push-ups. A hiking backpack that attaches to the body with additional closures is a good idea.

This exercise is much more difficult than the classic push-up, it strongly uses the chest muscles, but requires training and arm strength.

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chest day workout gym
  • Stand in a lying position and shift your body weight towards your right hand.
  • Lower yourself into a push-up and shift your body weight to your left hand at the lowest point.
  • Press upward, leaning mainly on your left hand, then shift your body weight back to your right hand and repeat.
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  • Repeat the process with the other hand. In the second method, lower yourself with your left hand and raise yourself with your right hand.

3. Arms spread on the floor

For this exercise you will need a fairly slippery floor – tile or smooth linoleum – and two towels or rags.

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  • Stand in a prone position and place your hands on the towels.
  • Carefully spread your arms as far apart as possible and then stand up.
  • Take the starting position and bring your hands together.

Perform the exercise as deliberately and carefully as possible: Spread your arms only as far as you can go up.

4. Lateral pushups

chest and tricep workout
  • Lie on the floor on your right side, right hand on your left shoulder and left hand on the floor in front of you.
  • Press up with your left hand so that your body is off the floor. The pelvis remains on the floor.
    Lower yourself back to the floor and repeat the exercise.
  •  Repeat the process on the other side.

5. Push-ups on the parallel bars

For this exercise you need bars. There are a number of devices with a horizontal bar for sale, with which you can do a lot of exercises at home. If you do not want to spend money, you can find bars on any sports field or school stadium.

chest bicep workout
  • Jump on the bars and keep your body weight on the stretched arms. Lower your shoulders and cross and bend your legs slightly.
  • Lower yourself and bend your elbows until your shoulders are parallel to the floor or slightly lower. Try to keep your elbows close to your body, pull your shoulders back and down and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • To work your pecs rather than your triceps, bend your chest slightly forward during the push-up at an angle of about 30 degrees.
  • Press upward while tensing the abdominal muscles and repeat the exercise.

Exercises with free weights

1. Dumbbell press

the rock chest workout
  • Lie on a bench or on the floor if you are exercising at home, and hold dumbbells in your hands with palms facing each other.
  • Stretch your arms out in front of you.
  • Spread the dumbbells to create a right angle at the elbow.
  • On the exhale, press the dumbbells up and repeat the exercise.
  • Keep your lower back on the floor and do not arch it.

2. Arm extension with dumbbells

This exercise trains the pectoral muscles well and does not work the triceps.

chest workout at gym step by step
  • Lie on the floor, hold dumbbells in your hands and lift them in front of you.
  • Bend the arms slightly at the elbows so that they touch the floor with the elbows.
  • Do not bend the elbows too much, as this could cause the dumbbells to squeeze.
  • As you exhale, bring your arms together in front of you and repeat the exercise.

If you can perform the exercise on a bench, use it. This will increase the amplitude of the movement and allow you to better stretch and load the pectoral muscles.

3. Semi-circle with dumbbells

  • Lie supine on the floor or bench, grasp the dumbbells with a straight grip and hold them close to your hips.
  • Bring the arms to the sides behind the head with the elbows slightly bent and fold them with the palms facing up.
  • Return the arms in the same trajectory and bring the dumbbells together at hip level.
  • Perform the exercise without stopping at the extremities: Bring the hands behind the head and bring them straight back, touch the dumbbells at the hips – immediately start a new semicircle.

Resistance exercises

For these exercises you will need an expander and a vertical bar or a handle to hang it on. Expanders can be purchased at any sporting goods store.

If you work out in a gym, you can do these exercises in a crossover.

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1. Pulling the compensator to the side

  • Attach the resistance band at shoulder height, stand with your right side facing the rack and grab the loop with your right hand.
  • Overcome the resistance of the expander and bring your arm forward. The last position is opposite your chest or opposite shoulder.
  • Return the arm to the starting position and repeat.

2. Lunge pulling

This exercise trains the lower head of the pectoralis major.

  • Attach the resistance band just above shoulder level.
  • Take the loop in your right hand, step back a bit while stretching, and turn right side toward the rack.
  • Lift the left leg forward and place the left hand on it to hold the position more easily.
  • In the starting position, the right arm is extended to the side with the expander and slightly bent at the elbow.
  • Overcome the resistance of the expander and move the right arm forward and down so that it is above the bent knee in the final position.
  • Return the arm to the starting position and repeat.
  • Perform the exercise with the other arm.

3. Pull up with both hands

This exercise trains the middle and upper chest muscles.

  • Attach the resistance band at waist level, grasp the loops with both hands and turn your back to the rack.
  • Step away from the rack while stretching the stretch band.
  • Step forward and shift about 70% of your body weight to the front leg.
  • Raise your shoulders parallel to the floor, bend your elbows 90 degrees – this is the starting position.
  • Move the arms forward and upward so that the palms of the extended arms are at face level.
  • Return hands to starting position and repeat.

4. Push-ups with a stretch band on the back.

This is a normal push-up made more difficult by the use of an expander.

  • Hold both ends of the resistance band behind your back.
  • Stand in the supine position and press the ends of the resistance band against the floor.
  • Do push-ups overcoming the resistance of the resistance band.

The number of sets and repetitions you determine yourself, depending on your abilities and the resistance of the resistance band or the weight of the dumbbells. The main thing is that the last two or three repetitions are really hard for you.

And don’t forget about nutrition! Even the hardest workout won’t help build bulky pecs if you don’t have enough protein in your diet.

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