Top 5 Best Workouts For Building a Bigger & Stronger Chest

the best chest workouts

Building a bigger and stronger chest is a goal for most men. Proper dieting is an extremely important part of accomplishing that goal. As is performing exercises that specifically target the chest muscles. Here are five of the best workouts for building a bigger chest.

1. Bench Press

Few exercises are as iconic and effective as the barbell bench press. It is an extremely important exercise when it comes to increasing strength and muscle mass in the upper body. Not only does it have a great impact on the chest, but it also affects shoulders, back, and triceps.

You can even feel a difference in your glutes after a tough set of reps.

a woman benchpresser

As with any exercise, technique and intensity are the most important factors to consider. If you’re not performing the motions correctly or if you’re not using the right amount of weight, then you’re not going to get that ripped chest that you want so badly. Both of these could also lead to unwanted injuries down the road.

You should avoid the allure of half-reps when your goal is primarily to improve your pectoral muscles. You need to familiarize the body with the strain of performing full reps from the bottom to the top. Otherwise, you’re going to be in for a nasty surprise on the day that you finally try a full rep. It’s a mistake that has led to many injuries.

The incline is going to make a big difference as well. A standard rep with a medium grip and half-tucked elbows is going to distribute the workload among the chest, front delts, and triceps.

If you want to truly target the chest, then you need to try a low incline with a wide grip. You can also attempt the neck press with a wide grip after building sufficient shoulder strength.

There are number of different ways you can do the bench press. If you’re working out at home, you can go with the standard bench, or use machine, like my favorite, the Bowflex Revolution (read about it here)

2. Dumbbell Chest Press

a woman grabs some dumbbells to do a chest press

This exercise is very similar to the bench press. However, it does have some advantages compared to a traditional bench press. These advantages make it a worthy addition to any exercise routine targeting the chest. Many people prefer to stick with the dumbbell chest press and avoid the bench press altogether, though that isn’t recommended.

The first advantage of the dumbbell press is the range of motion it provides. The barbell press requires your hands to be locked in a single position. With dumbbells, your arms are able to extend more and increase the range of motion. This allows the exercise to impact more upper body muscles.

Second, dumbbells can lead to more symmetrical gains. If you favor one side of the body when performing a bench press it could be visible in your results. With dumbbells, each arm is lifting independently and must do the same amount of work to complete the rep.

You can use the same bench for barbell presses and dumbbell presses. The same small incline will help the exercise target the chest as well.

3. Bar Dips

a guy does bar dips

Bar dips are another great upper body workout. Your form during the dip can be slightly adjusted to put more focus on the pectoral muscles. It is a very common exercise for gymnasts who rely on powerful upper body muscles to perform.

You’ll need a set of parallel dip bars or a power rack with dip handles to perform the exercise. You should avoid performing dips on benches because of the potential for shoulder damage. There are other exercises you can use to build your shoulders if you don’t have access to the necessary equipment for dips.

The dip technique is fairly simple, but it’s also easy to mess up and reduce its effectiveness. It begins with the setup where you stand between the parallel bars, grab hold of one with each hand, and jump up slightly. You will balance yourself in the air with arms extended and elbows locked in place.

To continue, slowly bend your arms and lower your body. You should also lean forward slightly at this time to increase pressure on the chest. Your shoulders should not roll forward nor should they shrug. The descent will end when your shoulders are at the same level as your elbows. Your bicep should be touching your forearm.

To complete the rep you need to lift your body back to the starting position. Once your arms have straightened completely you can lock your elbows and begin the next rep.

4. Push Up

a guy does push ups

You don’t need expensive equipment or a gym membership to build a powerful chest. The push up will provide you with an excellent upper body workout at absolutely no cost to you. It’s often overlooked because of its simplicity, yet there are still many people out there who can’t complete a set of thirty.

Even if you have the equipment for more advanced workouts you should still make a point of learning proper push up technique and mixing it into your routine. You don’t want to be that guy at the party who makes a fool of himself when everyone starts doing push-ups.

There are many ways that you can increase the intensity of the workout if you find it too simple. The easiest method is by adding weights. You can purchase a weighted vest that is guaranteed greatly increase the difficulty of the motion. There are also many variations of the standard push up that will increase the intensity.

5. Dumbbell Fly

a woman with dumbbells gets ready to do flys

If you already have the equipment necessary to perform dumbbell chest presses, then you might as well throw some dumbbell flyes into the routine. They are surprisingly effective and even better for the chest than some pressing exercises.

To perform a proper dumbbell fly lie flat on the bench with both hands resting on your thighs and palms facing each other. Raise the dumbbells with the help of your thighs until you are holding them in front of you at shoulder width. You will assume a position similar to a dumbbell press but stop before locking out.

Now lower both arms out at the sides in a wide arc. You should use a slight bend in the elbows to reduce strain on the biceps. You will feel the chest stretching. The arms themselves will remain stationary. All movement is taking place from the shoulders. Return to the starting position and begin the next rep.

What About Supplements?

In some cases, you may decide that you want to take a supplement to get the most from your weight lifting routines. While it isn’t totally necessary, there are some that may be able to help you get the edge you need to get better results when you hit the gym.

Of course, there are a bunch of them out there, and CrazyBulk happens to be one of my personal favorites (learn more here). There are plenty of great companies, though, so just research what you’re hoping to gain by taking a supplement, and find a company that has what you’re looking for.

Either way, the best way to get a bigger chest is by getting started in the weight room, supplements or no supplements!

Final Thoughts

You can create a highly-targeted workout routine with only these five exercises. Just remember to give your chest some time to heal on the off days.