Are you seeing the results you want with your workout routine? You want to have the right combination of chest exercises to build your pec muscles. Whether it’s time for you to add barbell, dumbbell, or machine exercises or time for you to switch up your rep scheme, you need the proper guidance. Take a look at our suggestions for working your chest from every angle.  

F​​​​​aq

What Are the Best Chest Exercises?

How to Do the Best Chest Exercises

What Is the Best Rep Scheme for Chest Exercises?

What We Reviewed


  • 1
    Barbell Bench Press
  • 2
    Dumbbell Pullover
  • 3
    Flat Bench Dumbbell Press
  • 4
    Push-Up
  • 5
    Low-Incline Barbell Bench Press
  • 6
    Pec-Deck Flye
  • 7
    Machine Decline Press
  • 8
    Decline Bench Press
  • 9
    Cable Crossover
  • 10
    Seated Machine Chest Press 

You may also like:

10 Result Producing Chest Exercises


Barbell Bench Press

How to Perform

With a flat bench and a barbell with weights, you’ll be ready to do this standard movement for working out your chest. This exercise allows your bone cells to deposit bone tissue in the bones involved during a bench press. The movement works the fibers of the mid-chest and can vary if you choose alternate angles for your bench press.

  • 1
    Lying down on the flat bench, grip the barbell with your arms directly over shoulders. You’ll lift the barbell from the rack and hold it straight as you lock your arms. 
  • 2
    You want to control your elbows from flaring out as you bend your arms to bring the bar straight down until it reaches your chest. 
  • 3
    Once the bar reaches the lower position, use your chest muscles to push the barbell up as you straighten your arms.

PROS


CONS


  • May flare elbows if form is poor
  • Heavier weight loads need a spotter

Dumbbell Pullover

How to Perform

By using dumbbells for this movement you’ll draw more stabilization from your muscles than when using a barbell. This exercise will use the mobility or your upper back and delts, along with the muscle fibers of your pecs.

  • 1
    Lying flat on your back on a bench, grab a dumbbell in each of your hands. You should hold the dumbbell above your chest with a slight bend in your arms.
  • 2
    You’ll slowly lower the weight in an arc, bringing the dumbbell behind your head, keeping your arms locked and bent as you feel your chest stretching.
  • 3
    Once you stop at the height of the bench, bring the dumbbell back up using the same arc movement.

PROS


  • Works your chest and back muscles
  • Using dumbbells helps you improve stabilization

CONS


  • Will need a good range of motion for your back
  • May be taxing on your shoulder

Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

How to Perform

Choose two dumbbells at your preferred weight and a flat bench. This movement will work your pectoralis major similarly to a standard bench press. Adding dumbbells into the mix will allow for stabilization and help from secondary muscles. Be mindful of keeping the tension in your body throughout the entire movement.

  • 1
    Lying with your back flat on the bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand keeping your feet secured on the ground. 
  • 2
    Place the dumbbells just outside of shoulder-width apart with your elbows bending past 90 degrees and joined out.
  • 3
    Keep your pecs flexed and extend your elbows as you push the dumbbells up to the ceiling. Pause when the weights are about an inch away from each other and bring them back down for your next rep.

PROS


  • Builds strength and increases muscle hypertrophy
  • You’ll use your muscles for stabilization

CONS


  • May clang dumbbells at the top of the movement
  • May move too fast with gravity’s momentum

Push-up

How to Perform

  • 1
    You want to maintain your body to form a straight line from your head to your feet. Focus on keeping your neck, upper back, and butt to signify alignment of your spine. 
  • 2
    Keep your head stationary by looking somewhere around 8 inches above your hands.
  • 3
    Keep your shoulders pulled down and away from your neck as you lower yourself down and push back up.
  • 4
    As the pushup primarily builds your upper body, you want to stretch your chest and keep your shoulders steady. Your abs and glutes will also be engaged.
  • 5
    You want to lock your hips into place and keep your glutes and abs tense as you do your pushups.

PROS


CONS


  • May let your body sag without noticing
  • Strain to your neck or spine with poor form

Low-Incline Barbell Bench Press

How to Perform

You’ll need an incline bench and a barbell with weights. When you do a low-incline bench press your arm will go from a low to a high position. This movement focuses on the muscle fibers of the upper part of your chest.

  • 1
    Rest your back on an incline bench that’s adjusted to a 30-degree angle.
  • 2
    Grabbing the bar with an overhand grip shoulder-width apart, extend the barbell above your chest until you lock your elbows. 
  • 3
    Lower the bar down in a slow, controlled manner toward your chest. After pausing at your chest, press the bar back up.

PROS


  • Works the clavicular head of your pecs
  • Activate your shoulders more than with the regular press

CONS


  • Must press bar on the correct angle
  • Will need a spotter when lifting heavier weight

Pec-Deck Flye

How to Perform

For chest exercises that isolate your muscles, you can use machines like the pec-deck. The pec-deck machine will primarily work the middle section of your pecs. The pec-deck machine will minimize your chance of injury or need for a spotter. You can experience negative eccentric training by returning your arms slowly to the start position.

  • 1
    Sit with your back pressed against the back pad firmly as you lift your arms to rest your forearms against the levers of the pec-deck machine.
  • 2
     In a slow and controlled manner pull your arms toward each other until you feel a complete stretch. 
  • 3
    Bring your arms as far as you can, then pause and release your arms slowly back before doing your next rep.

PROS


  • Low risk of injury
  • Isolated movement for chest activation

CONS


  • You won’t be using your muscles to stabilize
  • Having access to a pec-deck machine

Machine Decline Press

How to Perform

By using the machine decline press it allows for isolation of your chest muscles while assisting transverse adduction. The decline press movement will align your upper arm to work the fibers of your lower chest.

  • 1
    After adjusting the weights for the machine, grab the handles located near the lower part of your pecs.
  • 2
    As you keep your chest and head in an upright position, make sure your shoulder blades are retracted. Extend through your elbows in a controlled manner as you push the handles. 
  • 3
    Once your arms lock out, pause for a moment and slowly pull the handles to the start position.

PROS


  • Movement assists traverse adduction
  • Specifically designed to isolate your lower pecs

CONS


  • Stabilizer muscles won’t be tested 
  • Having access to use this machine

Decline Bench Press

How to Perform

Set up your decline bench and your desired weight amount. This movement aligns your upper arms to work the muscle fibers of the lower part of your chest. Consistently doing this exercise will help sculpt your lower pecs and connect with defining your obliques.

  • 1
    Lying on your back on a decline bench, make sure your torso is fully supported from your head to your hips. 
  • 2
    Place your feet behind roller pads with your knees bent and grab the bar with a wide with and an overhand grip. 
  • 3
    Slowly bring the bar toward your lower chest as you bend your arms. Once the bar reaches your lower chest, extend your arms to push the weight back up.

PROS


  • Specifically designed to work your lower pecs
  • Can go heavy with your weight load

CONS


  • Pay attention to your grip
  • May need a spotter for heavier weight loads

Cable Crossover

How to Perform

Using the cables offers you a direct line for you to work against resistance. With the cable crossovers, you’ll be targeting different parts of your pecs depending on the angle of your pull. You want to keep the resistance constant throughout the entire range of motion for best results.

  • 1
    To start, you want to stagger your feet with your knees slightly bent as you stand in the center of a cable-cross station. 
  • 2
    Look forward as you grab the D-handles attached to the pulley with your palms facing down. Keep your slightly bent elbows up throughout the movement as you flex your pecs to draw the handles down below your waist. 
  • 3
    Pause when you make the contraction and slowly let the handles to return to the starting position without letting the weights touch down between reps.

PROS


  • Can set the pulley in different positions
  • Allows for constant tension on the pecs

CONS


  • Don’t want to shift your waist between reps
  • Finding access to cable pulleys

Seated Machine Chest Press  

How to Perform

  • 1
    Sit at the machine with your feet flat on the ground about shoulder-width apart and choose your desired weight. 
  • 2
    Grab the handles and push them out to full extension in a controlled way to create tension in your chest. 
  • 3
    Remember to keep your neck still with your head steady against the pad as you bring the handles back.

PROS


  • Will allow you to isolate your pecs
  • Can do a heavy weight load without risk of injury

CONS


  • May not have access to machine
  • Won’t workout your stabilizer muscles

Result Producing Exercises: Conclusion


man training with a barbell for chest exercises

You have a wide variety of chest exercises to choose based on our suggestions. From these exercises, you can now alternate your own combination of chest movements that work for you.

We’ve given you various ways to incorporate staple exercises like bench presses and flyes. You have your preferences to work with barbells dumbbells or machines, but we recommend you continue to mix it up. You want to be consistent with your execution and flexible with the variety you add to chest workouts

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This