Chest Exercises you Should Include in your Routine

To tone the chest muscles, it's necessary to carry out the appropriate exercises. In the following article, we'll review some of the best. Take note and apply them to your training!
Chest Exercises you Should Include in your Routine

Last update: 04 March, 2020

The chest is one of the areas of the body that arouses more interest among athletes who regularly go to the gym. However, not everyone knows what exercises to perform to keep this muscle group in shape. In this article, we present some of the best chest exercises, which will allow you to increase the strength and size of your muscles in general.

These physical workouts permit you to exercise the muscles that participate in the functions you need during daily activities. In view that the chest is a large muscle group, exercising it properly will allow you to progress in other exercises involving different muscle groups.

The best chest exercises you should include in your routine

As always, the number of repetitions and sets you must do depends on your goals. Don’t forget that, to grow, you won’t only need good training, but also proper nutrition and recovery. Take note and discover the best chest exercises you should include in your routine!

1. Push-ups

Push-ups are an exercise that involves your body weight and they’re ideal to work out the chest. They require more resistance and provide a good balance between strength and functionality.

To carry them out, you must place yourself on the floor face down and use your hands and the tips of your feet as support. Once you’re in this position, lower your body until the chest almost touches the ground. Tighten your abs, keep your back straight, align your neck with your spine, and keep your elbows close to your sides.

Now, exhale and press the upper part of your body backward, to the initial position while you contract the chest. After a brief pause in this position, you can begin to descend down again to perform as many repetitions as necessary.

If you’re a more experienced athlete, you can place your feet on a high surface, like a bench. The goal is to increase the resistance and to focus more on the upper part of the chest.

2. Bench press, one of the classic chest exercises

The bench press is one of the most popular exercises in fitness rooms. It’s an activity that involves the chest, but also the shoulders and triceps.

To perform this exercise you have to place your back on a bench with your feet firmly on the ground and a flat back. Next, you should hold the bar with your palms facing forward and your thumbs around it.

Move the bar to the starting position, keeping the elbows extended and the wrists straight. Inhale and lower the bar slowly, until it touches the chest below the armpits. As you go down, bend your elbows slightly. Then, exhale and press the bar upwards, keeping the wrists straight and your back flat.

You can change the angle on the bench to concentrate on different areas.

3. High pulley chest fly

This third proposal represents one of the best thoracic isolation exercises. When it comes to hypertrophy, maintaining tension in the muscles you’re working on is key.

During a forward-leaning cable lift, the cables force us to maintain muscle tension throughout the movement; even at the point of maximum contraction.

To carry it out, place the pulleys in a high position, select the resistance, and hold a handle in each hand. With a slight flexion of the arms, pull the pulleys towards the midline of your body, as shown in the cover image. Finally, return the arms to the starting position after a brief pause.

4. Dumbbell butterfly

To do this exercise, you must lay flat on a bench, machine, or ball and take the dumbbells. This version allows you to load each arm independently, which promotes a uniform balance between the limbs in terms of strength capacity and muscular symmetry.

The arms should be placed parallel to the floor and the dumbbells should be pushed up while the chest is contracted. Exhale during this part of the movement and hold the contraction for a few seconds.

Using a ball will increase the intensity of the exercise.

Next, return to the initial position as you inhale and fully stretch the chest muscles. Repeat the movement until you complete the number of repetitions you wish to carry out. Ideally, 3 sets of 12 repetitions, while resting between 60 and 90 seconds between each set.

As you’ve seen, there are many chest exercises with which you can tone the muscles of the upper body. As usual, don’t forget to perform a good stretching session before and after each workout. You’ll notice the results in no time!

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    • Campos, Y. de A. C., de Souza, H. L. R., da Silva, S. F., & Marchetti, P. H. (2017). O uso de barra ou haltere não altera a ativação muscular durante o exercício pullover. Revista Brasileira de Medicina Do Esporte, 23(5), 357–380.

The contents of this publication are written for informational purposes. At no time do they facilitate or replace the diagnoses, treatments, or recommendations of a professional. Consult your trusted specialist if you have any doubts and seek their approval before beginning any procedure.