The bench press serves as the beginning and end of many gym-goers' chest exercises. Or press-ups if they're not big on barbells. Although these are both excellent exercises, you must diversify your exercise routine for a truly pecs-tacular chest. The good news is that you'll discover a workout schedule below with a selection of gym chest exercises targeting your muscles from various angles.
You'll soon be the proud owner of a bigger, stronger chest if you follow the instructions strictly. If you do the exercises correctly and according to the specified sets, reps, tempo, and rest intervals, your chest will grow significantly in size and strength, and your arms and shoulders will also get bigger.
On chest day, there are numerous exercises you might perform, but you probably don't want to spend the entire day doing them. We've researched to compare them for you because all you want to know is which workouts are the greatest for developing a muscular chest.
Both laboratory and weight room outcomes influence our decisions. We took into account a lot of factors, such as:
- Ease of learning and performance.
- The intensity and total muscular activation.
- A cult following among bodybuilders and lifters.
- Equipment accessibility in commercial gyms.
The best chest exercises for building muscle are listed here.
List Of 10 Best Chest Exercises In The Gym
Barbell Bench Press
Why it's on the list: Nowadays, it's fashionable to criticise the bench press, but there's a good reason why it's one of the most used exercises in the gym. For one, you can move the most weight on a standard barbell bench. Furthermore, it is simpler to control than pushing with heavy weights.
The bench press responds well to traditional protocols, including 10x10, often known as German Volume Training, for pure mass or even 5x5 for strength and muscle. If you're serious, you can pursue a high number with systematic bench press programmes like Bench 300.
Barbell Bench Press Variations for Chest Growth:
- Barbell floor press
- Barbell bench press with chains
- Bench press with a neutral grip, "Swiss bar," or multi-grip bar
- Reverse-grip barbell bench press
- Barbell "guillotine" bench press
- Bench press with suspended weights
- Reverse band bench press
In your workout: Bench press for heavy sets in lower rep ranges, such as 5-8 reps, toward the beginning of your chest workout. For high-rep chest burnouts, there are more effective exercises. For a more comprehensive chest growth, change the width and style of your grip.
Dumbbell Bench Press
Why it's on the list: The dispute over whether dumbbell or barbell presses are superior for growth has long existed in the weight room. You can, fortunately, do both! But there's no denying that the dumbbell variety is more adaptable at the start, middle, and end of a chest workout.
The muscles on each side must function separately to provide more evenly distributed strength and size. Additionally, dumbbells' longer range of motion, according to some research, may promote muscular growth. You can change your grip on chest day to add diversity and fresh stimulation.
Dumbbell Bench Press Variations for Chest Growth:
- Dumbbell bench press
- Neutral-grip dumbbell bench press
- Close-grip dumbbell bench press
- Single-arm dumbbell bench press
- Alternating dumbbell bench press
In your workout: Perform flat dumbbell presses at the beginning of your chest programme for heavy sets with lower rep ranges, at least occasionally. Later in a chest workout, they can also be effective for high repetitions, whether done flat or with an incline or decline.
Incline Bench Press
Why it's on the list: In addition to being a traditional exercise for developing the upper chest, many weightlifters feel that incline bench presses are a more comfortable "primary lift" for the shoulders than flat benching. It works well with a barbell or multi-grip bar, but dumbbells may be even more effective because you can adjust your grip to put more emphasis on your upper pecs.
Incline Bench Press Variations for Chest Growth:
- Barbell incline bench press
- Incline dumbbell bench press
- Smith Machine incline bench press
- Incline dumbbell bench with palms facing in
- Dumbbells-together incline bench press
In your workout: A few challenging sets of 6–8 can serve as your main lift. Increase it to 8–10 as an extra lift. Many chest exercises begin with flat-bench exercises, but occasionally you should start with incline exercises, especially if you want to lift your upper chest.
Why it's on the list: The general perception of decline is that it only applies to the lower chest. Use the plate-loaded hammer strength machine, or a similar comfortable decline press equipment, if your gym has one. In addition to the standard double-arm press, you can also sit sideways and push across your torso one arm at a time. This unilateral chest movement highlights one of the main functions of the pec major, shoulder adduction.
Decline Bench Press Variations for Chest Growth:
- Decline barbell bench press
- Decline dumbbell bench press
- Decline Smith machine press
- Decline leverage press
In your workout: Start your chest training with free-weight presses since they need more effort and stronger stabiliser muscles than machine presses. The final heavy exercise in your workout before switching to lighter pump work could be a machine variation.
Machine Chest Press
Why it's on the list: Although machine press and cable press versions have some unique advantages, flat bench free-weight pressing exercises are still excellent. One benefit is that reducing the repetition speed is simpler during both the concentric and eccentric periods. Stack-loaded machines are ideal for performing drop sets quickly.
Machine Chest Press Variations for Chest Growth:
- Machine chest press
- Plate-loaded chest press
- Cable chest press
In your workout: Machine exercises should be performed for sets of at least 8–10 reps at the end of your training, along with drop sets or rest-pause sets if you can do so. This is the test to discover if your pre-workout supplement is up to the task! Finish your workout strong by pumping your pecs until they are utterly exhausted.
Why it's on the list: Push-ups are advantageous because they don't require any special equipment and can serve as the focal point of a chest workout at home. In addition, with a few little elevations or hand placement adjustments, they are versatile and simple to modify for a range of motion. They may assist in strategically targeting various sections of your chest. Unbelievably, thorough research revealed a similarity between push-ups and bench presses in muscle activation and overall muscle development. Push-ups shouldn't be your only exercise, but you should include them in your repertoire.
Push-Up Variations for Chest Growth:
- Feet-elevated push-up
- Hands-elevated push-up
- Suspended push-up
- Hand-release push-up
- Weighted push-up
- Banded push-up
In your workout: In the latter parts of a workout, pushing yourself to exhaustion or adding volume is a fantastic method to get stronger. Push-ups are great in compound sets with dips, mechanical drop sets after presses or flies, and antagonist chest-and-back supersets with rows. If necessary, push-ups with weights and those using resistance bands can even serve as the main activity for pushing.
Why it's on the list: For good reason, dips were a mainstay in the training regimens of the greats of the golden era. Nothing extends the chest and works it as hard as this bodyweight exercise. You can add more weight using a dip belt if you're strong. If you have trouble performing bodyweight reps, you can also utilise a band or machine. Additionally, they are an excellent spotter-free substitute for decline presses.
Dip Variations for Chest Growth:
- Chest dip
- Ring dip
- Machine-assisted dip
- Banded dip
- Machine dip
In your workout: Dips are a terrific way to cap off a pro-level chest day if you can perform them for high repetitions. If you can't, perform them early in your workout in standard rep ranges for gaining strength or muscle, such as 6-8 or 8-10. Push-ups and dips are a fantastic superset combination for an intense workout finish.
Why it's on the list: Are you trying to isolate your pecs after your presses? The flying time has come. Cables are unbeatable when it comes to fly variants. They naturally belong on the list of the top ten muscle-building isolation exercises because they permit sustained stress throughout the whole range of motion of the activity. Most lifters prefer cable cross-overs, and for good reason—try a laying variation on an inclined bench instead. They give you greater stability than a standing press and let you go past the point of exhaustion.
Fly Variations for Chest Growth:
- Incline cable fly
- Cable cross-over
- Low-cable cross-over
- Single-arm cable cross-over
- Dumbbell fly
In your workout: Perform your flyes either as your initial isolated exercise or as your final exercise following your presses. No need to go overboard! Maintain higher-rep sets, such as 10–12 or perhaps a little higher.
Why it's on the list: Bodybuilders have long favoured pullovers as torso-builders. Choose the inclined version, so your chest muscles are under tension for a broader range of motion. Use a 30- to 45-degree bench and maintain a constant, comfortable angle for your elbows. This turns more and more into a triceps movement the more they flex and bend.
Pull-Over Variations for Chest Growth
- Incline straight-arm pull-over
- Pull-over to press
In your workout: Finish your workout with sets of roughly 12 reps of pullovers. Hold the last rep's peak contraction for 5 seconds on each set.
Why it's on the list: The machine chest fly, also known as the pec-deck, is a more efficient and difficult-to-fail substitute for dumbbell flies for most lifters. If your gym offers one, using it is a terrific way to build muscle without having to balance any weights or risk damaging your shoulders.
In your workout: Hit a couple of sets of 10-15 before your presses as a pre-exhaust. Hit the machine fly last in your routine for sets of about 10–12 as a burnout. Try out drop sets, partial reps, and other intensity-enhancing techniques. You have earned your post-workout protein shake, so don't be afraid to push this movement to failure.
Full Chest Workout At Gym
Hard And Heavy Chest Workout
1. Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip - 4 sets, 6-8 reps (rest 2 min. )
2. Incline dumbbell bench press - 3 sets, 8-10 reps (rest 90 sec. )
3. Cable cross-over - 3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 1 min. )
4. Chest dip - 3 sets, 12-15 reps (rest 90 sec. )
Workout To Build Your Upper Chest
1. Incline dumbbell bench press - 4 sets, 6-8 reps (rest 2 min. )
2. Incline cable chest fly - 3 sets, 10-12 reps (no rest)
3. Decline Push-Up - 3 sets, 10-15 reps (rest 90 sec. )
4. Incline Straight-Arm Pull-Over - 4 sets, 12 reps (rest 1 min. )
Machine Pump Chest Workout
1. Smith Machine Incline Bench Press - 3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 90 sec. )
2. Machine chest press - 3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 1 min. )
3. Dip Machine - 3 sets, 10-12 reps (rest 1 min. )
4. Pec Deck Fly - 3 sets, 12 reps (rest 1 min. )
Best Machines For Chest Workouts At The Gym?
1. Iso Incline Press
There are two fundamental ideas you need to be aware of straight away:
1. You can never have too much upper chest development.
2. You must give each side particular care to enhance growth.
The ISO incline press can meet both of those requirements. With the aid of this machine, you may create the appearance of a shelf by focusing on the upper pecs. It features two separate handles, so you may also give your weaker side extra attention to raise it to the same level as your dominant side.
When you complete a rep, you should contract the muscle and fully extend it. To allow more blood to reach those muscles, the pec-deck applies a deep stretch to each fibre of the pecs. To fully enhance the pump as you contract, you can isolate the chest using the pec-deck and squeeze those muscles tightly.
3. Seated Chest Press
Because it targets the same area yet lets you isolate the chest and reduces recruitment of the delts, the seated chest press is a wonderful alternative to the flat bench. Use each handle for two sets if the machine at your gym has both vertical and horizontal ones to target various angles in the chest.
4. Cable Cross-Over Station
How could we leave out the cross-over station with its endless possibilities? Most gyms feature movable pulleys so that you may work your pecs in all directions. You can still get the most out of this machine even if your gym only has the traditional upper and lower pulleys. The cable cross-over delivers the full stretch benefits of the pec-deck and the chest isolating advantage of the seated press, whether it's cross-overs from either posture or cable flyes on a bench. If you disregard this massive chest builder, you would be doing yourself a great disservice.
Benefits Of Chest Workout
Whole Body Workout
This works the shoulders, back muscles, triceps, and other major muscle groups in addition to the chest. When completing these chest workouts, you must, however, be careful to contract your muscles.
Building Body And Strength Mass
It is not only a fantastic upper body workout option, but it is also suitable for growing and strengthening upper and lower body muscles. The overhead dumbbell press is a particularly effective dumbbell press workout for the chest regarding muscular growth and strength.
An Effective Choice For Cardio
Once again, the overhead press workout is helpful as a fantastic cardio exercise. It benefits your heart and lungs greatly. Additionally, it helps burn those difficult calories.
Exercises for the chest help tone and build the muscles in your upper back and chest muscles. This is a result of the fact that these exercises are also helpful for developing the biceps, triceps, and deltoids.
Builds Athletic Power
They are a good option for developing shoulder and chest muscles. Exercises for the chest generally involve the shoulders as well, and these exercises are good for them.
Engaging Abdominal Muscles
This is particularly true of chest fly exercises, which are carried out with the upper back supported by a stability ball. This exercises the pecs and synergist muscles and tests the core muscles. However, you must maintain your body parallel to the ground to avoid hurting yourself or applying too much strain.
Engaging Pectoralis Muscles
The pectoralis muscles are successfully challenged and engaged during chest exercises, which tones and strengthens them. Large muscular groups, such as the pectoral muscles, have less pain tolerance than the smaller muscle groups. As a result, these chest exercises cause pain and soreness, which tones the pectoralis muscles.
Full Body Workout
Exercises for the chest help you develop a more extensive, wider chest that narrows into a trim waist, giving you the results you want from your fitness programme.
Strengthens Your Shoulders
When done correctly and consistently, chest exercises develop the deltoids and create a balanced, healthy body of muscles. In turn, this protects your shoulders from harm.
Improves Blood Circulation
Exercises for the chest go beyond just strengthening and constructing chest muscles because of the improved blood flow made possible by repetitive push and pull actions with dumbbells and presses.
So these are all the best chest exercises to practice at a gym to stay healthy and fit. These chest gym workouts must be followed diligently. This might be your game plan for a bigger chest, along with growth-focused nutrition and supplements.