10 Best Chest Exercises For Building Muscle

When properly built, your chest muscles provide support for your back, shoulders and core. Without this support, you could suddenly suffer an injury while performing simple exercises at the gym or at home. Furthermore, working on your chest strength can help you create a balanced appearance, especially if you are working on improving the size of your arm muscles. Here are the 10 best chest exercises for quickly building muscle size and strength.

Cable Cross

To correctly engage all of your chest muscles, you need to set the pull handles on the cable cross machine to the highest position. You will start by holding a handle in each hand with your arms extended parallel to the floor. Slowly pull down and forward to bring the handles together in front of your chest. Control your movements as you go back to the starting position to avoid letting the machine do the work for you.


The butterfly exercise is performed on the pec deck machine. While sitting up straight with your head and neck in a neutral position, you will grab the handlebars on either side of your body. Push the bars inward until they are directly in front of you while keeping your elbows from leading the movement. Slowly pull the bars outward again to return them to the neutral position.

Svend Press

Since the Svend press only requires a pair of weight plates, this is a good chest-strengthening exercise to perform while waiting for an open machine. To perform this effective exercise, grasp two weight plates together between your palms and hold them to your chest. Push the plates outward until your arms are fully extended, and then bring them back to your chest in an even movement.

Incline Bench

The incline bench requires that you utilize your full chest strength to push the barbell from the starting position and lower it in a controlled movement. Experiment with close- and wide-grip styles as you work through the reps on the incline bench. Make sure to keep your lats tight throughout the movement to avoid placing too much strain on your back muscles. You will want to support the weight of the bar with your arms and chest, not your back and core.

Decline Bench

The decline bench press activates your lower chest muscles along with your core. You will want to utilize a medium grip throughout the raising and lowering process to net the greatest gains. Start with the bar raised and slowly lower it to your chest. Make sure to keep your breathing even and tighten your muscles at the lowest point of the rep. Utilize grip expanders, like Fat Gripz, to increase the difficulty of this exercise.  

Chest Dips

The dip bars can be smartly utilized to target the chest muscles by approaching them from a new angle. You will want to stand between the parallel bars like normal at the start of the exercise. When you lower yourself, however, you must lean forward to activate your chest muscles, rather than rely on your triceps and biceps. You will feel your chest muscles tighten and burn as you raise and lower your bodyweight.  


Another great chest exercise to perform while you are waiting for machines at the gym is push-ups. You can increase the difficulty of this bodyweight exercise by having a spotter place a weight plate on your back or by utilizing the many variations of this movement. Performing the wide-grip or feet-elevated push-up variations increases the intensity of the workout and targets the chest muscles even more. As your strength increases, switch to a one-arm push-up, alternating arms until you feel exhausted.  

Landmine Press

The landmine press has a well-deserved reputation as a pec developing exercise. For this movement, you will place one end of an Olympic bar against the wall and add your weights to the other side. Work from your knees and lift the bar overhead before lowering it back down to the floor in a single controlled movement. You will likely need to adjust the weights at first to find your maximum limits.

Dumbbell Pullover

The dumbbell pullover requires that you lie perpendicular across a flat bench and support the rest of your weight with your legs. To begin, you will hold a dumbbell over your chest with your palms against the weighted surface and arms straight. You will carefully lower the dumbbell above your head to the floor below. You must keep your arms straight throughout the entire movement to avoid injuring your elbows.

Inverted Rows

Inverted rows are performed while resting on a bench with an empty barbell resting across the top. You will perform a horizontal pull-up movement while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Although the rows typically work out the muscles in your middle back, you can adjust the effort to your chest by using a close grip. Make sure to briefly pause at the top of the movement while tightening the muscles in your chest.  

As you complete these 10 chest muscle-building exercises, consider utilizing the power of pause reps to maximize your workouts. Pause reps are performed by simply pausing at the bottom of the repetition to remove momentum from the equation. Without the momentum, you will force your chest muscles to reactivate and function at their limits.

If you like these workouts and you practice each detail for each exercise you should be looking better shortly. Subscribe for updates!

› 10 Best Chest Exercises For Building Muscle
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