Best Chest Exercises For Mass: Ultimate Training Guide

If you’ve been wondering about what the best chest exercises to build muscle are, then look no further!

We’ve created a list of the ultimate exercises to help you bulk up your chest.

How Do You Build A Bigger Chest?

One of the main muscles that guys have trouble building up has to be the chest. This is mainly because they are unsure of what exercises to do to best do that. While there are a ton of different chest exercises you can do, you should focus on the most effective ones.

Remember this; it’s not about how difficult the exercise is, but it’s important how effective the exercise is in building mass. With each exercise we will share with you, we will provide an explanation to help you understand the exercise a bit better.

How You Should Incorporate These Exercises

What you should do with each of these exercises is incorporate them into your current chest workout routine. Try switching some old workouts out for these new ones. Maybe even create a new chest workout routine with these exercises.

It’s always important to switch things up every once in a while so the body doesn’t become too accustomed to a routine. When the muscles get used to certain exercises, the workouts become less effective. That’s why you should never do the same workout routine over and over again.

In order to ensure you build your chest muscles efficiently, make sure you eat a proper diet, enough protein, and if needed, incorporate supplements (such as whey protein powder) so you get the results you want faster.

The Best Chest Exercises to Build Muscle:

Now it’s time to go over the best chest exercises to build muscle. First, we will list them off for you, then we will go over each exercise in depth on why it’s important, as well as how to perform the exercise correctly.

#1: Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

Why It’s Effective:

Dumbbells are great because you have to stabilize yourself. This makes each side of your body work separate from each other, making the dumbbells harder to control when compared to a barbell. You also get more range of motion for both up high and down low. Flat bench dumbbell presses can be done with a good amount of weight and is a nice switch up from the usual barbell bench.

How to Incorporate it:

Perform these presses with more weight, fewer reps, and at the start of your chest workout. Try to do them in your full range of motion as well to get the most out of your workout.

#2: Barbell Bench Press

Why It’s Effective:

Barbell lifts are where you generate the most power. Because of this, you’re able to press the most weight. Not only that, but it’s easier than press dumbbells. It’s easy to spot and learn. This exercise is also pretty versatile, so there are a ton of different ways you can incorporate it to bulk up.

How to Incorporate it:

These are best done at the beginning of your workout. Aim for more weight, while performing fewer reps. For more versatility, differ the width of your grip. This is good to get a full chest workout in. Because these are similar to flat bench dumbbell presses, try to do the workouts on different days, rather than the same day.

#3: Machine Decline Press

Why It’s Effective:

On certain machines, such as the Hammer Strength, you have the ability to move your arms separate from each other. To differ from the straight on approach, you can also sit sideways to press across with one arm. This gives a complete chest workout that targets muscles that would otherwise be ignored.

How to Incorporate it:

This is a good exercise to do at the end of your routine, specifically as a multi-joint exercise.

#4: Low-Incline Barbell Bench Press

Why It’s Effective:

A lower incline, as compared to a steeper angle, will get the upper pectorals without giving the delts as much stress. These are easy to do on the Smith machine that has an adjustable bench. Especially if you’re looking to hit the upper chest, try to place your hands a bit closer together.

How to Incorporate it:

While more often than not, the workout starts with flat presses and inclines after, start with inclines sometimes. This will help you be able to lift more weight at an incline, giving the upper chest more working out to do.

#5: Incline Dumbbell Press

Why It’s Effective:

Just like the incline barbell press, the incline dumbbell press is great to target the upper pecs. Also, because dumbbells make the body work harder to stabilize, you get a more effective workout. Switch up the incline from workout to workout to keep your body guessing.

How to Incorporate it:

It’s best to perform these presses at the beginning of your workout to lift the most weight possible. Also, you can intensify by rotating the bells from forward to inward.

#6: Seated Machine Chest Press

Man doing hammer strength chest press for chest muscle
Source: http://workoutlabs.com/exercise-guide/hammer-strength-machine-chest-press/

Why It’s Effective:

Doing machine presses seated will give you a great pump. This is because you can concentrate on your reps more, as well as control the speed. Doing seated machine chest presses slowly gives you more burn and targets the pecs very well.

How to Incorporate it:

Keep in mind that machine exercises should always be done at the end of your workouts. This is because machines don’t allow you to stabilize like barbells and dumbbells do, which means you will be isolating the chest.

#7: Incline Bench Cable Fly

Why It’s Effective:

Although this is a single-joint exercise, the incline bench cable fly exercise is very effective to isolate the pecs and get a full range of motion in. With the cables, tension is continuous.

How to Incorporate it:

Incline cable fly exercises are the best to do near the end of your workout. Go for higher reps since there isn’t much weight being used.

#8: Dips for Chest

Why It’s Effective:

Dips for chest are different than just any dips. To make them more effective for the chest, bend the legs so your feet are behind you. After doing that, you lean forward as much as you can while letting the elbows bend outwards during the dip. These are great to do when you’re lacking a spotter for the decline press. Chest dips are great to target the lower chest.

How to Incorporate it:

For stronger people, the dips for chest are a good one to do at the very end of your workouts. However, if you’re weaker, then aim to do these earlier. Partnering them with push-ups are a great way to get the muscles pumped in your chest.

#9: Pec-Deck Machine

Man doing pec deck machine for chest
Source: http://workoutlabs.com/exercise-guide/butterfly/

Why It’s Effective:

The incline bench cable or dumbbell fly chest exercise can be difficult, mainly because of how the arms need to be locked slightly bent. Pec decks make things simple – just one path. It’s super effective and you don’t have to stabilize any weights. A ton of activation in the chest can be achieved, especially in the major and anterior pecs.

How to Incorporate it:

10-12 reps per set are a good way to go. Also, don’t over-do it, it can be extremely straining on the chest and you don’t want to hurt yourself.

#10: Incline Dumbbell Pull-Over

Why It’s Effective:

The incline bench cable or dumbbell fly chest exercise can be difficult, mainly because of how the arms need to be locked slightly bent. Pec decks make things simple – just one path. It’s super effective and you don’t have to stabilize any weights. A ton of activation in the chest can be achieved, especially in the major and anterior pecs.

How to Incorporate it:

10-12 reps per set are a good way to go. Also, don’t over-do it, it can be extremely straining on the chest and you don’t want to hurt yourself.

Mass Building Chest Workouts:

Here are some sample chest workouts you can use for building a bigger chest. The following routines are based on the exercises listed above.

Sample Chest Workout #1

Exercise:Sets:Reps:
Bench Press3 (Warmup)6-10
Bench Press36-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press36-10
Incline Flyes36-10

Sample Chest Workout #2

Exercise:Sets:Reps:
Bench Press36-10
Flat bench Flyes36-10
Incline Bench Press36-10
Dips (body weight)2Failure
Dumbbell Pullovers210-12

In Summary

Now you know all the top chest exercises that you should definitely incorporate into your workout routines. Remember, switch it up and diversify your exercises to ensure you’re getting a full chest workout.

If you’re very experienced when it comes to working out, then you already know that warm-ups are essential so you don’t tear your muscles or hurt your joints. Always start with the presses, end with machines, and don’t be afraid to hold your rep for an extra boost!

While all of these exercises are really effective, break them up between 2-3 of your different workouts. Doing all of them in one workout can be overly taxing, and will overall make the exercises less effective when it comes to building muscle.

Remember: It’s important to understand that in order to really put on muscle, you must eat the proper diet. Make sure you’re getting enough protein after each workout!

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