The chest is a crucial muscle group when it comes to develop a muscular physique. Following the biceps, the chest is highly favoured among gym-goers because, like the arms, it is a visible muscle group that can be showcased within several types of clothing such as T-shirts, vests, and shirts. Additionally, a well-developed chest can enhance a person’s attractiveness. Consequently, it is no surprise that beginners at the gym often prioritize training their biceps and chest over other muscle groups. The chest consists of two parts: the Pectoral Major and the Pectoral Minor, with the major component comprising more than 80% of the muscle mass, while the minor portion is a smaller set of attached muscles. If your goal is to build stronger, bigger and muscular pecs, here are the best chest exercises you must include in your chest day.
Machine Chest Press
In recent years, the Machine Chest Press has gained huge attention and popularity among fitness enthusiasts. It is safer, it is beginner-friendly, it isolates the pec muscles excellently – what can we expect more from an exercise?! The reason why it is safer and beginner-friendly than other chest exercises is because you simply need to sit and push the weight forward without the fear of unnecessary injuries to other secondary muscles. So, Machine Chest Press is a great exercise for beginners who wish to gain some strength and muscle in an easy and safe way with lightweights until they become strong enough for heavy lifts like bench press and others.
Moreover, if you believe that the Machine Chest Press is not suitable for advanced athletes, you would be mistaken. As we mentioned earlier, this chest exercise is an excellent isolation exercise that specifically targets the chest muscles without any unnecessary strain on other muscle groups. Therefore, it remains highly effective for advanced athletes, elite athletes, and bodybuilders.
However, if you are already accustomed to heavy Barbell Bench Presses, you may not need to add this exercise to your routine, as the Bench Press provides similar benefits and is superior for overall muscle strength and development. Additionally, implementing a variety of chest exercises that focus on different part of the pecs than just pushing weights is important for a well-rounded muscular and defined chest. That being said, still Machine Chest Press is easily one of the best chest exercises for any type of athletes from beginners to elites who desires to focus their chest in a safe way.
Barbell Bench Press
The Barbell Bench Press is unmatched when it comes to develop a set of big and muscular chest. This exercise is widely regarded as one of the best, if not the best chest exercises by professional bodybuilders and coaches, and for good reason. By lifting heavy weights during the Bench Press, you create superior resistance and tons of tension on your pectoral muscles that results in increased muscle activation and growth. Additionally, since it is a compound exercise, your shoulders and forearms also benefit from increased strength and stability.
Maintaining proper form and stability is crucial during this exercise to avoid injuries to the shoulders and chest. If you are a beginner, it is highly recommended to use the smith machine for the Flat Bench Press until you can perform the standard exercise with correct form, stability, and balance. Once you are comfortable with the exercise, you can also incorporate incline and decline Barbell Bench Press variations to target the upper and lower chest muscles, respectively. In that way, you can target all of your chest muscles with Barbell Bench Press alone!
Machine Chest Fly
The Machine Chest Fly, also known as the Pec Deck, is an amazing chest exercise that I personally prefer as my favourite one after the traditional Barbell Bench Press because the Pec Deck is a fantastic isolation movement for targeting the chest muscles specifically to make them muscular and bigger. The key is to execute the movement slowly while sitting uptight and focus on holding the handles to squeeze your chest muscles for a couple of seconds when you bring the handles of the machine towards your chest. This will maximize the tension on your pec muscles to force them for greater muscle growth.
By following this tip, you can make the most out of this one of the best chest exercises called Machine Chest Fly or Pec Deck. Moreover, it is worth noting that establishing a strong mind-muscle connection can yield better results. Concentrating on how your chest muscles contract and squeeze during the exercise can enhance your outcomes. It is no wonder why the Machine Chest Fly, also known as the Pec Deck or Butterfly, is regarded as one of the best chest exercises. Additionally, if you are a beginner, this exercise is highly effective for you as well, as you can start with light weights in a safe manner, similar to the Machine Chest Press.
Dumbbell Bench Press
Even though Barbell Bench Press is called the king of chest exercises, Dumbbell Bench Press is not far behind or maybe better in some cases. Some people believe the traditional Barbell Bench Press is more effective while others believe the opposite. Barbell Bench Press vs Dumbbell Bench Press – which is better? Let’s end the debate right here right now.
What makes the Dumbbell Bench Press different from the former are that this exercise offers more freedom of movement with the dumbbells compared to its counterpart. By using a pair of dumbbells, you can perform the bench press with a longer range of motion. Additionally, you can get better muscle contraction in your chest when you push the dumbbell high while bringing them close to each other. So, it works both like a press exercise and a fly exercise!
These few amazing advantages surely make Dumbbell Bench Press one of the best chest exercises. But, is it better than Barbell Bench Press? In my honest opinion, both are equally great and two of the best chest exercises because while the traditional barbell’s version is easy to use, more heavy weight to lift for greater tension on the muscles, the dumbbell one comes with greater muscle activation and contraction. The only disadvantage that Dumbbell Bench Press has is that it is not that easy to use like the traditional one.
That’s why, It is crucial to master proper form and stability to avoid injuries and to achieve optimal muscle growth in your chest safely. Just like Barbell Bench Press, once you become proficient in the standard Dumbbell Bench Press, you can start doing variations such as Incline and Decline Dumbbell Bench Press to specifically target the upper and lower chest, respectively.
For individuals seeking to emphasize the squeezing of the chest muscles for better muscle activation, we are highly recommending Cable Crossovers. This exercise can be seen as an evolved version of the Machine Chest Fly. What makes it evolved? Cable Crossovers provide a higher level of muscle contraction (squeezing of the chest muscles) and increased tension on the pec muscles that definitely leads to better muscle growth. The primary benefit of Cable Crossover is its freedom of movement, which allows for a longer range of motion and it also provides greater control on the user. This enables you to specifically target the desired portion of the chest.
If you are at an intermediate or advanced level and have already become accustomed to the Machine Chest Fly, it is time to incorporate Cable Crossovers into your routine. As a starting point, familiarize yourself with the basic and simplest variation that targets the middle portion of the chest. Attach the handles to approximately your shoulder height, which is typically the middle position of the machine, and begin performing the exercise.
After a few weeks, once you have become comfortable with the exercise and mastered the form, you can progress to higher and lower cable crossovers, focusing on the upper and lower pecs, respectively. All these reasons are the proofs that Cable Crossover is one of the best chest exercises for developing a defined and muscular chest. You just can’t miss this extraordinary chest exercise if you want big, full, 3d-rounded yet muscular chest!
The Bottom Line
Therefore guys, these are the best chest exercises that you need to implement in your chest day if you want to build an overall muscular, bigger and defined chest with full of pectoral muscles. While there are numerous chest exercises available in the fitness world, the ones discussed here are based on personal experience and extensive research. If your goal is to prioritize chest development, these five exercises are more than sufficient. In addition, some of these chest exercises in this list like Bench Press and Machine Fly have different variations such as lower and upper variations and you can also perform them to target a particular area of your chest as we have already discussed before.
It is important to remember that along with exercise, maintaining a high-protein diet and avoiding junk foods high in fat and carbohydrates are crucial for muscle growth. Simply performing exercises alone will not serve satisfactory results. We hope that you have found this article about best chest exercises helpful enough. If you did, please feel free to share your valuable thoughts in the comment section below. Thank you for visiting and appreciating our work.