Bodybuilding Exercise Guides

Chest Exercises

 


Around The Worlds

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Grab two dumbbells and sit on a bench. Now put the dumbbells face up towards the ceiling on your upper thighs while keeping your elbows slightly bent. Now move the barbells, not up, but around as if you are drawing an angel in the snow. Bring them behind your head so that they touch each other and return to the original position. This movement is great for getting a pump in the chest.

 


Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

What NOT To Do:

Tips: Lie on a flat bench and firmly position your feet flat on the floor a little more than shoulder width apart. Keep your back flat on the bench! Using a grip broader than shoulder width, hold the barbell above your body, then lower slowly to the middle of your chest. Without bouncing the weight off your chest, drive the barbell up over the middle of your chest until your arms are straight and your elbows are locked. Lower the bar down slowly.

 


Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Set the incline bench at about a 45 degree angle. Sit on the bench with your feet flat on the floor a little more than shoulder width apart. Position your back firmly against the bench. Using a grip slightly wider than shoulder width, hold the bar over your upper chest with your arms straight. Slowly lower the bar and make slight contact with your upper chest area. Drive the weight straight up over your chest until your elbows are locked, or close to it.

 


Bench Press - With Bands

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Biceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Other
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: For this you will need a bench of some sort with a leg you can lift. Secure the band under the leg nearest your head, lie down on the bench, and press up like you would a barbell bench press.

 


Bent-Arm Barbell Pullover

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders,Lats
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Lie on a bench, head over the end, with your feet flat on the floor. Hold bar with hands about 14" apart. Keep elbows in at all times! In a semi-circular motion, lower the bar to the floor slowly and as far as comfortable. Pull bar back using the same path. Keep your head down and do not raise your hips. Can also be done with dumbbells or with your arms straight.

 


Bent-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders,Lats
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Lie on a bench, head over the end, with your feet flat on the floor. Lower weights in a semicircular motion towards floor. Go as low as you can without pain. Go back up using the same path. Keep your elbows in! Can also be done with your arms straight, or with two dumbbells (one in each hand).

 


Pec Deck Fly

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Machine
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Sit at the machine with your back flat on the pad. Place your forearms on padded lever. Position your upper arms approximately parallel to the ground. Push levers together slowly and squeeze your chest in the middle. Return until chest muscles are stretched fully. Repeat.

 


Cable Crossover

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Shoulders
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Hold the stirrup cable attachments that are attached to a high pulley. Stand about one foot in front of the weight stacks with a handle in both hands. Lean slightly forward and put one foot in front of the other (for balance). Your front knee should be slightly bent. Bring your hands around and in front of your body in a hugging motion with your elbows slightly bent. You should be pulling down at a slight angle. Focus on using just your chest muscles. When your hands meet directly in front of your midsection, squeeze the muscles and then slowly return to the starting position. Your elbows should stay in the same slightly bent position the whole time. Do not walk out too far in front of the pulley system or bend over too much!

 


Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Just like the Barbell Bench Press but with your hands only 12 - 14" apart, centered over your body. Works more of the inner pectorals and triceps.

 


Cross Over - With Bands

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Biceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Other
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Secure band around a stationary post (a poll or something of the like), step back enough to begin tension. Stand facing away from post with arms raised to sides, palms forward. Keeping your arms straight, bring them across your chest.

 


Decline Barbell Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Lie on a decline bench, hold barbell about 6" wider than shoulder width. Lower bar to about 3" below nipples. Raise bar all the way up while keeping your elbows out and your chest high. Lower weight with complete control. Keep your head on the bench and do not arch your back. Can also be done with a close or wide grip, or with DUMBBELLS.

 


Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Like the Dumbbell Bench Press but on a decline bench. This works more of the lower chest.

 


Decline Dumbbell Flyes

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Using a decline bench, hold dumbbells together at arms' length above your shoulders, palms facing each other. Keep arms as straight as possible with a slight bend in the elbow. Lower dumbbells out to each side of your chest in a semicircular motion. Return to chest using the same path. Keep head and back firmly on the bench and your feet on the floor.

 


Dips - Chest Version

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: BodyOnly
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Same as the Triceps Version, except you are leaning forward, which works more of the lower chest. Using the parallel bars, grip the handles and push yourself up to your starting position. With elbows close to body and hips straight, lower body until shoulders are slightly stretched. Push body up in same posture and repeat. You can bend and cross your legs or keep them straight. You can add weight by using a Dip Belt.

 


Dumbbell Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Sit on the edge of a flat bench with dumbbells on your knees. In one smooth motion, roll onto your back while bringing the dumbbells up to a position slightly outside and above your shoulders. Your palm should face forwards. Bend your elbows at a 90 degree angle so that your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Press the weights up over your chest in a triangular motion until they meet above the centerline of your body. As you lift, concentrate on keeping the weights balanced and under control. Then, follow the same path downward until your arms are slightly below parallel to the floor.

 


Dumbbell Flyes

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Sit down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Then lie back, keeping the dumbbells close to your chest. Lift the dumbbells over your chest by extending your arms. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows. Keep your hips and shoulders flat on the bench and your feet on the floor. Lower the dumbbells to the sides of your body in an arc-like motion. At the lowest point, your bent elbows should be on a horizontal plane even with the bench. Slowly bring the weights back up over your chest in an arc. The bend in your elbows should stay the same throughout the exercise.

 


Flat Bench Cable Flyes

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Shoulders
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Position a flat bench between two cables so that when you are laying on it, your chest will be lined up with the cables. Lay flat on the bench and keep your feet on the ground. Grab each stirrup attachment with a palms up grip. Slightly bend your elbows and keep this bend through the whole movement. (Do not bend more or less!) Squeeze your chest and pull the cables together. Touch them together above your chest. Slowly lower down until your chest muscles feel completely stretched. Repeat. Can also be done on an incline or decline bench, or with dumbbells.

 


Front Raise And Pullover

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: This is a mixture of the barbell pullover and a front raise on bench. Lie on a flat bench and grab a barbell using a grip about 15 inches apart, Place the bar on your upper thighs and lock your arms. Now raise the weight over your head. This is the first part of the exercise. Now continue the same movement behind your head as far back as possible like the reverse of a pullover. Now return the dumbbell to the starting position again in the same motion.

 


Hammer Grip Incline DB Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Grab a dumbbell for each hand. Lay on the bench with the head, shoulders, and butt firmly on the bench and the feet firmly on the floor . Pull the shoulder blades together to form a solid pressing surface. Use a hammer grip (palms facing each other). Lower the weight evenly to the sides of the chest. Drive the weights in a straight line up to the starting position. Maintain a tight midsection throughout execution. Drive the feet through the floor. Can also be done on a flat bench or decline bench.

 


Incline Cable Flye

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Cable
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: This is like the flat bench flye, except you are lying on a low incline bench (about 30 degrees). Hold the handles above the top portion of your chest with your arms almost straight. You should keep a slight bend in them. Slowly lower the handles in a wide arc to shoulder level and then return to the starting position along the exact same path. Keep tension on your pecs throughout the movement and squeeze hard at the top.

 


Incline Dumbbell Bench With Palms Facing In

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Same as the Incline Dumbbell Press but with your palms facing towards each other at all times. Keep your arms close to your sides.

 


Incline Dumbbell Flyes

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Same as the Dumbbell Flyes but on an incline bench. Works more of the upper chest.

 


Incline Dumbbell Flyes - With A Twist

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Like the Incline Dumbbell Flyes but on the way up twist your arms so that your pinky finger face each other at the top.

 


Incline Dumbbell Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Sit on the edge of an incline bench set at about a 45-degree angle. Pick up a dumbbell in each hand and place them on your thighs. Then, one at a time, raise them up to your shoulder level while you press your back and shoulders firmly against the bench. Press the weights back up to a point over your upper chest, with your palms facing forward. Lower the weights slowly. Inhale as you lower the weights and exhale as you lift.

 


Isometric Chest Squeezes

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Biceps
Equipment: BodyOnly
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Bend your arms and place your hands together in front of your chest. Push both hands against each other and hold for the required number of seconds. Remember to breath throughout the isometric contraction!

 


Machine Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Machine
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: This is like a normal bench press but using a machine. Follow the directions on the machine that you choose. Be sure to go slow during each rep.

 


Neck Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Biceps
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: This is the same as a normal flat bench press, except you bench to the neck instead of to the chest. You start and finish the pressing motion from the neck.

 


One Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: This is an exercise that you should not attempt with excessively heavy weight, due to the imbalance it can create during execution. With that in mind, the one-arm dumbbell bench is a great tool to promote balance and control because it allows you to strengthen your support muscles, without which you will continue to have rotator pain.

This is like the regular Dumbbell Bench Press but with one arm at a time. Start by lying on a flat bench with one dumbbell in one hand and the other hand at your side, holding the side of the bench.

 


One Arm Floor Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips:

 


One-Arm Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: None
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Isolation

Tips: Hold a dumbbell in one hand and lie on your back on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor. Grab the bench near your hip with your free hand. Hold the dumbbell out to the side at chest level with your elbow bent and palm facing up. Lift the weight up in a semicircular motion like you were giving a one-arm hug. Make sure your back stays flat on the bench at all times! After the dumbbell has gone past the midline of your body, return slowly to the starting position. Repeat for reps, then switch arms. Start with low weight until you are used to it!

 


Push-Ups (Close and Wide Hand Positions)

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: BodyOnly
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Same as the regular Push-Up but with your hands in a close or wide position, to work more of the inner or outer chest.

 


Push-Ups With Feet Elevated

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: BodyOnly
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Kneel down on the floor and place your hands flat on the floor and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. With your shoulders directly over your hands, straighten your arms. Move your feet back, placing your toes on a stand that is 18 inches high. The higher the stand the greater intensity of the exercise! At this point, your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Your body should remain straight throughout this exercise. Keep your head and neck in line with your body so that your are looking down toward the floor. This is the starting position. In a controlled fashion, lower your body down toward the floor, bending your elbows, until your body is nearly touching the floor. Now, push your body up away from the floor, straightening your arms, until you have returned to the starting position. You can also do this with a weight plate on your back!

 


Push-Ups With Feet On An Exercise Ball

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Exercise Ball
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: This is just like the normal Pushups but you put your lower shins on an exercise ball. This causes you to use more of your stabilizer muscles and gives you a better overall workout.

 


Pushups

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: BodyOnly
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Kneel down on the floor and place your hands flat on the floor and slightly wider than shoulder width apart. With your shoulders directly over your hands, straighten your arms. Move your feet back, placing your toes on the floor, so that your knees are off the floor and your legs are straight. At this point, your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Your body should remain straight throughout this exercise. Keep your head and neck in line with your body so that your are looking down toward the floor. This is the starting position. In a controlled fashion, lower your body down toward the floor, bending your elbows, until your body is nearly touching the floor. Now, push your body up away from the floor, straightening your arms, until you have returned to the starting position. If you need to reduce the intensity of this exercise you can perform the pushup from your knees.

 


Smith Machine Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Machine
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Same as the Barbell Bench Press but with a Smith Machine.

 


Smith Machine Incline Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Machine
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Just like the Barbell Incline Bench Press but with a Smith Machine.

 


Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders,Lats
Equipment: Dumbbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Lie on a bench, head at the end, with your fee flat on the floor. Start with your hands flat against the inside plate of the dumbbell at arms' length above chest. Lower dumbbell in semicircular motion behind head as far as possible without pain. Keep your elbows as straight as you can. Return dumbbell to starting position. Can also be done with a barbell.

 


Wide Grip Decline Barbell Pullover

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: As stated before, hitting the muscle from a different angle is invaluable for muscle growth. As a result, this exercise causes your chest to work through a different range of motion. Use a Barbell instead of a dumbbell for a pullover, and do the exercise on a decline bench. Also, use an extra wide grip on the barbell. As you raise the barbell over your head, try to squeeze the bar as if you are pushing the ends together, because this helps get a maximum contraction.

 


Wide-Grip Barbell Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Same as the Barbell Bench Press but with a grip that is as wide as you can go safely. Keep your head on the bench and do not arch your back. Exhale on the way up.

 


Wide-Grip Decline Barbell Bench Press

Exercise Data
Main Muscle Worked: Chest
Other Muscles Worked: Triceps,Shoulders
Equipment: Barbell
Mechanics Type: Compound

Tips: Same as the Decline Barbell Bench Press but with a wider grip.

 


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