What Workout is Best for Your Chest?

There are a lot of different workouts you can do to target your chest, but which one is best for you? It really depends on your goals and what you’re looking to achieve. If you want to build muscle, you’ll need to focus on different exercises than if you’re trying to tone your chest.

Here, we’ll break down some of the best workouts for your chest, depending on your goals. Whether you’re looking to build muscle, tone your chest, or just


Whether you’re aiming to build muscle or burn fat, an effective chest workout plan involves more than just doing push-ups and bench presses. You will need to incorporate a variety of exercises with different levels of intensity in order to get the most out of your training. A comprehensive chest workout should include a combination of multi-joint exercises, single-joint movements, machines, cables and bodyweight exercises. When strategically combined together with proper form and unique combinations of speed, rest intervals and volume loadings, these movements can create the perfect mix for building upper body strength and size.

The best chest workouts include well-known favorites like the barbell bench press as well as lesser known but high quality exercises such as cable crossovers, incline presses, dips, incline flies and plyometric pushups. If you are looking for maximum results from your workouts then it’s important that you take into consideration which types of these exercise you use in order to maximize the development of your chest muscles.

Anatomy of the Chest

The chest is made up of two major muscle groups, the pectorals and the serratus anterior. The pectoral muscles are responsible for chest movement and are the largest of the two major muscle groups. The serratus anterior, or “serratus,” is located underneath the pectorals and is responsible for stabilizing the shoulder blade and providing stability for the chest. Knowing the anatomy of the chest can help you decide which workouts are best for building strength and size.

Muscles of the Chest

In regard to the anatomy of the chest, there are two primary muscles that make up this area: the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major is the larger muscle that originates from the sternum, clavicle and cartilage of ribs five to seven. This muscle attaches to the humerus, or upper arm bone, and is responsible for promoting flexion and adduction of the upper arm.

The pectoralis minor is a thin muscle on top of its larger counterpart, originating from ribs three through five before attaching near the humerus bone. It helps with raising the scapula (shoulder blade), or shoulder abduction when combined with other shoulder Muscles. Both muscles are essential components for performing various exercises for toning and building up your chest strength and definition.

By understanding how these muscles interact together during exercises such as pushups, planks and chest presses you can determine which type of workout will be most beneficial in maximizing your results. Consulting a professional fitness trainer will help you learn more about your own anatomy so you can craft an effective exercise plan to achieve your fitness goals.

Types of Chest Exercises

As with any body part, it’s important that you understand the different types of chest exercises in order to effectively work this muscle group. When looking at chest exercises there are several categories that can be explored; push and pull exercises, bench presses, cable exercises, dumbbell and bodyweight exercises.

Push Exercises: Push exercises focus primarily on expanding the chest muscles forward, such as Push-ups, Bench Presses and dips. They target the flat and/or inclined portions of the pec muscles depending on what variation you choose to use.

Pull Exercises: Pulling exercises focus primarily on contracting the chest muscles back towards your body; Cable Crossovers, Machine Flys and Dumbbell Flys are all good examples of pulling exercises for your chest. These target mainly the outer portion of the pec muscles resulting in a well rounded chest workout.

Bench Presses: The bench press family includes Barbell Bench Presses (incline/decline varieties), Dumbbell Bench Presses (incline/decline varieties) as well as any Push Up variations such as Narrow Grip or Close Grip Push Ups which focus on activating different areas of your pectoral muscles depending on where you place your hands or elbows during each exercise.

Cable Exercises: An excellent exercise to finish any Chest day is by doing one or two rounds of Cable Crossovers to really fatigue all area’s of the Pec Muscles;they target both outer & inner sections of each side resulting in full muscle contraction throughout each set! This can be done with a T-bar attachment facing downwards (this is known as a “face down” alignment), OR with a rope attachment facing outwards (this is known as an “outward facing” alignment) – both offer great results when done right!

Dumbbell & Bodyweight Exercises: You can use many different variations for these two categories – simply using bodyweight moves like Dips & Regular or Narrow Grip Push-Ups will tire out your Pecs fast if done correctly(sharp reps & squeezing at peak contraction)! . As for Dumbbell moves there’s always Chest Flyes (done either laying flat or using an upward angle – both effective for hitting every muscle fibre!)

Strength Training

Strength training is one of the most effective workouts when it comes to building muscle mass and strength. It involves the use of free weights, machines, and other equipment for resistance training. Strength training is an excellent way to work your chest muscles, as it allows you to isolate the muscles, making them strong and defined. Let’s take a look at the different strength training exercises that are best for your chest.

Bench Press

The bench press is a fundamental resistance exercise that can be completed in any gym or home gym. It involves lying face up on an inclined bar-bell bench and using the arms to push a weight away from the body in a pressing motion. An adequate range of motion should be used, with arms extended fully at the start of each movement. The elbows should be kept tucked close to the body throughout the exercise, as flaring them away at the outset can result in an injury to your chest or shoulder.

The muscles targeted by the bench press depend on how far you lower the barbell during each repetition. When performing a full range of motion with elbows tucked close to your body, you will target your chest muscles more effectively, while partial reps with elbows out will target more of your shoulders and triceps. As such, when training for chest development it can be beneficial to include some partial reps and full range of motion reps into your workout routine for optimal chest stimulation. Additionally, varying hand positions — such as narrow and wide grip — can affect how different parts of your chest are targeted.


Push-ups are a strength training exercise that target the chest, shoulders, triceps and core. They are an excellent bodyweight exercise for any fitness level, as the range of motion and intensity can be adjusted to fit an individual’s needs. Push-ups come in a variety of variations, so you can choose exercises that best fit your specific goals and adapt them to work multiple muscle groups.

When doing push-ups, you want to ensure that your technique is correct to maximize effectiveness while minimizing the risk of injury. Start by assuming a prone position on the ground with your toes supporting your body weight, your arms fully extended and hands placed beneath your shoulders. Then keep your stomach tight as you slowly bend at the elbows and lower yourself toward the ground until your chest is a few inches away from touch it. From here, press up using only your pectoral muscles until arms are locked out again then repeat for desired repetitions. As you become more advanced with this exercise, add weights such as circular dumbbells or weighted dumbbell bars for increased intensity or challenge yourself with handstand push-ups on an elevated surface like a wall or stair treads if you have limited arm strength but want an advanced workout.

Chest Flys

Chest Flys, or Flyes as they are more commonly known, are one of the basic exercises for increasing chest size and strength. This exercise can be done with a variety of different pieces of equipment, such as dumbbells, cables or machines at the gym. The goal with any chest fly is to isolate the chest muscles while keeping tension on them throughout the range of motion.

To perform a flye, simply stand between two pieces of equipment while they are set up in line or slightly apart from one another. Place your hands on both pieces and push out until your arms are stretched straight out to your sides as far as possible without straining yourself. Bend your elbows slightly and then squeeze in at the middle to bring your arms back together. Aim for 12-15 repetitions in each set and keep tension on your pectoral muscles throughout the entire range of motion for maximum benefit.

Keep in mind that chest flys can injure even experienced gym-goers if performed improperly because the joints become compressed from resistance placed at close range during certain positions within the lift. Therefore, it is important to use caution when performing this exercise and ensure good form every time you do it so as not to strain any muscles or joints unnecessarily.

Cardio Training

Cardio training is one of the best workouts you can do for your chest. It can help strengthen and tone your chest muscles while also improving your cardiovascular health. Plus, cardio will help you burn calories and lose weight, which can make your chest look even better. Read on to learn more about the benefits of cardio training for your chest.


Running is a great form of aerobic exercise that can help you meet your fitness goals. It has the potential to significantly improve your overall health and cardiorespiratory fitness. It can increase your stamina, muscle strength, and endurance. Running can also increase your lung capacity through a process known as pulmonary function testing, which helps expand the size of the airways in the lungs. Additionally, running helps ensure adequate oxygen supply throughout the body which reduces stress on cardiac muscles and improves circulation.

If you are just beginning a running routine for your chest training, it’s important to start slowly at first and try different workout routines to determine which one works best for you. It’s beneficial to work with a certified personal trainer who can help create a personalized workout program that focuses on your specific needs while minimizing risk of injury. Depending on fitness level and running history, this could include low-intensity runs of 15 minutes or more at comfortable pace several times per week, as well as incorporation of sprints with high intensity or “tempo” workouts into training program. Rest days should also be taken each week to allow muscles time to recover before pushing them hard in next session.


Swimming is one of the most effective exercises for developing and toning your chest muscles. It is a low-impact exercise that can provide superior aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, while improving heart health. Commonly used strokes such as the breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle involve pushing and pulling simultaneously, which work to improve shoulder mobility. The breaststroke will help you strengthen your chest muscles through its distinctive arm move pattern. When swimming any stroke, focus on engaging your core to increase the return on each stroke. If you’re looking for a high-energy workout that will tone your chest muscles while providing great cardiovascular benefits, swimming may be a great option for you!


Rowing is a great full-body workout that not only works your chest but also provides an effective cardiovascular exercise. It involves a lot of core strength and it’s surprisingly low impact. This makes it an ideal form of exercise for beginners or those coming off of an injury. Rowing machines can be expensive but they’re worth the investment if you’re serious about adding cardio to your workout routine.

There are several different techniques to use when rowing, such as the traditional arms and legs approach or a more advanced pull-up stroke. Both methods involve engaging your chest muscles as well as other areas like the back, arms, shoulders, and legs. Depending on the intensity or speed at which you row, you can burn between 400-600 calories per hour – making it one of the most efficient forms of cardio training available.

For best results when using a rowing machine, keep in mind proper form and technique including: keeping your back straight with slight flexion in your knees; maintaining strong core stability through your abdominal area during each stroke; coordinating movements of both arms and legs simultaneously; and exhaling during withdrawal from under the handles or gripbar. When done correctly, rowing will give you great results in terms of increased endurance, improved balance, increased muscle mass in your chest region, better posture and improved coordination overall!


When it comes to the best chest workouts, the important thing is to choose something that you can actually stick with and commit to. No matter what option you choose — whether it’s a weight lifting program, a bodyweight routine, or some combination of the two — as long as you are consistent and dedicated, your chest workouts will produce results. Take your time and find something that works for you. When it comes to strength training, consistency is key. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what workout routine you chose as long as it works for your schedule and fits into your lifestyle.

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