The Five Best Chest Workouts for Muscle Increase

Yearning for sculpted, massive, rock-hard pecs? A bigger chest can be achieved with some simple exercises that are both easy to master and strategic. If you’re looking to bulk up, perform fewer reps with heavier weights. Novice lifters should gradually work up to challenging amounts of weight; if you’re an experienced lifter, try lifting close to your limit. Pushing your ability in this way will help you to smash through plateaus and create muscles that get noticed.

Your chest workout should be performed three times per week for maximum results; cardio exercise is recommended five times per week. This winning combination will keep you chiseled and strong while bulking up your muscles where it counts.

Try these five workouts to increase the size of your chest muscles:

Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bench Press

The barbell bench press is a classic favorite of experienced weightlifters everywhere — because it works. This workout is simple — lie on your back on a flat weight bench and grasp the bars with hands shoulder-width apart. Lower the bars down to your chest, then raise them back up to a starting position to perform one rep. For maximum muscle mass, lift slowly with a level of weight that pushes your ability.

Flat Dumbbell Fly

Flat Dumbbell Press

The flat dumbbell fly is an exercise that effectively engages the muscles of the chest while also working the arms. Ideal for novice and experienced weightlifters, alike, the dumbbell fly is performed on a flat bench. Lie on your back with a dumbbell in each hand. To perform one rep, bring dumbbells to the center of your chest then back to the sides. You’ll definitely feel a stretch when performing this exercise; try as many reps as you can until your muscles are fatigued.

Incline Dumbbell Press

Incline Dumbbell Press

Incline bench weightlifting exercises are great for building muscle mass because the angle helps work the chest more effectively. For a bulkier chest, try the incline dumbbell press. To perform this exercise, lie on your back with a dumbbell in each hand, then lift them at the same time as you would with a traditional bench press. The secret to a good press is using a controlled, careful movement.  Don’t try to lift too quickly — the slower, the better.

Bar Dip

Bar Dip

The bar dip is an exercise that doesn’t use any weight — other than your own body weight, of course. When performing the dip, use a wide grip and go as low as possible for maximum results. Lift yourself halfway back up, then repeat. When doing this exercise, simply do as many as you can until your muscles are exhausted and you can do no more.

Push-Up

Push Up

Don’t discount the push-up — this exercise may seem old-fashioned but it is one of the best chest-building workouts you can do. Push-ups work your chest and arms, and they’re super-convenient because you can do them virtually anywhere – with zero equipment. Try 100 push-ups for amazing results; if you can’t do that many, do as many as you can and work up to 100 gradually.

The Seven Best Compound Lifts for Maximum Size

Compound lifts engage multiple joints and work multiple muscles; these strength-building exercises are ideal for gaining maximum mass. Another benefit of compound lifts is that they reduce the need for isolation exercises. When it comes to the amount of weight and number of reps, it’s better to perform fewer reps at a heavier weight than vice versa — try starting with four sets of five reps and work up from there.

Try these seven effective compound lifts during your next sweat session:

Bench Press

Bench Press

The bench press is a tried-and-true compound lift that works not only the chest muscles but also the shoulders, triceps, and back.

To perform this lift, start face-up on a flat bench. Your back should be gently arched and feet should be flat on the floor. Using an overhand grip, hold the barbell and lower it to chest level; hands should be placed shoulder-width apart. To complete the exercise, raise the barbell back up to the starting position.

Deadlift

Deadlift

Deadlifts work the back, abs and legs; muscles engaged include but aren’t limited to the lats, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

To do a deadlift, stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bend the knees until you reach the barbell. Grasp the bar with one overhand and one underhand grip; inhale and lift the bar until knees are straight. Contract the back while lifting; exhale, then lower the bar gently to the ground.

Full Squat

Full Leg Squats

Full squats work multiple muscles including the quads, glutes, adductors, and hamstrings. The posterior and abdominals are also engaged during this exercise.

Start by sliding under the barbell; it should be positioned right above the shoulders. With the back gently arched, grasp the bar and remove it from the weight stand. While bending forward from the hips, perform the squatting motion – bending the knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. To complete the exercise, straighten your legs and return to the starting position.

Clean and Press

Clean and Press

The clean and press works a number of muscles from the triceps and biceps to the glutes and calves.

For this exercise, the barbell should be on the floor. To perform this lift, squat and grab the barbell with a pronated grip. You’ll be lifting the bar to the upper thighs, right under the chin, then overhead. The movement is done with energy; once the bar is over your head, lower it slowly back down to the tops of the thighs then squat, lowering the bar to the floor.

Bent Over Row

Bent Over Row

The bent over row works multiple muscles which include but aren’t limited to the lats, posterior deltoid, erector spinae, and rectus abdominis.

This lift begins with the barbell on the floor. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, with hands shoulder-width apart. Slightly arch the back, bending about 45 degrees. Upon inhaling, lift the bar to the upper abs; to complete this lift, gently lower the bar back down to the floor.

Military Press

Military Press

The military press is excellent for the muscle groups of the arms and shoulders; muscles worked include the delts, pecs, and triceps.

This lift is performed from a seated position. Hold the bar at chest level using an overhand grip, then extend the bar over your head. To complete the exercise, lower the bar to the starting position.

Pull-Up

Pull Ups

The humble — yet highly effective — pull-up is a classic exercise that doesn’t require any barbells because it utilizes your body weight. This exercise builds the muscles of the arms and shoulders, including the lats, rhomboid major and minor, and biceps, to name just three.

You can use an overhand or underhand grip when doing a pull-up. Position hands a little wider than shoulder-width apart on the pull-up bar, then pull your body up until your chest is at bar level. Complete the exercise by lowering yourself to the starting position.