5 Best Bodybuilding Exercises To Build Chest And Tricep Muscles

These 5 exercises will help you get a stronger chest and triceps! (Image via unsplash/Daniel Apodaca)
These 5 exercises will help you get a stronger chest and triceps! (Image via unsplash/Daniel Apodaca)

Exercise to build a strong, muscular chest and triceps is the key to an impressive six-pack and sculpted arms, but it's not as easy as curling a few dumbbells. To get the most out of these exercises and build muscle effectively, you need to perform them correctly.

Best Exercises For Chest and Triceps

1. Barbell bench press

The barbell bench press is a compound movement that works your chest, shoulders, and triceps. It is one of the most effective exercises for building upper body strength. The barbell bench press is also one of the best movements when it comes to developing your pectoral muscles (the chest).

  • To do it, lie down on a flat bench under a loaded barbell.
  • Grab it with an overhand grip just wider than shoulder-width.
  • Unrack the bar and squeeze your chest muscles. Press it up until your arms fully extend.
  • Bring the bar back down to your chest and repeat this for 10-15 reps for about three sets.


2. Incline dumbbell press

Incline dumbbell presses are another great chest and triceps exercise.

To complete the incline dumbbell press,

  • Start by lying on a bench that's roughly 45 degrees from the floor.
  • Lie flat on your back with the dumbbells over your head and palms facing forward (if you don't have access to a bench for this, you can do push-ups).
  • Next, slowly lower both arms until they're about level with your chest.
  • Pause for two seconds at this point before pressing back up into starting position again.
  • Repeat for as many reps as needed!


3. Tricep Extension

Here is how to do a tricep extension:

  • Stand with your feet slightly apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Keep your elbows close to your sides and lift both weights straight up above your head until they are parallel to the floor. With control, lower the weights back down to the starting position.


4. Dips

Dips are a compound movement that targets the chest and triceps. They can be performed with or without equipment and they're one of the best bodybuilding exercises for building strength and muscle mass in your upper body. Here's how to perform dips:

  • Assume a position on parallel bars or bench, with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and arms straight
  • Lower yourself until elbows are at 90 degrees, then push upward until arms are fully extended


5. Cable crossovers

To do cable crossovers, you’ll need a straight bar attachment and a cable machine. Set the pulleys to about shoulder level, grab the handle with both hands, and get into position so that your arms are at about 90 degrees to your body and your palms are facing each other.

With your arms straight, bring your hands in front of your chest, pause for a second and release in a controlled manner.



If you want to build up your chest and triceps, there are several movements that would be perfect for this purpose. The five best bodybuilding exercises to build chest and triceps include the barbell bench press, incline dumbbell press, cable crossovers, dips and tricep extensions.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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