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7 Best Chest Building Exercises for Male Bodybuilders

Best chest exercises for bodybuilders. (Image via Unsplash / Dollar Gill)
Best chest exercises for bodybuilders. (Image via Unsplash / Dollar Gill)
Soniya Y

Bodybuilders have been following the same chest exercises for decades. It’s time for a new way to train your chest muscles. Chest exercises should change as often as possible to give your muscles a variety of stimuli so that they can best adapt to different stimulus forces.

Not only do you need to get a variety of exercises, but you also want to use different variations of the same exercise. This is often referred to as an intelligent workout and is an essential concept for any successful chest building program. Using creative variations of your favorite exercise will help you avoid plateaus and allow you to constantly add new stimulus to your body.

If you are looking for some variety in your chest training, these are the 7 best chest-building exercises for male bodybuilders.


7 Best Chest Workouts for Male Bodybuilders

There are several chest-building exercises that can be added that will help you see quicker gains in your chest and shoulder growth.

1) Peck Decs

A common gym workout is the pec deck. If you want to focus on your pec major and serratus anterior, this is one of the best chest exercises. It's also a great option for drop sets and forced reps.

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Here's how you do peck decs:

  • Grab the handles and slightly bend your arms. Maintain tension throughout your set.
  • Pull the shoulders down and back, pressing them into the back support.
  • Bring your arms together and forward.
  • Repeat by slowly opening your arms to lower the weight.

2) Dumbbell Squeeze Press

This exercise puts your pecs in a near-constant state of stress. This is in contrast to practically every other chest workout, where your pecs get a brief break between reps due to leverage.

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To do this exercise:

  • Lie down on your back with a dumbbell in each hand and perform the exercise. This chest exercise is best done with hex dumbbells.
  • Keep pushing the dumbbells together for the remainder of your set.
  • Lower the weights to your chest by bending your arms. Restart by pushing them back up.
  • To target different regions of your chest, practice this exercise on a flat, incline, or decline bench.

3) Chest Press Machine

When you work your pecs on a chest press machine, you can concentrate on getting as many reps as possible. You don't have to be concerned about balancing the weights or completing your next rep.

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Here's how you do this:

  • The grips should be at armpit-level when you adjust the seat. Overhand-grab the handles, elevate your chest, and arch your lower back slightly.
  • Push the handles away from you by extending your arms. Just before locking your elbows, come to a halt.
  • Repeat the exercise by lowering the weights.

4) Weighted Dips

This is one of the best lower-pecs-focused chest exercises. You can use ankle weights or a weight plate strapped around your mid-section.

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Here's how you do this:

  • Stand facing the dip station with your weights attached.
  • Raise yourself up until your arms are straight and locked by grasping the handles.
  • Until your set is over, bend your knees slightly so that your feet do not touch the floor.

5) Barbell bench press

Probably the most common chest exercise is the barbell bench press. The bench press is not just utilized by bodybuilders, but it is also the second discipline in powerlifting events. The bench press can help you grow powerful-looking pecs and unbeatable upper-body strength.

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To do this exercise:

  • Place your back flat against the bench and extend your legs.
  • Your eyes should be directly beneath the barbell. Reach up and hold it with a grip wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Arch your lower back slightly, lift your chest towards the ceiling, and press firmly into the floor with your feet.
  • Squeeze your shoulders down and back. Remove the barbell from the rack and place it across your chest.

6) Wide Push-Up

A wide stance places the focus on your chest and anterior deltoids, which is a slight variation on the typical push-up. This chest exercise can also be done at home without the use of weights.

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Here's how you do this:

  • As you would for a conventional push-up, get into the same position.
  • The only change is that your hands will be placed outside of your shoulders.
  • Start in the first position and lift your arms until they are straight.

7) Side Push-Ups

This is another at-home chest exercise that does not require the use of weights. This one can be difficult, so don't be surprised if you don't complete all of the sets the first time around. You'll start with one side and then switch to the other. The triceps and the core of the chest will be the focus.

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To do side push-ups:

  • Lie down on your side and wrap the arm that is lying on the floor around your belly.
  • Place the other arm in front of your chest flat on the floor.
  • With your thumb closest to you and fingers facing up, place your hand flat on the floor.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a male bodybuilder or just looking to build muscle, you need to focus on building your chest. You can add some strength and thickness to your chest by doing these seven effective chest workouts regularly.


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Q. Push-ups - Yay or No?

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Edited by Sabine Algur

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