Learn how you can build a massive chest! This guide discusses the chest, its function and recommended exercises. Try these great chest workout programs for size!
I can’t promise you will ever have the chest of the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I can promise that you can make a difference to your chest and put some great size on it if you are willing to just hear me out.
Here Are The Great Chest Workout Program
1) Barbell Bench Press
- Lie back on a flat bench. Using a medium width grip (a grip that creates a 90-degree angle in the middle of the movement between the forearms and the upper arms), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position.
- From the starting position, breathe in and begin coming down slowly until the bar touches your middle chest.
- After a brief pause, push the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out. Focus on pushing the bar using your chest muscles. Lock your arms and squeeze your chest in the contracted position at the top of the motion, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. Tip: Ideally, lowering the weight should take about twice as long as raising it.
- Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
- When you are done, place the bar back in the rack.
If you are new at this exercise, it is advised that you use a spotter. If no spotter is available, then be conservative with the amount of weight used.
Also, beware of letting the bar drift too far forward. You want the bar to touch your middle chest and nowhere else.
Don’t bounce the weight off your chest. You should be in full control of the barbell at all times.
2) Dumbbell Bench Press
- Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hands will be facing each other.
- Then, using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells up, lift the dumbbells one at a time so that you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width.
- Once at shoulder width, rotate your wrists forward so that the palms of your hands are facing away from you. The dumbbells should be just to the sides of your chest, with your upper arm and forearm creating a 90 degree angle. Be sure to maintain full control of the dumbbells at all times. This will be your starting position.
- Then, as you breathe out, use your chest to push the dumbbells up. Lock your arms at the top of the lift and squeeze your chest, hold for a second and then begin coming down slowly. Tip: Ideally, lowering the weight should take about twice as long as raising it.
- Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions of your training program.
Caution: When you are done, do not drop the dumbbells next to you as this is dangerous to your rotator cuff in your shoulders and others working out around you.
Just lift your legs from the floor bending at the knees, twist your wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing each other and place the dumbbells on top of your thighs. When both dumbbells are touching your thighs simultaneously push your upper torso up (while pressing the dumbbells on your thighs) and also perform a slight kick forward with your legs (keeping the dumbbells on top of the thighs). By doing this combined movement, momentum will help you get back to a sitting position with both dumbbells still on top of your thighs. At this moment you can place the dumbbells on the floor.
Another variation of this exercise is to perform it with the palms of the hands facing each other.
Also, you can perform the exercise with the palms facing each other and then twisting the wrist as you lift the dumbbells so that at the top of the movement the palms are facing away from the body. I personally do not use this variation very often as it seems to be hard on my shoulders.
3) Cable Crossover
- To get yourself into the starting position, place the pulleys on a high position (above your head), select the resistance to be used and hold the pulleys in each hand.
- Step forward in front of an imaginary straight line between both pulleys while pulling your arms together in front of you. Your torso should have a small forward bend from the waist. This will be your starting position.
- With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, extend your arms to the side (straight out at both sides) in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms and torso should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
- Return your arms back to the starting position as you breathe out. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
- Hold for a second at the starting position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
Variations: You can vary the point in front of you where your arms meet.
4) Dumbbell Flyes
- Lie down on a flat bench with a dumbbell on each hand resting on top of your thighs. The palms of your hand will be facing each other.
- Then using your thighs to help raise the dumbbells, lift the dumbbells one at a time so you can hold them in front of you at shoulder width with the palms of your hands facing each other. Raise the dumbbells up like you’re pressing them, but stop and hold just before you lock out. This will be your starting position.
- With a slight bend on your elbows in order to prevent stress at the biceps tendon, lower your arms out at both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch on your chest. Breathe in as you perform this portion of the movement. Tip: Keep in mind that throughout the movement, the arms should remain stationary; the movement should only occur at the shoulder joint.
- Return your arms back to the starting position as you squeeze your chest muscles and breathe out. Tip: Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower the weights.
- Hold for a second at the contracted position and repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions.
Variations: You may want to use a palms facing forward version for different stimulation.
5) Incline Push-Up
- Stand facing bench or sturdy elevated platform. Place hands on edge of bench or platform, slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Position forefoot back from bench or platform with arms and body straight. Arms should be perpendicular to body. Keeping body straight, lower chest to edge of box or platform by bending arms.
- Push body up until arms are extended. Repeat.
6) Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover
- Place a dumbbell standing up on a flat bench.
- Ensuring that the dumbbell stays securely placed at the top of the bench, lie perpendicular to the bench (torso across it as in forming a cross) with only your shoulders lying on the surface. Hips should be below the bench and legs bent with feet firmly on the floor. The head will be off the bench as well.
- Grasp the dumbbell with both hands and hold it straight over your chest at arms length. Both palms should be pressing against the underside one of the sides of the dumbbell. This will be your starting position.Caution: Always ensure that the dumbbell used for this exercise is secure. Using a dumbbell with loose plates can result in the dumbbell falling apart and falling on your face.
- While keeping your arms straight, lower the weight slowly in an arc behind your head while breathing in until you feel a stretch on the chest.
- At that point, bring the dumbbell back to the starting position using the arc through which the weight was lowered and exhale as you perform this movement.
- Hold the weight on the initial position for a second and repeat the motion for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Caution: If you are new to this movement, have a spotter hand you the weight instead. If not, please ensure that the dumbbell does not fall on you as you arrange your torso to perform the exercise on the bench. Also, as I already mentioned, ensure that the dumbbell used is in perfect working condition. Old dumbbells in need of welding should never be used to perform this exercise.
- You can perform this exercise using a barbell or an e-z bar instead of dumbbells.
- Also, if using dumbbells like Powerblocks™, just use a dumbbell on each hand with the palms of your hands facing each other.