Like most people you probably want a big, strong and defined chest. I completely agree having a big and defined chest is key to having a good build. There are many exercises on this muscle but I am going to narrow it down to the top 5 best exercises for chest which will better your physique and to get you benching more.
Dumbbell Chest Press (Flat)
The dumbbell Chest press is one of the most effective exercises for chest. Once the technique has been mastered, this exercise will strengthen and increase the size of the chest.
To perform this exercise;
Sit down on the bench (making sure the bench is flat) and sit the dumbbells on the lower thighs (above the knees). You can use your legs to kick the dumbbells back while at the same time you lie back on the bench. You should be holding the dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight.
The next step will be to lower the dumbbells until they reach the upper chest and your elbows are at a 90 degree angle and then press up making sure you are pressing in a straight line. Now you should be back into the starting position.
If you are just starting off in the gym then you should start off on a lower weight and do 3 sets of 10 reps. if you have been workout for a while then you should do 4 sets of 10 or 3 sets of 12, I usually do 4 sets of 10.
Here is a video to show you how the dumbbell chest press is done;
The incline dumbbell chest press is a key exercise to work the upper chest. This exercise is very similar to the flat bench dumbbell chest press but the bench is raised.
To perform the incline dumbbell chest press you ideally need to raise the bench to a 30 to 40 degree angle. The next step would be to Sit down on the bench and sit the weights on the lower thighs (above the knees). You can use your legs to kick the dumbbells back while at the same time you lie back on the bench. You should be holding the dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight.
The next step would be to lower the dumbbells until they reach your upper chest and then press up, making sure you are pressing in a straight line. You should now be back into the starting position.
Here is a video to show the incline dumbbell chest press;
3. Peck flies
Peck flies are a key exercise for me when training on chest. This exercise is what shapes out our chest around the sides and at the same time strengthens your chest.
To perform this exercise;
Sit down on the bench (flat bench) and sit the weights on the lower thighs. You ideally want to use much lighter weights then you would on flat or incline dumbbell press.
The next step would be to lie back on the bench with the dumbbells above your chest and your arms straight. You want to hold the dumbbells so one end of the dumbbell is facing you and the other end is facing away from you.
The next step would be to lower the dumbbells and at the same time trying to keep your arms as straight as possible. Your arms are naturally going to bend at the elbow but to get the technique right, you need to try and keep your arms straight. Lower the dumbbells until you triceps touch the bench and you feel your chest stretch.
You can now raise the dumbbells back to starting position. (This exercise can also be performed on the cable machines)
Here is a video to show how the exercise is done;
4. Decline barbell chest press
This is another key exercise for the chest that most people seem to neglect. This exercise is best performed on a decline barbell bench.
The decline barbell bench press is pretty self explanatory if you have access to a decline bench. All you need to do is get yourself into position on the decline bench. Make sure that you have the correct weights on the barbell that is suitable for you to lift.
The next step would be to place your hands on the bar (the bars usually have markers on them. I usually place my index finger on the marker to make sure my hands are equally far apart to help with the technique.
Lift the bar up and lower the bar to your chest (lower chest) and then press up in a straight line back to starting position.
5. Dumbbell Pullover
This is a slightly complicated exercise on chest but is very effective to get that “cut” in the very middle of your chest.
To perform this exercise;
Make sure that you have a bench and the bench is flat. Place a dumbbell on the bench standing up, preferably on one end of the bench.
Lie perpendicular on the bench so that your shoulders are placed on the surface of the bench. You should make sure that your hips are below the bench and your feet are firmly in place.
Pick up the dumbbell with both hands and hold it above your chest, making sure the underside of the dumbbell is resting on your palms.
The next step would be to lower the dumbbell in an arch behind your head making sure your arms are locked and slight bent at the elbows until you feel a stretch on your arms and chest.
Now raise the dumbbell and take the same route as when you lowered the dumbbell back to the starting position.
Here is a video to show how the dumbbell pullover is done;