7 Most Effective Chest Exercises

Last update: 2021-01-28

If you want to design your own program to improve your chest, let me help you.

Here are the most effective chest exercises that I’ve rounded up from lots of advice of fitness trainers and workout enthusiasts. They are divided into two categories: With or without tools so that you can practice them in the gym or at home with ease.

Now, let’s get started!

With Tools

Incline Dumbbell Pull-Over

7 Most Effective Chest Exercises

Place your dumbbell on a bench and lay down next to it. Your upper back is the only thing touching the bench and you want to try to keep your hips up.

Keep your core nice-and-tight.

Now, pick up your dumbbell. Hips up and start the dumbbell over your head. Always keep your wrists straight and maintain a neutral spine, inhale.

Come up and exhale. Squeeze your chest. That’s one rep. Do 15 reps.

Note: It’s not necessary to lower the dumbbell all the way down past your head because that adds stretch for your lats and here, we’re focusing on the chest.

Incline Bench Cable Fly

Bring your bend over the place. Place it directly in the center of the cable system.

Pick one D-handle, bring the weights around, come to your bench, and take a sit. Keep your feet flat on the floor.

Now, reach over and grab the other D-handle.

This exercise is easier if you have a spotter to hand you these handles.

Next, lay back on the machine, keep your back nice and flush with the back pad, bringing the weight straight around to the middle of your chest and exhale.

Inhale and back to the starting position.


  • Keep proper form and stay in control of these weights.
  • Make sure you don’t drop too far. Instead, slightly bend your elbows like you’re hugging a tree.
  • After you finish this exercise, safely return the D-handles back to the starting position

Chest Dip

7 Most Effective Chest Exercises

For beginners who aren’t strong, use assistance from the machine to order to maintain proper form. You’ll want to find a dip rack or any pair of parallel bars and take a grip just outside at shoulder-width.

Prop yourself up so you can grip the handles with the elbows and shoulders fully extended.

Place your weight onto the handles by curling your legs behind you, which is also to prevent your feet from hitting the ground on each rep.

Before beginning the lowering phrase, make sure your shoulder blades are slightly retracted and depressed. Everything must be nice and stable around the shoulder joints.

Lean your torso slightly forward, shift a bit of that to emphasize onto the chest.

Now, slowly lower your torso down under control for about two-second lowering phase and a smooth controlled negative is extremely important on the dip.

That’s a rep. Do as much as you can.

Without Tools

Clap Press-up

7 Most Effective Chest Exercises

Fall forward from standing into a push-up position.

Keep your core tight and body straight as your hands make contact with the ground. Otherwise, begin in the top position of a push-up with arms extended, back and neck in a straight line, and core tight.

This is the starting position.

Descend by flexing at the elbows until they reach a 90-degree angle. Push upwards as powerfully as possible through your hands to propel yourself off the ground.

Brings your hands together into a clap while in the air. Then, return to the starting position.

That’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 10 reps, rest 20 seconds each.

Staggered Press-up

Start in the plank position with one arm forward and one arm back while your feet are about hip-width apart.

From there, come down to a push up then, press back up and switch your hand position. Repeat on this side. That’s one rep. Do 3 sets of 10, rest 10 seconds each.

For women, you can try staggered arm push-up.

Start out on your hands, knees, and toes. Bring your right arm slightly farther forward as you do in a regular push-up and the left arm slightly close to your knees.

Simply bend your elbows and then, push up. Again, switch your arm position and repeat on the other side.

Plyometric Pushup

7 Most Effective Chest Exercises

The term “plyometric” actually means it is about to be explosive, which means the exercise will be done in a more powerful way.

No exception to the pushup.

Start out on a normal pushup position with hands shoulder-width apart and wider feet distance. When pushing down, press into the floor (literally!) and pop the upper body up with both hands off while the feet still nail into the ground.

Then, decelerating down through the movement.

Close-Grip Diamond Pushup

7 Most Effective Chest Exercises

Get down on your hands and knees.

Put your hands into a diamond shape then, keep your core nice and tight, and straight like a plank. Elbows in, come down and inhale. Make sure your hands are coming to the center of the chest and elbows in tight.

Exhale when you push up.

The reason why you shouldn’t go too high with your hands is this improper position will put lots of pressure on your shoulders, which results in injury or pain.


That’s all for this article.

With these most effective chest exercises, I hope you enjoy this guide and find the most suitable ones to start improving your chest size as well as getting healthier.

Thanks for reading!

Nancy Lang
Nancy Lang

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