7 Exercises to Give You A Bigger Chest
The chest is a big muscle group that signifies “respect.” No man with a big chest is looked down upon, as humans naturally look up to imposing figures with big chests, shoulders, and backs.
The chest is the most worked out body part by men. But it’s one of the hardest muscle groups to develop. It’s hard to isolate the parts of the chest that make it really pop out. Maybe this is your problem in the gym right now. You’ve gotten stronger but you still have that droopy look to your chest.
So, this means you need to change up your strategy.
Below are seven time-tested chest exercises almost guaranteed to make your chest bigger.
Next time you’re in the gym on Monday, also known as Universal Chest Day, give a few of these a try.
The exercises are in no particular order of importance.
Incline Bench Press
You probably already know this one.
Put your bench at about a 45-60 degree angle (some gyms have pre-inclined benches which make it easier). Have a barbell loaded with your weights. Now, get in position and lower the barbell to your chest, then press it up again.
The incline bench press works the upper part of your chest and your shoulders. The upper part of the chest is one of the hardest parts to hit correctly.
Low-Incline Dumbbell Press
Very similar to the regular incline bench press but with some tweaks.
Here you use dumbbells instead of a barbell. Next, the incline is less steep. About a 30-degree incline should be perfect for most.
This movement is more joint friendly while allowing you to go deep and get a good stretch of the upper pecs.
Another staple you probably already know.
Here, you can do this flat and incline for maximum effect.
Get a good weight for both dumbbells and lay down on your bench.
Start to flex your chest before you even lower the dumbbells. Lower them down while keeping your elbows slightly bent. Lower them enough to get a good stretch all throughout your pecs.
After holding for a few seconds, push the weights back up while keeping your elbows locked in the bent position. Squeeze your chest together and repeat for reps.
Same as above but with cables. You can also do these sitting standing, and at various angles. Try out angles such as below the pecs, at chest height, and slightly above your chest.
Cable flyes work out each part of your chest you’re targeting plus your shoulders. Even though this is a common exercise, most people don’t do ALL the angles to hit every part of their chest.
Close-Grip Bench Press
Another bench press movement. This time, it’s targeting your inner chest. Probably the hardest of your pecs to really hit correctly.
The trick here is to put your hands only slightly less than shoulder-width apart. You don’t want your hands to be too close or your wrists may get injured.
Lower the bar and press back up just like a regular bench press.
Dips/Assisted Dips/Dip Machine
Dips are fast becoming an “old school” exercise. You see fewer people doing them in the gym. Yet, dips are one of the most effective chest and strength builders.
There’s a reason prison inmates do hundreds of thousands of dips as a staple in their exercise routines.
A dip is easy enough to do. You grab both handles of the dip stand, push yourself up, lower yourself down as deep as you can go (ideally making your elbows 90 degrees but some people have shoulder issues), and then pushing yourself back up.
If you can already do a lot of dips with only your bodyweight, add some weight to dip belt to make things more challenging.
On the other hand, if you want to build up your dip strength and endurance, then use a dip assist machine or a dip pushdown Hammer Strength machine. Both will work your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
What’s great about dips is you can do a lot of them and get a nice pump in your chest without tiring out too much.
Another old-school exercise you don’t see any doing anymore.
It’s super easy too. All you need to do is take a moderately heavy (for you) dumbbell and find a bench. Put yourself perpendicular to the bench, and put ONLY your shoulders/upper back on the bench. Do your best to keep your body tight and straight. Put the dumbbell over your head, put a slight bend in your elbows, and lower the weight back over your head.
Really lower the weight and get feel the stretch on the way down. Once at the bottom, hold for a couple of seconds. Finally, pull the weight back over your head.
Pullovers work your back AND your chest together. Your lats and upper pecs are both targeted by this one.
The best way to win in the muscle building game is through perseverance, commitment, and sometimes trying something you never thought would work.
Next time you’re in the gym working your chest, try one of these exercises out.
Everyone does the same few exercises:
Flat Chest Press
Cable flyes (one angle)
Maybe dumbbell flyes or incline chest press
Then they hit the chest machines to isolate muscle they still don’t have. Everyone still has the droopy chest look even after being in the gym for years.
If you want above average results, you need to do something the average person doesn’t want to do. These seven exercises are a good start.