11 Chest Exercises - Exercises To Strengthen and amplify the muscle

11  Chest Exercises 

 Everyone is looking for the most powerful chest exercises as if it were a treasure. There is not a single person on this planet who does not want to inflate the chest muscles. And why not.. Where the huge and taut chest expresses the man's strength and enhances his attractiveness.

chest workout equipment

 And if you aspire to have a wonderful chest, then this article is for you, which contains a list of the most powerful chest exercises with pictures and a detailed explanation of each exercise.

And because bodybuilding is a science and not just weightlifting, we have to study the target muscle first before putting it under pressure, so let me introduce you to this beautiful muscle.

Anatomy of the pectoral muscles

The pectoral muscles are one of the largest muscle groups in the body and include several muscles interconnected together. It is mainly divided into two parts.

Pectoralis major: It is a large muscle that makes up the majority of the mass of the chest.

Pectoralis minor muscle: a small triangular muscle located below the pectoralis major muscle, and helps in pulling the shoulders forward and down.

The pectoral muscles work together as one unit in the push-ups, and due to the large size of the pectoralis major muscle, it was divided into three parts for the ease of targeting each part individually.

There is no need to tell you where each part is located.  What I want to show here is how the angles of the exercise affect the targeting of each part.

1- The muscles of the upper chest

Because the upper pectoral fibers point upward, they are most activated by exercises where the arms move upward (such as the barbell overhead press).

2- Level pectoral muscles

Here, the fibers are stretched horizontally. It is better to activate them with exercises where the arms perform horizontally (such as the bench press).

3- Lower chest muscles

You know where the fibers are going..and they are activated by exercises where the arms move downward (such as Dips).

How to enlarge the chest muscles

The method of enlarging the chest muscles depends mainly on the training method and the degree of your understanding of muscle building strategies.

It is common to find some people in the gym, and despite their training according to a list of the most powerful chest exercises, they have weak and meager chest muscles. The reason is simply that they are not sufficiently familiar with the most important secrets of enlarging the chest muscles.

To emphasize the importance of this part, it was placed before we move on to the list of exercises. Therefore, “please read it with concentration … and try to apply it to the fullest extent during training.”

 Tips for amplifying the chest muscles

1- Pay attention to the angles of the exercise

Although the entire muscle will be activated in most chest exercises, varying the angle of the exercise can improve a specific part.

And in a study conducted on six men to determine the effect of different exercise angles on the activity of the upper chest muscles during both the "level and upper bench press" exercise.

It was noted that the upper chest muscles are more active during the upper pressure exercise compared to the level. "Source"

Therefore, when choosing “chest exercises, be sure to diversify between exercises that target the muscle from different angles.”

2- Rely on the most effective exercises in building chest muscles

Where many focus on machines and isolation exercises, which are of secondary importance in building chest muscles. But this does not mean that they are as good as compound exercises for developing your chest.

The reasons can be summarized in two points:

Compound exercises for the chest activate the muscle for a longer period after exercise compared to isolation exercises.

The ability to gain weight over time, due to the way muscles are built, you cannot lift heavy weights in isolation exercises such as “lightening or cross cable”, if you compare them to the heavy weights that you lift in a compound exercise such as the bench press.

Heavy weights play a major and influential role in building muscle, and this brings us to the next point.

3- Lifting heavy weights

The key to gaining muscle is to get the muscles to work harder than usual. This is what happens when you force your muscles to lift heavy weights, with a gradual increase in weight.

For example, in a study of 24 men, they were divided into two groups and trained

“Within the same schedule of exercises and the number of groups, but with a difference in the intensity of the exercise and the number of reps.” As follows:

The first group: They lifted weights ranging from 70% to 80% of the maximum weight they can carry in the range of 8 to 12 reps.

The second group: They lifted weights ranging from 30% to 50% of the maximum weight they could carry in the range of 20 to 30 reps.

The result was that both groups gained the same amount of muscle, but there was a very significant difference: “the first group gained more strength.”

And this is much better in the long run, because “in the advanced stages of muscle building, gaining muscle mass becomes more difficult and slower, in what is known as the genetic limitation of muscle growth.” Then the benefit of strength increases, and at this point the first group is more a candidate for muscle amplification due to its ability to lift heavier weights.

4- The number of chest training times per week

If you want to quickly strengthen your chest muscles or if they are weak, this point is of interest to you…

You may have heard that each muscle group must be exercised two or three times a week. This is somewhat true, but we have to clarify the matter well so as not to fall into the trap of unjustified muscle stress.

Where research indicates that the number of times to train a specific group of muscles does not represent all this importance, but rather it is related more to “the total number of strong groups that you do each week.”

Most research suggests that each muscle group be trained up to 12 per week.

So if your chest muscles are lagging behind in development or weak, make sure you achieve this amount of sets. I advise you to divide it into two or three times a week.

The best chest exercises

The best chest exercises are push-ups that target the chest from different angles to develop all parts of the muscle.

The equipment used in chest exercises varies between bars, dumbbells, cables, and body weight, but the best of them are free weights, “iron exercises.”

Chest exercises can be divided according to movements as follows:

Pressure exercises: such as pressing the bar or dumbbells

Flying exercises: which depend on opening the arms in a flight-like movement

Cable exercises: It is similar to flying, but by pulling the cables

Level chest exercises

1- Barbell Bench Press

chest exercise equipment

The best chest exercises ever and no exercise can compete with this title.

No matter how many bodybuilders have goals, you will not find an exercise schedule without the bench press as one of the basic exercises. The reason is simply that this exercise targets all parts of the chest, in addition to strengthening the muscles of the shoulders and triceps.

How to perform the exercise:

Exercise position: Lie on a flat bench with your eyes under the bar, lift your chest and squeeze your shoulders, with your feet firmly on the floor.

Grip: Hold the bar - there are markings on the bar to help you with this - place the bar in the palm of your hand with a full grip and straight wrist.

Lifting the bar from the stand: Take a deep breath and lift the bar from the stand by straightening your arms, making the bar at the level of your shoulders.

Lowering the bar: slowly lower the bar until it touches the middle of your chest, make sure that your forearms are vertical and hold your breath at the bottom

Barbell raise: Lift the bar up again as you exhale, making sure your lower back is locked into the bench.

Although the bench press is a simple and easy exercise, it is a technical movement and the more accurate you are in performing it, the more useful and safe it will be

To learn about everything related to the bench press, see this article, “The bench press exercise.”

2- Dumbbell bench press

chest exercise equipment

It is one of the most powerful chest exercises, and it is considered a mini version of the barbell bench press, with some points differing, and it can be summarized as follows.

First, the strengths:

Greater range of motion.

Less activating the triceps, which puts the entire load on the chest.

It's easier on the elbow joints.

Second weaknesses:

It requires more balance, which makes you use less weights compared to a barbell.

It takes more energy to lift the weight to the starting point, and this problem appears more the more you train with heavier weights.

My advice to you is to do the exercise with the bar first. If you find that you have the energy, but you feel fatigue in the triceps muscles, you can perform a set or two with dumbbells.

How to perform the exercise:

Lie on a flat bench and place dumbbells on your knees

Push the dumbbell with your knee “only one at a time”

The dumbbells should be at shoulder level, with your elbow at a 90 degree angle to the floor

As you breathe in, use your chest to push the dumbbells up until your arms lock at the end of the movement.

Slowly go down to the starting point again. Then repeat.

3- Level Lightening - Dumbbell Flyes

chest exercise equipment

Although flying exercises are not the best for enlarging the chest muscles, they have their own benefits, which are:

Pumping blood into the chest muscles, “and this is very important to provide the muscle with nutrients during recovery.”

Extending the pectoral muscle to form a larger part of the upper part

Fixing the problems of the imam's bent shoulder as a result of perpetual sitting at a desk

How to perform the exercise:

Lie on a flat bench, and dumbbells on your knees

Lift the weights up using your knees

Lock out your arms so that the weights are at the highest point

Lower the dumbbells in an open arc-like motion

During the movement, your arms must be stationary..the movement is in the shoulder separation only

Lift the weights again, and try to be in the same path as the arc while descending. Repeat the process until you finish your group.

Upper chest exercises

4- Barbell press

5- Overhead press with dumbbells

chest exercise equipment

The two exercises are the best for building the muscles of the upper chest.

Which is better?

Both exercises are great for targeting the upper chest, but I personally prefer using dumbbells for the upper chest because:

The ability to adjust the exercise angle as you prefer, “from 30-45 degrees,” unlike using the bar, which has a fixed angle.

I often use the barbell in the level bench, and as a way of variation, I use dumbbells in the upper bench.

The wider range of motion allows the muscle to be stretched more.

How to perform the exercise:

The same level bench press performance, whether for barbell or dumbbells, with only the angle difference.

6- Low Cable Crossover

chest exercise equipment

One of the best isolation exercises for the upper chest.

How to perform the exercise:

Place the cable handles on the lower pulley of the machine, and select the appropriate weight

Take a step forward, hands below your waist, bend the arm very slightly

Lift the cable forward so that your hands come to a center point in front of your chest

When your hands touch, squeeze your chest and slowly lower back to the starting position

7- Incline Dumbbell Flyes

chest exercise equipment

Performing the exercise is similar to the level deadlift with only the angle difference, but make sure to use a suitable weight so that you do not suffer any injury to the shoulder tendons.

Lower chest exercises

8- Inclined chest press down with the bar
9- Inclined chest press with dumbbells

chest exercise equipment

These two exercises are among the best exercises for targeting the chest muscle at all, due to the angle of the exercise itself, which puts all the pressure on the chest.

Despite the great benefits of this exercise and its obvious effect on enlarging the chest muscles, according to several studies, there are clear warnings about it. Due to the angle of the exercise that allows blood flow to the head.

I do not say here that you neglect the exercise or use it, but I advise you not to overdo it, or you can use it only if the lower chest muscles are weak compared to the rest of your chest.

Especially since there are great alternatives to this exercise, and the next exercise on the list is a great example.

10- Dips

chest exercise equipment

It is considered a compound exercise as it works to strengthen the entire upper body parts, passing through the chest and shoulders, and most importantly to strengthen the nerves of the arms.

It is also a great alternative to the two exercises mentioned above, “as it works to target the lower chest muscles in a very large way.”

How do you benefit from this exercise to target the chest??

There are two versions of this exercise “one for the chest and the other for the triceps”.

There is a simple trick that maximizes the benefit of this exercise in favor of the chest, which is “to put your leg behind your back and lean your chest forward as much as possible.” This will make the entire load on the lower chest muscles and reduce the pressure on the triceps a lot.

How to perform the exercise:

“Performing the chest version will be explained in this exercise.”

Using two parallel bars “often installed on the gym’s pull-up machine”

Grasp the straps firmly, securing your body between them

Lean your chest forward at an angle of about 30 degrees

While breathing in, go down slowly and maintain the angle of your chest

Lift yourself up again using your chest muscles

Try to focus and think that the movement is coming from the chest only

11- Cable Crossover

chest exercise equipment

It is one of the best isolation exercises for the lower chest. It helps in tightening the muscle from the bottom and dissecting it, to give it a distinctive aesthetic shape.

How to perform the exercise:

Attach the handles to the top of the machine and select the appropriate weight

Stand right in the middle and take one step forward

Do a slight bend in your body, and bend the elbows slightly to prevent stress on the triceps

While breathing in, pull the cable from top to bottom in an open arc

Try to keep your arms and waist still, make the movement come from the shoulder joint only

Bring your arms back to the starting position and try to use the same arc of motion as you lowered the weight.

Push-ups to strengthen and inflate the chest muscle

There are different forms and positions of the push-up exercise, and you can select the appropriate position to strengthen the lower or upper chest muscles, or target the shoulder muscle and triceps as well.

Important notes:

The chest muscle is large, and to enlarge it, it is necessary to diversify the movements and angles to target every part of it.

Start first with free iron exercises, as they are the most powerful chest exercises ever, then move on to isolation exercises to add an aesthetic touch to the muscle.

It doesn't end in the gym, give your muscles time to recover by improving your sleep and diet.

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