We’re pretty sure a few of you out there have flipped through a fitness magazine or scrolled through some bodybuilding or workout sites, inevitably stumbling across images of buff men with protruding, sculpted chests. Though this is an extreme display of built-up pecs (pectoral muscles), that many men aspire to, having a strong, toned chest is equally essential for both men and women—and goes way beyond fitness aesthetics.

Your chest muscles are some of the most powerful muscles in your upper body and they play a key role when it comes to pushing movements—from pushing the door open to lathering up your hair in the shower. We know how important it is to include exercises that target the chest in your workouts, so you can rest-assured that you’ll work those muscles by following our 8fit program. If you want more, try these at-home bodyweight chest workouts and exercises.

Want more at-home chest exercises? We’ve got over 50!

Contents

Why are your chest muscles important?

The chest area is made up of two primary muscles—the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor—often referred to as ‘pecs.’ The pectoralis major is the larger of the two muscles, and extends across the upper chest, attaching to the shoulder and the breastbone and has a fan-like appearance. The pectoralis minor on the other hand is a small, thin and triangular muscle that sits just below the pectoralis major.

So what do these muscles do precisely? Well, they’re pretty significant when it comes to controlling your arm movements. From pulling and rotating your arm towards the center of your body to lifting your arms up. Think of lifting a child into your arms, swinging a tennis racket or pushing a heavy object away from you.

Additionally, as these muscles take up the majority of the chest wall, working them out will burn a considerable amount of energy. If you’re looking to shed some pounds and tone up, then this is an especially good muscle to train. It will rev up your metabolism quite nicely.

Considering the importance of this powerful muscle, we’ve crafted two tailored workouts—with and without equipment—that you can do from the convenience of your own four walls, for a toned and muscular chest.

Chest exercises at home without equipment

It’s an oldie, but a goodie—the classic push-ups and all its variations is one of the best exercises you can do to improve the strength of your chest. Varying the position of your body and the amount of time executing the exercise will hit different areas of your chest, for balanced upper body strength.

Before we get into the workout, here’s how to do different push-up variations.

1. Regular push-ups

This classic bodyweight exercise is excellent to start with as well as for keeping as a training staple in any full-body or upper-body workout. Make sure to use a wide grip, as this will work your chest muscles more than a narrow grip technique.

Want to kick your workout up a notch? Try this HIIT chest workout.

2. Incline push-ups

If you find a standard push-up too challenging at first, then you can start with an incline push-up. The steeper the incline, the less body weight you will need to work push. This is also a good exercise to target your lower chest.

3. Decline push-ups

What goes up, must come down. These push-ups will help you target your upper chest and deltoid muscles specifically. It will also add more of your body weight to the exercise than a standard push-up, thus making it harder.

4. Plyometric push-ups

Are you ready to explode into action? These push-ups, can be executed in a variety of fun and fantastical way, think clap push-ups. These bursts of powerful plyometric movement will have your muscles firing on all cylinders.

5. Time under tension push-ups

Believe it or not, slowing down a movement considerably and paying attention to correct form, will deliver great conditioning results. Lowering yourself very slowly down into a push-up and pushing back equally as slow into your start position will increase your muscle mass.

Home chest workout (no equipment needed)

For this workout, do three rounds of the following eight exercises. Make sure to execute each exercise in good form even when your body starts to fatigue — remember, form over speed!

  1. 10 regular push-ups

  2. 60-second star jumps

  3. 10 incline push-ups

  4. 60-second star jumps

  5. 10 decline push-ups

  6. 60-seconds star jumps

  7. 5 regular push-up with time under tension

  8. 30 mountain climbers

Chest workout at home with dumbbells

While bodyweight exercises are a handy, easy way to work your muscles with minimal fuss, adding a bit of extra weight in the form of dumbbells can take your chest workout to the next level. Read more about the difference between bodyweight training and weight training.

This next chest workout can be done at home or in the gym, and all you need is a pair of dumbbells. Adding weight will also open the door to a wide range of other effective chest workouts such as the chest press and chest flies.

If you are new at this, start with very light weights to master the technique first. When you feel confident, slowly increase the weight so the last 3-4 reps are tough to execute.

As with push-ups, varying the position of the body when doing a chest press or chest fly will target different muscles. Below are some key, weighted movements.

1. Regular chest press

Lie on a flat bench, holding the dumbbells in your hands. Stretch your arms over your shoulder, shoulder-width apart. From this starting position, inhale and descend slowly until your elbows are parallel to the floor at a 90°angle. Then push the weights back up while exhaling to return to the starting position.

2. Incline chest press

Lie on a bench with an incline with a dumbbell in each hand. Then lift the dumbbells shoulder-width apart, arms extended and rotate your wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing each other. Stay in control of the dumbbells at all times and slowly lower the weights while inhaling. Then exhale pushing the dumbbells upwards with the help of your chest.

3. Decline chest press

Secure your legs at the end of the declined bench first and then lie down with a dumbbell in each hand. Once lie down, move the dumbbells above your shoulders (shoulder width apart), palms facing each other. Lower the weights slowly until your elbows are parallel to the floor. Then bring the dumbbells back up while exhaling and contracting your chest.

4. Chest fly

Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Extend the arms above your chest, shoulder-width apart but keep your elbows flexible at all times (do not lock your elbows). Then lower your arms on both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch in your chest and then bring the dumbbells back up. Keep in mind to do the movement to the level of the shoulder joint, and not at the arms and elbows.

Want to go after your whole body? Try this 18-minute full-body dumbbell workout.

5. Incline chest fly

Lie on a bench with an incline with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Extend the arms above your chest, to the width of your shoulders but keep your elbows flexible at all times (do not lock your elbows). Then lower your arms on both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch in your chest and then bring the dumbbells back up. Keep in mind to do the movement to the level of the shoulder joint, and not at the arms and elbows.

6. Decline chest fly

Secure your legs at the end of a bench at a decline first and then lie down with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Extend the arms above your chest, to the width of your shoulders but keep your elbows flexible at all times (do not lock your elbows). Then lower your arms on both sides in a wide arc until you feel a stretch in your chest and then bring the dumbbells back up. Keep in mind to do the movement to the level of the shoulder joint, and not at the arms and elbows.

7. Chest dips

Chest dips are a fantastic exercise to build a strong chest and some even argue that it is the overall best chest exercise. This exercise not only adds depth to the chest but it adds width as well. Moreover, as your body isn’t supported by the bench like in a chest press, it means that other muscles are worked as you have to work harder to stabilize your body weight.

For this exercise, you won’t need dumbbells but instead another piece of equipment — either parallel bars or two flat parallel surfaces you can dip between (stable bar stools also work). Grab the bars or place hands on the flat surface and hold your body at arm’s length (arms locked), knees bent so you don’t touch the floor. With control, slowly lower your body keeping your elbows pointed out slightly until you feel a slight stretch in your chest. Be careful not to go down too low; you don’t want to hurt your shoulder joint. While exhaling, contract your chest to bring your body back to the start position.

Want to get your whole body moving? Try these total-body tabata exercises and workouts.

At-home chest workout with weights

Just like the push-up workout, this one is also three rounds, and form over speed is important! You’ll need a set of dumbbells and equipment referenced above for those chest dips.

  1. 10 regular push-ups

  2. 30 seconds chest dips
    30 seconds rest

  3. 10 chest press

  4. 30 seconds chest fly
    30 seconds rest

  5. 10 incline chest press

  6. 30 seconds chest dips
    30 seconds rest

  7. 10 regular push-ups with time under tension
    60 seconds rest

Post-workout: Try this full-body stretching routine to cool down after your chest workout.

Though we’ve shown the chest area some love in this article, like anything in life, it’s all about balance, so make sure to dedicate just as much time exercising all kinds of muscle groups, to avoid muscular imbalances, injury, and postural issues down the line.

Now you’ve got these two workouts in your proverbial pocket, start incorporating it into your regular 8fit workout routine to improve your all-around strength, performance, and everyday functional movements. Want to really get moving and challenge yourself? Have a look at our HIIT Training.

Want to keep training from the comfort of home? Try some of our favorite at-home workouts.

Chest Workouts You Can Do at Home with Minimal Equipment

At-home workouts are anything but easy, with many strength, power, and fitness athletes and coaches maximizing their performance from the comfort of their own home. Strength superstars like Brian Shaw stock their home with a wide array of barbells and strength equipment, making it easy to get necessary training in regardless of hectic work and life schedules.

Some of you, however, may find yourself without 10 different training barbells, 1000+ square foot of garage space, and hundreds of pounds of iron in your home gym, but fear not!

In this article we break down various home-gym types and offer a few chest workouts to kick-start your training and maximize strength and muscle hypertrophy.

Chest Workouts For Any Home-Gym

Below are a few scenarios that many fitness-goers and athletes face when training at home. Based on the goals and equipment available, the below workouts can be done by most strength, power, and fitness athletes looking to build general strength and muscle mass.

If you don’t have any weights or equipment, try this…

In an earlier article we discussed five of the best chest-building exercises you can do without weights, at home. Movements like push ups, dips, and other pressing variations (check out the article link above) can be programmed in a way that can increase muscular hypertrophy, build strength, muscle coordination, and more. Below is a sample workout you can try the incorporates only bodyweight exercises.

  • Scapular Push Up – 3 sets of 20 repetitions
    • Handstand Hold – 3 sets of 30 seconds
  • Tempo (2020) Push Ups – 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions
    • Close Grip Push Ups – 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions (or to failure)
  • Tempo (2020) Dips – 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions
    • Plyometric Push Ups 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions (or to failure)

This non-weighted chest workout can be done to increase chest hypertrophy and muscular endurance, with the added benefit of hitting the triceps as well. The goal here is to hit various regions of the pectorals (upper chest, lower chest, etc) while also working the supporting muscles (triceps, rhomboids and scapular stabilizers, and the shoulders) to offer a well-rounded chest pressing workout. The workout includes tempo work and supersets to increase time under tension and maximize muscle fatigue and metabolic build-up.

If you only have light dumbbells, a bench, and some resistance bands, try this…

Most home-gym will at the very least have some dumbbells and a bench. If you are one of these people, I strongly suggest you get yourself some quality resistance bands as well, as this can truly upgrade your home gym for only a few dollars (much cheaper than needing to go out and buy barbells, etc). The below workout incorporates both bodyweight and dumbbell chest exercises, as well as resistance bands to increase exercises demands and stimulate new muscle growth.

  • Dumbbell Flat Bench Flyes – 4 sets of 10 repetitions, with a 1-2 second pause in the bottom position, feeling a stretch in the chest.
  • Plyometric Push Up – 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions
  • Dumbbell Single Arm Incline Bench Press – 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions per arm
  • Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions per arm
  • Banded Push Up – 3 sets to failure (light to moderate band tension)

The above workout starts with a single joint isolation movement (dumbbell flat bench flye) to pre-exhaust the chest muscles and help to increase blood flow to the muscle and increase dynamic range of motion. Loads should be kept light-moderate to allow for maximal stretching and chest isolation.

Within this workout, alternating and unilateral pressing movements occur, which can help to address movement and muscular imbalance. Finish the workout by performing 3 sets of max effort push ups to failure exhaust the chest muscles.

If you have a barbell, dumbbells, bench, and more, try this…

Lucky you, you have nearly all the ingredients you need train the chest for maximal strength and muscle hypertrophy. While the barbell is not necessary for general chest development at earlier stages in a training career, the barbell (especially the bench press) is still one of the most effective chest building exercises due to the high amounts of external loading and muscle demands that the load can place on the muscle tissues. Below is a chest workout program that can be done to increase general strength and overall size of the chest muscles, as well as increase overall triceps mass.

  • Band Tear Aparts – 3 sets of 20 repetitions
    • Flat Dumbbell Incline Flye – 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions
  • Incline Barbell Press – 5 sets of 4-8 repetitions, with a heavy load
  • Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets of 10 repetitions
    • Dips – 4 sets of 10-10 repetitions

The above workout utilizes pre-exhaust training (flyes prior to heavy pressing), heavy pressing, and higher repetitions based hypertrophy sets to maximize overall chest fatigue and strain. The key with this workout should be to allow for a smooth, eccentric loading/stretch to be placed upon the muscle in the heavier movements, while using exercises like the chest flye and dip to increase peak contractions in the concentric phase of the movement.

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If you have a full blown home gym, try this…

If you are someone who has access to a full at-home training facility, it’s time you take your chest training to the next level. With the large amounts of loading and equipment/training tools you have at your disposal, I recommend reading up on the five best bench press training programs for building strength and muscle mass. While you can also look back at the above sample workout programs, the bench press training programs in the link above utilize a wide array of training tools (such as bands, chains, and other bench press variations) to truly maximize overall pressing strength and chest development for more serious lifters.

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Get Powerful Shoulders Without Weights

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Athletes and non-athletes alike can benefit from improving their shoulder strength. (Read more on the STACK Shoulders page.) From throwing a pass to simply reaching for an object overhead, the shoulder joints and surrounding deltoid muscles are constantly used throughout an active person’s day. Shoulder stability is key for injury prevention as well.

Building strength in this essential muscle group doesn’t require heavy weights. When you’re short on time or can’t make it to the gym, bodyweight shoulder exercises are an excellent choice. Perform the following workout to strengthen your shoulder muscles (rear, front and lateral deltoids) to dominate your sport. Since it also works the back, chest and arm muscles, the workout also confers additional benefits.

Push-Ups

(Perform Perfect Push-Ups.)

Target: shoulders, chest, back, triceps and core muscles

Push-Ups are the most convenient and versatile bodyweight exercise, since they can be performed practically anywhere with several variations. Try the following:

  • To improve upper body muscular endurance, attempt as many as you can in 60 seconds
  • To isolate the triceps, inner chest and front deltoids, bring hands close together to form a triangle and do 2 sets of 10 reps
  • Next, do 2×10 with hands spaced slightly wider than shoulders to build the outer chest, front, rear and lateral deltoid muscles

For a greater challenge, perform the three push-up exercises with your feet elevated on a chair or bench. Make them into an entire workout with Two Challenging Push-Up Combo Workouts When You’re Short on Time.

Inverted Rows

Target: front/rear deltoids, upper/middle back, biceps, forearms, chest and core muscles

Sets/Reps: 2×10 with overhand grip; 2×10 with underhand grip

  • Set barbell about three to four feet off floor
  • Go under the bar and take a wide overhand grip (slightly wider than shoulder-width)
  • Straighten legs and go on your heels
  • Squeeze shoulder blades together and slowly (5 seconds) pull body up toward bar until chest nearly touches bar
  • Pause one second and slowly lower (5 seconds)
  • Perform same motions using underhand grip

(See it here: Devin Harris TRX Inverted Row.)

Arm Circles

Target: deltoids

  • Raise and extend arms laterally to shoulder level
  • Do forward arm circles for 30 seconds
  • Reverse circles for 30 seconds

Lateral Arm Raises

Target: lateral deltoids

  • Lower arms to sides and rest 10 seconds after performing arm circles
  • Raise arms again laterally at shoulder level and hold 45 seconds

Front Arm Raises

Target: rear deltoids

  • Lower arms and rest 10 seconds after performing Lateral Arm Raises
  • Raise arms in front at shoulder level and hold 45 seconds
  • Bend knees, lean slightly forward and raise extended arms laterally again while squeezing shoulder blades; hold 45 seconds

(See also Four Killer Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises.)

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6 Exercises to Tone Up Those Man Boobs

It’s safe to say that “man boobs” typically aren’t desired by most men. The not-so-endearing term refers to an excessive amount of fat or lack of muscle tone around the chest area.

(Note: this differs from gynecomastia, a hormone-induced medical condition characterized by the presence of actual breast tissue in men.)

In the case of gynecomastia, the condition usually presents itself during male puberty as hormones fluctuate. According to a study published by Glenn Braunstein, M.D., this condition can happen to up to 70% of boys. Fortunately, it tends to resolve itself, usually within two years of starting puberty.

But hope is not lost if you’re looking to tighten, tone, and rid yourself of these pesky pockets of fat.

The number one way to get rid of man boobs is to shed fat. Unless you have gynecomastia, a medical condition that causes enlarged male breasts due to a hormonal imbalance, the cause of the jiggling in your chest area is excess body fat and lack of muscle.

For some men, it doesn’t go away, or it presents itself later in life. In addition to the hormone rollercoaster that occurs during puberty, which can result in elevated estrogen levels, other factors may also be at play. Taking drugs like testosterone can also cause gynecomastia.

Even though you can’t spot-reduce fat, you can still use targeted exercises to build up muscle in an area with a fitness app like Aaptiv. A solid cardio routine will help take care of that extra fat.

You already know that a balanced diet and well-rounded exercise routine is going to help you lose weight and shed the unwanted flab. If you’re targeting a specific area, though, you’ll need to give that body part some extra TLC. We put together a list of the most effective exercises you can do to tone up those man boobs once and for all. Here, top trainers share their best-kept secrets for targeting man boobs. Yes, really.

Push-ups

This may be an oldie, but it’s a goodie that fitness pros still stand by. “Push-ups are one of the best ways to get a great chest and core workout without using weights, so can be done anywhere—plus there are no excuses not to do them!” says Chris Ryan, CSCS, founder of Chris Ryan Fitness.

“Fully align yourself in the plank position. Then touch your chest to the ground while keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body. Forcefully push yourself away from the ground to the start position.”

He recommends repeating this for ten to 15 reps to increase growth hormone by 500+%.

You don’t need any equipment or a gym membership to do push-ups, and they give you an incredible workout. In addition to building up your chest muscles, Yujin Lim, a physiologist at Optimal Health Exercise and Physiology, says that you’ll also see benefits in your triceps, shoulders, and core.

The key to push-ups is proper form.

  1. Maintain a straight torso, separate your legs slightly, and place your hands parallel to your shoulders.
  2. With half-bent arms, lower yourself until your chest is barely off the ground.
  3. Return to the starting position.
  4. Aim for three to four sets of 10 to 20 reps each.

If you want some extra encouragement when you grind out those push-ups, use the Aaptiv app. You’ll have a trainer in your ear and upbeat music to motivate you to complete every rep.

Plank to Push-Up

If you’re looking to build upper-body strength and core endurance, few floor exercises are better than this one, according to Ben Boudro, CSCS, owner of Xceleration Fitness in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

“Start in a front plank position . Your nose in line with your hands and your elbows bent at 90 degrees,” he says. Be sure to engage your abdominals and squeeze your glutes.

If you have a mirror nearby, check your body alignment. You should be flat and parallel to the floor. Don’t let your hips or back sag and avoid putting an arch in your back. In theory, someone should be able to put a glass of water (or a martini) on your back without it spilling.

“While maintaining a perfect position from head to toe, come up to your hands in a high plank position.” You should be placing your right hand on the floor under your left shoulder. Do the same with the left. Pause for a moment in push-up position to check your alignment. Continue pushing up and lowering back down on your elbows. He recommends three sets of 30 seconds each for beginners. Alternate your starting hand after each exercise. For example, if you came up first on your right hand on the first rep, make sure to come up on your left hand on the next rep.

For an extra burn, do one push-up between the Plank to Push-Up exercise.

Have you seen Aaptiv’s strength training workouts yet? View them in app today.

Standing Cable Fly

Cables provide a natural resistance and allow you to target the entire chest area, building strength, and burning fat.

Though this move specifically targets your pec muscles, it’s great for burning fat all over your body, especially your core.

“The setup is easy, and it’s one of those moves that you instantly feel burning in your chest,” Boudro says. He recommends performing this move in front of a mirror. “Set up resistance bands or a cable fly machine with the handles low and near the ground.

Grab the handles in a staggered athletic stance. Make sure you are far enough away from the rig or machine that you are using, and there is tension on the cables (or bands),” he says.

“Start with your palms facing out. Bring your hands toward the center of your chest (sternum), squeeze for two seconds, then slowly bring your hands back down to your sides.” Repeat for three sets of ten reps each.

This exercise is commonly done incorrectly at the gym, and it can result in under-developed pecs and over-developed anterior deltoids. If you’re trying to move too much weight, it can result in improper form that targets the wrong muscle group.

To make sure you’re working the right muscle group, follow these three pro tips from VShred:

  1. Roll your shoulders back and down. This position automatically tightens the muscles at the outer edge of your chest instead of your shoulders.
  2. Squeeze your chest and lats during the exercise to feel those muscles working. As you pull the handles toward your chest, you should feel that your chest muscles are doing most of the work.
  3. As with any exercise, the act of shortening and lengthening the muscle is what causes it to build. Your goal should be to shorten the muscle as much as possible by brining your handles all the way together. If you are using too much weight, you won’t be able to get the full range of motion.

Bench Press

Sunny from My Bollywood Body trains serious bodybuilders, and he highly recommends the bench press to shred the man boobs.

The bench press is one of the most classic chest workouts in fitness. It’s a trusty move for building strength, burning fat, and getting that extra little cut in your pec muscles, Boudro says.

His preference is a slight twist on the regular dumbbell bench press, called the winding dumbbell bench press.

“First, set up like you would for a normal dumbbell bench press, with your hands turned upside down (palms up) and … nearly touching your chest,” he says.

“Press your hands toward the ceiling. As you press up, simultaneously turn your wrists over (palms down).” Bring the dumbbells down slowly, and then come back to the start position. He suggests three sets of ten reps each.

Just like any exercise, make sure you maintain control and use slow, deliberate movements. As you lower the weights after each rep, stretch the chest open, and then squeeze the muscles when you raise the weights back to the top.

Another way to squeeze more out of this exercise is to do a drop set at the end. For example, if you do three sets of ten reps with 145 pounds, do a fourth set at 95 pounds. Joe Baur, a certified personal trainer, says that drop sets work to increase muscle size and endurance. Even though your muscles are fatigued after three sets, by forcing them to work just a little bit harder (but with a lighter weight), you squeeze every last bit of effort out of them.

If you do drop sets, we recommend them for only once exercise per workout. It’s easy to overboard with drop sets, and they will shock your muscles.

Sprints

Getting rid of man boobs isn’t just about lifting weights. There should be a cardio, fat-burning element to your routine as well. Celebrity trainer, Thomas DeLauer, recommends HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) as a way to accelerate fat loss and turn your body into a fat-burning machine.

There’s a reason most sprinters, not just joggers, are typically well-cut and toned. Sprinting utilizes serious muscle from both your upper and lower body.

To make sprinting work for your fitness goals—i.e., losing your man boobs—Ryan recommends aiming for a strong finish of six to ten 45-second to one-minute sprints on the treadmill or 100- to 200-meter sprints at the track or football field.

“Minimal rest of one to two-minutes max between each rep will keep your heart rate up as well,” he says. “Your effort should be 90 percent or more.”

Reverse Cable Pulls

“One of the big mistakes guys make when trying to get a better-looking chest is that they only work the chest,” Ryan says. Just like you need to have a strong core to have a healthy back, you also need to get your back muscles in shape to get the maximum benefit from a chest workout.

“By working your back muscles, you will help naturally ‘pull up’ your chest and back—think good posture here. effectively negates the effects of loose skin and gravity pulling down on your pecs.”

From a bent-over position with your weight in your heels, start by facing the cable machine with the handles at the lowest point to the floor, he instructs.

Grab the left handle with an underhand grip with your right hand. Do the same with your left hand on the right handle.

“Do a back fist punch style of reverse pull with power, hold for a split second at full contraction, and then slowly lower back to the beginning position below the chest,” Ryan says.

He recommends repeating this for three to four sets of 12-15 reps each, working with light to moderate loads, concentrating mainly on form, and fully engaging the upper-back muscles. “You will be surprised at how hard this move actually is when done right.”

An added benefit of this exercise is that strengthens the muscles that help you do pull-ups. So, not only do you get to improve your chest, but you could end up improving your pull-up game!

Time to get started on toning those man boobs into oblivion!

If you’re looking for more guidance on toning up those man boobs, check out the strength training section of Aaptiv. You’ll find upper body and chest-specific workouts that will help you build muscle in your chest, stat.

  • Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
  • Push the dumbbells up so that your arms are directly over your shoulders and your palms are up.
  • Lower the dumbbells, keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle with your body.

Close Grip Chest Press

  • Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
  • Place the dumbbells in front of you, palms facing toward each other, weights touching together.
  • Keep the weights touching together & raise your arms all the way up, slightly bending your elbows.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells into the fly position until you feel a stretch in your chest.

Close Grip Chest Press Fly

  • Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
  • Place the dumbbells in front of you, palms facing toward each other, weights touching together.
  • Keep the dumbbells touching together & raise your arms almost all of the way up slightly bending in your elbows.
  • Lower the dumbbells back down to your starting position.

Push Ups

  • Lie with your stomach on the floor.
  • Place your hands on the floor outside your chest and under your shoulders, toes on the floor as you would as regular push-up.
  • Tighten your core and push up from the floor until your arms are fully extended, but not locked.
  • Lower yourself back down slowly until you are back to the starting position with your body on the floor.
  • Pause for a few seconds

Nothing can actually increase your breast size – except for surgery of course! But a goodchest workout for womencan get you theshapeyou’ve wanted and the lift you desire. So don’t shy away fromweight trainingyour chest – it won’t make them smaller by any means. Rather, developing the chest muscles underneath your breasts will enhance the look of your breasts and make them appear bigger. It’s only when you start to lose weight and fat that you might lose some bulk from your breasts. Training your chest muscles will help to counteract that effect so you don’t lose that lift. And it’s easy to incorporate this chest workout for women into your regular routine –no equipment or gymrequired. Use theseideas at homeat least twice a week to build up your strength and sculpt those chest muscles. The effects will give you long lasting results that will leave you flaunting those curves with confidence.

While you’re busy working your chest muscles, the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether the “tatas” are staying put in your sports bra. That’s why investing in agood supportive sports bra, whether you’re well-endowed or not, can make a huge difference in the quality of your workout. Knowing you’re fully supported allows you to spend more time on your reps and less time fixing your bra! For thebest customized fit, try Shefit’s Ultimate Sports Bra for big busts. You’ll get a perfect fit no matter what your size with their patented adjustability and two-way wear. Yeehaw!

3 Chest Workouts That Build Size and Strength Without Weights

Bench presses and push ups are some of the most recognized chest exercise seen in most strength, power, and fitness programs. Building a bigger, stronger, more defined chest is often at the top of most lifters goals, which often means lifting weights is in the program. There are times however, when a lifter may not have access to a barbell, dumbbells, and chest training machines, yet still is looking to continue to progress their chest development without weights.

Therefore, in this article we set out to offer coaches and athletes some exercise suggestions and workout ideas on how to train the chest without weights, specifically:

  • The Best Chest Exercises to Do Without Weights
  • 3 Sample Chest Workouts to Do Without Weights

Note, that to build strength and muscle mass, bodyweight training may fall deficit for most advanced and serious goals. That said, a combination of resistance training and bodyweight exercise is suggested for optimal chest development.

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Best Chest Exercises to Do Without Weights

Below are five (5) of the best chest exercises you can do without weights. While most of the exercise below are push up variations, it is important to understand the unique benefits and distinct differences between each push up variation and how they can be used within the same workouts to maximize muscle growth.

Push Ups

The push up is one of the most universal body weight exercise for chest training. It can be regressed and progressed easily, and has numerous variations that can be suitable for nearly every lifter/athlete.

Close Grip Push Ups

The close grip push up, like the close grip bench press, places higher amounts of demands on the triceps and inner chest muscles, and often can be done to minimize shoulder strain as well.

Plyometric Push Ups

The plyometric push up is an advanced push up variation that requires muscle explosiveness and eccentric strength. By including this exercise within a push up program, you can target stubborn muscle fibers that may not be fully utilized due to slower contractile speeds often seen in non-ballistic repetitions.

Kneeling Push Ups

The kneeling push up is a regressed version of the standard push up, making it suitable for beginners, individuals who lack upper body strength and muscle mass, and/or individuals who are exhibiting high amounts of muscle fatigue. By kneeling, you decrease the amount of loading placed upon the chest and triceps, making it easier for more repetitions to be completed (which can be helpful for maximizing muscle damage and metabolic fatigue).

Dips

The dip, which can be done on rings, parallel bars, a bench, an believe it or not… a corner of a counter (assuming you can fit in the space). As long as you have a stable surface, you can perform dips to hit the chest and triceps at slightly different angles than the push up.

3 Sample Chest Workouts Without Weights

Below are three (3) chest workouts that can be done without weights and equipment. The key with most of these exercises is (1) increased overall training volumes/repetitions, (2) minimizing rest periods to maximize metabolic build-up and muscular fatigue, and (3) increase exercise variations to fully exhaust muscle groups.

100-Rep Chest Pump

This one is pretty straight-forward, and escalates very quickly. I really enjoy this one because it takes less than 5-10 minutes and leaves you with an amazing chest and triceps pump. Not to mention it is something that can be repeated and measured over and over again.

  • Perform a total of 100 strict push ups, for time.
  • Every time you stop to rest, subtract the total amount of repetitions you have completed up to that point from 100 total reps, which will give you the amount of rest (seconds) you can take before starting again
  • For example, let’s say you open up with a set of 20 push ups, therefore you should rest 80 seconds before starting again (100 total reps – 20 reps). On your second set you squeeze out another 18 repetitions, therefore leaving you with 62 seconds of rest (100 total reps – 20 reps – 18 reps). As you can see, rest periods get cut shorter and shorter as you approach 100 total reps, often leaving you to perform singles, doubles, and/or triples under high amounts of fatigue with less than 5-10 seconds of rest, or less.

4-Way Push Up Workout

This push up ladder starts with the most complex and demanding push up variations and moves backwards along the regression spectrum. As you can see, the repetitions increase as the push up variation becomes (less complex/less demanding/”easier”). While this may seem pretty easy at first, the sheer amount of volume (150-200 total repetitions) of push ups will sneak up on you. Additionally, the 4-way push up workout challenges the fast-twitch and explosive muscle fibers (plyometric push up), the inner pectorals and triceps (close grip and standard push up), and the more fatigue resistant fibers (due to the final 20 repetitions per every set).

  • 5 Plyometric Push Ups
  • 10 Close Grip Push Ups
  • 15 Push Ups
  • 20 Kneeling Push Ups
  • Rest 60-90 seconds
  • Repeat for 3-4 total sets

Chest + Triceps Workout

This non-weighted chest workout can be done to increase chest hypertrophy and muscular endurance, with the added benefit of hitting the triceps as well. The goal here is to hit various regions of the pectorals (upper chest, lower chest, etc) while also working the supporting muscles (triceps, rhomboids and scapular stabilizers, and the shoulders) to offer a well-rounded chest pressing workout. The workout includes tempo work and supersets to increase time under tension and maximize muscle fatigue and metabolic build-up.

  • Scapular Push Up – 3 sets of 20 repetitions
    • Handstand Hold – 3 sets of 30 seconds
  • Tempo (2020) Push Ups – 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions
    • Close Grip Push Ups – 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions (or to failure)
  • Tempo (2020) Dips – 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions
    • Plyometric Push Ups 4 sets of 10-15 repetitions (or to failure)

Featured Image: @luisphilippelelocal on Instagram

“If there’s one thing that’ll earn you respect in the gym, it’s a powerful, chiseled upper body—and that starts with your chest,” says Simon King, P.T., owner of Cre8 Fitness gym in London.

For well-defined pecs, you obviously need a workout that’ll add inches to your chest, and this routine is the perfect starting point.

This workout will hit your chest from every angle to increase strength and muscle size, King says. And don’t sweat it if you’re completely new to lifting: “Every Herculean physique achieved had to start from nothing,” he adds.

As a beginner, your main focus has to be lifting safely with proper form and light weight. Once you nail that down, you can start implementing varying sets and reps.

Directions

  • For muscle strength: Complete 1-6 reps with 3-5 sets resting somewhere between 2-5 minutes between sets.
  • For muscle hypertrophy: Complete 7-12 reps with 3-4 sets resting somewhere between 1-2 minutes between sets.
  • If you’re a novice, aim for 3 sets of 8 reps with 90 seconds rest to stimulate strength and muscle gains.

Once you perfect these moves, tackle the best chest workout for beginners (it includes five of these essential exercises). And when you start itching for more variety, learn how to build your chest without the gym, try these eight chest exercises that don’t require a bench, and use these six strategies to make your chest workouts harder to stimulate more growth.

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Training your chest shouldn’t be a futile exercise in monotony.

If you’re boring and don’t want to experience truly massive gains, feel free to rep through endless standard bench press sets and pec deck reps until your back fuses with the surface of the platform beneath you. You might get better at that one exercise—and there’s nothing wanting to post big numbers and balloon your bench press max—but you’re spurning all of the potential benefits that other moves could offer. You want to stimulate your muscles in different ways, so you can challenge them to adapt and grow as your training plan progresses. For that, you’ll need variety.

There’s a whole treasure trove full of workouts and exercises to be uncovered to blast the chest that can sculpt your pecs and push your upper body training days to the next level.

Here are 12 of the best chest exercises to do just that. Choose two or three to work into your routine, and for best results, rotate in new movements every 3 or 4 weeks.

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1. Band Chest Fly

For a great warmup before a chest workout or a killer burnout to finish one, try out the band chest fly. The move isn’t much different than it’s big brother, the cable fly (more on that below), but the use of stretch bands makes it more accessible.

Do it: Attach two bands to a stable base, like a power rack or tower. Grab the ends of the bands in each hand, wrapping around your palms. Stand in a staggered stance in the middle of the station. Your arms should be outstretched but slightly bent. Lean forward slightly at your hips and avoid rounding your back.

Without changing the bend in your arms, bring your hands together. Slowly reverse the movement, keeping the bands controlled.

2. Batwing Fly

Spend more time at the bottom of the movement to really reap its benefits. Start with light weights to get used to the move, and try alternating between overhand and neutral grips to switch things up.

Do it: Sit on an incline bench with dumbbells in each hand. Start with the weights held with your hands at your pecs, as if you were preparing for a press. Keep your chest strong, with a natural arch in the lower back.

Straighten your arms out to each side, maintaining your strong chest position. Pause for a count with your arms extended, stretching the muscles.

3. Half-Kneeling Chest Press

Take a knee for some chest gains. The half-kneeling chest press also gives you the opportunity to hone your core while you’re off-balance, offering even more benefits and making the exercise more realistic. “In the real world, we don’t get to work symmetrically. We’re kind of off balance a little bit,” said Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. “This puts you in an off-balance position.”

Do it: Kneel with one leg forward in front of a cable machine setup. Grab the cable with the same hand as the knee that’s down on the ground. Keeping your core tight and your up-knee straight, press the cable out in front of your chest. As you return your arm back to the starting position, avoid turning with the cable by squeezing your core and stabilizing your hip against the ground.

4. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

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Pressing from an incline works the clavicular head of your chest, said Brad Schoenfeld, C.S.C.S., Ph.D. Working that muscle—which resides high on your chest—gives your pecs extra pop.
Do it: Lie on a bench with the backrest set at a 45-degree incline. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight and your palms turned toward your feet.

Lower the dumbbells to chest level, and then press them back up to the starting position.
Photograph by Beth Bischoff

5. Close-Grip Bench Press

You can lift more weight with a barbell than with dumbbells because they’re more stable. That’s why barbell presses generally build more raw strength in your chest.

To protect your shoulders, strength coach Bret Contreras, C.S.C.S., recommends using a close grip—that is, placing your hands just outside of shoulder width.
“This is the most joint-friendly barbell variation of the bench press, allowing people with shoulder issues to still reap the benefits of pressing,” Contreras said.
Do it: Using an overhand grip that’s a bit narrower than shoulder width, hold a barbell above your sternum with your arms straight. Lower the bar to your chest. Hold for 1 second. Press the bar up.

6. Cable Fly

When it comes to working their pecs, most guys just press. Adding the fly to your routine gives your pecs and front deltoids a new stimulus.
“I like using cables for this because they provide constant tension throughout the entire movement,” Schoenfeld said.
Do it: Attach two stirrup handles to the high-pulley cables of a cable-crossover station. Grab a handle with each hand, and stand in a staggered stance in the middle of the station. Your arms should be outstretched but slightly bent. Lean forward slightly at your hips; don’t round your back.

Without changing the bend in your arms, bring your hands together. Slowly reverse the movement.
Photograph by Beth Bischoff

7. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

The exercise zeroes in on your lower chest, building serious size, said Tyler English, C.S.C.S., author of Natural Bodybuilder’s Bible.
Do it: Lie on a decline bench with your shins hooked beneath the leg support. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight. Your palms should face your feet and the weights should be just outside your shoulders.

Lower the dumbbells to your chest, pause, and then press them back up to the starting position.

Photograph by Beth Bischoff

8. Band or Chain Barbell Bench Press

Adding chains or bands to the ends of a barbell changes the load as you move through the different phases of the lift.

Each chain link weighs X amount of pounds, and that poundage is now something you’re actually lifting and managing. As you move through the eccentric part of the lift, lowering the weight to your chest, you’re lessening the load as there is more of the chain on the ground. When you press the weight up, you lift more links of the chain up, bringing that extra weight up. Bands work in a similar manner using the constant tension on the bar.

Do it: Hang a chain over each end of the barbell, or anchor resistance bands to the bench and place them over each end of the bar. Start without weight, in order to get used to the unstable bar.

Grab the barbell and lie on a bench. Using an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder width, hold the bar above your sternum, keeping your arms straight. Lower the bar to your chest, and then push it back to the starting position.

9. Plyometric Pushup

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This explosive pushup nails the fast-twitch muscles in your chest, priming them for growth, said English.
Do it: Get into a pushup position, your hands just outside your chest, your feet shoulder-width apart, and your body forming a straight line from head to heels. Brace your core.

Lower your chest to the floor and then press up explosively so your hands come off the floor. If you can pull it off, clap your hands together before returning to the starting position on the ground.

10. Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

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This exercise hits your chest like any awesome bench variation. But what makes it particularly special is that your other side has to lock down so the dumbbell doesn’t pull you off the bench, says Dan John, strength coach and author of Intervention.

The end result: It sculpts your chest and abs to a greater degree.

Do it: Lie with your back flat on a bench holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Press the dumbbell directly over your chest until your arm is straight. Slowly lower the dumbbell to the right side of your chest.

Pause, then press it back up. Do all your reps on your right side, and then repeat on your left.

11. Suspended Pushup

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Performing pushups with your hands in an unstable suspension trainer works your core, chest, and stabilizer muscles harder than doing pushups on the floor, said English.
Do it: Grab the handles of a TRX strap and extend your arms in front of your chest. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart and your body anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel from the floor. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels.

Lower your chest toward the floor until your hands are just outside your shoulders. Keep your elbows in and your head in a neutral position as you lower. Brace your core throughout the movement.

12. Standing One-Arm Landmine Press

Most chest presses stress your shoulders. This exercise nails your chest while improving your shoulder mobility.

Your shoulder blade moves with you as you press, putting less strain on the joint, said Eric Cressey, co-owner of Cressey Sports Performance in Hudson, MA.

And because your core has to lock down to prevent your torso from bending back or twisting, it also rocks your abs.
Do it: Perform this unique exercise by placing one end of a barbell securely into the corner, grabbing the opposite end with one arm. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, bending slightly at the knees while pushing your butt back.

Start with your elbow by your side with your wrist up near your shoulder. Brace your core and press your arm straight up and out toward the ceiling.

The Editors of Men’s Health The editors of Men’s Health are your personal conduit to the top experts in the world on all things important to men: health, fitness, style, sex, and more.

Chest exercises to get you looking like a superhero

In pursuit of physical excellence, working hard is one thing and working smart is another. Go to the gym as much as you want, but knowing how to get the most out of each session is a whole other thing entirely.

Or perhaps you’re less familiar with the equipment on the floor of your local gym than you’d like. Perhaps your gym orientation wasn’t… entirely comprehensive. No worries! Happens to the best of us. To help, we’ve asked some of the best trainers and fitness experts in the country to come together and propose the best ways to switch up your workout for the results you want.

Ian Robertson, personal training manager at Equinox, Bishopsgate

Before you do the below exercises for your chest it’s good to go through a full body warmup. One thing that is overlooked before doing strength exercises is the benefit of using a power movement to ignite and excite the muscles being worked. A great way to do this for your chest is plyo push-ups.

Exercise 1: Incline barbell chest press

The incline barbell chest press should be a staple in anyone’s programme who is looking to work the upper body. The incline angle creates the furthest distance for the bar to travel, making the exercise harder and giving more time under tension. More time under tension creates more muscular damage and repair and will equal a bigger, stronger upper body. Once completed consistently and appropriately the results will be a bigger, more defined clavicular portion of your chest. Your front deltoids will start to look more like you’re wearing shoulder pads and even your triceps will get a blast in the process. Perform 8 reps for 4 sets.

Exercise 2: Single-arm dumbbell chest press

The single-arm dumbbell chest press is only a minor deviation from one of the most used chest exercises. It will teach your core to engage and stabilise as you press. Outside of working the pectorals sufficiently it will give your obliques and internal core musculature a challenge. The added benefit is it will add an insurance policy against asymmetries. It forces the pecs to work separately, meaning you won’t get one side working harder to counteract the other side’s weakness. Perform 8 reps for 4 sets.

Exercise 3: Incline (feet-up) push-up

The push-up has been a staple in exercise routines for over a century. This little twist will add some complexity to it and challenge your shoulders and core musculature a lot more than the traditional push-up. This exercise can be done anywhere there happens to be a ledge or bench around a foot high. Gravity works to add compressive forces to the trunk and set your abs on fire. Perform 8 reps for 4 sets.

Exercise 4: Slow negative chest fly

Done best on a pec deck, the slow negative chest fly is a great way to finish your chest workout. It will build some width to your chest and give you the line down the middle that looks great in a V-neck. The added benefit of the chest fly done slowly is it will restore some flexibility to the pecs and maintain and improve posture when done with a full range of motion. Perform 8 reps for 4 sets.

Carl van Heerden, head of row, Core Collective

Exercise 1: Single-arm isolation plank hold plus hand-release push-ups

8 x 20:10 (Tabata)

During the first 20 second interval, hold a high-plank position, balancing on your left arm only. If you need more support, place your right index finger on the ground for additional balance. Rest for 10 seconds.

In the second 20 second interval, perform as many hand-release press-ups as possible. Lower your chest all the way to the ground, keeping your core and glutes engaged. Lift your hands off the ground before driving yourself back to the top of the press-up. You can also perform these on your knees for a scaled down option. Rest for 10 seconds.

Repeat the high-plank hold, this time on your left arm.

Exercise 2: Chest press with single-arm press superset

4 sets with 60-90 seconds rest between

You’ll need a set of dumbbells and a flat bench. Start by lying on your back on the bench and lift the dumbbells to full arm extension above your chest. Perform 10 chest press reps by bringing the dumbbells down to chest level and extending the arms fully. Hold the dumbbells in a full lockout on the last rep. Now perform 5 single-arm reps while holding the other arms at full extension, then switch arms to complete the set.

Exercise 3: Ring dips

4-8 reps x 4 sets with 60 seconds rest between

Grab a pair of gymnastics rings and press yourself into a full lockout with you hanging and holding the rings close to your sides. Slowly lower yourself down until your biceps touch the rings and then extend back to the top. You can also scale this movement by putting your feet on a box to leverage your legs as an assistance in the extension.

Exercise 4: Wide-grip to close-grip push-ups

3 minutes AMRAP (as many reps as possible)

Start in the press-up position with your arms wide and perform 3 reps. Move your hands to inside shoulder width with your elbows tucked back and perform 3 reps. Complete as many rounds of these press-up variations as possible in 3 minutes.

Alex Castro, head of programming, Barry’s Bootcamp UK

Exercise 1: Wide-grip chest press

1 minute with 30 – 45 seconds rest between

You will need dumbbells and a bench. Lay down with your back flat on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand roughly in line with your lower to mid chest, palms facing down, elbows slightly below shoulder line. From this starting position, breathe in and lower the dumbbells down towards the outer part of your chest, taking 2-3 seconds. Briefly pause at the bottom, breathe out and push the dumbbells back up, taking a further 2-3 seconds to return to your starting position.

Make sure as you lower the dumbbells, you’re opening your chest and your shoulder blades are back, with a slight natural arch in the lower back. This will help protect your lower back and ensure you are properly engaging your chest muscles. It’s important to have a strength element to your workout, which is why you should start with slower, heavier and shorter sets.

Exercise 2: Narrow-grip dumbbell chest press

60 – 90 seconds x 3 sets with 1 minute rest between

You will need medium-weight dumbbells and a bench. Lay down with your back flat on the bench with dumbbells in your hands, palms facing towards each other (this is important) and with your arms fully extended.

Bring one dumbbell down towards the lower part of the chest while the other remains extended. The arm that is lowering is pulling down the dumbbell and the elbow should skim your side and finish lower than your torso. Return the lowered arm to join the extended arm and alternate sides, aiming for a 1-2 second lowering time, pause and a 1-2 second return to the top.

As you lower each dumbbell you are aiming to keep shoulder blades back, again maintaining your natural arch in your back. This uses unilateral work to strengthen each arm and to challenge the body’s ability to handle heavier loads on one side. Unilateral work also improves your core strength over time.

Ross Edgley, adventurer

Exercise 1: Incline push-ups (feet raised)

Get into the conventional push-up position and place your feet on a bench, chair or staircase, keeping your body in a straight line – it should be at a 15 to 40 degree angle to the floor. The greater the incline, the harder the exercise, but try not to go past 45 degrees since you begin to place a greater emphasis on the shoulders.

Aim to perform four sets of ten repetitions in a slow and controlled manner. You’ll notice it’s more difficult than a flat push-up. This is because by slightly altering the pressing motion of the arms you shorten the clavicular portion of your pec, which means you target the upper chest. Don’t get disheartened if you can’t hit ten or more repetitions, remember the goal here is to physiologically target a different part of the chest. Not create superior biomechanics to lift more.

Exercise 2: Decline push-ups (feet lowered)

Get into the conventional push-up position but place your hands on a bench, chair or staircase. Your feet will now be lower than the hands, which means you’ll be pressing in a downward motion. Just as the incline push-up targets the upper chest, this variation targets the central and lower chest and takes away the emphasis from the shoulders and upper chest.

Aim to perform four sets of 20 repetitions in a slow and controlled manner. You’ll notice this an easier variation so aim to increase the volume of repetitions. At this point in the workout you’ve now emphasised speed, strength and now we’re inducing a more muscular

Exercise 3: One-legged ‘core conditioning’ push-ups

Finish with something a little left field. Get into a flat, conventional push-up position and perform four sets of ten repetitions on one leg. Research conducted at the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation at the University of Newfoundland found performing your press-ups in an unstable way can strengthen the abs as well as the chest. Stating, “Trunk strengthening can also occur when performing resistance exercises, if the exercises are performed unilaterally.”

It will feed strange at first. But improve your competency on this last exercise and you improve the conditioning of your six-pack and chest simultaneously.

Josh Silverman, head of education, Third Space

Exercise 1: Bayesian cable flyes

Set a double cable machine up in line with your shoulders. You are going to grab the handles and keep your hands in a position where your thumbs face each other. Now have a bench set up in front of the cables facing outwards in the upright position (vertical).

You are going to perform a flye but at the end of the movement you want the cables to be just in front of your belly button. Bring the cables back so that your hands are in line with your shoulders and perform the movement again.

Exercise 2: Cable bottom-to-top chest press

Have the double cable machine cables set in the bottom position. You want to set up a bench facing outwards in an incline position (45 degrees is generally best). You want to raise your ribcage so that the top of your back is against the bench and put your bum right at the end of the seat. Your lower back wont be supported but that’s OK because there is no force going through your spine.

You are going to perform a chest press with the cables, but try to end the press in a position where the cables are outside of your shoulders. If you want to make this more effective, grab a large band, feed it through your hands and around your back – when you press out, the band will get tighter so this alongside pressing the cables will match the strength profile of a press.

Tony Towndrow, instructor, Sweat It

Standard press-up tempo work

Start with your weight supported on your knees or toes and the hands beneath your chest, keeping the body in line from your shoulders to your hips. Engage the abdominal muscles to prevent your hips from dropping, then lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground, then drive up by fully extending your arms. Fo r first minute, take 3 seconds to go down and 1 second up. For second minute, 1 second down and 3 seconds up. For third minute , 1 second down and 1 second up.

Chest-press intervals

10 second reps of each followed by 20 second reps, repeat for 6 minutes

Exercise 1: Dumbbell bench press

Lie on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, with your elbows at about 90 degrees, keeping your feet flat on the floor. Engage the abdominal muscles and tilt the chin slightly toward the chest, then push the dumbbells up smoothly, with control, so that the dumbbells are directly over your chest. Take care not to lock out the elbows or touch the weights together. Lower the weights back down slowly so that they are just past your shoulders then repeat the movement.

Exercise 2: Dumbbell isometric hold

Lie on a bench and lower the dumbbells so your elbows are in line with the chest at a 90 degree bend, and then hold here.

Chest dumbell ladder

Alternate 2 x reps of each exercise, adding 2 per set for 4 minutes

E xercise 1: Close grip dumbbell press

Close-grip chest presses place less strain on your shoulders, shifting the emphasis to your chest. Lie on a bench and place the dumbbells close to your chest, then push the dumbbells up and away from your body. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to your chest, keeping them close together without letting them touch.

Exercise 2: Chest flye

Extend the arms and hold the dumbbells directly above your chest with the palms facing each other, then lower the weights in an arc out to the sides until you feel a stretch in your chest. Reverse the movement back to the start, squeezing the pecs at the top. Ensure you keep a slight bend in the elbows throughout and take care not to arch the back. You will need a lighter set of dumbbells for flyes.

Chest-press conditioning finisher

20 reps of exercise 1 and 10 reps of exercise 2, reducing by 2 per set for 3 minutes

Exercise 1: Mountain climbers

Start in plank position, supporting your weight on your hands and toes, with arms straight and legs extended. Your hands should be a little wider than your shoulders and your core engaged. Bring one knee forward under your chest, with the toes just off the ground. Return to plank and switch legs, bringing the other knee forward. Keep switching legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels like running.

Exercise 2: Narrow-grip press-up

Start on the floor and place your hands directly under your chest, closer than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping your core tight and back straight. Then, when your chest is an inch from the ground, explosively drive up by fully extending the arms.

Now read

Eat your way to a six pack

Three exercises that are a waste of time

How to lose belly fat

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