Working the chest muscles from multiple angles is a great way to give definition and lend strength to the rest of your workout routine. If you’re looking to pack some bulk onto your pectorals, finding good chest exercises is essential.
But with so many diverse workouts and intimidating machines, it can be hard to know where to start. Fortunately, these easy chest exercises fit into any lifestyle, whether you’re a regular gym rat or prefer to go weight-free at home.
5 Easy Chest Exercises – With Weights
These 5 easy chest exercises require weights (dumbbells are the best option) or a resistance band. When doing heavy lifting, it’s recommended to lift in teams so you have a spotter for safety’s sake.
Flat Dumbbell Press. While lying on your back, hold your arms out to the side with your forearms up, holding weights. Slowly lift arms straight into the air, and then bring them back down.
Dumbbell Flys. Lie on your back, with knees raised so your feet are flat on the floor. Hold arms to the side (but not locked) with a weight in each hand, palms facing up. Slowly lift arms until they are nearly straight and then slowly return to the starting position.
Hip Press. Lie on your back with your knees bent. Hold dumbbells in each hand. Keep your elbows at your side and slowly straighten your arms. Then, slowly lower back to the resting position. Most importantly, squeeze shoulder blades together for the entirety of the exercise; this protects shoulders from damage.
Inclined Chest Press. Loop a resistance band around a stationary object. With your back to the object, grab a handle or end of the band in each hand. Step forward until there is no slack, with your elbows bent and hands near your chest. Then, slowly press the band forward until your arms are straight. Return slowly to the beginning position.
Cross Over with Resistance Band. With the band secured around a stationary post, grab both ends and step forward to create tension. Raise your arms out to your sides; your body should form a “T” shape. Keep your straight and bring them across your chest until your hands touch. Hold the position for a second then return to the starting position.
5 Easy Chest Exercises – Without Weights
No equipment? No problem. These 5 easy chest exercises can be performed without weights or bulky machines. In fact, all these exercises are variations of 1 exercise: the push up.
Standard Push Up. To do a standard push up, begin in a plank position with your weight on your toes and in your arms. Your arms should be shoulder width apart. Then, push your body down and back up. Be sure to keep your body completely straight, no sagging or bending.
Decline Push Up. Instead of resting your toes on the floor, move them up to a box or a bench. Push down until your chest almost touches the floor and then come back up.
Incline Push Up. The opposite of the decline push up, place your hands on a box or raised surface instead of your toes. Push down until your chest almost touches the object then push up.
Plyo Push Up. The plyo push up requires power. Start by doing a standard push up; however, instead of coming up slowly, push off the ground quickly and attempt to get your hands off the floor.
Isometric Wipers. Begin in the standard push up position and lower yourself to the ground. While in the lower positioned, shift your body weight as far to one side as you can as you flex that elbow. Come back to center then repeat on the other side.