We know what you’re thinking: chest exercises, finally!
Yeah, you’ve made it to the home stretch. You put in the hard work to drop your extra body fat and rebalance your hormones, and things are looking up. Now it’s time to hit your chest hard with a targeted workout.
While these exercises do form a complete chest workout, you’re welcome to pick and choose a few of them to add to your existing upper body training. And once again — as if we haven’t mentioned this enough times — make sure that you’re not jumping into chest training too quickly. Hormone rebalancing and body fat reduction should be your priority.
EXERCISE 1: DUMBBELL PAUSE BENCH PRESS
Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 8
Why This Exercise? Dumbbells allow for a greater range of motion than a barbell. Plus, the pause at the bottom — where your chest really comes into play — adds an extra layer of difficulty.
For this exercise, grab a pair of dumbbells in each hand and lay down on your back on the bench. Bring your dumbbells up next to your shoulders so your upper and lower arms form a 90-degree angle and make sure you’re in a solid position. Now, press the dumbbells towards the ceiling as far as you can, then lower them back to the starting position.
EXERCISE 2: TRX FLY
Sets and Reps: 3-4 sets of 12-15
Why This Exercise? Flyes are a staple isolation exercise that specifically target your chest, and the addition of the TRX creates more instability that makes you work harder. Set the TRX straps to long length, face away from the anchor point, and grab one handle with each hand with palms facing each other. Start with straight arms in line with your chest, then move your arms out and away from your body like you’re spreading your wings. Keep going until your hands are in line with your ears, then pull your hands back together to return to the start.
EXERCISE 3: INCLINE BARBELL BENCH PRESS
Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 8-12
Why This Exercise? The incline position stresses a different part of your chest that’s hard to hit with other exercises.
Set up on an incline bench station with a barbell. Lay down on the bench, then grip the barbell with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Unrack the weight, then pull the bar to your chest, in line with your nipples. Keep going until the bar touches your chest, then drive it back up.
EXERCISE 4: WIDE GRIP PUSHUP
Sets and Reps: 3-4 sets of 10-20
Why This Exercise? Pushups might be old school, but they’re still a fantastic chest-builder, especially with a wider grip.
Drop down into a pushup position on the floor and place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders and there should be a straight line from head to heels. Bend your arms to lower your chest all the way to the floor, then press your body back up.
EXERCISE 5: DUMBBELL PULLOVER
Sets and Reps: 3 sets of 12
Why This Exercise? Pullovers aren’t the first exercise lifters turn to for chest development, but they’re great for topping off a tough workout.
To do pullovers, hold one dumbbell between your hands and lay down on a flat bench. Press the dumbbell straight up above your chest — this is the starting position. From here, with mostly straight arms, lower the dumbbell back and behind your head. Stop when it’s in line with your head, then push the weight back to the start.