11 Best Chest Workouts: Techniques and Tips for Every Level

11 Best Chest Workouts: Techniques and Tips for Every Level

Choosing the right exercises is important to build a strong chest. There are many exercises, but you can't do them all at once. We've evaluated different exercises to help you make the best choice by considering several factors, including how easy the exercises are to learn and perform, how much muscle they activate, and their popularity with experienced lifters and bodybuilders. We also looked at whether the equipment needed is commonly available in most gyms. Our goal is to help you find the most effective exercises for building muscle.

11 Best Chest Workouts For Muscle Growth

Choosing the right exercises can make all the difference when building a muscular chest. Here are eleven highly effective chest workouts designed to enhance muscle growth, along with detailed instructions on how to perform each exercise.

Floor Press

The Floor Press is an effective upper body exercise focusing on developing the chest, triceps, and shoulders. It provides a safe way to execute pressing movements, limiting the range to protect the shoulder joints.

How to perform:

  • Lie flat on the yoga mat with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other.
  • Start with your upper arms on the floor, elbows slightly bent but not resting completely.
  • Press the dumbbells upwards explosively, fully extending your arms.
  • Lower the dumbbells back down until your triceps contact the floor, then pause briefly.
  • Continue to the next repetition and consider increasing the weight progressively to challenge your muscles.

Barbell Bench Press

The barbell bench press is a foundational chest exercise known for its effectiveness in building strength and mass. It allows heavy lifting and is relatively straightforward to spot and perform.

How to Perform:

  • Lie flat on a bench and grip the barbell with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  • Lower the bar slowly to your chest.
  • Push the bar up until your arms are fully extended.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell bench presses enhance muscle balance and depth because each side of your body works independently. This exercise allows for a greater range of motion compared to barbells.

How to Perform:

  • Lie on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand at chest level.
  • Press the dumbbells up until your arms are straight, then lower them back down.

Incline Bench Press

The incline bench press targets primarily the upper chest, while the incline bench press also lessens shoulder strain, making it a key exercise for well-rounded chest development.

How to Perform:

  • Set the bench to a 30-degree incline.
  • Grip the barbell or dumbbells and press upwards from chest level, then lower them back down slowly.

Band-Resisted Pushup With Feet Elevated

This variation of the classic pushup incorporates a resistance band and elevation to intensify the workout, targeting the chest, arms, and core more effectively. 

How to perform:

  • Secure a resistance band around your back, holding the ends in each hand while positioned in a pushup stance.
  • Elevate your feet using a bench, box, or yoga block, ensuring your body remains straight from head to heels.
  • Perform pushups, focusing on maintaining form and depth while the band adds extra resistance.
  • Keep your movements smooth and controlled, concentrating on muscle tension throughout the exercise.

Decline Press

The decline press shifts focus slightly towards the lower pectoral muscles and allows for potentially heavier lifting, which many seasoned bodybuilders use.

How to Perform:

  • Secure your legs at the end of the decline bench and lie down.
  • With a barbell or dumbbell, lower the weight to your chest and then drive it back up to full extension.

Machine Chest Press

A controlled motion that isolates the chest muscles, the machine press is ideal for beginners and also serves well for dropsets due to easy weight adjustments.

How to Perform:

  • Adjust the seat so the handles are at chest level.
  • Push the handles away from you until your arms are extended, and then bring them back slowly.


As a versatile bodyweight exercise, pushups can be performed anywhere and modified in various ways to increase intensity or focus on different parts of the chest.

How to Perform:

  • Start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground, then push yourself back up.


Effective for targeting the lower chest and triceps, dips are a powerful compound movement that enhances overall upper-body strength.

How to Perform:

  • Grip the parallel bars, jump up, and straighten your arms.
  • Lower your body by bending your arms while leaning forward slightly, then press back up to the starting position.

Chest Fly

Perfect for stretching and contracting the chest muscles, flies are excellent for defining and isolating the pectorals.

How to Perform:

  • Lie on a flat bench with dumbbells in each hand, and extend your arms above your chest.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells in an arc until your chest is stretched, then bring them back together.

Cable Crossover

The Cable Crossover is a dynamic exercise targeting the chest muscles through controlled movements and constant tension from cables. This exercise is excellent for enhancing chest muscle symmetry.

How to perform:

  • Position yourself centrally between two cable stations with the pulleys adjusted to a mid-level height.
  • Attach a D-handle to each pulley and grasp one in each hand with a slight bend in your elbows.
  • Step slightly forward to create tension in the cables.
  • Execute the movement by drawing your hands together in front of your chest, focusing on contracting your chest muscles fully.
  • Alternate between stretching your chest and flexing it with each set, ensuring continuous muscle engagement.

Best Practices For Chest Workout

  • Focus on exercises that use multiple muscle groups at once.
  • Gradually increase the weight or reps in each workout to keep challenging your muscles.
  • Enhance shoulder stability by including exercises that pull your shoulder blades together to prevent injuries.

Common Training Mistakes To Avoid

  • Trying to do too many different exercises in one session.
  • Increasing the weight too fast.
  • Not using the correct form and technique.


Effective chest workouts focus on compound movements, progressive resistance, and shoulder stability. To maximize your gains and reduce the risk of injury, avoid common pitfalls like overloading exercises in one session, progressing weights too rapidly, and using sloppy techniques. Remember, choosing the right exercises is not just about their popularity or the intensity they offer but also about how well you can perform them and the availability of necessary equipment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Often Should I Increase The Weight I Lift? 

Increase the weight gradually. A good rule of thumb is to increase the weight when you can comfortably complete your target number of reps with good form for two consecutive workouts.

What Is The Best Way To Prevent Injuries During Chest Workouts? 

To prevent injuries, focus on maintaining proper form, improving shoulder stability with balanced exercises that include pulling movements, and not increasing weights too quickly. Also, ensure a proper warm-up before starting your routine.