8 Best Chest Exercises for Men to Build Bigger, Sexier Chest in 6 Weeks

A muscular, broad, sexy chest is the cornerstone of a perfect male body and here are 8 most effective bodybuilding exercises to build an awesome chest.

Perfect Muscular chest: Not too much, not too little either!

In a Hurry? Jump to the 10 Best Chest Exercises below or else read the entire article to discover the best chest training strategies including best exercises.

Guess what is the No.1 noticeable part of your body? Its your chest and shoulder region. Nothing can match a muscular body with big shoulders and muscular chest.

And how do you build that?

You do that by:

  • Building a  square masculine chest with a line down the middle that goes all the way up to the collar bone. 
  • Building a proportionate/balanced chest-shoulder region - not too small like a kid and not too big like a woman.

Below are the most effective strategies to build a broad  muscular, ripped chest including 8 best exercises, sample workouts and a proven bodybuilding program for fast muscle gain.

Inside This Article:

Why Build a Muscular, Ripped Chest

Perfect Chest and Back Muscle Balance Give You a Perfect Upper Body.

Nothing looks sexier than a broad muscular chest and V-shaped back. It makes women drool and other men jealous

And working your chest muscles gives a killer workout to your shoulders and arms. So you not only get a muscular shoulder-chest region, you also get your triceps a sleeve busting workout.

When you are looking at a muscular guy who looks cool in T-Shirts, his upper body gets all the attention. You can sometimes hide not-so-muscular legs but you can never miss small chest and shoulders! So build your chest now!

Although exercises like bench press and flys may not be new to you, there are many strategies to make them super-effective. Plus I am going to give you 6 more chest exercises and 3 workouts to build impressive chest muscles {pectorals}.

But before that, lets see the simple anatomy and functions of your chest muscles.

Must Know Facts about Chest Muscles for Bodybuilders

Chest Muscle Anatomy

Your chest muscles also called pectorals, are a fan shaped muscle that start from 3 bones - clavicle, humerus and sternum. 

Clavicle is your collar bone, humerus is your arm bone and sternum is your breast bone.

Pectorals consist of two muscles - pectorals major and pectorals minor.

They insert to your sternum and rib bones. Such insertion help these muscles perform 2 major functions.

Functions of Pectorals: 

  1. To pull your arms and shoulders across the front of the body as in flyes
  2. To push arms away from the body {in front} as in bench press

The Chest Muscles Synergy:

But chest muscles cannot work alone.

  1. Since they are attached to humerus, they help in pull ups and chin ups
  2. Since they are inter-dependent on back muscles for function, total chest development requires optimal back muscle development too. And,
  3. Since pressing moves like bench press requires action from deltoids and triceps, chest exercises contribute to build the entire shoulder girdle.

As you can see Chest Training builds total upper body. 

My advice? Train chest muscles with high intensity muscle building strategies using the best moves and your upper body will take off. Just take advice of lee Hayward who has built his entire muscle building program around bench press.

With that lets move on to the meat of this article...

6 Critical Training Tips for Chest Muscle Building

Before I give you the 8 best exercises, here are 6 critical points you must use on every single exercise.

  1. Compound moves target the pectoral muscles for best muscle and strength gains but advanced trainers should add isolation moves too

  2. Small changes in grip width brings significant changes in muscle fiber recruitment. So vary your grips.

  3. Wide grip targets the pectorals more and narrow grip targets the triceps more

  4. Incline presses target the upper chest more {clavicular head of pectorals} while decline presses are unnecessary. They build a masculine, square chest.

  5. Strengthening the entire should joint with rotator cuff exercises helps you lift more on chest exercises and hence assists muscle growth. Or else you risk repetitive stress injuries.

  6. Focus and Concentration are the key to fast chest muscle gain. Develop an excellent mind-muscle connection. Concentrate on every rep, lower weights under control, initiate with the working muscles and avoid lockouts to keep tension on pecs.

10 Most Effective Chest Muscle Building Exercises {8 Best + 2 Worst}

Here are 10 best exercises to build chest muscles. All details of the exercises follow.

A. 6 best exercises {build chest muscles}

  1. Flat Bench Press 
  2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  3. Dumbbell Bench Flys or Floor Flys
  4. Parallel Bar Dips with pec emphasis
  5. Handclap Push Ups
  6. Pullovers

B. 2 assistance exercises {helps lift more} 

You are as strong as your weakest link and for building chest {and deltoids} rotator cuff muscles and your grip are the weak links.

  1. Rotator Cuff Exercises
  2. Grip Exercises 

C. 2 worst exercises {avoid them}

Chest Muscles are built for power, and exercises like the two below have little role in building chest muscles. They look fancy but the are very ineffective. Why waste time?

  1. Cable Cross overs
  2. Decline Presses and Machine Flys

The goal is simple: Do the best, lose the rest.

1. Flat Bench Press

Flat Bench Press is the king of all chest exercises. 

It works the pectorals, front deltoids and triceps muscles. Add incline variation with pull ups and you have the recipe for the perfect upper body.

But lets build chest first.

Why bench press works?

  • Electromyographic studies have proven that bench press targets your pectorals major muscle more than any other chest exercises. 
  • Bench Press helps you lift more weights than other chest exercises. As you know heavier loads = more muscle growth

I have explained how to do bench press here. Its the best way to bench press for building muscle mass for hardgainers. Don't do it the powerlifting way, do it the bodybuilding way.

2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

Trainer Rusty Moore of visual Impact muscle building is high on this and for good reason: It creates a masculine square chest most guys dream of!

Incline bench press targets your upper pectoral fibers. Remember how a small change in angle/grip can change a big difference in the muscle fiber recruitment? Incline bench press helps you target this principle.

Why it works?

  • Most guys have a weak upper chest development. The hollow below out clavicles is difficult to fill. Inclines help you fill this gap.
  • They are shoulder joint friendly. Strength Coach Bill Starr comments, "Don't bench except on an incline". So add the inclines for optimal gains.
  • Dumbbells provide a good stretch at the bottom. Although you lift less weight than barbell incline press, dumbbells target your pecs more.

3. Dumbbell Bench Flys and Floor Flys

Another dumbbell variation is the dumbbell chest flys. This exercise fills the second job of pectorals - bring arms across the midline, is dumbbell flys exercise.

Do heavy flys and see how your midline burns. Dumbbell flys are another example of varying angles for better development.

One variation considered better by experts is the floor flys, where you do the flys lying on the floor. It was famous before benches were make and is a secret of building classic physique.

The above 3 exercises should form the bedrock of your chest training. They are the most effective exercises for beginner and intermediate bodybuilders to build maximum chest muscles in minimum time.

4. Parallel Bar Dips with Chest Emphasis

For chest training, go deeper!

When asked which is the best chest exercise, Charles Poliquin, the world's best strength coach replied, "Weighted dips are the best chest muscle building exercise". I can't argue with Poliquin now!

This compound exercise targets your chest and triceps like no other. But our goal here is to target pectoral muscles here.

Start with your bodyweight {assisted if you are weak} and then progress to dips with weighted bags/dumbbells.

Why it works?

  • It build functional muscles.
  • The stretch at the bottom of the exercise helps you contract harder the next rep. This pre-stretch technique is unique to dips and research has proven that it targets pectorals more.

Three Keys:

  • For optimal pectoral muscles involvement, lean forwards.
  • Add weights. Heavy dips for reps is the best way.
  • Poliquin suggests to use chains or tree climbing belt for loading. Loaded bags or weights between legs are not advised due to injury risk, he says.

I have included detailed instruction on performing parallel bar dips here. Just ensure you lean forward for optimal pec simulation. 

5. Handclap Pushups

Don't be surprised with this unusual exercise. I am talking about real science and in the trenches experience. 

I have seen from first hand experience of handclap pushups. These build explosive strength and stimulates the chest muscles in unusual ways. They give a decline bench press feeling, only better. And the best part, your bench press improves! 

If you cannot do full version, start with the knee supported version or wall handclap push ups. Whatever you do, please use this exercise.

6. PullOvers

Pullovers exercise is for advanced trainers and targets the pectorals and serratus anterior muscle which are needed to build a complete chest. This exercise is a favourite of Arnold Schwarzenegger who believed it expands the ribcage and he might be right.

7. Rotator Cuff Exercises

Charles Poliquin, one of the world's best strength coaches says, "Your external rotators are the weak link in shoulder/chest training". Train them to get the best out of your workouts.

Regular shoulder and chest training comes at a price - weak and small external rotator muscles of the rotator cuff group.

Once every 6 weeks, perform rotator cuff exercises for 2 weeks. You can add them to shoulder training or chest training.

If you are not growing on your chest/shoulder training, add 3 sets of the above exercise for 10 reps on each side and see the magic.

8. Grip Building Exercises

Thick handle dumbbells and thick barbells for grip building

There are a ton of grip building methods. But the simplest one is to train with a thick bar.

Pick the thickest bar in your gym and perform your regular exercises for 1-2 sets every week. Within 6 weeks your grip will become strong enough to handle heavy bench press workouts.

Here are some awesome Grip Training Secrets.

9. Cable CrossOvers {Avoid}

Looks great. But lets leave it to Pros.

Cable exercises are great way to add variety to any workout but crossovers for chest muscles is NOT one of them. Pectoral muscles do not respond well to these moves. Your energy is best spent on heavy presses and flys.

10. Decline Bench Press {Avoid}

There is good evidence to suggest that decline presses give you a hanging pecs/breast look in the long term {man boobs}. Avoid them.

Add dips which are far superior and super-effective.

Its on my NOT RECOMMENDED list since the latest research update.

Related article: Should Tall Skinny Guys do Decline Bench Press?

3 Effective Chest Workouts to Build Chest Muscles

Lets put these exercises into one killer workouts which produces results in mere 6 weeks.

Here are 3 such cool workouts -

Critical Bench Muscle Building Program

Why build only chest muscles when you can build a big muscular shoulders, legs and arms?

Critical Bench Muscle Building is a unique muscle building program that promises to build solid muscle mass while adding 50 lbs to your bench in few weeks. Mike added 75lbs of muscle mass using this program. 

Summary and Action Plan

Knowledge is the key to success and now you have the most powerful chest muscle building strategies. 

Let others waste time on useless exercises, but not you.

Let others look for the magic pill, but not you.

Use the chest exercises above, try the workouts for at least 6 weeks, and a new muscular chest will be yours. I am a living proof.

› Best Chest Exercises

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