A powerful upper body should be built around a muscular chest but what are the 5 best chest exercises to make your pecs pop and give you that photogenic upper body.
Luckily for you, we have pulled together the top 5 most effective chest exercises that you can perform in the gym to really get your chest working and showing gains quickly.
Add a selection of these or all of them to your upper body workouts:
1. Barbell Bench Press
The barbell bench press is a fairly easy move to perform and it’s the move that will allow you to push the most weight on your chest.
Using a barbell makes it easier to control the lift versus using dumbbells which helps you to add more weight to your lifts due to the stability.
We would advise you to do this exercise at the start of your chest exercises to allow yourself to lift heavy sets in low rep ranges.
To really make to most of this exercise, consider varying your grip width to get a full chest development.
2. Seated Machine Chest Press
I know many readers are not fans of the machine weights but the seated chest press machine offers you a great chance to work your pecs whilst limited the shoulder assistance.
This means you get to put the focus of the exercise onto your chest.
Another major advantage is that it allows you to slow down the repetition both in the concentric and eccentric phases.
We recommend doing this exercise near the end of your chest workout and push yourself to add mass to your chest with heavy weights that are focusing specifically on your chest.
3. Chest Dips
Dips have been a staple of many peoples workouts for years as they are a great way to use your bodyweight to help you build mass and functional power.
For chest dips you need to ensure that you keep your legs behind you and lean forward as far as possible when performing you dips.
This allows you to put the focus on your chest, in particular you lower chest.
You can perform this exercise at any point in your workout, however for beginners we recommend placing it earlier in your workout so you have enough strength to lift your bodyweight.
For those of you who love to superset, pair this move up with push-ups to give it a real kick!
4. Close Grip Weighted Pushup
Push-ups are possibly the most used chest exercise in the world due to it ease and the fact it requires no equipment.
This variation has some key components that give it a kick over standard push-ups.
Firstly the close-grip pushes the focus to the inner pecs.
Secondly the added weight allows you to push yourself above your standard bodyweight for an enhanced boost.
We recommend adding this move to the end of your chest workout and it makes a great finishing move after you have been lifting the weights.
5. Kettlebell Fly
If you have mainly used dumbbells in your workouts then you are going to find that the kettlebell fly is a great way to mix things up.
A kettlebell is harder to grip than a dumbbell, this means that you will be working just that little bit harder with every rep when you chose kettlebells for your fly rather than dumbbells.
Due to the weight of the kettlebell being below your palms your chest will have to recruit extra muscle fibres to power you through the reps.
If you are making the switch from dumbbells to kettlebells we recommend starting with a weight that is 5-10 pounds lighter to account for the extra difficulty in this move.
Hopefully you begin to add these five great chest exercises to your workouts over the coming weeks and really get your pecs popping for that powerful upper body.