Whether you simply want to ditch the flab, firm up your upper body and get rid of the “man boob” look, or your goal is to pack on a ton of chest muscle, then you really need to be performing the most effective pectoral exercises on a regular basis. Sure hitting the gym in an unorganized fashion and randomly selecting chest exercises with no clear purpose, will allow you to achieve some level of success.
However if you really want to build thick muscular pecs that you can be proud of, then you need to plan your chest workouts around a short list of the top chest exercises and ditch the longer list of crappy pec exercises.
No matter what body part you want to focus your attention on, I think that you’re a lot better off sticking with the pec exercises that allow you to workout with heavy weights through a complete range of motion that incorporates muscles from many different body parts. In the case of chest training, I really like to focus on the basic chest presses that involves the muscles of the shoulder and pectoralis major at the same time, and sometimes even the lats.
I just feel that you get the most out of each workout training this way than you would by trying to singularly isolate each and every muscle fiber of each and every muscle group. If you try to lift for muscle growth by focusing on isolation movements that don’t incorporate your deltoids, you reach a point where while you are isolating the pectoral muscles, you aren’t training with a heavy enough weight to stimulate real muscle growth.
Below are my choices for the most effective pectoral exercises. Learn how to perform each of these pectoral exercises with proper form and start working them into your chest days. Not only will you begin to instantly feel a difference in the size and strength of your pecs, and after a few weeks of real effort, everyone will begin to notice your bigger, stronger pectoral muscles.
The Ultimate Pectoral Exercises
1. Barbell Bench Press – This is the universal grandfather of all pectoral exercises. Incorporating muscles from your pecs, shoulders and tri’s this basic pectoral exercise will help you pack on some serious chest muscle fast!
To perform the barbell bench press – Lie on your back on a flat exercise bench with your butt in contact with the bench and your feet flat on the ground. Grip the barbell with your hands spaced slightly wider than shoulder width in an overhand grip. Slowly lower the barbell in a slow and controlled manner until it’s located just below the lower portion of your pectoralis. push your arms up while pushing the weight until the bar is in the starting position.
2. Barbell Incline Press – The barbell incline press is another classic (and extremely effective) pectoral exercise that can help you get your pecs into amazing shape. the incline press works the muscles in your chest and shoulders.
To perform the barbell incline press: Sit on an inclined bench set to between 45 and 60 degrees. I personally like to lower the angle of the bench even lower to somewhere between 35 and 40 degrees because it allows me to train with much heavier weights than I can train with if the angle of the bench is steeper. Just give this pec exercise a try and see what works best for you.
Grab the barbell with an overhand grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width. Slowly lower the bar to the top of your chest. Make sure that your butt and back stay in contact with the bench during the entire exercise. Press the weight up until the bar is back in the starting position. Make sure to avoid any aching in your back during this exercise.
3. Chest Dips And Weighted Chest Dips – When performed correctly weighted dips are one of the most effective pec exercises. Dips target your chest muscles while including Your delts at the same time. One of the really cool things about weighted dips is that when performed properly, dips allow you to really stretch out your chest and shoulder muscles at the bottom of the movement, which can help to improve blood flow and nutrient uptake in your shoulders and chest.
To perform chest dips: Hang from the parallel bars with your arms fully extended and you legs curled up behind you. Bend your elbows and lower your body in a controlled manner until your chest is level with the parallel bars, then press down and lift your body back up to the starting position. In order to place more of an emphasis on your chest and less on your triceps, lean forward through the complete movement.
If I had to pick only 3 pectoral exercises to make up the bulk of my chest workouts, bench press, incline press (as well as the dumbbell equivalents) and weighted dips would be the exercises I’d go with. Not only do these basic pec exercises require little in the way of fancy equipment, there is no doubt that they are among the most effective exercises for building a massive and eye catching chest.