Best Chest Exercises for Beginners

Sharing for a healthy society.

Sure you want a massive chest that stretches T-shirts and draws stares has to start somewhere even if you’re an absolute beginner in the gym. These 10 chest exercises will help you build power and strength, master basic lifting skills, and help you start to pack on muscle.

Physio Ball Pushup

How to do it: Assume pushup position on a physioball (aka Swiss ball) with your fingers pointed down the sides. Your shoulder blades should be pushed away from each other. Lower yourself until your chest barely touches the ball. Maintain control of the ball as you push as far away from the ball as possible. Keep your body straight from ear to ankle.

Why it works: As with a standard pushup, this exercise increases strength in the chest, shoulders, and triceps—but the instability of the ball forces you to work your core and shoulder stability.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.


Pullup

How to do it: Grab the bar with an overhand grip. Hanging from the bar, pull your shoulder blades back and down to lift your body up and build momentum. Finish by pulling up with your arms.

Why it works: No other move makes you feel like you’re building that V-shape torso, and with good reason. You’re working the muscles of your upper back, shoulders, biceps, and forearms, along with the chest.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets. If you can only do five, do five. If the pull-up is too challenging at first, start with a “horizontal” pullup by lying underneath the bar of a squat rack.


Kettlebell Swing

How to do it: Stand holding a kettlebell with both hands in front of you with straight arms. Squat as you lower the kettlebell along an arc under and between your legs. Drive your hips, and swing the kettlebell up until your arms are parallel to the floor. Remember to keep your arms straight, and your shoulder blades are drawn back and down throughout the swing.

Why it works: These don’t directly target the chest, but they provide so many benefits in terms of strengthening the hips, shoulders, and core and burning a lot of calories that you’ll inevitably see results in your chest, too.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.


Bench Press

How to do it: Lie face-up on the bench with your feet on the floor. Your shoulders and hips should remain in contact with the bench. Grab the bar just wider than shoulder-width, and hold it with straight arms over your shoulders. Breathe in, lowering the bar to your chest, and then drive the bar back to starting position. Extend your arms and shoulders fully.

Why it works: There’s a reason the NFL tests its prospects on the 225-lb bench at the combine: It tests strength and power in your chest, shoulders, and triceps. You can start with a much lower weight, of course, but the effect will be the same.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.


Dumbbell Bench Press

How to do it: Lying face-up on the bench, holding dumbbells at the outside edges of your shoulders, lift the dumbbells straight up over your chest. Lower the dumbbells, touching the outside of your shoulders, then push them back up.

Why it works: This bench variation stabilizes your shoulders and helps eliminate strength imbalances, in addition to providing the same benefits of the traditional bench press.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.


Dip

How to do it: Position yourself above and between parallel bars, grabbing them with an overhand grip. Cross your ankles behind you. Lower yourself slowly, and push back up in a controlled manner.

Why it works: It forces you to use your chest to lift your entire bodyweight.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.


Burpee

How to do it: From a standing position, squat, place your hands on the ground, and “jump” your feet out into a pushup position. Perform a pushup, and then jump your feet to your hands. Then jump as high as you can, throwing your hands over your head.

Why it works: It’s a full-body pushup-like exercise that gives you all the benefits of pushups, while also challenging your cardiovascular system and ratcheting up the intensity of your workout.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.


Dumbbell Flye

How to do it: Lying face-up on a flat bench, hold a pair of dumbbells over your chest with elbows slightly bent, palms facing each other. Separate the hands and lower the dumbbells to the sides until you feel a stretch in your chest. At the bottom of the movement, your palms should be facing the ceiling. Reverse the motion until you reach the starting point, a movement some liken to “hugging a barrel”.

Why it works: Few movements so effectively challenge the pecs while also hitting the shoulders and biceps.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.


Dumbbell Incline Press

How to do it: Lie face-up on a bench set at a 45° angle. Holding dumbbells at the outside edges of your shoulders, lift the dumbbells straight up over your chest. Lower the dumbbells, touching the outside of your shoulders, then push them back up.

Why it works: It hits your chest at a different angle, forcing you to place more emphasis on your upper chest and the front of your shoulders.

Prescription: 2 sets of 10 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.10 of 10


Medicine Ball Chest Pass

How to do it: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, facing a brick or concrete block wall while holding a medicine ball with arms extended. Bring the ball to chest, and throw as hard as possible to the wall. Catch the ball, and return to starting position.

Why it works: This builds explosive power in the chest and can be done as fast as possible.

Prescription: 2 sets of 30 seconds with 60 seconds rest between sets.

Whether your goal is to have a broader physique or get stronger for sports or life, this beginner’s guide will help you get there 🙂 🙂

Sharing for a healthy society.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

shares