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Best Chest Workout Routine. How to Work All Parts of the Chest

Best Chest Workout Routine. How to Work All Parts of the Chest

In my previous article, I was talking about my favorite chest exercises with weights. I have already shared my full back workout routine as well and today I want to share my best chest workout routine.

 

This chest workout is one of my favorites because it is working out all parts of the chest. The chest has three muscles, which are upper, lower and middle chest muscles. This workout design to work out all three chest muscles and suitable for everyone. People trying to lose weight or add muscle mass, men and women.

 

Warm Up

First, of all I want to talk about warm up, we already know how important is to warm up before every workout and that warm-up can greatly reduce a chance of injury during a workout, help your muscles and joints to warm up, improve mobility and flexibility. Recommended warm-up time is at least five minutes so don’t rush it thought and do it properly. Best warm up before a workout is dynamic stretching, if you want to know more about dynamic and static stretching, you can find it here.

 

Recommended dynamic stretching exercises before a chest workout

Push-ups – For chest warm up is my favorite dynamic stretch by far. Get to a push-up position with your arms and legs on the floor, your arms extended and in shoulder width, legs extended and feet close to each other, neck straight in line with your back. Watch to the ground, not in front of you. Slowly lower your body down until chest touches the floor, open your chest and stay down for three seconds, try to feel stretch in your chest. Slowly push your body up. Repeat 10 times.

 

You can place your knees on the ground if it is too hard to do push up. The closer knees are to your chest the easier to do a push-up.

 

Dynamic chest stretch – stand with your arm extended to the sides in one line with your shoulders, palms facing away from your body. Open your chest as much as possible by moving your arms back, then close your chest by moving your arms in front of you while your palms touch. Repeat this movement for 30 – 60 seconds.

 

Dynamic chest stretch with resistance band – take the resistance band and place it behind your back at around chest height. Hold handles of the band with palms facing down. Hold your arms at chest press position, arms in horizontal position and with a 90-degree angle at your elbows. Slowly push your arms in front until they fully extended, but do not lock your elbows. Keep it for a few seconds and squeeze your chest. Slowly move your arms to a starting position. Repeat for 10 – 20 times.

 

When warm-up is done we are ready to work out our chest.

 

Incline dumbbell or barbell bench press

This exercise primarily focuses on your upper chest and secondary on your middle and lower chest, triceps and deltoids (front of the shoulders).

 

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Lay down on incline bench set to 30 to 45 degrees with your back flat against the bench and your feet flat on the floor giving you a strong base and support.
  • Take the bar with a slightly wider grip as shoulder width. Your eyes should be at the same level as barbell and your palms facing in front of you.
  • Carefully lift the bar off, don’t rush to start, arch your lower back a little and push your chest up and shoulders back.
  • Slowly (controlling your negative) lower bar down just above your upper chest and touch it with the bar.
  • Pause for a moment and exhaling air push your barbell back to a starting position.
  • If you are working with dumbbells, take the appropriate weight with a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and place dumbbells on your tights.
  • Kick your tights up to help raise dumbbells up to the starting position and lay down on incline bench keeping the same form as working out with barbell.
  • Once your hands up, rotate your wrists so palms are facing away from you. Your arms should be just a little wider than shoulder width and parallel to your upper chest.
  • Slowly start lowering your weight down towards your upper chest. Ideally, it should take 3 seconds to lower the weight down and 1 second to lift it up.
  • Go as low as you feel comfortable with and start feeling a good stretch in your chest, pause for a moment at the bottom position.
  • Exhaling push the weights back to the starting position.
  • Repeat between 6 – 10 repetitions. 4 sets.

 

Incline bench cable fly

This exercise primarily focuses on your upper chest and secondary on your middle and lower chest, triceps, and deltoids (front of the shoulders).

 

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • To get yourself into the starting position, place the pulleys at floor level.
  • Place your bench between pulleys and set it to 30 – 45-degree angle.
  • Select the resistance to be used and hold the pulleys in each hand with palms facing up.
  • Lay down on incline bench set to 30 to 45 degrees with your back flat against the bench and your feet flat on the floor giving you a strong base and support.
  • With a slight bend on your elbows, extend your arms to the side and start bringing your arms together in a wide arc until your arms touch in front of your chest. At this point squeeze your chest for a second.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to lower your arms.
  • Hold for a second at the starting position and repeat the movement.
  • Repeat for 15 repetitions. 3 sets.

 

Dumbbell or barbell flat bench press

This exercise primarily focuses on your middle chest and secondary on your upper and lower chest, triceps, and deltoids (front of the shoulders).

 

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Lay down on the flat bench with your back flat against the bench and your feet flat on the floor giving you a strong base and support.
  • Take the bar with a slightly wider grip as shoulder width. Your eyes should be at the same level as barbell and your palms facing in front of you.
  • Carefully lift the bar off, don’t rush to start, arch your lower back a little and push your chest up and shoulders back.
  • Slowly (controlling your negative) lower bar down until bar touches your lower chest.
  • Pause for a moment and exhaling air push your barbell back to a starting position.
  • If you are working with dumbbells, take the appropriate weight with a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and place dumbbells on your tights.
  • Kick your tights up to help raise dumbbells up to the starting position and lay down on flat bench keeping the same form as working out with barbell.
  • Once your hands up, rotate your wrists so palms are facing away from you. Your arms should be just a little wider than shoulder width and parallel to your mid-chest.
  • Slowly start lowering your weight down towards your lower chest. Ideally, it should take 3 seconds to lower the weight down and 1 second to lift it up.
  • Go as low as you feel comfortable with and start feeling a good stretch in your chest, pause for a moment at the bottom position.
  • Exhaling push the weights back to the starting position.
  • Repeat between 6 – 10 repetitions. 4 sets.

 

 

Standing cable fly

This exercise primarily focuses on your chest and secondary on your shoulders and core.

 

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • To get yourself into the starting position, place the pulleys on medium position.
  • Select the resistance to be used and hold the pulleys in each hand.
  • Step forward in front while pulling your arms together in front of you. Slightly lean forward to help with your balance. This will be your starting position.
  • With a slight bend on your elbows, extend your arms to the side and start bringing your arms together in a wide arc until your arms touch in front of your chest. At this point squeeze your chest for a second.
  • Return your arms back to the starting position. Make sure to use the same arc of motion used to drive your arms back to a starting position.
  • Hold for a second at the starting position and repeat the movement.
  • Repeat for 15 repetitions. 3 sets.

 

Decline dumbbell or barbell bench press

This exercise primarily focuses on your lower chest and secondary on your middle and upper chest, triceps, and deltoids (front of the shoulders).

 

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Lay down on decline bench set to decline position, with your back flat against the bench and your feet flat on the floor giving you a strong base and support.
  • Take the bar with a slightly wider grip as shoulder width. Your eyes should be at the same level as barbell and your palms facing in front of you.
  • Carefully lift the bar off, don’t rush to start, arch your lower back a little and push your chest up and shoulders back.
  • Slowly (controlling your negative) lower bar down to your lower chest and touch it with the bar.
  • Pause for a moment and exhaling air push your barbell back to a starting position.
  • If you are working with dumbbells, take the appropriate weight with a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and place dumbbells on your tights.
  • Kick your tights up to help raise dumbbells up to the starting position and lay down on decline bench keeping the same form as working out with barbell.
  • Once your hands up, rotate your wrists so palms are facing away from you. Your arms should be just a little wider than shoulder width and parallel to your upper chest.
  • Slowly start lowering your weight down towards your lower chest. Ideally, it should take 3 seconds to lower the weight down and 1 second to lift it up.
  • Go as low as you feel comfortable with and start feeling a good stretch in your chest, pause for a moment at the bottom position.
  • Exhaling pushes the weights back to the starting position.
  • Repeat between 6 – 10 repetitions. 4 sets.

 

Push-ups

This exercise primarily focuses on your middle chest and secondary on your upper and lower chest, triceps, and deltoids (front of the shoulders).

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Get to a push-up position with your arms and legs on the floor.
  • Extend your arms and keep them in shoulder width, legs extended and feet close to each other, neck straight in line with your back.
  • Watch to the ground, not in front of you.
  • Slowly lower your body down until chest touches the floor, open your chest and stop for a second.
  • Slowly push your body up to a starting position, squeezing your chest.
  • Repeat 10 times. 3 sets.

 

Cool down

After such a hard and intensive workout you have to cool down. Static stretching is a great option for cool down, it will slow down your heart rate, loosen and relax your muscles and improve flexibility. Good static stretching after every workout can reduce muscle soreness. I recommend at least three stretching exercises after a chest workout.

 

Recommended static stretching exercises after a chest workout

Chest and shoulder stretch – find a bar about your upper chest height where you could rest arms. Bend forward with arms extended in front and back straight, place palms on the bar or any suitable surface and push chest towards the floor holding the bar once you start feeling the stretch in your chest and shoulders. The body should be in around 90 degrees angle with legs. Hold this position for 10 to 30 seconds.

 

Inner chest stretch – Lock your fingers with palms facing to the floor. Holding your fingers locked push your palms towards the floor as far as possible. Squeeze your chest and hold in this position for 10 to 30 seconds.

 

The chest opener – Place your left palm on the wall, the arm should be extended and at shoulder height. Slowly rotate your body to the right until you feel stretching in your chest. Hold this position for 10 – 30 seconds, then switch your arms and do the same.

 

That is my best chest workout routine designed to work all three your chest muscles. Make sure you always control your weight, keep your form and do not cheat. If you can do more repetitions than a target, that means you can take heavier weights and opposite if you can’t do target repetitions. If your target is muscle growth work with heavier weight for fewer repetitions, around 6 – 8 and if you want to lose weight choose lighter weights, but more repetitions, around 15.

 

As always, if you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

 

All the best,

Marius Mickevicius

Founder of ihealthylifestyle

 

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2 thoughts on “Best Chest Workout Routine. How to Work All Parts of the Chest”

  • Wow! I’m so glad I stumbled upon this post! My friends were just barely telling me how important it is to work your chest. Being a girl, I had never really worked my chest before, so I decided to do some research which brought me here. This post is wonderful! You break everything down so well, even for a beginner like me. It was so easy to follow, and the videos were extremely helpful! I always need a demonstration when I learn a new workout because that’s how I learn, so thanks for the videos! I will be sure to bookmark this page and pass it along to some of my friends! Thanks so much!

    • Thank you Monica, I’m really happy that you found my article helpful. So many females think that they don’t have to work out chest or even scared that it might reduce the size of breasts, but is false. Actually, working out chest might help breasts to stand out a bit more because doing chest workout females are developing their pecs which will lift breasts up 🙂 Also working chest will help to improve overall upper body strength and posture. So girls don’t be afraid to workout chest and do not exclude it from your workout routine.

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