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The 5 Best Chest Exercises

Every strength athlete, and especially the male, looks forward to the "chest-day". Finally train the chest muscles again and enjoy maximum bench press. But often I see young people doing the same kind of exercises endlessly, mainly in the form of the bench press. That is why in this article I want to look at what the best breast exercises are and what different types of exercises you can do. The exercises that I mention below all emphasize the chest muscles in a different way and of course you also train other muscle groups. For a good chest workout I recommend to alternate between the many exercises for the chest muscles!

Best pectoral exercises

Bench Press

Incline Bench Press

Dumbbell Fly

Cable Crossover

Dumbbell Pull-over

Anatomy of the chest muscles

To be able to train the chest optimally, you first need to know how the chest muscles are put together. The breast consists of 2 muscles, namely the large pectoral muscle (musculus pectoralis major) and the small pectoral muscle (musculus pectoralis minor). The breast muscles are also called the "pecs".

The m. Pectoralis major consists of 3 parts; pars clavicularis (upper part, attaches to the collarbone), pars sternocostalis (inner part, attaches to the breastbone) and pars abdominalis (lower part of the pectoral muscle).

Because the large pectoral muscle consists of different parts, it is important to adjust your exercises accordingly. By always doing the bench press, you will never get the ideal shape of your chest muscle. You train far too one-sided!

The 5 Best Chest Exercises

There are many different exercises you can do to grow strong and full chest muscles. Not every chest exercise stimulates the chest muscles in the same way, so it is important to ensure sufficient variety in your chest workout. The exercises below are very suitable for training your chest muscles. View the best breast exercises and use them in your own training!

1. The Bench press

The first exercise that many people think of when training the chest is the bench press , also known as bench press . The bench press is one of the best breast exercises. With the bench press you mainly train the middle part of the large pectoral muscle, but also the front part of the shoulder muscles and the triceps.

The implementation of the barbell bench press:

best exercises chest musclesLie down on a horizontal bench with your eyes straight under the barbell / bar. Keep your bottom on the couch and put your feet firmly on the floor.

Grab the bar so that, when you lower the bar, your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Make sure that the thumb is also wrapped around the rod when handling the rod. This prevents the rod from slipping out of your hands. (do not fold the wrists back, this can cause injuries)

Put your shoulders firmly in the bench and then push the rod out of the holder.

Breathe in and lower the rod slowly until the arms are at a 90 degree angle or even slightly further. Make sure that the elbows are in a straight line with the shoulders.

Then push the rod up again and at last exhale for most power. Do this for the number of repetitions you want to make.

During the bench press you can pull the back so that you can deliver just a bit more power. This ensures that the emphasis is more on the underside of the breast. Make sure that the hips stay on the couch.

Tips for bench press:

This exercise can also be performed with separate dumbells (Dumbbell Press).

When you hold the elbows alongside your side and place your hands closer together, train the triceps more.

If you are serious about benchpressing , it is wise to have a spotter. Someone who stands behind you helps you when things are going wrong. Moreover, you can just print out those extra reps.

2. Incline Barbell Benchpress

oblique bench presses chest musclesAnother good exercise for the chest muscles is the Incline Benchpress. With the incline bench press (oblique bench press) you place more emphasis on the top of the chest muscle (pars clavicularis). You also take more of your shoulders than with flat bench presses.

Tips for slanted bench press:

If the bench is higher than 45 degrees, the emphasis is more on the front of the shoulders.

This exercise can also be done as incline dumbell bench press or in the smith machine. Remember: Variety is key!

3. The Dumbbell Fly

With this exercise you stretch the chest muscles. This ensures that you get a broad chest. This exercise is somewhat more complicated than the previous 2 exercises because it involves more balance. With the dumbbell fly, you stimulate the chest muscles in a different way than with, for example, bench press. That is why it is important to include a fly exercise in your schedule. The dumbbell fly is one of the best pectoral exercises!

Tips for the dumbbell fly:

When you tilt the bench upwards, you focus more on the top of the chest muscles.

Use a weight with which you can perform a perfect fly. Heavy weights are fun, but with the DB Fly the technique and execution is the most important thing.

dumbbell fly pectoral muscles

4. The Cable Crossover

This exercise trains, just like the fly, mainly the outside of the chest muscles. This is because you stretch the chest muscles very much during the exercise. The beauty is that you can vary greatly with the height of the cables, so you can stimulate the chest muscles from every angle. The versatility makes the Cable Crossover one of the best pectoral exercises.

The implementation of the cable cross over:

Grasp the handles of the cables and point forward with the wrists.

Take a step forward and also slightly bend your body forward. Keep the back straight during the entire exercise and breathe well.

Bring the arms in with a slight bend in the elbows and exhale while bringing in the arms.

In order to optimally address the chest muscles, you need to put more emphasis on the end of the movement. When you bring your hands together, squeeze the chest muscles together. Make sure that the hands do not touch each other, this takes away the tension of the chest muscles.

Bring the arms back gradually and breathe again. Make sure you do not bring the arms too far back, this can cause injuries (overstretching).

You can vary very well with this exercise. Starting from a high point, do it with the cables in the middle and finish with the cables from the lowest point. You can also choose to do the cable crossover sitting on a bench.

During this exercise you also partially train the front part of the shoulder muscles.

5. The Dumbbell Pull-over

This exercise is a stretching exercise for the entire pectoral muscle. With this exercise you train the size of the pectoral muscle. In addition, you train the abdominal muscles, the shoulders, the triceps and even slightly the back muscles. Actually the Dumbbell Pull-over is a forgotten exercise, not many people do it. That is unfortunate, because he is certainly one of the best pectoral exercises.

The execution of the dumbell pull-over:

Grab a bench and set it to 0 degrees / the horizontal position.

Lie with your shoulders on the horizontal part of the couch and lie so that only the shoulders touch the sofa. Put the feet down firmly so that the knees are at a 90 degree angle. There may be a bend in the hips.

Grab a dumbell where the handle overflows into the actual weight. Keep your fingers so that your thumbs and index fingers form a triangle together. The handle of the dumbell goes through this triangle and the rest of the fingers hold the weight.

Stretch the arms and hold the dumbell straight above your chest.

Inhale and bring back the arms, slightly bent, and ensure that the top of the dumbell goes just beyond your head.

Bring the dumbell back up again. Breathe out gradually during the upward movement. Do not move the dumbell straight above the eyes, otherwise you will get rid of the tension of the chest muscles.

Repeat for the desired number of reps.

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