8 Best Chest Exercises For Strength And Function

by | Oct 18, 2022 | Strength | 0 comments

Fitness is a journey; every individual must adopt it for longevity and better strength. Even after eating a balanced meal and embarking on a healthy routine, some people feel that the routine is not wholesome. There are a few factors that need to be added to complete your fitness journey. Adopting wrong practices may lead to severe complications.

The environment and lifestyle adopted by an individual play a significant role in keeping them healthy. Exercising regularly is one such healthy habit that leads to a quality life. There are specific body parts that define strength and function. Cheat muscles are one such muscle group that needs to be trained to gain strength.

Numerous exercises could be done on a chest day, but you do not wish to do them all together. You want the best exercises that can help you build a muscular chest. There are numerous parameters that define the kind of chest exercise perfect for you. These factors include:

  • Ease of performing the exercise.
  • The impact of the exercise on your muscle stimulation.
  • Most effective and popular among fitness enthusiasts.
  • Easy availability of the equipment required.

Here are the top 8 chest exercises for strength and function that will help in muscle growth easily and quickly:


Barbell Bench Press

Barbell Bench Press is one of the most popular chest exercises in the gym. The exercise allows you to move a lot of weight. It is always easier to lift than pressing down using heavy dumbbells. It is a good exercise even for beginners.

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The bench press goes well for muscle, strength, and pure mass. You can have numerous variations in a Barbell Bench Press for the growth of chest muscles. You may opt for a medium, close, or wide grip Barbell bench press, a Barbell floor press, a Swiss Bar bench press, a Barbell bench press using chains, a Reverse-grip bench press, a Reverse band bench press, or a bench press using weights.

You must do the exercise at the beginning of the chest workout in rep ranges as per your schedule. You can change the sets and follow different grip widths for better chest development.

Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell Bench Press, as well as a barbell press, is both good for the development of chest muscles. The musculature on either side should work independently to get a balanced size and strength in the chest. Dumbbells help in a longer motion range that leads to muscle growth.

5 best chest exercises

You can have numerous variations in a Dumbbell Bench Press. You may opt for a Neutral-grip, Close Grip, Single-arm, or Alternating dumbbell bench press. Just tweak with the grip and get a new variation on chest day. You may also do a flat dumbbell bench press when you start your chest workout and then continue with heavy sets.

Incline Bench Press

Incline Bench Press is a great exercise to build the upper chest muscles. Many fitness enthusiasts find it to be more comfortable than flat benching. You may do an Incline bench press using a multi-grip bar, dumbbell, or a barbell and can customize your grip to get better results.

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It is suggested that you must opt for a lower incline to focus on the upper chest muscles. If you bring the grip closer, it will help to develop the upper chest muscles better. You can have numerous variations in an Incline Bench Press.

Opt for a Barbell incline bench press, Incline dumbbell or a Smith Machine incline bench press. Your chest workout can start with a flat-bench press or inclines if you wish to work on your upper chest.

Decline Press

It is a notion that Decline Press is good for your lower chest muscles only. But, the truth is that the exercise is great for the entire chest. Lifters can lift heavier weights in a decline press more comfortably in comparison to a flat bench press. If you get hold of good decline press machines, then nothing like it.

lower chest exercises

Otherwise, go for the age-old double-arm press, where you sit sideways to press your body across using one arm at a time. The unilateral chest muscle move is an important action to build strength and function. You can have numerous variations in Decline Bench Press. Opt for Decline barbell or Decline dumbbell bench press.

You may even go for a Decline Smith machine press or a Decline leverage press. You must start with free-weight presses as they need more effort than machines. The final heavy exercise can be done using a Decline press machine.

Machine Chest Press

Machine Chest Press comes with some amazing effects and benefits in comparison to Free-weight pressing done on a flat bench. A Machine Chest Press is easier to repeat and can be done in both eccentric and concentric exercise phases.

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A drop set can be easily and quickly done using a stack-loaded machine. A machine bench press is comfortable for the shoulders and allows you to target the pecs.

Pump your pecs with the help of an intense workout. You can have numerous variations in the Machine chest press. You may opt for a flat, decline, or incline Plate-loaded chest press or a seated, lying, or standing Cable chest press. Machine exercises must be done at the end of your workout.


Push-Up is a very simple and great exercise requiring absolutely zero equipment. It is an excellent exercise for a home workout. Push-ups are highly versatile, simple to learn, easy to adjust and help target different chest muscles with some simple tweaks and hand placement.

chest workouts

Bench presses and Push-ups are the same regarding muscle gain and in muscle activation. Push-ups need to be a part of your routine. Push-Ups can be done in numerous variations like Feet-elevated push-ups, Suspended push-ups, Hands-elevated push-ups, weighted push-ups, Hand-release push-ups, or Banded push-ups.

They are a great exercises for burnout at the end of a workout. They can be a part of a compound set, a mechanical drop set, or a chest superset using rows. They can also be done with weights and resistance bands if needed.


Dips are a staple part of a chest workout for good reasons. Dips are a great bodyweight movement that stretches your chest muscles to increase strength. Adding weight with a dip can be a great alternative to the weighted decline press.

upper chest exercises

All dip variations hit the chest muscles heavily. Numerous Dip variations can help in chest muscle growth. You may opt for a Ring dip, Banded dip, or Machine dip. Dips are a great inclusion in a superset with push-ups to the end of your workout.

Chest Fly

Chest Fly is a great exercise to isolate the pecs once you are done with the presses. Using cables for a Fly variation is the best to gain strength and function. They allow tension all through the range of motion and are considered one of the best Isolation exercises for Muscle-Building.

What is the number 1 chest exercise

Fly exercises can be done in numerous variations like an Incline cable fly, Low-cable cross-over, Cable cross-over, Dumbbell fly, or a Single-arm cable cross-over fly. They must be done after you are through with the presses, and you do not need to go heavy.


Whether you aim to have a muscular chest or a chiseled one, working on your chest muscles will enhance the quality of your life. All the exercises mentioned above must be done religiously and accompanied by a high-protein diet to increase the strength and size of the chest muscles.

Starts training with a warm-up like an incline push so that the muscles prepare for heavier loads. This will also decrease the risk of any injury. Always be regular with the workouts to make you feel energetic and stronger. Never forget to enjoy the fitness journey!


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