Chest Workout

1. Basic Bench Press

Why: The bench press is the most basic building block of a chest workout because it zeroes in on the pectoral muscles.

How: Lie down with your back flat on the bench and your feet planted firmly on the floor. To ensure that you have a wide enough grip, align your index finger with the first ring on the bar. Bring your elbows back even with your shoulders. Let the bar touch your chest, then drive it back to full extension in one fluid motion. To make sure you are in full control, do a 1-2-3 count as you lift the bar up from your chest and as you bring it back down.
3 sets of 10 reps

2. Dumbbell Fly

Why:  Using free weights is much more effective than a machine because you really have to control your body weight, which requires additional energy so you see results faster.”

How: Position yourself on an incline bench, and hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing in. Hold your arms straight above you. As you exhale, lower both arms out to the sides, to about shoulder height. Hold momentarily, then slowly raise to return to start position.
3 sets of 10 reps

Cable Fly

3. Cable Crossover

Why: Unlike free weights, cables provide a continuous and steady level of resistance, which engages the small stabilizing muscles in your chest as well as the pectorals.

How: Stand with one foot forward and your feet about hip width apart. Bend your chest slightly forward. Grip a cable handle in each hand. Your hands should be slightly above the shoulders and elbows slightly bent. With your arms almost fully extended, slowly bring your hands together in a wide arc motion. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.
3 sets with increasing reps of 10, 12 and 15

4. Dumbbell Chest Press With Hold

dumbell chest press - male

Why:  Dumbbells are better than straight bars because they require stability and balance.  This version of the classic dumbbell chest press also builds up stamina since you keep your arms and chest engaged at all times.

How: Lie on your back on a flat bench. Hold dumbbells with your palms facing forward and plant your feet on the floor. Lift arms straight up so the dumbbells are in line with your shoulders. Lower your right arm until your elbow is even with your shoulder while keeping your left arm straight up. Lift the right arm back up, then lower the left arm while keeping the right arm straight up.
3 sets of 12 reps

5. Incline Bench Press

dumbell chest press - woman

Why:  Many people just stand, sit or lie on flat benches, but adding angles can challenge more muscle groups.  The incline bench press helps you work the top section of the pectoral to help you get a toned look in tank tops and low-cut or sleeveless shirts.

How: Lie on your back on an incline bench angled between 45 and 60 degrees. Grasp a dumbbell* in each hand and plant your feet on the floor. Hold dumbbells with your palms facing forward. Press the dumbbells up to a position over your eyes until your elbows are straight. Lower the dumbbells toward your upper chest and keep your elbows straight under your wrists.
3 sets of 10 reps

*You can also use a straight bar instead of dumbbells.