Top 5 Best Chest Exercises for Mass

fit man with large chest musclesMy Favorite Chest Exercises to Build Massive Pecs

Your chest muscles are ready to be chiseled into the barrel chest appearance that so many men desire. The pectorals are a fairly easy muscle group to target and isolate for mass gain and I’m going to show you what helped me achieve great results.

From my experience, the best way to gain muscle mass in the chest region, or any other region for that matter, is to perform heavy lifting for two weeks, and then follow this up with a third week of light weight training. After that, simply repeat and watch the results begin to appear and feel your confidence begin to grow!

It is recommended that you have a spotter for the some of the exercises that I’m going to discuss, especially if you are new to weight training. I highly recommend this because a large portion of chest exercises require you to be underneath the weight. There is a higher risk of serious injury if you use too much weight for example and end up not being able to handle the load. Beginners should of course be starting out with light weight but even then a spotter is still highly recommended for many of these exercises.

Now, let’s move on to the exercises! Here are five of my favorite chest exercises to help you maximize your chest mass gains.

My Top 5 Favorite Chest Exercises for Mass

#1. Stiff-Arm Dumbbell Pullovers

The stiff-arm dumbbell pullover is an exercise that helps put mass onto your upper body. The primary muscle group for this exercise are your pectorals, and the secondary muscles being exercised are you triceps, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, and abdominals as well. This is just one of the ultimate workouts to perform, and a spotter is a definite need if you are going to be performing heavy weights. Not just for safety reasons, but also for helping you with keeping your form together.

Lie back against the flat bench and place your hands on the underside of the dumbbell. For better safety, have your palms against the underside with your thumbs wrapped around the grips. Then fully extend your arms out, and proceed to carefully lower the weight behind your head until you feel tension against your chest, ensuring you keep your arms straight. Then bring it back up the exact same way you brought the dumbbell down. When you lower the weight down behind your head, flex your chest muscles to get the most out of the stiff-arm dumbbell pullover.

#2. Dumbbell Bench Press

This exercise is the exact same movements to be performed as a barbell bench press. However, you can actually benefit more from using dumbbells instead of the barbell. The primary reason is because when you press the weight up, your arms are able to actually push in more towards your mid-line allowing more tension to be placed on your chest. Another reason is because you can maintain an even amount of strength to be used with each arm. This is a versatile exercise that can be performed on a bench at the gym or even a stability ball at home, as shown in the demonstration video.

#3. Incline Bench Cable Fly’s

Cables are a great variation to consider adding into your training routines because they use resistance to exercise you muscles. You are not only working out your chest, but also your shoulders as well. When it comes to incline fly’s make sure to use a lighter amount of weight because you are stretching the upper end of your pectoral muscle, and too much weight or resistance could easily tear a shoulder muscle.

Place an incline bench facing away from the two pulley grips to be used. With the handles in the palms of your hands, extend your arms out fully to position yourself, and then place a slight bend in your elbows. This is the starting position. Now lower the wait down to their respective sides in a semi-circular movement always keeping a bend in your elbows. Lower the weight down as far as you can go, and then bring the weight back up the same path as they went down.

#4. Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

This is one of the most underused exercises performed at the gym. If you need to change up your chest routine, which you should always do every week or so, then the decline dumbbell press is right for you. The decline press is used to round out your pectorals and leave them more defined, and also allows that separated appearance of your chest from your abdominals. Lie back on the decline bench and press the weight straight up from your sides, and ensure when you go down not too go to fast and allow your elbows to go too far down. Gravity will easily take control due to the fact that your body is in an unstable position during this exercise.

#5. Pushups!

Yup, one of the top exercises to perform for chest mass is pushups. Pushups are super versatile and can be performed anywhere, not to mention there are a ton of variations to try out. What I like to do is strive to get the highest amount of repetitions as possible for one set only during my workouts. Try doing this at the end of each training day and see exactly how much of a workout this is going to be when you are already fatigued from weight training. Set a goal to try and perform 100 pushups in a row! Just don’t push yourself to the point of injury and you will see rapid chest gains.

The Bottom Line

man puffing up chest muscles

So there you have it, five of the best chest exercises to supplement into your chest training workout day! These exercises are all going to help improve your gains but be sure to not overload or perform heavy weight training without a spotter, and be sure not to over train your muscles. This means dialing-in your sets and reps and making sure you are utilizing training splits to properly partition your workouts. NOTE: Your shoulders are a major muscle needed to perform just about every chest exercise so be careful with them as they can be easily damaged if you use improper form, add too much weight, or over train them by not allowing enough rest and recovery between workouts.

What are your ultimate favorite chest exercises for mass gain? Let us know in the comments below!    

Further Reading:

Author Profile: Brian Pankau ISSA-CPT, IFPA-SNS

Strong Fit LivingBrian is a Marine that has become a certified personal trainer and nutritionist. He has written for numerous publications over the past eight years as a freelance writer on topics such as muscle building, weight loss, healthy eating, and more. His eBook for sale is Slim Strong Fit Exercise Programs.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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