Many people want to define and sculpt their chest, as they feel that it helps them look their best. Working out the chest means exercising the pectoral muscles, also known as “pecs”. Whilst pecs are the largest muscles in the chest, there are also a variety of smaller muscles that should be engaged to support the pectoral muscles.
In this article, we will explain how to build a bigger chest using a variety of popular exercises, perfect for the home or gym!
There are a wide variety of exercises for pecs. From compound chest exercises to chest isolation exercises, the options for building a bigger chest are endless. In reality, the most simple exercises can make the biggest difference when performed correctly.
Here are some simple dumbbell chest workouts, along with resistance band chest exercises, that are guaranteed to improve your chest muscles.
Dumbbell chest exercises
Incorporating dumbbells into your workout routine is a fantastic addition to your favourite exercises. Compared to other weights like barbells, dumbbells place less stress on your joints and allow for a greater range of motion.
Here are our favourite dumbbell chest workouts for exercising your pecs and smaller chest muscles. We recommend you perform these chest exercises at the gym, where you will have full access to the entire weight wrack to truly push yourself.
Using a medium pair of heavy dumbbells, lay flat on a bench while holding the two dumbbells directly above your chest. Have your palms facing in and make sure the weights are touching each other.
Slightly bending your elbows, lower the weights down toward your sides. Ensure that your palms are still facing in.
Pause at the bottom of the movements, before exhaling and returning to the start. Give an extra squeeze to the weights as they are above you to keep constant tension on the muscle through the whole repetition.
For this exercise, you will need to use a pair of heavy dumbbells. Begin the repetition by laying flat on the bench with the weights directly above your chest. For the dumbbell press, your palms should be facing towards your thighs rather than facing in.
Whilst breathing in, slowly lower the weight towards your shoulders at a 90-degree angle. You should feel the tension in the chest area as you hold the weights in place.
From here, you will need to exhale and push the weights upwards back to the starting position.
Close grip dumbbell chest press
Using heavy dumbbells, again, lay flat on a bench with the dumbbells above your chest. Have your palms facing inwards towards each other and bring the weights together so that they are almost touching.
From here, breathe in and lower the weights towards the middle of your chest. Bring them as close to your rib cage as you can, without actually resting them there. If you feel the tension in your shoulders, adjust to ensure the weights are loaded directly over the centre of your chest for better form.
You will then exhale and push the weight back above your chest.
Resistance band chest exercises
Using resistance bands for chest training is great for isolating the chest and triceps whilst reducing stress on the shoulder. Resistance bands allow you to limit your range of motion, reinforcing proper tensions and retraction for your movements.
Here at the best chest exercises to perform with a resistance band. We find that these are great for a chest workout at home, as you don’t need any fancy equipment to get the job done. Using one simple resistance band, you can increase the intensity of your exercises to get the results you want.
Resistance band floor press
Hold the resistance band and place it around your back, ensuring that it is properly placed just slightly below the shoulders. Then lay down on the floor with your arms bent at a 90-degree angle.
With your palms facing towards your thighs, push up the resistance band and hold at the top of your arm extension. As the band lengthens more tension will be created, forcing your muscles to contract more.
From here, slowly bring your arms back down to that 90-degree angle.
Resistance band crossover fly
For this exercise, you will need to have a door anchor or multigym machine to use your resistance bands or cables. With the resistance band adequately attached to the stationary fixture, take each end of the resistance band in each hand.
Facing away from the fixture, your arms should be stretched out and parallel to the floor. Each arm should be fully extended with a slight bend.
Bring your arms in front of you, ensuring that your arms stay straight with a slight bend. Cross our arms out in front of you, with your right hand on the bottom. Then stretch your arms back out wide at your sides. Alternate your right hand being on the bottom and top of the cross over.
Staggered stand incline press
Stand in a staggered stance, with one foot behind and one in front in a lunge position. Place the resistance band underneath your back foot whilst you hold the ends of the band in each hand. Bring your hands up so that they are in line with your shoulders with your palms facing outwards.
From here, push diagonally forward and out. Ensure that your arms remain slightly bent while they are fully extended. To get the perfect form, make sure your core is engaged to maintain posture with a slight arch in your lower back.
Hold this position for a moment before gently returning to the starting position with your hands level with your shoulders. Repeat this movement whilst alternating which leg is in front for the lunge position.
Nutrition for building muscle
To enhance your chest muscles, you must provide your body with the right nutrients alongside a dedicated workout regimen.
If your goal is to build muscle, make sure that you have a high protein intake. Protein is an essential nutrient that is made up of long chains of amino acids. It has various roles throughout the body but plays an important part in building and maintaining muscle and tissue. You can intake protein by eating foods such as beef, chicken, and pork or by using a supplement like protein powder. There are also a wide variety of vegan protein sources available including mushrooms, tofu, and peanuts.
Creatine is another helpful supplement for enhancing muscle mass. Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid that helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily to build muscle. It is ideal for high-intensity workouts like weight training, as it gives your body the energy boost it needs.
To further enhance your energy and focus before a chest workout, take a pre-workout supplement. With both caffeine-filled and stimulant-free pre-workouts available, you will be able to find the perfect blend to get you pumped and ready for exercise.
Knowing how to get bigger pecs is only half the battle. It is important to put dedication into your routine and to be consistent with your workouts. Ensure that you get the right nutrition alongside your exercise regimen so that you can see the results in no time.