5 best chest workouts for upper body strength

Chest workouts are a great way to build upper body strength as well as improve posture. However, these should be done in the right manner.
chest workout
A strong chest goes a long way in improving our posture and prevent slouching.
Anjuri Nayar Singh Updated: 2 Nov 2023, 08:26 am IST
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Body resilience, strength and better posture are just some of the benefits you get from regular chest workouts. Chest workout regimes are one of the best ways to build up on your flexibility and keep issues such as back pain and other injuries at bay. What’s more? Chest day doesn’t have to be boring! There are so many different kind of chest workout regimes that you can follow.

Benefits of chest workout

Chest workouts help to build overall upper body strength and improve the quality of life. It also enhances your ability to perform daily activities and indulge in sports, says fitness instructor Wanitha Ashok.

A strong chest can help improve posture and prevent slouching, which can lead to back pain and other issues. Due to people’s current lifestyle, their upper back is stretched and the chest region is constricted. But chest workouts can help to open it up and make it stronger. A strong chest region can help stabilise the shoulders and reduce the risk of injury during physical activity.

chest workout
Going slow, adequate warm u and cooling down and a good diet are a must if you doing chest workouts.

What are the 5 best chest workouts?

1. Barbell Bench Press:

This classic exercise targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

  • -Lie down on the bench press and place yourself at the appropriate height where you can easily reach the barbell.
  • Bend your knees and place your legs at either side of the bench press.
  • Use an overhand grip to hold the bar. Now, extend your arms with the bar in your hands.

2. Dumbbell Flyes:

This isolation exercise targets the chest muscles, specifically the pectoralis major

  • Lie down on the bench press and bend your knees. Place your legs on either side of the press.
  • Pick up two dumbbells from the floor or ask someone to hand them to you. One in each hand.
  • Palms and the dumbbells should be facing each other as you lift them up. Extend your arm so that your elbow is only slightly bent.
  • Lower your dumbbells while making an arc with your hands and line them up along your chest while extending your arms to the side.

3. Push-Ups

This bodyweight exercise is a great way to target the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

  • Lie down on the floor, on all fours, and extend your legs. Balance yourself on your hands and toes.
  • Place your hands at your shoulders and bend the elbows.
  • Tighten your core and lift yourself up. Inhale while you do this. Now, your elbows should be at a 90 degrees angle.
  • Exhale and return to start position. Push yourself up through your hands and contract your chest muscles.

4. Incline Bench Press

This variation of the bench press targets the upper portion of the chest muscles.

  • Set the bench at a 30-35 degrees angle.
  • Lie on the bench by setting your hips and upper back on it.
  • Your arms should be perpendicular to the press. Now, pull the bar down and bring it above your upper chest and shoulders.
  • Press the bar upward by pull your elbow inwards. Raise the bar while extending your elbows.

5. Cable Crossover

This isolation exercise targets the chest muscles and helps to build size and definition.

  • The cable crossover should be around shoulder-level.
  • Take one handle in each hand and step out. While doing so, bend your torse outwards, but only slightly.
  • Move our arms across your body. The arms should be straight and elbows should be loose. Criss cross your hands.

    Do’s and don’ts for performing chest workouts

    While chest workouts can be a great way to stay in shape, it should be done keeping a few things in mind.

    • Adequate warm up: A good warm up session helps prevent injuries, increases the blood circulation and prepares the body for the intense workout. This can include light cardio, and dynamic stretching specific to the chest muscles.
    • Get your movements right: During the workout, it is important to maintain proper alignment. Good execution of the moves will engage the right muscles.
    • Go slow: Start with light weights and gradually increase it. Do not lift too heavy weights right in the beginning as your body is not ready for it. Workouts have to be progressive. It is also important to listen to your body and take breaks if needed.
    • Cool down: Post workout, it’s important to cool down and stretch the muscles to prevent soreness and stiffness.
    • Eat well: Fuel your body with nutritious foods, including protein for muscle recovery, stay hydrated and rest to aid in muscle recovery.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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