Chest exercises go beyond just making you look good at the beach. Working on your chest ultimately improves posture and raises self-esteem in men and in women.
Chest exercises provide multiple benefits including:
- Strengthens your upper body
- Performance of everyday activities
- Enhances muscle function
- Improves self-confidence
If you’re a beginner looking for effective chest exercises, you’ve come to the right place. Get ready for challenging exercises that will leave you with stronger and better-looking muscles that you can’t wait to show off this season.
Chest Exercises for Beginners
Try out the following exercises that are extremely beneficial and effective for building stronger chest muscles.
1. Wide Arm Push-Ups
Wide arm push-ups are a little different from regular push-ups because of the placement of the arms. Arms are placed wider than shoulder-width apart which makes it an effective exercise for the chest.
- Start in a push-up position with your arms and palms placed wider than the mat or wider than shoulder-width apart. Your legs will be straight and you have the option to perform the push-ups on your knees.
- Your spine will be straight, your core is tight, and your palms are in line with your shoulders.
- Start the exercise by bending your elbows and lower your body towards the ground, as far as you can go, followed by pushing yourself back up to the starting position.
- Perform this exercise for 30 seconds, resting for 15 seconds, and repeating the exercise for 30 more seconds.
2. Barbell Bench Press
One of the most effective exercises for the chest, barbell bench presses can be performed in different variations that include neutral, incline, and decline positions.
- Lie on your back on a bench with your back straight and your feet flat on the floor wider than shoulder-width distance apart. Your core should be tight and engaged.
- With your forearms perpendicular to the floor, firmly grip the barbell with your hands and palms should be facing forward.
- As you inhale, start to straighten your elbows and slowly press the barbell upwards towards the ceiling.
- Pause for one second and as you exhale, slowly start to lower the barbell back to starting position.
- Repeat this exercise with 3 sets of 10 reps with a rest period of 10 seconds.
3. Dumbbell Plank Rotations
Dumbbell plank rotation will not only work your chest muscles but will also keep your core tight and engaged.
- Place two light or heavy dumbbells about shoulder-width apart on either side of the mat.
- Get into high plank position and grab the dumbbells with each hand. Your shoulders will be stacked right above the dumbbells.
- Lower down to forearm plank and slowly open your body to rotate to the right, lifting the right dumbbell towards the ceiling.
- Bring your right hand back down and switch sides.
- Repeat this exercise for about 45 seconds, making sure to alternate both sides in order to even them out.
4. Dumbbell Bridge Chest Press
Dumbbell bridge chest press targets your lower back, glutes, hamstrings and chest muscles.
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Bring your hands to your chest and extend them up towards the ceiling with your palms facing forward.
- With your core muscles tight, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips towards the ceiling as you slowly lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest.
- Repeat this exercise by simultaneously lifting your hips and lowering your hands for about 30 – 45 seconds.
5. Kettlebell Swings
While kettlebell swings do not directly target the chest, it works out other parts of the body such as the hips, shoulders, and core muscles, which ultimately help to improve the chest muscles in the long run.
- Holding a kettlebell with both hands, keep your arms straight and gently squat to place the kettlebell in between your legs.
- Using your hips and your strength, swing the kettlebell up towards the ceiling until your arms are parallel to the floor.
- Your arms should be straight and your shoulders should be drawn back and down while swinging the kettlebell.
- Perform kettlebell exercises for 2 sets of 10 reps with a rest period of 60 seconds.
1. How often should you engage in chest exercises?
It is important to work out all the muscles in the body during your exercises. Programs recommend having three workouts a week, therefore, chest exercises can be done at least three times a week for workouts to be effective.
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