Best Chest Workouts for Beginners

Many new bodybuilders devout their time focusing on their chest. After all, having a well-defined chest is the most time-efficient way to look more muscular and stronger. Many believe that the foundation of a strong physique is having a strong V-shaped torso with sculpted pecs.

The chest is one of the areas of the body that’s easiest to train. You just grab a bar or a weight to target it. Even some exercises that focus on your biceps, shoulders, or bags, even hit your chest.

Below is the list of chest workout exercises that are perfect for beginners:

Dumbbell Floor Press

Equipment: Dumbbell

Type: Powerlifting

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Screenshot from ScottHermanFitness

The floor press is an underrated exercise that works on your triceps, core, and chest. It increases your power and stabilizes your shoulder muscles. It’s also a convenient exercise if you’re suffering from lower back or shoulder pain when you press. Lying flat on the floor provides you constant feedback if you’re in the right position.

Steps:

  • Lay on the floor with both hands holding dumbbells. Bend your knees and start with both weights fully extended above you.
  • Slowly lower the weights until your upper arm contacts the floor. Tuck your elbows and angle your arms to the side.
  • Pause when you reach the bottom, then slowly extend through your elbows to bring the weight back to the top.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 reps with 90 seconds.

One-arm Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment: Dumbbell

Type: Strength

Level: Beginner

Screenshot from FitNut

This exercise is effective in achieving a strong chest as it puts stress on your central nervous system. As a result, you increase your heart rate and strength.

Steps:

  • Set the bench on a declined angle and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Your hands should be shoulder-width apart and extend your arms straight up with palms facing out.
  • Squeeze your pecs and lower your one arm down. Pause briefly at the bottom, then press up again until your arm is extended.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 reps with 90 seconds.
  • Reverse on the other side.

Cable Chest Press

Equipment: Cable

Type: Strength

Level: Beginner

Screenshot from Howcast

Cables work differently than free weights. They stimulate your muscle by engaging constant resistance. This type of exercise stimulates the growth and strength of your chest.

Steps:

  • Position the dual pulleys to your chest height and choose an appropriate weight. Stand in front of the cables and hold one in each hand. Find stability by staggering your stance.
  • Position your upper arm at a 90-degree angle with your shoulder blades together.
  • Keep the rest of your body stationary, and press the handles forward by extending through your elbows. Draw the handles together in front of you.
  • Take a quick pause and return at your starting position.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8 reps with 90 seconds.

Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment: Dumbbells

Type: Strength

Level: Beginner

Screenshot from ScottHermanFitness

If you want to increase the size of your pecs, it’s important that you perform exercises that hit your pecs.  The flat dumbbell bench press is one of those exercises that stimulate and target your deltoids and triceps. Dumbbells offer more versatility,  help iron out dominant-side muscle imbalances and develop independent motor control.

Steps:

  • Lay on a flat bench and hold a dumbbell in each of your hand using an overhand grip.
  • Hold the dumbbells above your shoulders at a slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Your palms should face forward.
  • Bend your elbows slowly until they reach the 90-degree angle and upper arms are paralleled to the ground.
  • Straighten your arms and push the weights up. Bring the dumbbells together in the center of your chest by moving your arms in an arc.
  • Slowly bend your elbows back to 90 degrees to lower the dumbbells.
  • Perform 3 sets of 8 reps with 90 seconds, rest in between.

Pushup

Equipment: None

Type: Strength

Level: Beginner

Screenshot from Calisthenicmovement

Pushups are the most basic exercise that you must learn if you’re starting your journey in bodybuilding. You must master this technique first before you move on to more complex exercises. This may be a basic exercise but it targets your chest area to give you a well-defined body.

Steps:

  • Lie face down on the floor and position your hands about 36 inches apart. Hold your torso up at arm’s length.
  • Slowly lower yourself down until your chest will almost touch the floor. Inhale.
  • Exhale and press your upper body back up to the starting position. Squeeze your chest as you perform this move.
  • Take a quick pause when you reach the top contracted position. Lower yourself down again, and do as many repetitions as you can.

Decline Dumbbell Flye

Equipment: Dumbbell

Type: Strength

Level: Beginner

Screenshot from LIVESTRONG.COM

Dumbbell flyes are effective in building sculpted pecs. It stimulates the stretch and contract movement which helps increase the growth of new muscle fibers.

Steps:

  • Lie down on a decline bench and hold a dumbbell on each hand. Your palms should be facing each other.
  • Move the dumbbells in your front at shoulder width. Your palms should face each other and both arms fully extended and perpendicular to the floor.
  • Lower your arms out at both sides until there’s a stretch on your chest. Slightly bend your elbows as you do this movement and inhale.
  • Squeeze your chest muscles and exhale as you return your arms back to the initial position.
  • Hold on this contracted position for a few seconds.
  • Do 3 sets of 8 reps with 90 seconds of rest in between sets.

Barbell Bench Press

Equipment: Barbell

Type: Strength

Level: Beginner

Screenshot from ATHLEAN-X™

This routine works on your triceps, chest, core, and glutes. If you want an exercise that will add size and shape to your entire upper body, this is one of the exercises that you should master.

Steps:

  • Lie on a flat bench then lock your arms and hold the bar straight over you.
  • Inhale and come down slowly until the bar will nearly touch your mid-chest.
  • Take a quick pause and slowly push the bar back to the initial position as you exhale. Utilize your chest muscles as you push the bar.
  • Squeeze your chest and lock your arms at the top of the motion. Hold on this movement for a few seconds, then slowly start coming down again.
  • Perform 8 reps with 3 sets each and 90 seconds of rest in between.

Achieving strong and well-structured chest is not impossible. You just need to know the correct exercises that focus on this area to get the optimum result. Start incorporating these exercises on your next workout routines and reap great benefits.

REFERENCES

Anderton, A. (2014). Chest workout for beginners. Retrieved from https://www.coachmag.co.uk/exercises/chest-workouts/4093/chest-workout-for-beginners

Smith, B. (n.d.). The 10 best chest exercises for beginners. Retrieved from https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/10-best-chest-exercises-beginners/

Stewart, A. (2018). 5 chest workouts For mass – a beginner’s guide!. Retrieved from https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/beginner-chest-training-guide.html

Williams, P. (n.d.). The best chest workout for beginners. Retrieved from https://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-routines/best-chest-workout-beginners