3 Simple Exercises for Developing Chest Muscles

The three muscle groups that most people want to develop are abdominal muscles or abs, biceps, and chest muscles. While abs and biceps are important for some, it is the chest muscles that many people want to develop.

Everyone wants to have a well-defined chest as it is the most important element of a fit body. The problem, however, is that most people who want to get a broad chest have no idea about how to go about the same.  The reality is that if you know how to go about this routine, you can get a well defined chest with three simple chest exercises.

How to Build Pecs

If you did not already know, pecs is short for pectoralis, which consists of the two large muscles of the chest, namely the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. Chest exercises are intended for working on these two muscles, which give you that masculine look you so desire.

There are many exercises for building chest muscles, but we will focus on the three that are the simplest and most effective:

1. Flat Bench Press

Bench press is a compound exercise. Compound or multi-joint exercises, as against single joint exercises, work on a large group of muscles. Compound lifts not only burn more calories, but also stimulate the release of hormones that build muscle.

Performing compound exercises means that you are able to work on muscles that you may have overlooked in your workout. In this case, a flat bench press not only works on the chest muscles, but also challenges neighbouring muscles like the shoulders and triceps.

Performing a Flat Bench Press

Lie on a flat bench with firmly gripped dumbbells or a bar. Lower the weights slowly to your chest and then push them at arm’s length. During the start and finish points of the exercise, the bar is close to your chest, barely touching it, and at mid-point, the bar is at arm’s length. The idea is to choose an appropriate weight and lift it in short and quick, but non-jerky movements.

In a bench press, the maximum muscle stimulation occurs in the negative movement or the movement when you are lowering the weight to bring it close to your chest. Bring down the weights very slowly and hold the weights in that position for five to ten seconds before lifting them again.

The advantage of bringing the weight down in slow motion is that the lifted weights, as well as the body weight, work in your favour, and you get the same benefits as you would from lifting a heavier weight. Moreover, it puts less stress on your joints.

The best way is to start with lower weights and more repetitions and then gradually progress to higher weights with fewer reps.

Use the Correct Body Position

The correct form is important for two reasons. Firstly, it helps in avoiding an injury, and secondly, an exercise challenges the muscles it is supposed to only if it is performed in its correct form. When performing bench presses, ensure that:

  • The back is perfectly aligned with the base of the bench and that there is no arch in the back. An arched back in this case will not only lead to injury, but will also not give the desired results.
  • Keep your feet firmly on the ground. Never raise or cross them while lifting.
  • While lifting the weight, you should feel like you are pushing your back backwards rather than pushing the weight up.


2. Inclined Bench Press

This is another core exercise that gives you the best results for a well-defined chest. An inclined bench press is almost similar to a flat bench press, except that you use an inclined bench instead of a flat bench. If it is an adjustable bench, then set it at 45 degrees.

Performing an inclined bench press is also different in that your arms should be more inclined while pushing instead of just pushing them up straight. If you push them straight up, you will be working only the shoulder muscles. Inclined arms will stress the pectoralis muscles. Also, remember to start with a weight lower than what you would use for a flat bench press.

3. Wide Grip Dips

This is meant for developing the lower chest, and since this is also a compound exercise, it also works on your triceps. It gives the same benefit as a decline bench press and is more suited for people who feel dizzy on an inclined bench.

Wide grip dips involve a dip bar on which you have to lower your upper arms so that they are parallel to the floor. You have to come back to the original position using your triceps, shoulders, and chest. Once you are comfortable with the exercise, you can proceed to add weight to a belt attached to the dip bar.

Performing Wide Grip Dips

At the start and finish point, your body is at arm’s length above the bars with your arms straight. At mid point, your elbows are bent, and your body is half the arm’s length above the dip bars. All through the exercise, keep your feet crossed behind your buttocks so that you lean forward. In this exercise, the further ahead you lean, the harder you work the chest muscles.

General Points to Remember

  • It is not the time you spend in the gym, but the targeted exercises you perform that make the difference in developing chest muscles. An intense session involving the above chest exercises may last for as little as 10-15 minutes, and the rest of your routine may include warm up routines and stretches.
  • Machines are good only to a point and do not give you the maximum advantage as they do a part of the work that you actually should be doing.
  • The correct form is important because that gives you the desired results in the shortest possible time.
  • You can mix and match your workouts, and there is no need to be obsessed with minor details unless you are a professional bodybuilder. The simpler your workout, the less bored you will get with it.

That is all that there is to developing a well-defined chest, but to sum it all up, you have to actually make the effort to stick to your routine and mix and match your exercises in the long term.