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Exercises for Your Chest

The following exercises show examples of moves targeting the chest muscles.  The most common chest exercises include chest or bench presses, pushups and flies, and you'll find examples of each below.  Click on the pictures and hyperlinks to view detailed instructions or to see a larger picture.  To work these exercises into a routine:  

  • Beginners:  Choose 1 to 2 exercises, 1 to 2 sets of 12 to 16 reps
  • Inter/Adv:  Choose an exercise from each column for 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps, resting between sets
  • Use enough weight that you can only complete the desired number of reps, and no more, without getting fatigued.
Chest Press
The chest press works the major muscles of the chest, shoulders and triceps.  To perform a basic press, lie on a bench and hold weights over chest, elbows bent at 90-degree angles.  Press arms straight up, then lower back to starting position.
Pushups
Pushups work almost every muscle in the body with an emphasis on the chest and arms. For a basic pushup, place hands shoulder-width apart, bend arms and lower down as far as you can.  Straighten arms and push up without locking elbows.  
Chest Flies
The fly also works the major muscles of the chest with a focus on the outer portion.  For a fly, lie on a bench with palms facing in.  Lower weights out to sides, elbows slightly bent. Stop at shoulder level, then bring weights back up over chest.
Variations:

Barbell Bench Press

Variations:

Pushups on the Knees
 

Variations:

Dumbbell Chest Fly
 

Dumbbell Chest Press
Pushups on the Toes
 Chest Fly on the Ball
 
Incline Chest Press
Pushups on the Ball
 
Incline Chest Fly
 Incline Chest Fly
Chest Press w/ Resistance Band
Pushups with Resistance
One-Armed Fly with Band
 
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