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Chest Exercises

Why should I train my chest?

Your chest is made up of two muscles, the pectoralis major, and pectoralis minor. Together, these two muscles play an important part in many essential movements, including moving your arms across the body, sideways, up, and down. 

Training your chest improves your functional fitness so that you are able to carry out everyday activities like hoovering and pushing heavy objects much easier, and with a reduced risk of injury. A strong chest also plays a key role in supporting good posture, although you will need to ensure you also train your back to prevent any muscle imbalances. 


  • How many chest exercises you need to do per workout depends on how often you are training, and what your workout split is. 

    For example, if you are doing three full body workouts a week, you should aim for 2-3 chest exercises per workout. If your workout split only has one chest-focused workout per week, you will need to do 4-5 exercises.

  • If you want to build your chest muscles, you need to ensure you are working out these muscles 2-3x a week, increasing the reps or weight each week, and eating enough protein to fuel recovery. 

    Combining compound exercises like the bench press with isolation exercises like dumbbell flyes is a great way to build up your chest. 

  • Push ups are a great exercise for building upper body strength, including the chest, but they are limited as you are unable to increase the weight each week. 

    If you want to include push ups in your workout, combining them with weighted chest exercises like the bench press will help you to grow your chest. 

How to bench press

Build mass, strength, and power with the bench press and it's variations.

Main muscles worked:

  • pectoralis major
  • anterior deltoids
  • lateral deltoids
  • triceps
 See all press variations
How to chest fly

Chest flyes strengthen the chest and shoulders and helping to improve posture. 

Main muscles worked:

  • pectoralis major
  • pectoralis minor
  • anterior deltoids
 See all fly variations
Dip exercise variations

Dips work both the chest and several stabilising muscles.

Main muscles worked:

  • pectoralis major
  • pectoralis minor
  • anterior deltoids
  • rhomboid
 See all dip variations
Push up

Press your way to upper body strength with the press up. 

Main muscles worked:

  • Chest
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Abs
 See all push ups

Your chest is involved in every type of pushing movement you do, from pushing a door open to doing push ups. Training your chest will help you build a well-rounded and strength-balanced body.

Josh Messarra

If you’re not sure whether a work out is suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. If you're unsure of how to perform any of the above exercises, please ask help from a PT at your gym.