If you’re in need of a new chest workout, the following are going to fit the bill perfectly.

Choosing the pec workout routine will really influence your overall physique because the chest is typically what most people notice first when you approach them.

A chest gives off a strong, masculine vibe.

While having a proper V-taper with broad shoulders and a wide back do  add to the effect, a developed chest is where it all begins.

Trying to get the perfect body? Check out our aesthetic workout for the ultimate routine.

And let’s face it, what guy doesn’t like training chest? It’s ranked as the favorite for most.

So let’s get to it and show you some of the best upper chest exercises as well as lower chest exercises that you can add to your workout routine.

If you want to see optimal results from your chest workout, you’ll want to work chest two to three times per week, allowing for a day of rest between sessions.

Frequency is a key factor in muscle growth and development, so don’t think one session per week is enough.

Crank that frequency up and you’ll dial in your results.

Dumbbell Bench Press

The first exercise you’ll be doing is a dumbbell bench press.

This is a core exercise that should form the foundation of just about any chest workout routine as it allows you to go heavy, push your chest to the max, and develop the strength that will precede muscle growth.


  1. Grab two dumbbells and lie down on the flat bench
  2. Keep the dumbbells above the lower chest with palms facing the front
  3. Let the dumbbells go down slowly
  4. Once they are past the side chest line, push up explosively
  5. Contract the chest up top

Check out our great bench press exercises for more ideas to build muscle and strength.

Aim to do three sets of this exercise, taking the reps down to the 4-6 rep range, illustrating the fact that you are going to be using heavier weights on these exercises.

Your rest time should come in at around 120 seconds, which is longer than I often recommend but remember, we’re going for maximum overload here.

The more weight you pile on the muscles, the more rest time they’ll need between sets to fully recover.

What I want you to really focus on with this exercise is the eccentric portion.

Most guys put all the emphasis on simply getting the weight up and while that’s great, they’re missing out on half the exercise.

You need to push the weight up but then control it on the way down.

This way you’ll optimize the total time under tension and the strength progression you see.

You can create greater muscle tears on the eccentric portion so it’s a shame to miss out on this element.

Dumbbell Pull-Over

The next exercise you’ll go into is the dumbbell pullover and with this one, you’ll be performing what I like to call an anabolic drop set.

This entails performing your typical set for 8-10 reps and then dropping the weight by around 30%.

You can take 10-15 seconds to rest after the initial set while dropping the weight and setting up again.

After this, you’ll want to perform another 8-10 reps and then take approximately 120 seconds rest.


  1. Grab a dumbbell and lie down on the flat bench
  2. Hold the dumbbell with both palms, above your chest (elbows slightly bent)
  3. Push in to feel the chest tensing
  4. Let the dumbbell go down and behind your head slowly
  5. Go up, initiating thee movement with the chest
  6. Bring the dumbbell above the lower chest and contract the pecs
  7. Repeat

In order to receive maximum results from this one, you’ll want to ensure that you are reaching failure on each and every set you do.

Remember that if you reach failure on one set, when you drop the weight, you’ll be able to squeeze more out of that muscle now that the weight is less.

So failure doesn’t mean total failure as if the weight changes, you can do more.

Remember to keep the mind-muscle connection of this exercise strong.

As fatigue builds, it’s easy to let form go thus reducing the overall results you’ll see.

Incline Push-Ups

You’ll be hitting incline push-ups next during the workout, giving your muscles a break from the heavyweight and instead, focusing on time under tension.

Push-ups are a classic chest exercise and are great for doing between those heavy lifts to give your body a breather, while still keeping the blood inside of the chest.


  1. Stand behind a flat bench
  2. Place your hands on both sides of the bench and step back, so that the torso is at a 45-degree angle
  3. Push with arms extended to tense the chest
  4. Go down slowly, maintaining tension on the chest
  5. Push up explosively and contract the chest up top
  6. Repeat

This will also help to keep the level of metabolic stress higher during this workout session.

You’ll want to do 30 seconds time under tension and then rest for 30-40 seconds before repeating a second time through.

As you advance, try and work up to doing 60 seconds total time under tension and you’ll get a chest pump like you’ve never had before.

Incline Hex Press

The incline hex press is a great exercise to do to change things up from the typical dumbbell or barbell incline press and will shock your muscles to keep them responding.

The key to this exercise is making sure that you squeeze and activate your upper chest as hard as possible, which will allow you to use a lighter weight while still achieving a solid stress on the muscle tissue.


  1. Grab a plate and lie down on the incline bench
  2. Keep the plate with both palms above your chest
  3. Arch your back slightly
  4. Go down slowly, until the plate touches your chest
  5. Push up, contracting the chest up top

You’ll do two sets of this for a T30 set (meaning 30 seconds time under tension) and resting for 30-40 seconds between sets.

Keeping the rest periods lower while the rep range is taken higher on this move will also help bring out the best growth hormone response, which will further help with gaining mass and burning body fat at the same time.

You might be tempted to go heavier on this exercise than you should but remember, you want all the muscles to rest except the upper chest.

The more weight you bring into the picture, the more total muscle activation you’re likely to get in your other muscle groups as well, so this will be less than ideal.

You don’t want to turn this into an anterior shoulder exercise and if your weight gets too heavy, you very much will.

Cable Scissor Crosses

This exercise is a very basic movement but one that will get your chest feeling it and delivers an inane muscle pump.

Adding at least a few good pump movements to every chest workout is a great way to ensure you’re always getting an influx of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to those muscles while they’re working.


  1. Stand between two cable pulleys and grab both handles
  2. Bring the arms down to the sides of the waist and flex the chest
  3. Move your hands past the center line of the body and squeeze the chest harder
  4. Return back to the initial position (hands next to waist)
  5. Repeat the motion pattern

The elbows should be straightened but not fully locked in this exercise.

You don’t want to let them go back too much or this will take the tension off the chest, reducing the benefits of this exercise.

Use a slow and controlled movement pattern, thinking of squeezing the chest the entire way through and alternate the arm that crosses in front with each rep.

You’ll perform two sets of this exercise, doing a T30 set and resting for 30-40 seconds between each set.

So often we are told to use the largest range of motion possible on our exercises but in some cases, actually using a smaller range of motion proves to be very beneficial.

Cable High To Low

The next exercise is somewhat similar to the last but is hitting the chest from a different angle, so it will evoke a different training response.

When it comes to training just about any muscle, variety is key.

If you’re always attacking the muscle from the same angle, you aren’t ever really giving the muscle a reason to go.

By changing things, you force it to respond by growing stronger and larger.


  1. Stand in the middle of the cable machine
  2. Grab both handles and bring the arms diagonally to the sides of the lower chest
  3. Push down and contract the chest
  4. Go back to the initial position
  5. Repeat the movement pattern

This exercise has you in a more bent over position from the past so you are pressing down rather than pulling down.

Your palms will face in and you’ll adopt a greater bend in the elbows when doing this exercise.

For this exercise, you’ll be doing a T30 protocol as well, keeping the muscle under constant tension for 30 seconds before resting.

You’ll keep your rest period short at just 30-40 seconds for each set.

Cable Low To High

Move to the cable machine to do some cable low to high sets.

This exercise reverses the position you’re using with the cables and now rather than pushing down, you’re pulling up.

As you might imagine, that is going to change the nature of the stress being placed on the chest, putting more emphasis on the upper chest instead of the lower.


  1. Stand in the middle of the cable machine
  2. Grab both lower pulleys and keep them to the sides of the hips
  3. Lift the handles up and contract the chest up top
  4. Go back down and repeat, alternating between arms – Left over right, right over left

You’ll do two sets using a T30 protocol and again resting for the 30-40 seconds between sets.

Dumbbell Chest Flex

The dumbbell chest flex should be done for two sets and you should utilize 45 seconds of rest between each set.

You’ll primarily be focusing on upper chest activation on this exercise, so think of squeezing that muscle hard as you raise the dumbbells up towards the ceiling.


  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and keep them by your sides with palms facing the front
  2. Lift the dumbbells up and towards the midline of the body
  3. Contract the chest up top and go back down slowly

This exercise should be done in a slow and controlled manner, so as to avoid momentum from carrying you through the exercise.

You won’t count reps here, but instead, use a time under tension concept.

Try and perform as many sets as you can in 30 seconds if you’re an intermediate or 45 seconds if you consider yourself advanced.

Dumbbell Fly Into Hex Press On The Ground

Now we’re doing a joint exercise combining two movements in one. By doing this exercise on the ground, you’ll limit your range of motion to help save your shoulder joints.

Many guys go too far down, placing undue stress on the tendons and ligaments.


  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie down on the bench
  2. Keep the dumbbells above the chest with elbows slightly bent and palms facing each other
  3. Open the arms, letting the dumbbells go down slowly
  4. Once at the bottom, close the arms back up and contract the chest up top
  5. Keeping the dumbbells close to one another, let them go down to the chest slowly
  6. Push up explosively and contract the chest up top
  7. Repeat the movement pattern, alternating between flys and hex pressing

As you press up, you want to really think of driving the weight upwards by squeezing the chest muscles together. Don’t think of pressing through the arms, think of pressing through that chest.

You’ll do two sets of this exercise, resting 75 seconds between each set and doing 8-10 reps per exercise.

You can alternate each exercise as you go. So do one fly followed by one hex press followed by one fly, and so on.

As you do this, remember to never lock out the elbows at the top of the move as this can also lead to additional joint pain.

Dumbbell Around The World

If you want to learn how to get a big chest, this is one of the best must-do moves to get into a dumbbell chest workout.

Dumbbell around the world are going to work the chest muscle from all angles, something that many miss out on in their workout sessions.

Because you are working the shoulder joint through the entire range of motion here in a circular motion, you’ll be using lighter weights.

Leave your ego at the door, guys.

Don’t be ashamed if you’re only using 10 lb. dumbbells for this one. That’s normal and natural.


  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie down on the flat bench
  2. Bring the arms down to the lower abs with palms facing up
  3. Contract the chest
  4. Bring the arms back up and behind the head
  5. Repeat the movement pattern

You’ll do two sets of this exercise, taking 45 seconds of rest between each set and aiming to do it for a total of 45 seconds under tension.

This exercise will gain you a feeling of activation like you probably haven’t felt before, so prepare for that. It’s not your typical exercise and you’ll pick up on this right away.

When you push through it though and feel those muscles working, you’ll get a great burn and the soreness you get the next day will help you know that your DB only chest workout is working.

Incline Isolation Into Slow Motion Superset

Now we move onto an incline isolation press with a slow-motion superset.

This exercise is great because it’ll work each arm on its own, allowing you to divert your entire focus to that arm only.

Then you combine this with a slow-motion superset to really add more time under tension, which will make your chest muscles explode as you see the best pump of your life.


  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie down on the incline bench
  2. Keep the dumbbells above the chest with palms facing eachother
  3. Let the left arm go down slowly
  4. Push up explosively
  5. Do one more rep on the left side, then do two on the right
  6. After completing 8-10 reps per side, go into a double-sided slow motion press, letting both dumbbells go down slowly and then pushing up

You’ll also get extra training gains here because you’re working every single muscle fiber deep within the chest as the superset pushes you to your limits.

You’ll perform two sets total, resting for 75 seconds between sets.

You are to do 8-10 reps for each exercise.

So do 8-10 reps on the right arm, pressing it up, and then 8-10 reps for the second arm, pressing it up.

Take two seconds to lower the weight and 2-4 seconds to raise back up.

Slow and controlled is the name of your game here.

Incline Inner Chest Press

The incline inner chest press is excellent for ramping up activation on that inner and upper chest thanks to being on an incline and the position of the hands and dumbbells.


  1. Set up an incline bench to a 45-degree angle
  2. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie down on the bench
  3. Keep the dumbbells above the chest, touched together with palms facing each other
  4. Let the dumbbells go down to the chest slowly
  5. Press up, contracting the chest up top

Aim for two sets with 45 seconds rest in between and keep a total time under tension of around 30 or 45 seconds depending on your skill level.

Decline Push-Ups

Once you think you’d had just about enough for your chest, try adding in one last finisher: decline push-ups.

You should be so fatigued by this point that there’s no need to bother with adding weight.


  1. Raise your legs on a bench
  2. Get into a push-up position with hands placed at shoulder width and hips up
  3. Go down slowly, keeping tension on the chest
  4. Push up explosively contracting the chest

Just focus on keeping the movement nice and controlled on the way up and down and squeezing the chest on every rep.

The decline angle of this will help put more emphasis on the upper chest rather than the lower, so it’s a great upper chest movement to maximize fatigue.

If you found these chest workouts helpful, make sure you visit our other workouts for more ideas!

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