The 10 Best Chest Exercises of All Time

Working out your chest means perkier pecs and a firmer bust—think of it as a fitness push-up bra!


Expert Q&A: When to Increase weight when bench pressing

Toning your chest won’t just make you stronger—it’ll give you a boost in all the right places. And of course the perks (pun intended) go beyond flattering your figure. “In order to balance out your posture, you must perform chest exercises,” says Jacqueline Kasen, Body Architect at Anatomy at 1220 in Miami. “For every two pulling exercises, you should perform one pushing exercise. People have the intention of performing chest exercises, but due to poor form, place the intention negatively on their back.” That’s why Kasen wants you to keep these three key points in mind: First, retract your scapula throughout; contract first, follow through second; and maintain tension throughout. Sticking to these points will help you develop a strong chest and get the results you want. These chest exercises will give you great definition:

1. Barbell Bench Press 

“This is pretty much the mother of all chest exercises,” says Holly Rilinger, Nike Master Trainer, Flywheel Master Instructor and star of Bravo’s “Workout New York.” “You can generate the most power with this move so it’s the best exercise to build pure strength.”

HOW-TO: Position yourself with your eyes directly under the bar, feet flat on the ground and grab the bar just slightly wider than shoulder width. Once the bar is lifted off the rack, squeeze your glutes and crawl your shoulder blades under yourself. Make sure your entire body is engaged. Lower the bar just above your chest and as you exhale press the bar away from you to the starting position.


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2. Modified Lateral Slides

“If you want to make this more challenging, instead of moving your arms laterally, you can also perform the same exercise and move your arms in a clockwise position,” Kasen says. 

HOW-TO: Grab two sliders and place one under each elbow. Get into a modified plank position, placing your feet hip width apart. As you open your arms laterally, lower your entire body down towards the ground without touching it. Use momentum to return back to the center plank as you slide your arms back underneath your shoulders simultaneously. 

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