Take one look at any leading man in Hollywood and you’ll probably start thinking about your own chest muscles and upper body. The simple fact is that there is more pressure than ever for men to get in shape. Knowing the most effective chest workout will help you achieve the body of your dreams.

Fortunately, you're not alone. The majority of men consider how to modify their body. The route everyone chooses may be different, but if you want to improve your look, strength, and endurance, a solid chest workout is a great place to start.

man with abs chest workoutYou don’t even need a Hollywood trainer. Although studies suggest a personal trainer will help you to improve your fitness, what you actually need is determination, support, and the right exercises. You can get all of it from the Fit Father Project. Take a look at this free muscle  workout. It will target muscles throughout your body.

You'll want to supplement a chest workout with exercises that build up the rest of your body. This will help ensure your body looks in proportion.

Don’t forget the importance of stretching before and after you exercise. This will reduce muscle soreness and the chance of injury.

The Chest Workout That Really Makes A Difference

There are several exercises you should undertake in order to improve the strength and look of your chest. You should be able to do these chest exercises at home with nothing more than a bit of space and a set of dumbbells.

You should also know that chest muscles consists of an upper and lower portion. Although you probably want to emphasize the upper chest muscle, it is important to target both parts of your chest muscle. This will improve your look and strength effectively.

The best way to do this is with pushing movements. It is also important to note that the best way of increasing any muscle is by using heavier weights.

Flat Dumbbell Press                                                          

Also known as the dumbbell bench press, the flat dumbbell press is the go-to for working your pecs. Check out the right procedure with this video.

man working out chest workoutYou’ll need two dumbbells and a bench. Sit comfortably on the bench with a weight in each hand, resting on your thighs.

When you’re ready, lie back and push the weights directly up so that your arms are straight. Slowly bring the weights down. Your elbows should dip below the bench height as the weights sit next to and just above your chest.

Repeat, you need to be aiming for 3 sets of 8 reps with the heaviest weight you can handle.

Incline Dumbbell Press

You won’t be surprised to find that this is a variation of the flat bench press and is especially good for your upper chest muscles. It will also work your shoulders and triceps.

dumbbell bench chest workoutYou’ll need a workout bench that can be adjusted. Set the angle for your back to 45°. Next, sit on the bench with your dumbbells resting on your thighs.

Lean back until you are comfortable and bring the dumbbells in line with your ribs. Your arms should be bent at a 90° angle.

Keep your upper back against the bench and then push the dumbbells up; straightening your arms without locking them. Then slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Again you’re looking to do 3 sets of 8 reps with the heaviest weight possible.

Decline Dumbbell Press

This chest workout will allow you to focus on the lower part of your chest while the dumbbells will help to build balance and core strength.

In essence, this is the same movement as the flat dumbbell press. The only real difference is that you need to adjust the back of your bench to a downward angle. You can start with a small incline and increase this when you feel comfortable doing so.

Dumbbell Chest Fly

This variant of the dumbbell press will benefit your chest and arms.

dumbbell flys chest workoutAgain you’ll need to start on the bench, but if don't have a bench, you can simply lie on the floor.

With your back firmly on the bench and your feet on the floor hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing inwards. Push your arms up straight; then slowly move the dumbbells out to the side of your body.

To start with it is best to bend your arms at the elbows; allowing your upper arm to stay level with the bench. Once you get better at this you can keep your arms straight and move the weight further away from your body.

Once again you’re aiming for 3 sets of 8 reps; the weight you choose should leave you struggling to finish but without breaking form.

Push Ups

You probably already know how to do a push up. This simple exercise should never be underestimated. All you need is a little space. It will work your chest, shoulders, and arms.

pushup workout chest workoutSimply keep your toes on the floor and your arms straight, ideally below your shoulders. Lower yourself down until your chest is nearly touching the floor but keeping the line of your body straight. Then push yourself back to the starting position and repeat. Do 3 sets of 8 reps.

You can make this more challenging by using push up handles, which increase the drop and work your muscles harder.


For this, you’ll need two rails or firm surfaces that you can grip. The idea is to hold onto them and lift your legs, bending them at the knee.

dips for chest workoutYou’ll then be able to move from a straight arm position to lowering yourself down between the bars and back up again.

Dips work your upper and lower chest muscles as well as your triceps.

You don’t need to purchase a dipping station to do the dip. You can use chairs or bar stools, a corner section of your kitchen countertop, or even the back of your couch.

Building Your Chest Workout Routine

Knowing the right steps to improve the definition and strength of your chest is a great starting point. But you do need to mix your exercises up and give your chest muscles a chance to recover. This is why it’s a great idea to do the above exercises every other day.

On your ‘off’ day you can check out this free 24-minute workout. You should also enlist some friends or even join one of our outstanding programs. Get all the support and advice you need to successfully start your chest workout and keep doing it. It won’t take long for you to notice the difference!

Your new friend & health coach,

stuart-headshotStuart Carter
Head Training Staff, The Fit Father Project

Brotherhood Nickname: “The Fit Brit”
Bragging Rights: 16 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on chest workout exercises.