5 Best Chest Building Exercises For Beginner Bodybuilders

If you’ve read any of my articles on hand training, you know that I’m about to build big, muscular hands that show strength and look beautiful! But for your best look and feel you have to balance those guns with a thick, muscular chest.

Many beginner bodybuilders mistakenly believe that the barbell bench press is the only thing they need to build a huge chest. And some guys like to impress themselves by bragging about how much they can “bench”. Hope you are not in this crowd because you just can’t make really wonderful packs with barbell bench press. The standard bench press is a combination exercise that involves integrated work from the chest, triceps, and shoulders. While this exercise is excellent for increasing the overall strength of the upper body, it is not enough to achieve maximum growth, shape, and muscularity throughout the pectoral region.

If you really want a big, muscular chest with well defined packs that look like tectonic plates, you should try the 5 chest building exercises that I have listed below. I choose these exercises because they are simple and effective for beginners who need a strong foundation in chest-building fundamentals to achieve long-term bodybuilding success. The equipment needed for each exercise is usually available at any gym or health club. Each of my top 5 chest building exercises will help you build mass, shape and strength in your chest together. The entire pectoral area is directly targeted during each exercise to increase growth and efficiency from your workouts.

Now, here is my list of top 5 starter exercises to build the big, muscular chest you want! They are not listed in a specific order, so there is no reason to think that one particular exercise is better than another. You should decide what is best for you by experimenting with each exercise. But rest assured that any chest building program that includes all of these exercises will definitely add inches, symmetry and strength to your packs.

1. Dumbbell bench press

The dumbbell bench press is one of my favorite exercises for building mass, shape and strength in my packs. Give it a try and you’ll soon feel the same way! Unlike barbell bench presses that often cause shoulder pain and risk a rotator cuff injury, this exercise allows you to stretch your packs comfortably through a wide range of motion to stimulate more muscle fibers for enhanced growth and shape.

And if you really want to build strength in your chest, balancing and controlling each dumbbell during a high intensity set requires significantly more power than completing the same motion with a barbell. If you don’t believe me, consider the following. If your single-representative in a barbell bench press is a maximum of 250 pounds, you can logically assume that you can work with two 125 dumbbells for your dumbbell bench press. But if you actually try this you will be in for a big surprise! Bench presses with dumbbells are rigid and require more strength than the barbell variety. I recommend it for beginners because the difficulty is not in the technical aspects of the lift, but in the power required to complete it. And the sooner you start to develop strength in your chest the better to complete this exercise effectively.

2. Covering the dumbbell bench press

The size, shape and strength building benefits of the Incline Dumbbell Bench Press are basically the same as discussed in Exercise No. 1 above. The basic difference is that these benefits are concentrated at the top of your packs. If you have never done this exercise before or if you have only done it with a barbell, remember that the incline dumbbell bench press needs more power than the same movements with a barbell and it does. This means that you will need to initially experiment with different pounds to find out how much weight you can lift with the right training technique. Remember, don’t try to impress or be with someone else in the gym – especially when you are just starting out. And don’t worry about those guys doing nothing but incline barbell bench press. They will be shocked when they see your chest after disciplined and consistent training with this exercise.

3. Parallel bar dips

Parallel bar dips are excellent for shaping and forming masses throughout the pectoral region. Hold the handles of the parallel deep device and hang your body between them. For the primary training load on your chest, lean forward when you do this exercise (keeping your torso upright gives primary resistance to your triceps). Inhale by lowering yourself as far as you can comfortably lower and then exhale when you pull yourself back to the starting position. This exercise is a great bodyweight chest builder as long as you watch your technique and lean forward throughout the movement.

For an overload effect or to pyramid your work set, use a harness to hang a barbell plate or dumbbell from your waist for extra resistance. Most professional gyms and some health clubs have this harness, so if you need it, ask for it.

4. Flat bench dumbbell flies

The flat bench dumbbell fly is designed to create well-defined, wide packs by isolating resistance on the chest as much as possible with rigorous lifting techniques. Such a technique requires controlled movement of the dumbbells firmly planted on your chest with your back and shoulders firmly planted on a flat or sloping workout bench. This means you shouldn’t try this exercise with excessive weight (I suggest a poundage that allows you to do 10-12 repetitions). Make sure you do not push the dumbbells together with body weight or shoulder support. This kind of cheating on the training technique deprives him of the work required to grow and is just a waste of time. If done correctly, this exercise will thicken and shape the “pack-delta tie-ins” where your chest and shoulders meet to give your packs a fuller and wider front look.

5. Weighted pushups

Standard pushups are combination exercises that involve the triceps, chest, and shoulders in a “pushing” motion. If you can do 3 sets of 15-20 pushups with little or no difficulty, you should try weighted pushups to increase resistance on your chest. For proper performance, take a standard pushup position by extending your arms and hands and keeping shoulder-width apart. Gently place a 5-10 pound barbell plate on your back with a training friend to force your chest to work harder than a standard pushup (you can increase the amount of weight as needed).

Make sure you keep your back straight and your head up to balance the weight and give maximum resistance to your chest. Slowly lower your chest to almost touch the floor and then pull yourself back to the starting position. Give it a try and you will be amazed at the results you can get from such a simple exercise!

So, here you have it – my top 5 list of chest building exercises for beginner bodybuilders. When you try them out, make sure you use a safe amount of weights and proper training techniques with each exercise. Have fun and start making plans to buy some big shirts!

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