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Chest Exercises

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*Personal Trainer in Toronto and those associated with are not held liable for any injury sustained during exercise. Please consult a physician before starting any exercise program.



Strength Band Chest Fly




Kettlebell Chest Fly

The standard chest fly is better performed with kettlebells. The way they are shaped and positioned creates more pull and tension during the first half of the movement.



Hammer Grip Flat Chest Presses

Using a hammer grip helps to put the focus on my chest and less on shoulders. It also slightly puts more tension on the inner chest.




Incline Crush Press Using Kettlebells

Perform crush presses by squeezing two kettlebells together throughout the movement. This intensely stimulates the upper, inner pec/chest fibers. Exhale as you press, inhale on the return.




Bottoms Up Kettlebell Chest Press

The bottoms up kettlebell chest press is an excellent exercise that targets the pecs while demanding great shoulder stability and forearm strength. It is an advanced challenging exercise, start light if you have never attempted it before. Exhale as you press, inhale on the way down. This exercise is a good chest builder along with improving shoulder stabilization and grip strength. Ideally, start this exercise single arm and progress to doubles when you are comfortable.






Pushups on Kettlebells

Performing pushups on kettlebells allows for a greater range of motion/movement and is safer on the wrists, keeping the joint in neutral position. Keep your lower back relatively flat throughout the movement. Have your elbows pointing behind you and not out to the sides. Contract glutes and abs at the bottom as you initiate the movement. Exhale on the way up, inhale on the return down.




Dips with Strength Bands for Added Resistance

Creativity and intensity are a couple of components required to continuously progress in strength and muscular development. Training is truly an art and science. Try adding resistance to your standard dips once you are very comfortable using your own body weight. By adding strength bands over your shoulders this makes the move challenging to complete. This exercise is great for chest and triceps. Tilt the head slightly down to place more emphasis on chest and up for focus on triceps. Try to come down so your elbows are at 90 degrees, however if your muscles are tight and you have poor flexibility just come down as much that feels comfortable. Inhale coming down, exhale as you are coming up from the dip.




Flat Bench Press with Strength Bands

Standard barbell chest presses with strength bands for added resistance help to develop more strength and power while providing stimulus for muscle growth. The bands also make the negative (lowering) phase more challenging. The addition eccentric resistance helps to create more micro-damage of the muscle fibers, leading to muscle growth. Use standard barbell press technique; don’t splay elbows out to the side excessively, use shoulder width grip, use a tight grip, keep wrists as straight as possible, bring the weight down to the chest using full range of motion or what your flexibility allows without pain, lower the weight down slow and press up faster, contract abs, glutes, and chest simultaneously while pressing, slower the weight down controlled and slower than you are pressing up, inhale on the way down and exhale while pressing up.




Flat Bench Press with Kettlebells Attached to Strength Bands

Kettlebells attached to strength bands creates instability as they bounce up and down. This is a very challenging and creative way to do bench press. It intensely works the chest and shoulder stabilizers. Use standard barbell press technique: shoulder width grip, tight grip, keep wrists as straight as possible, bring the weight down to the chest using full range of motion or what your flexibility allows without pain, lower the weight down slow and press up faster, contract abs, glutes, and chest simultaneously while pressing, slower the weight down controlled and slower than you are pressing up, inhale on the way down and exhale while pressing up.




Incline Cable Fly

Cable machine incline chest fly is a good exercise that focuses on the upper chest. Try doing these on a 45-60 degree bench to help isolate the chest better. Exhale as you pull your arms together and inhale as you return to the starting position.




Incline Reverse Grip Dumbbell Press

I first learned this exercise variation from Dr. Jim Stoppani. EMG (electromyograph) studies show by using this grip you target the upper chest fibers to a greater extent than using standard grip.   The bench angle requires experimenting to get the right feel.  Usually a higher incline will target the upper chest a little better.  I will use around a 60 degree angle instead of 45.  Start with a weight much lower than you would use doing a standard grip incline press. I would use no more than 2/3 of the weight.  No need to press using an arced trajectory – press in almost a straight line.  Inhale on the way down and exhale as you are pressing. 




Incline Crush Press with Dumbbell

This exercise focuses on stimulating the upper and inner chest fibers.  These can be performed with dumbbells or kettlebells.  Make sure you are working with a weight you are very comfortable with for this exercise – a slip could spell disaster.  Squeeze the dumbbell with flat palms. Press at a 45 degree angle.  Exhale as you press and inhale and lower the weight slowly down. 




Barbell Incline Press

The standard barbell incline press focuses on the upper chest, shoulders and triceps.  Set up the bench angle at around 45 degrees.  As you are pressing try to point your elbows slightly downward and not totally out to the sides. Keep your lower back flush against the bench - otherwise you are turning the incline bench into a flat bench.  Use a tight grip and contract your abs when pressing.  Exhale as you press and inhale on the return. 




Barbell Flat Press with Reverse Grip

Bench pressing with reverse grip focuses more on the chest (especially upper) because shoulders and triceps do not assist as much. Have hands positioned just outside shoulder-width. Press with the full range of motion. Contract your abs intensely as you are pressing. Exhale as you press up and inhale on the return down.




Alternating Stability Ball Chest Press

This exercise focuses on the chest and core.  Alternate pressing slowly and keep your abs and obliques contracted.  Press with elbows pointing slightly downwards, upper arms should not be horizontal.  Exhale as you press and inhale on the return. 




Unilateral Flat Dumbbell Press with Shoulders-Only Supported

This is a great whole body exercise that demands core strength for balance.  Rest only your shoulders on a flat bench.  The position is like a held bridge/hip thrust.  Contract your abs, obliques, and glutes throughout the movement. Exhale as you press and inhale as you return the weight down.  Control the weight slowly and do not twist. 




Uneven Pushups on Kettlebell

Uneven pushups are another progression of standard pushups.  They are a good preparation exercise for unilateral one arm pushups.  Uneven pushups also require more anti-rotational oblique strength.  Use a kettlebell or a box as a platform.  Use standard pushup technique.




Pushups with Strength Band

When standard pushups become too easy, you can use a weighted vest or strength bands to progress in strength.  Here I have attached a strength band to pins of a squat rack.  Control the movement and feel the tension of the band toward the end of the movement.  Use standard pushup form – hands just outside chest and elbows pointing slightly back.  Contract abs and glutes and exhale as you push up. 




Incline Press with Strength Band

This exercise targets the upper chest muscle fibers.  It is surprisingly challenging and you can achieve a nice lactic acid burn in your muscles.  Anchor a strength band about a foot off the ground.  Step away until you get a bit of starting resistance.  Perform and uppercut movement with palm facing the ceiling.  Pause at the end of the movement and return to the starting position slowing.  Exhale as you press, inhale on the return.



More Chest Videos Coming Soon!



Personal Trainer in Toronto

Eric Astrauskas, Spec. Hons. B.A.(Kinesiology), P.T.S.

Phone: 416-912-9716


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