Bodybuilding.com’s 10 Highest-Rated Chest Exercises

Our Exercise Database is home to thousands of exercises. We lined up the highest-rated chest movements and added insider tips for this ultimate list!

The Bodybuilding.com Exercise Database houses an incredible collection of exercises, complete with ratings, tips, and reviews. Rather than showcase our own favorite chest-crushing exercises, we decided to let you, our users, determine the best movements for building a strong, muscular chest.

We've added extra tips to help you put more power behind your punches. If you aren't using at least one of these moves in every single chest workout, you better start now.

Exercise 10//
(Rated 8.9)

Quick Tip: Reduce shoulder rotation by allowing for a bend in the elbows at the bottom of the movement. Do not allow your upper arm to break too far below the plane of the bench; we want to build our pecs, not strain our shoulders!

Exercise 9//
(Rated 8.9)

Quick Tip: Many of the top bodybuilders in the world, including former Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates, prefer this movement as their primary exercise instead of the flat bench, which can be rough on the shoulders.

Exercise 8//
(Rated 8.9)

Quick Tip: For the bench press, technique is everything! Protect your shoulders by retracting your scapula and staying tight. Check out this link (Mark Bell article) to see how the best bench presser in the world does it!

Exercise 7//
(Rated 9.1)

Quick Tip: Many lifters, including our own Kris Gethin, prefer to slightly rotate the dumbbell as they complete the motion. This allows you to better squeeze the muscle at the top of the movement.

Exercise 6//
(Rated 9.1)

Quick Tip: Many people rest at the top of the motion, but that's when you should be trying to maximize the tension on your chest. Without clanking the dumbbells, push them together at the top while contracting your pecs as forcefully as possible.

Exercise 5//
(Rated 9.2)

Quick Tip: The push-up position involves being in a "plank," which is beneficial to core development. Extend your sets by resting at the top of your push-up without your technique breaking down. This will let your abdominal muscles fight against gravity!

Exercise 4//
(Rated 9.3)

Quick Tip: As much as I love these, usually the rests put your shoulders into a deeply-rotated position (that's a bad thing). Have a spotter give you a "lift off," taking you out of the potentially dangerous area, and don't take the movement all the way down to the stops.

Exercise 3//
(Rated 9.3)

Quick Tip: One of the advantages of dumbbells is that you don't have to have a perfectly pronated grip while you perform your movement. You can turn the dumbbells out a little bit, making the movement easier on the joints while also increasing tension on your chest!

Exercise 2//
(Rated 9.3)

Quick Tip: Use the smallest stands you can for this plyometric movement. If you maintain good technique, this exercise will be a great way to boost your power and stability!

Exercise 1//
(Rated 9.7)

Quick Tip: This one is definitely not easy! If you can't quite make it, start by using an incline. Place your hand on a box or other object that allows you to perform the movement with similar technique, and progressively work on going lower until you are on the floor!

Ratings compiled September 2012.

Don't like the top 10? Drop your favorites in the Comments below, and visit our Exercise Guides to rate the exercises you love the most!


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About The Author

Matt Biss is a training and nutrition specialist. He has studied exercise science and is a competitive strength athlete.

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travis132

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travis132

Incline barbell press is #9?!?!?

Sep 20, 2012 8:47pm | report
 
klip2006

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klip2006

I have gotten way better results from using dumbbells opposed to barbell. I have heard the same thing from many other people. I guess it just depends on your body type...

Sep 20, 2012 9:49pm | report
Kingabs33

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Kingabs33

I cant wait to hit the gym and try this workout

Article Rated:
Sep 21, 2012 9:28am | report
 
Jasper505

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Jasper505

What workout?

Sep 21, 2012 3:42pm | report
JoshuaGilbert

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JoshuaGilbert

IMO the best are DB Press, standing DB Flies, and one-armed push ups. Nice list!

Sep 21, 2012 10:03am | report
 
sunshine524

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sunshine524

Drop push gives amazing results!

Sep 21, 2012 10:57am | report
 
bwnfitgeek

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bwnfitgeek

This got me stoked for todays chest lol

Sep 21, 2012 1:23pm | report
 
blazing_hellion

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blazing_hellion

Wow, I'm surprised honestly that 1 arm pushups beat the rest! Then again they are my favorite chest exercise, and one of my favorite exercises period. You can thank Goku and Vegita for that xD

Sep 21, 2012 2:31pm | report
 
aznrtypes

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aznrtypes

I haven't done one hands in awhile, didn't know they were such a good chest workout, guess I gotta hop on that again.

Sep 22, 2012 10:13pm | report
 
MuscleStrong

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MuscleStrong

Good stuff!

Sep 23, 2012 9:26pm | report
 
liuzhoudragon

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liuzhoudragon

Big DB fan since I don't need a spotter and can go heavy with worrying about my safety as much. Also so many ways to go into a superset with DBs. Also seems better on my shoulders.

Sep 24, 2012 3:43am | report
 
McDonald65

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McDonald65

Good Deal!!!

Sep 24, 2012 10:40am | report
 
danieywest

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danieywest

oi even god knows single arm pushup tops.....**** eh

Nov 28, 2012 11:34am | report
 
BrawnyBrown

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BrawnyBrown

This seems more like a punishment than a workout. I might puke toward #9! I'll give it a try.

Mar 24, 2013 12:39pm | report
 
Mikey_Muscles

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Mikey_Muscles

Dumbells way to go

May 27, 2013 8:20am | report
 
Showing 1 - 15 of 15 Comments

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