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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!