A well developed chest is one of the most popular goals amongst men of the gym. Here are the most effective exercises to help maximally target the chest:
  • Barbell, dumbbell, or machine decline presses.
  • Dumbbell or machine decline flyes.
  • Weighted or machine dips.
  • Barbell, dumbbell, or machine chest presses.
  • Dumbbell or machine chest flyes.
  • Barbell, dumbbell, or machine incline presses.
  • Dumbbell or machine incline flyes.
  • Pullovers or close grip pulldowns.
  • Dumbbell front raise with arms converging at the midline of the body.


You’ve probably been doing a lot of these already or may even be doing them all, but do you know why or are you just going through the list? Let’s have a look into why the chest responds to these exercises and how best to structure your session.
Let’s have a wee look at the muscles involved in the chest and how movements affect them.
PECTORALIS MAJOR – The biggest muscle of the chest that covers the top of your torso. It has two heads: the sternal-costal head and the clavicular head.
The Sternal-costal head originates at the Sternum and inserts in the humerus head (top of arm).
The Clavicular head originates at the Clavicle (collarbone) and also inserts in the humerus.
Movements of the Pectoralis Major:
  • Adduction: lowering upper arm from side raise position to the midline of the body.
  • Medial rotation: rotating upper arm forward/inward to the midline of the body.
  • Transverse or horizontal flexion: from a side raise position, moving the upper arm to the front.
PECTORALIS MINOR – The smaller muscle of the chest, this muscle lies under pectoralis major. It originates on the ribs and it inserts at the scapula.
Movements of Pectoralis Minor: Depression of the shoulder (movement downward) and protraction of the scapula (movement down and forward)
SO TO MAXIMISE WORK OF YOUR CHEST….. Hit these muscles with the usual flat presses and flyes, bring in some incline to hit to hit the upper portion of your chest then try out some Decline presses to really both Pec Major and minor along with some dips. Pullovers are under utilised and often pushed into a back session when they can really help your chest workout. Last but not least the Cable Cross-Over is a great way to really contract your pecs and get the most out of the fly movement.
Try the following workout to hit all angles:
Push Ups 2 sets of 15-25 repetitions
Bench Press 4 sets of 10 repetitions
Hammer Strength Decline Press  4 sets of 12 repetitions
Cable Cross-over 3 sets of 12 repetitions
Hammer Strength Pullover 3 sets of 12 repetitions
Dips 3 sets of 10 repetitions
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 sets of 12 repetitions
Machine Chest Flyes 3 sets of 15 repetitions
Let us know how you get on and don’t forget to include some new angles in your next chest workout!


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