Dare to Bare Chest

Dare to Bare Chest

Made up of two muscle groups, the chest comprises the large pectoralis major and the smaller pectoralis minor – hence why we call them the pecs.

The most popular exercises to build the chest include the press up, bench press and dumbbell press, but switch them up a bit and you can work the chest muscles even more effectively.

Here are three exercises to give you a chest to be proud of:

1. Weighted press-up

The press up is great, but it doesn’t maximise chest activity, so to get the very best out of it keep your hands narrow and get a training partner to place a weighted bag on your back, or wear a weighted vest.

Start in a push-up position and with the weights applied, slowly lower your chest to the ground and press back up until you fully extend your elbows.

2. Kettlebell Flye

Trickier to grip than a dumbbell, the kettlebell works the chest harder for every rep you do.

Start with kettlebells that are around 10lbs lighter than your standard dumbbell and you need to lie back on a bench while holding the kettlebells over your chest with your palms facing each other.

Use a wide arc from the shoulders and lower your arms until you feel a stretch across the chest.

Squeeze your pecs while you bring your arms back up in a wide hugging motion. Keep your shoulders back and squeeze your pecs together at the top of the exercise.

3. Cable Crossover

With a cable crossover you can adjust the height of the pulleys to suit. On a cable machine, put the cables in the lowest position and hold onto the handles.

Move yourself into a staggered stance, one foot forward, one back. Lean from the hip and use this as your starting position.

With the handles out at your sides, and an underhand grip, use a scooping motion to pull the cables up to eye level.


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.


Peter W.
25 June 2016

Peter W.

Kettlebell fly is a v good one. Burns so you know it works

Roger B.
19 June 2016

Roger B.

a VERY young child, I think.... but it's not just the ladies who want to improve their chests so thanks for these. And you're right that kettlebells are more difficult!

craig t.
18 June 2016

craig t.

Nothing like a good chest workout. I can recommend getting a young child to sit on your back for the weighted press ups. Fun for them, not so much for you!

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