A terrific looking torso starts with a chiseled chest. And no better way to get there than with the 5 most powerful chest exercises. Pair it with 5 of the best arm workouts and your upper body will be thanking you.


Dumbell exercises make it to everyone’s top 5 list, but using them with a flat bench means you can hoist heavier weights, and try out an alternative to barbells too.

Lie on a flat bench holding a dumbbell in either hand resting on your thighs. Using your thighs to help, lift the dumbbells to chest level, palms facing each other. Exhale, and lift the dumbbells straight up until your elbows are nearly locked. Pause, then lower slowly back down, breathing in. Repeat 5 sets of 6-8 reps.




Because there are no extra muscles recruited for stabilization, this move really targets your pecs. Like all machine exercises, perform this near the end of your workout.

Grasp the handles with both hands, release the foot pedal to help you initially lift the stack. Exhale, then push the handles forward until arms are almost fully extended. Inhale, and slowly return your arms almost to starting position, allowing the weights to touch lightly. Repeat for 8 reps, 1-3 sets.



This is an awesome move for the lower-chest and great way to finish a session. Pair it with some push-ups for an energetic end to your workout.

Hold yourself at arms’ length above the bars. Breathing in, slowly lower yourself with your elbows slightly flared, until you feel a slight stretch in the chest. Leaning slightly forward during this motion will activate the chest muscles more. Breathe out, and use your chest to lift you back up to starting position. Do 1-3 sets of 10 – 20 reps.



This popular machine isolates the pectoral (chest) muscles and is a great way to learn chest flyes without having to balance weights in your hands.

Sit with your feet flat on the floor, back flat against the pad and abs engaged. Grip the handles lightly with palms facing outward. Exhale, then squeeze your chest muscles while pulling your elbows towards each other. Inhale, and slowly return arms to starting position. Aim for 10-12 reps, 3 sets.


Using low-incline rather than steep-angled benches hits the upper pecs without as much stress on the deltoids. Start your workout with this move and you will be able to lift more weight, which, combined with proper protein intake, will lead to even more muscle growth.

Lie back on an incline bench at a 30 degree angle. Hold the barbell above your chest, hands shoulder-width apart with an overhand grip. Extend arms upward, locking out your elbows. Lower the bar immediately back down to your chest in a slow, steady movement. Pause, then push the bar back up to starting position.



The Author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for PayasUgym. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.


Matthew C.
22 September 2016

Matthew C.

I was told years ago the most important thing if you want a big chest is exercise variety. So doing all these exercises is the way to go.

Trevor D.
20 September 2016

Trevor D.

I am working on this now as I want to avoid the 'moobs' later. Good exercises, thank you!

Mike D.
20 September 2016

Mike D.

I like the look these and it looks like a good balanced workout too. I wish I had bigger pecs naturally, as some guys seem to, but need to exercise mine regularly.

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