This is BOXROX’s guide that set out to discover, once and for all, the best exercise for chest. Yes, we will try to narrow it down to a single exercise.
And how do we plan on discovering the best exercise for chest? We look into all common chest exercises and see which one checks all the boxes of what we are taking into consideration.
We are trying to find out the best exercise for chest overall. Not the best one for the upper chest, lower chest, or middle chest. We are also not taking into consideration only muscle growth or hypertrophy.
This is what we have to take into consideration before discussing the best exercise for chest:
With that in mind, let’s see what we came up with.
After considering all that, there are a couple of exercises we can exclude almost immediately.
The , although one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favourites, can put too much pressure on your shoulders, thus not one of the safest ones. Push-ups are a great bodyweight exercise, but once you begin doing 30 or more push-ups in one go, you are not really challenging your chest.
is also great to activate your chest, but it requires a lot of stability on your core to maintain the exercise going – not ideal.
In the end, the battle is really between the and the dumbbell bench press. Although the dumbbell bench press allows for a greater stretch of the pecs and better activation of the chest, we believe that the best exercise for chest is the barbell bench press.
Why? It checks all the boxes we mentioned earlier and it exceeds most chest exercises.
Although it primarily targets the middle of your chest, that strength also transfers to your upper and lower chest. Progressive overload it by simply adding any weight plate to your barbell and it can be from 0.2 kilograms up to 25, a versatility the dumbbell cannot provide.
The barbell bench press is also relatively safe to perform. If you have a spotter, you can really push yourself to the limit without worrying about getting strangled by the bar if you fail the lift.
We know in this regard. In the end, if you are more comfortable with dumbbells, that would be the best exercise for chest for you.
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If you are serious about improving your bench press game and developing a chiselled chest, check out more content from BOXROX that we’re sure you are going to love:
Training your chest can have a number of benefits for your overall fitness and physical health. Here are some reasons why you might want to train your chest:
Overall, training your chest can have numerous benefits for your physical health, appearance, and athletic performance. It’s important to incorporate a variety of exercises into your chest workout routine to ensure that you’re targeting all the muscles in your chest, as well as other muscles in your upper body.
The frequency at which you should train your chest depends on several factors such as your fitness goals, overall fitness level, and your training program.
In general, it is recommended that you train your chest muscles at least once per week to see improvements in strength and muscle growth. However, some individuals may benefit from training their chest more frequently, such as 2-3 times per week, especially if they are more experienced lifters and are looking to target specific areas of the chest.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t train your chest muscles on consecutive days as this can lead to overtraining and increase the risk of injury. Additionally, it’s important to allow your muscles to rest and recover between workouts, so that they have time to repair and grow.
Overall, the frequency at which you should train your chest will depend on your individual goals and fitness level, so it’s best to consult with a certified fitness professional who can help you design a personalized workout plan that meets your needs.
When training for muscle growth (hypertrophy), the weight you lift, often referred to as the training load or intensity, is an important factor to consider. Here are some guidelines to help determine how heavy you should lift:
Use a weight that challenges you: To promote muscle growth, it’s important to use a weight that challenges your muscles. This means selecting a weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions within the hypertrophy rep range (generally 8 to 12 reps) with proper form, while also feeling challenging towards the end of each set.
Choose a weight that elicits fatigue: The weight you select should cause fatigue in the target muscles by the end of each set. You should feel a sense of muscular burn or fatigue during the final few reps, indicating that the weight is appropriately challenging.
Progressive overload: To continue building muscle, it’s crucial to gradually increase the demands on your muscles over time. This can be achieved through progressive overload, which involves gradually increasing the weight you lift as your muscles adapt and grow stronger. Aim to progressively increase the weight as you become more comfortable with a certain weight range to continue stimulating muscle growth.
Form and technique: While it’s important to challenge yourself with heavier weights, it’s equally important to prioritize proper form and technique. Lifting weights that are too heavy and compromise your form can increase the risk of injury and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. Focus on maintaining good form throughout each repetition, even when using challenging weights.
Individual capabilities: The appropriate weight will vary depending on your individual capabilities, strength level, and experience. What may be heavy for one person might be light for another. It’s important to listen to your body and select weights that are appropriate for your current fitness level.
Variation in training: Incorporating a variety of rep ranges and training modalities can be beneficial for overall muscle development. While the hypertrophy rep range (8-12 reps) is commonly associated with muscle growth, including both higher rep ranges (12-15+) and lower rep ranges (6-8) in your training can provide different stimuli and promote well-rounded muscle development.
Remember, finding the right weight is a process of trial and error. Start with a weight that challenges you within the recommended rep range, and adjust as needed based on your individual capabilities and progression. Consulting with a fitness professional or personal trainer can also provide guidance and help you determine the appropriate weight selection for your specific goals and needs.