Strengthening your chest muscles is very important because it is the largest muscle group on your upper body. Working your chest muscles will automatically strengthen some of the other muscles in your upper body including your shoulders, biceps, back and triceps.
1. Push Ups
Push-ups are still the best exercise for your chest because you are using your body weight. If you are strong enough, try to do traditional push – ups and stay off of your knees.
Even if you can only complete five to ten push ups, it will be more effective for your chest than modifying your push-ups.
Try to work up to three sets of 20 push-ups.
You can make your push ups more difficult by adding a clap in between reps. You can also put your feet up on a medicine ball or step so you are in a decline position to increase the difficulty.
Finding an unstable base also increases the difficulty and tension for push-ups. Bosu balls, pillows and medicine balls are all great options for this.
2. Dumbbell or Barbell Bench Presses
This chest weight exercise requires a weight bench and a barbell or a set of dumbbells.
Find a weight bench and select your dumbbells or a barbell. Try to use something that’s heavy for you. You should not be able to do more than ten reps.
Lie on your back on the bench and bend your knees and tighten your core so your back stays flat.
With your arms bent and your dumbbells or barbell in your hands resting on your chest, press the weight up keeping your arms straight and then bring them slowly back down to your chest to increase the resistance.
Again, try to complete three sets of ten.
You will also need a weight bench and a set of dumbbells for this exercise. Most health clubs also have seated fly machines.
Lie on your back again with your knees bent, holding the dumbbells straight over your chest and slowly lower them to your sides until you can feel the pull on your chest muscles.
Again you should be able to just complete three sets of ten reps of this exercise.
The seated fly machines work your chest muscles the same way but you will be pulling the weights to the center of your body on these.
You will be seated holding the sides of the machine with your arms in the full open position and will then slowly close your arms together feeling the pull again on your chest.
Three sets of ten works great on this exercise as well.
4. One armed presses
Find two kettlebells and a space on the floor for this exercise.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your core tightened. Hold your kettlebells on the handles high over your head. Bring each of your kettlebells one at a time to a chest press.
To add difficulty to the exercise, raise your opposite leg during each press. You will feel more pressure in your chest as well as a pull in your abdominal muscles.
You won’t need to use extremely heavy weights on this exercise because you will need to use balance to do it properly, which makes it much more difficult.
Try to complete three sets of eight on each arm.
5. Warm up
Make sure you warm your muscles up properly before starting your strength training. A light jog or walk is a great way to start moving and warm up your muscles. Modified push-ups on your knees are a good way to get things started with your chest muscles as well.
Eating a diet high in lean proteins and fiber will also improve your results.