The 5 Best Chest Exercises for Men in 2021

pushups 2020
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For most men, the ideal chest looks like something you’d see on a superhero or Greek god: Big, broad, and well-defined pectoral muscles, or “pecs.” A sculpted chest helps you lift kids or heavier objects with ease, signifying that you have the strength and confidence to accomplish these tasks.

Although it is still not safe to go to the gym right now, it is still possible to reclaim those pecs with a few workouts from the comforts of your home (or the backyard if you want to enjoy the warm weather). With limited equipment needed, here are our top five exercises for building a strong chest. And to benefit from these exercises, be sure to supplement them with our best back workouts for men.

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Pushup

Equipment Needed: None

This classic exercise is perfect, as it is easy to do at home or on the road while traveling.

Here’s How to Do It:

The pushup can be done with variations based on the width of your hands. For starters, begin high in the pushup position with your arms slightly wider than shoulder width. Keep your core tight and your body straight. Lower your body toward the ground until your chest almost touches the ground, and push back up to the starting position. That’s one rep. 

For a tougher variation, bring your hands in until they are directly under your shoulders. Lower and repeat. If you’re still looking for more, bring your hands closer together, forming a diamond shape with your thumbs and index fingers touching the other hands.

If you’re new to a pushup regimen, start with a realistic number and do three to four sets of that number. Add to that number while doing the exercise regularly. 

Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell Bench Press
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Equipment Needed: Bench and set of dumbbells 

Here’s How to Do It:

Lie flat on a bench. You can also use an ottoman or an inflatable exercise ball. With a dumbbell in each hand, hold the weights at shoulder level and press the weights straight up, and slowly lower back to starting position. That’s one rep. 

Variation: If you have a bench that inclines, adjust it to an angle that is roughly 30 to 45 degrees. Lying back on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand and at shoulder level, press the weights up over your chest. 

Dumbbell Fly

Dumbbell Fly
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Equipment Needed: Bench and set of dumbbells

Here’s How to Do It:

Lie with your back flat on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet resting on the floor. With a slight bend in your elbows, slowly lower the dumbbells until they are even with your chest. Use care so that you don’t overstretch and drop below your chest. With pecs flexed, return to the starting position. Consider starting with lightweight dumbbells and concentrate on your form when beginning.

Variations: This dumbbell workout can also be done on an inflatable exercise ball instead of a bench. Flys done on an incline bench target the upper portion of the pecs.

Pullover

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Equipment Needed: One dumbbell or medicine ball

Here’s How to Do It:

Lie on the floor and hold a single dumbbell (or medicine ball) over your chest with both hands. Lower the weight back over your head (only slightly bending your elbows) until you can feel a slight stretch in your latissimus dorsi (more commonly referred to as “lats”). Then, pull the dumbbell back over your head and return to the starting position. This is one rep. Start with low weight and gradually increase.

Floor Press

Equipment Needed: Set of dumbbells 

Here’s How to Do It:

Lie on the floor (you can use a mat if you have one) with a dumbbell in each hand. With your palms facing one another and your triceps resting on the floor, press the dumbbells up. Slowly lower them until only your triceps are resting once again on the floor. This is one rep. Gradually increase the weight with subsequent sets for best results.

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