If you have small chest muscles and want to make them look bigger, you’re not alone; many men struggle with this issue, especially those who are just beginning an exercise regimen. Luckily, you don’t need to dedicate hours of your time each week to the gym if you want your pecs to appear larger. Performing the right chest exercises can effectively build muscle, which will make your chest look bigger over time—plus, with just two or three days per week of focused training, you’ll still have plenty of time in your schedule to enjoy other activities.
Pushups are one of those exercises that’s great for targeting both your pecs and triceps. To do them, simply get on all fours with your hands shoulder-width apart. Then, slowly lower yourself until your chest reaches toward—but not touching—the floor. Hold in place for a few seconds before pushing back up to starting position. That’s one rep!
2) Bench Presses
The bench press is an all-time favorite for working chest. It targets all three heads of your pectoralis major and brachialis muscles in one single exercise, making it a must-have in any serious lifter’s arsenal. To build size and strength, use a weight with which you can only perform six to eight repetitions, and add two repetitions each week until you reach 12 reps.
3) Dumbbell Flyes
With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your palms facing inward. Keeping your arms straight, raise them out to your sides until they’re at shoulder height. Slowly lower them back down and repeat for reps. For added intensity, widen your hands when you raise them above your shoulders.
4) Incline Bench Press
The incline bench press is a terrific exercise for working your chest, and it’s one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s favorite moves. To perform an incline bench press, lie face up on a bench that’s set at about 45 degrees and press a barbell or dumbbells straight up until your arms are fully extended above you. Lower it back down slowly, and complete your reps.
Whether you’re looking for size or strength, you can’t go wrong with deadlifts. Not only does it hit your main chest muscle—the pectoralis major—but also your lower back, quads and hamstrings. Deadlifts are often used in weight training programs designed for powerlifting competitions.
6) Dip Bar Pull-Ups
Dip bar pull-ups are an effective way to build your lats. Since they don’t require a whole lot of equipment, they can be done almost anywhere you want. The only downside is that it takes a lot of strength and upper body power. This workout is not for beginners but as you get stronger and learn proper form, dip bar pull-ups will become one of your go-to moves for a big chest.
7) Cable Crossovers
Standing or sitting in front of a cable crossover station, with your knees slightly bent and your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, grab a handle in each hand with palms facing inward. Keeping your upper arms stationary, bend at your elbows until your hands meet at mid-chest level. Then pull back through so you’re in starting position again. If necessary, turn around to face away from the machine—this shifts more emphasis onto your chest instead of your triceps.
8) Dumbbell Flies
To begin, lie back on a bench with your feet flat on floor and legs bent at 90 degrees. Grasping a dumbbell in each hand, raise them both above your chest and then slowly lower them out to either side until they’re just below your shoulders.
If you’re like most guys and want a bigger chest, dips are one of your best bets. Since they’re so popular in gyms nowadays, you might think that they aren’t effective – but dips target your upper and lower chest while also blasting your triceps. Simply place your hands on either side of a dip station, press down and up, then lean forward slightly to focus more on your chest.
10) Single Arm Chest Press
One of the best exercises you can do for your chest is called a single arm chest press. This exercise targets both your left and right pectoral muscles, making them both bigger and stronger. To perform a single arm chest press, grab a weight plate in each hand, stand up straight and lift your arms out in front of you until they are parallel with your torso. Slowly lower one plate down towards one shoulder while pushing with it, then lift it back up again before doing another repetition on that side before switching arms.