5 Best Chest Exercises for Beginners

In this day and age when booty exercises take center stage, people tend to forget about chest exercises. Don’t forget that you need to work your pectorals, back and front. Everyone needs to work their pectoral muscles, located under the breast tissue. Whether it’s improving your posture, performing daily tasks, or breathing easily, chest exercises are important for more than one reason. If you’ve been neglecting these muscles, it’s time to incorporate some chest exercises into your routine.

Why should you do chest exercises?

Believe it or not, your chest is probably one of the most neglected parts of your body. Studies have shown that performing chest exercises can help strengthen and define your muscles. Fitness expert and author Bhavna Harchandrai says that certain chest exercises like push-ups and bench presses work multiple muscle groups, including:

  • Pectoralis major (chest muscles)
  • Anterior deltoid (front shoulder muscles)
  • Triceps brachii (back of arm)
  • Biceps brachii (front of arm)
  • Serratus anterior (located on the sides of the chest and ribcage)
Push-ups are a good chest exercise for toning muscles. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Best Chest Exercises for Beginners

Harchandrai suggests doing 3 sets of 15 repetitions for each of these chest exercises. Here are some of the best chest exercises beginners can do to strengthen their pectoral muscles and tone their chest:

1. Push-ups

To perform this exercise, you do not need any equipment. Here’s how to do it:

1. Get on a mat and on all fours as you would in a plank position.
2. Make sure your hands are slightly wider than your shoulders, your legs extended and your back straight.
3. Keep your body tight and lower your body as you inhale. As you exhale, lift your body by pressing into your palms until your elbows are fully extended.

2. Incline bench press

For this exercise, you will need a barbell or dumbbell and an incline bench. Here’s how to do it correctly:

1. Start by lying on your back on the incline bench with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Hold the barbell or dumbbells in your hands, with your thumbs curled around them and your palms facing your feet.
3. Press your arms toward the ceiling to lift the weight of the support.
4. Place the weight above your collarbone.
5. Slowly lower the weight to your chest, targeting the chest area just above your nipples.
6. Pause for a bit, then push the weight back to the starting position.

3. Refuse the bench press

You need a barbell or dumbbell and a decline bench angled at least 15 degrees. Here’s how to do it correctly:

1. Lie on a decline bench so that your legs are a little higher than your head and secure your ankles behind the ankle rests.
2. Grip the bar, making sure your thumbs are wrapped around it and your palms are facing your feet.
3. Lift the weight of the support by pressing your arms straight toward the ceiling.
4. Place the weight above your chest.
5. Gradually lower the weight to your chest by bending your elbows to a 45-degree angle. Try to keep the bar approximately in line with your nipples.
6. Pause briefly, then press the weight back to the starting position.

Read also: Can certain exercises naturally increase the size of your breasts?

4. Crossover cable

1. Position the pulleys overhead and hold one pulley in each hand.
2. Take a step forward and stretch the cables so it feels like the weights are pushing your hands away.
3. Always keep your back straight and place one foot in front of the other with your knee bent to maintain balance.
4. Now extend your hands in an arc as you inhale and you should feel the stretch in your chest.
Hold the position for a few seconds and bring your arms back to the initial position while exhaling.
Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

crossover cable
The cable crossover is a good chest exercise. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

5. Brisket Dips

1. Start by standing in front of two parallel bars and holding them with your palms facing inward.
2. Straighten your elbows and press into your hands, lifting your body.
3. Now lower your chest towards your hands while bending your elbows.
4. Hold the position for a few seconds and return to the initial position.
5. Do 8 to 12 repetitions of this exercise.

Who should avoid doing chest exercises?

“People experiencing symptoms of angina or chest pain occurring at rest should first consult their doctor before starting a new exercise program. Chest pain can result from a variety of factors that are not necessarily related to underlying illnesses. Some examples include lifting heavy objects, lifting weights, trauma to the chest, or even swallowing a large piece of food. It is essential to consider these potential non-disease-related causes when evaluating the source of chest pain. If the pain persists or is severe, it is advisable to consult a doctor to rule out any serious underlying problems,” adds the fitness expert.

Make sure you don’t have an underlying illness or pain before doing any of these exercises. You should also get appropriate advice from your doctor or have your condition evaluated to ensure that you can exercise safely.

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