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Top Seven Chest Exercises

The sternum chinups post where a couple people mentioned the Top Seven Back Exercises article got me to thinking, what would the best chest exercises be? My knowledge is limited to dumbell and barbell incline, flat, and decline presses. I can think of a few others, like pec deck, but I know they aren’t worth a damn. So what would some others be?

I don’t think there are seven good exercises for the chest. But I’d say the most effective exercises would be: 1) Incline bench presses 2) Dips 3) Flat bench presses 4) Flyes or crossovers for variety.

in order of importance IMO… flat bench dumbell flyes, inclinde dumbell flyes, incline barbell presses, flat barbell bench, and dips… i’ve never really been impressed with pec decks, cable cross-overs and especially decline bench… oh, and ummmm squatting like an animal !!..

I agree with Nate…interesting, though, how a LOT of people look at the Flat Bench as the “mass” builder and Inclines as some sort of “shaper” …interesting…Incline Benches are my “basic” chest exercise.

Podge…I don’t know if you were joking or not (probably not!), but a LOT of people in the Iron Game feel that if you are not growing OVERALL like you’d like 1) look at your diet and 2)Make sure you are squatting, because of it’s anabolic effect on the body as a whole.


Cool stuff!..

Here are mine:

1. incline bench press (this is my basic chest exercise))

2. decline db presses

3. dips

4. incline flyes

5. flat bench with wide grip a la Ian King (this really burns!)

nope, wasn’t joking at all… i didn’t include saying diet, because i’d sound like a broken record… but without a doubt, everyone should know, and all beginers should accept the fact that squatting is the most synergistic excersize known to man. no squat no growth.

I’ve always been strong with Incline DB presses. I have been pressing 60lbs - and know that soon after my contest, I’ll be up to 65 and maybe 70. So, I gauge my chest development/strength by the flatbench. Since I’m not as strong with that exercise. I now only bench 165lbs. But would like to be up to 170lbs. SOON.

I believe it be personal preference as to what is effective. If I were to gauge my gains by my inclines, and inclines come easy to me,then I would be providing a disservice to myself. I prefer to use the flatbench.

1)Power Rack Bench (using various grips and angles): Set the pins so that the bar just grazes the chest and pause on the pins for at least 2 sec after each rep. Overcoming inertia will help to explode out of the bottom postion and make you remember to be humble when your in the gym.

2)Push ups (explosive or standard): People should be strong enough to move their body before they try to move weight

3)Incline Press (various grips): the inclined angle is most often used in real situations and needs to be focused on

4)Incline Flyes: because even bodybuilding exercises can be usefull (much love and respect to all the bodybuilders out there)

5)Deadlift: because the scapula retractors need to be stimulated to the same degree as the internal rotators. Rows are limited by biceps strength and a steep decline in the strength curve of the horizonal pulling muscles as fatigue sets in. Deadlifts have their limitations, but they are (nearly) perfect

A little while back some people did some electromyographical research. This is what they came up with: Excersize / %iEMG max
Pectoralis major- decline db bench / 93
decline bb bench / 89
flat db bench / 87
flat bb bench / 85
flat db flys / 84
Pectoralis minor- incline db bench / 91
incline bb bench / 85
incline flys / 83
The higher the number the more muscle involvement.

I have been using Incline Barbell bench as my primary chest exercise for about 8 months. Thought I was taking the path less travelled, Suprised to see that so many other do so as well.

I always used DB presses as my primary chest exercise. Like Patricia, I’m stronger in DB movements (could press 95 to 100lbs for a few reps)and the barbell usually causes a strain on my right shoulder. Other than that, i also use DB flyes(incline and flat) and dips as chest exercises as well.