5 best chest exercises for beginners

When booty workouts are the focus, people tend to forget about chest exercises. Remember that you need to work your pecs, both in the back and in the front. Everyone needs to work on their pectoral muscles, which are located beneath the breast tissue. From improving your posture to performing daily tasks and breathing with ease, chest exercises are important for more than one reason. If you’ve been neglecting those muscles, it’s time to incorporate some chest workouts 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 such as push-ups and bench presses target multiple muscle groups, including:

  • Pectoralis major (chest muscles)
  • Anterior deltoid (front shoulder muscles)
  • Triceps brachii (back of upper arm)
  • Biceps brachii (front of the upper arm)
  • Serratus anterior (located along the sides of the chest and rib cage)
Push-up is a good chest exercise to strengthen the muscles. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Best chest exercises for beginners

Harchandrai suggests that you do 3 sets of 15 reps for each of these chest exercises. Here are some of the best chest exercises beginners can do to strengthen their pecs and tone their chest:

1. Pushups

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

1. Sit 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 straight and your back straight.
3. Keep your core tight and lower your body as you inhale. As you exhale, lift your body by pressing your palms until your elbows are fully extended.

2. Inclined bench press

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

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

3. Refuse the bench press

You’ll need a barbell or barbell and an incline bench tilted downward at least 15 degrees. Here’s how to do this properly:

1. Lie on an incline bench so that your legs are slightly higher than your head and secure your ankles behind the ankle supports.
2. Grasp the barbell, making sure your thumbs are wrapped around it and your palms are facing your feet.
3. Lift the weight off the rack by pressing your arms straight toward the ceiling.
4. Place the weight at chest height.
5. Gradually lower the weight toward your chest by bending your elbows at a 45-degree angle. Try to keep the wand approximately in line with your nipples.
6. Pause briefly, then press the weight back to the starting position.

Also read: Can Certain Exercises Increase Your Breast Size Naturally?

4. Crossing the cable

1. Place pulleys above your head and hold one pulley in each hand.
2. Take a step forward and stretch the cables until it feels like the weights are pushing your hands back.
3. Keep your back straight at all times and place one foot in front of the other with the knee bent to maintain balance.
4. Now draw your hands into an arc as you inhale. You should feel the stretch in your chest.
Hold this position for a few seconds and return your arms to the starting position as you exhale.
Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.

cross cable
Cable crossover is a good chest exercise. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

5. Chest dips

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

Who Should Avoid Chest Exercises?

“People with angina symptoms or chest pain that occurs at rest should consult their doctor first before starting a new exercise regimen. Chest pain can be the result of several factors that are not necessarily related to underlying diseases. Some examples include heavy lifting, weight lifting, trauma to the chest, or even swallowing a large piece of food. It is essential to consider these potential non-disease causes when assessing the source of chest pain. If the pain persists or is severe, it is advisable to seek medical advice to rule out serious underlying problems,” adds the fitness expert.

Make sure you don’t have any underlying illness or pain before doing any of these exercises. You should also get proper guidance from your doctor or have your condition assessed to ensure you can exercise safely.

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