Upper and Lower Chest Workout Plan

July 24 2019

For many people looking for a chiseled chest, their first thought is to head straight for the barbell. Unfortunately, not everyone has experience with barbells and may feel uncomfortable using them in busy gym environments. So how are you going to develop a strong chest without them?

We’ve created the ultimate chest workout to help you sculpt your own pair of powerful pecs, without the need for any advanced techniques! 

Our guide to the best chest workout is split into two sections: upper chest workouts and lower chest workouts. We’ve included a range of exercises to help you train and develop both areas of your pectoral, so nothing is neglected. With just some basic gym gear and your own body weight, you’ll have an amazingly defined chest in no time! 

Upper chest workout

  1. Decline push-ups
  • Start on your hands and knees with your hands about shoulder-width apart
  • Carefully move your feet into position by extending your body and propping your feet on an elevated surface like a box or a chair
  • Realign your body so that shoulders, hips and toes are all in a straight line, without your hips sagging or arching
  • Lower your chest by bending your elbows and keeping your body straight
  • Lift your head as you lower yourself to allow a full range of movement
  • Push up until your arms are straight, but not locked, returning to the start position
  1. Incline dumbbell fly
  • Select a pair of dumbbells of a suitable weight
  • Lay back on a bench with the backrest at an incline and the dumbbells resting on your thighs
  • Keep your feet planted on the ground and your elbows slightly bent
  • Start with the dumbbells above your head with your palms facing each other
  • Bring the dumbbells out at your sides in an arc with your arms fixed
  • Once your arms are parallel to the ground, contract your chest muscles and reverse the movement until the dumbbells are back above your head in the starting position
  1. Incline dumbbell bench press
  • Select a pair of dumbbells of a suitable weight
  • Lay back on a bench with the backrest at an incline and the dumbbells resting on your thighs
  • Lift the dumbbells to shoulder height with your palms facing away from you
  • Exhale and push the dumbbells straight up with your chest
  • Lock your arms at the top of the movement and hold for a second
  • Slowly lower your arms back down to the starting position

Lower chest workout

  1. Walking push-ups
  • Before you begin, make sure you have plenty of room in front of you
  • Start in the standard push-up position with your hands shoulder width apart and your legs stretched out straight behind you
  • Bring your right hand and right foot forward about six inches in one motion
  • Drop down into a press up until your chest is just off the ground
  • Push yourself back up in one explosive movement and bring your left hand and left foot forward about 6 inches in front of your right
  • Lower yourself back down into a press-up and repeat
  • Try and stay moving without pausing, this will allow you to move across the room as if you’re walking
  1. Dips
  • Place your hands on 2 parallel surfaces that you can stand between (stable bar stools work great)
  • Hold your body at arm's length with your arms locked and your knees bent so they don’t touch the floor
  • While controlling your bodyweight, slowly lower yourself and keep your elbows pointed out slightly
  • Stop when you feel a slight stretch in your chest, then exhale and push yourself back up to the starting point
  1. Incline push-ups
  • Stand facing a sofa, table or the edge of a bed
  • Place your hands on the edge of your surface slightly wider than shoulder width
  • Keep your arms straight without locking them and align your feet so that your body remains straight
  • Exhale and push your body away from the edge until your elbows are extended, but not locked

Post-workout stretches

Stretching is a key component to fitness, yet it is often overlooked. Whether it’s down to forgetfulness or simply feeling like you don’t want to waste time during a quick workout, stretching is rarely on the top of most people’s agendas.

Despite this, it’s important to make time to stretch properly after a workout, as it will not only help to relieve your muscles and prevent stiffness but will also help to improve flexibility and provide a greater range of movement - leading to better form.

Here are a few stretches that are perfect for after a big chest workout:

  1. Wall stretch
  • Stand against the outer corner of a room or a doorway
  • Bend your right elbow at a 90-degree angle so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor at shoulder height
  • Place your right forearm against the corner of the wall or door frame with your left side open to the room
  • Gently press your right forearm as you lean your left side into the open space of the doorway or room to feel a stretch in your right pectoral
  • Hold for 15 to 20 seconds and repeat on your other side
  1. Elbow wrap stretch
  • Sit cross-legged on the floor, or stand with both feet firmly planted on the ground
  • Bring your arms behind your back and clasp each hand around the opposite elbow or forearm
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and focus on lifting your collarbones and squeezing your shoulder blades together
  1. Back bend stretch
  • Sit or stand with both feet firmly planted on the ground
  • Bring your hands to the back of your head with your elbows pointing to the sides of the room
  • Allow your head to fall back into your hands as you open your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds
  1. Lying chest stretch
  • Lie flat on your abdomen on a workout mat
  • Reach your arms to the sides of the room to create a T shape with your body
  • Bring your left hand to your hips as you slowly begin to roll to the right, leaving your right arm extended on the floor
  • Pause when you feel the stretch in your right pectoral
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds then repeat on your other side
  1. Standing chest expansion
  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and soften your knees
  • Interweave your fingers together behind your tailbone
  • Press your knuckles to the floor as you open your chest out and up
  • Hold for 20 to 30 seconds

For more workout plans, nutritional advice and general health and fitness tips, head over to Inside Track for more information.

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