3 Best Exercises for Chest Mass

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A powerful, dense, muscular chest is high on the list of most body builders, both pro}} and amateur. Unfortunately, there is so much bad info out there when it comes to properly working the pecs}} that chests like I just described are becoming rare these days.

The big key to building the chest you want is to select exercises that maximally activate the pectoral motor units. The first movement that springs to mind for most body builders when they think of chest exercises is the barbell bench press. But the bench press is not a great pec builder unless you happen to have the optimal leverage for it. On top of that, most people do the bench press incorrectly. If you put together bad leverages and bad technique it's no wonder you feel the bench more in your delts and triceps than in your chest!

Let's take a look at three of my favorite chest building exercises. It is important to keep in mind that if these are done with bad technique you are short-changing your muscle gains and may be setting yourself up for injury. To prevent this from happening make sure to get some technique tips from an expert so that you can build the chest you want without getting hurt.

Paused Barbell Bench Press
I realize I just got finished saying that the flat bench press is not the best chest building exercise, however there are particular variations that do hit the chest rather well, assuming you perform them properly. The paused barbell bench press is one such variation. By pausing the bar at the chest for one to ten seconds before pressing it back to lockout you eliminate the stretch reflex and lose any stored elastic energy you created during the eccentric. This will make pressing the weight back up much more difficult, but it will also require your pecs to create a huge amount of force in order to launch the weight from your chest back to the starting position.

Standing Cable Crossovers
While different versions of the bench press are good, to really isolate on the pecs you need to work on the flying motion. This can be done with a variety of exercises, but I really prefer the cable crossover here because of the consistent tension the pulley gives you throughout the entire range of motion. The key here is to concentrate on getting a good stretch at the start and continuing to keep constant tension on the pecs throughout the entire movement. This is a fantastic concluding exercise to any chest session.

45-degree Incline DB Bench Press
One of the typical complaints of bodybuilders is not just their overall chest size, but their upper chest size especially. Incline chest exercises are a great solution to this because they emphasize the clavicular portion of the pectorals, which gives the appearance of a more full chest, without giving you a saggy looking chest. The use of dumbbells is a good addition here as they will allow you to get a deeper stretch in the bottom of the exercise. This deep stretch stimulates a lot of underused motor units in the upper pectorals which can spur new muscle growth.

Keep in mind that while these exercises are great for building a muscular chest, they must be done with the proper technique in order to get the most benefit.

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See video and get tips on flat DB bench press and more of the best exercises to build chest strength

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