Compound Chest Exercise Essentials

Compound chest exercise
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This article has been reviewed by certified personal trainer Brenlee Rempel scientifically and practically.

Compound exercises are movements that work out multiple muscles at the same time. As a critical part of your fitness journey, the chest serves a vital function for form and overall strength. You can get maximum benefits from compound chest exercises and build the most chest muscles in the shortest amount of time. Here are all the compound chest-building exercises we’ve compiled in this blog.

Compound Exercises – What Are They?

Compound exercises aim for multiple muscle groups at once. A wide variety of free weights and machines are available for most of these exercises. Exercises such as the barbell squat are examples of compound exercises. For stability, it engages the core and upper body in addition to the major muscle groups in the lower body.

Compound chest exercises will build muscles bigger, faster, and more robust. They allow you to train more muscles in one workout. Which compound chest exercises target your upper body muscles the most?

Compound chest exercises require different weights for different activities and individuals. It is okay to start with light weights if you are unsure how much weight you should lift.

How to Lose Chest Fat

Men and women can reduce their chest fat by following a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Occasionally, however, a medical condition might contribute to fat and weight.

As we lift, push, and move our arms, the chest muscles play a vital role. Nevertheless, excess fat can still accumulate in this area, and some people wonder how to reduce it.

A man lying on a bench trying to do chest exercise with the aid of his coach

Lose Body Weight with Upper Body Workouts

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are excellent solutions to reduce fat in most people. You can do HIIT, strength training, or a combination of both. In general, a variety of different exercises is most effective for strong chest muscles.

It is important to do the exercises correctly to lose chest fat with these chest workouts. Do what you can, even if it means going to the gym and getting a personal trainer. When you are trying to lose excess fat in your chest area, a proper workout regime will help you avoid injuries.

1.    Pushup

  • To do this push-up, spread your hands about shoulder-width apart
  • Do not let your hips rise or fall; keep your body straight
  • Maintain your elbows tucked into your torso as you slowly lower your body
  • Hot tip: imagine pushing the floor away rather than pushing your body up

2.    Wide Pushup

  • The wider the grip is, the more focus will be on the pecs, and the more chest will grow
  • Keep your hands wider than your shoulders
  • If you experience stress in your shoulders, your hands may be too wide
  • Try 3-4 sets of 20-30 repetitions with short breaks; you can do it

3.    Close Pushup

  • Pushups with a narrow grip will strengthen the shoulders and triceps, too
  • Put the hands under your chest
  • As you lower your body, slightly extend your elbows but keep them tucked

4.    Incline Pushup

  • Compared to other types of push-ups, an incline push-up isolates the upper chest the most
  • Incline push-ups are almost identical to regular push-ups, except that you place your hands on a raised platform
  • Keep your upper arms at about 45 degrees

5.    Decline Pushup

  • In contrast to the incline push-up, this exercise targets more of the lower pecs
  • Put your feet on a flat workout bench, step box, or other stable raised surface.
  • Keep your spine neutral and your body straight.
  • Lower your body until your forehead nearly touches the ground.

6.    Archer Pushup

  • Archer pushups are a fun and challenging alternative to other pushups
  • Put your hand slightly wider than your shoulders
  • Bend your elbow at the same side of your body to lower yourself
  • Straighten the opposite arm so that it is at a 90-degree angle to your body

7.    Diamond Pushup

  • A diamond push up will also engage your triceps as well as your chest
  • Create a diamond shape with your hands by touching your index fingers and thumbs
  • The ‘diamond’ should come to the center of your chest as you lower your body
  • Don’t let your elbows flare out

8.    Deep Pushup

  • This type of push-up will allow you to lower further than other push-ups, extending your range of motion.
  • It is similar to a regular push-up.
  • Put your hands and feet on a raised platform with a gap in the center, allowing your torso to drop deeper than the floor typically allows
  • Use various items, such as benches, stools, and stepping boxes.

9.    One-Handed Pushup

  • Make sure to take your time while doing this advanced push-up technique
  • To compensate for the ‘missing’ arm, you have to stand with wide feet
  • Do not move the working arm to the center; keep it in its usual position
  • The core should be highly tense to ensure stability and maintain rigidity

10. Body Weight Flyes

  • EZ curl bars or barbells are used as rollers for body weight flyes
  • Put a small weight plate on one end of the bars
  • Slowly roll the bars outwards with your hands near the center of the chest
  • As you roll the bars inward, bend the elbows slightly and engage your chest

11. Chest Dips

  • According to Brett Contreras’s study, dips are the most effective body weight and compound chest exercises hitting your lower chest. 
  • Dips can be performed in several different ways; some focus more on the chest, while others target the triceps
  • If you move your hips back and lean forward, you will focus more on your chest
  • Throughout the exercise, maintain tension while extending and locking your elbows
  • As you lower your body, open the elbows slightly and roll your shoulders back

Top Best Compound Chest Exercises

The phrase ‘chest day’ sounds relatively simple, and we don’t have too complicated pectoral muscles. Nonetheless, compound chest exercises are one of the keys to developing a sculpted upper body. Learn how to try compound chest training here.

Compound chest exercises include exercises that target the pectoralis major and minor and engage the arms, back, and shoulders. On your next gym visit, try these compound chest exercises:

Barbell Bench Press

  • Take the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
  • Forearms should be vertical, directly beneath the bar
  • Take a slight arch form for your lower back, and put your feet flat throughout the motions
  • The arms should be at a 45-degree angle to the body during the movements to maintain good posture.

Incline Barbell Bench Press

  • Make sure the shoulder blades are pressed together.
  • It would be best if you kept your elbows tucked slightly closer to your rib cage than with other variations of this move.
  • Whether you place your foot forward or back is entirely up to you.
  • As you lower the bar, pay attention to your core stability.

Decline Barbell Bench Press

  • Don’t keep the bar too high; bring it over the body.
  • The bar should track towards the lower chest as it descends.
  • Avoid straining the shoulders by pushing the bar straight up.

Dumbbell Bench Press

  • For bench dumbbell press, start with a lighter dumbbell in each hand since stabilizing is more complicated than with a barbell.
  • Place the weight on your chest, not your shoulders.
  • Avoid lowering the weight too much! Keep the elbows about 90 degrees apart.

Incline Dumbbell Press

  • It’s important not to raise the workout bench too high, as most strength should come from the upper chest, not the shoulders.
  • Make sure your wrists are directly under the weights.
  • Don’t forget to put the weights down slowly! You may injure yourself otherwise.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

  • In this exercise, the motion is slightly different from other dumbbell presses, but the technique remains the same.
  • As you lower the weights, bring them slightly wider than your body.
  • Bring the dumbbells to close together as you bring them back up to starting position.

Chest Press Machine

  • Ensure the handles are about at your nipples when you adjust the seat.
  • Set the bar to a comfortable starting position so you don’t have to stretch back too much to grab the handles.
  • While pushing the weight, make sure the wrists are in line with the forearms.

Weighted Dips

  • Focus on the chest by leaning forward.
  • Tighten your shoulder blades.
  • Maintain a controlled pace and engage the core throughout the exercise.

Landmine Press

  • Standing with a shoulder-width distance between your knees.
  • Just below the chin is the ideal starting comfortable position for the barbell.
  • Ensure that you are getting the full range of motion by bringing the elbows to your chest and fully extending them.

Weighted Pushup

  • Before you add weight, make sure you have perfected your form on the pushup.
  • Use the correct belt and clip to attach the weight to your waist.
  • Spread your fingers to increase stability and control.

Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press

  • It is best to place your hands just on top of the textured grip.
  • The elbows must be positioned close to the body and not flared.
  • Compared to a flat bench or incline bench exercise, the bar should descend to where the ribs meet.

Dumbbell Pullovers

  • In the beginning, make sure you have a robust and comfortable grip.
  • Shoulders should be rotated with elbows slightly bent.
  • Pull the dumbbell over your head while engaging your chest and lats.

Smith Machine Bench Press

  • Check the bench’s placement before adding the heavy weight to the bar.
  • Keep the same form as when bench pressing with a barbell.
  • When you have previous shoulder injuries, the smith machine can help relieve some of the tension. on the shoulders.

What Gym Experts Say Are the Best Compound Chest Exercises

Many exercises can be done to work your chest, but only a few are worthy of the title of “best compound chest exercises.” The best compound chest exercises are the incline and neutral barbell and dumbbell bench press. This list includes the following:

  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Weighted Dips

Your pecs are highly strained and engaged in these exercises, allowing you to see outstanding results quickly. Are you ready to get started? Look through this list of compound chest exercises to find the activities you like best! Get to work and start building the chest of your dream.

Compound Chest Exercises for Men and Women

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or gain muscle, workouts are a great way to get in shape. Researchers and fitness experts have determined that compound chest exercises that target fat are the best for men looking to grow in size and lose fat. Women and men seek different results when they work on their chests. Women use supplements to lose fat. However, women could also use these workout routines, but men gain the most from them because they want to lose all that upper body fat. So without any further ado, let’s get started with compound chest exercises for males and females.


Some people believe that women do not need to work their chest muscles or pectoralis muscles just because they have breasts. Obviously, this isn’t true. Both men and women benefit from chest workouts.

·         Basic Bench Press

Sit on the bench while your back is flat and your feet firmly planted on the floor. Ensure the index finger is aligned with the first ring on the bar when you hold it. Start with a slight bend in your elbows and keep them parallel to your shoulder muscles. As soon as the bar touches your chest, drive it back to full extension. While lifting the bar and bringing it back down, do a 1-2-3 count to make sure you’re in control. Three sets of 10-12 reps (for a more advanced workout: 3 sets of 12–15 reps)

·         Dumbbell Fly

Take a dumbbell with each hand while palms facing in, and position yourself on an incline bench. Keep your arms straight above your head. During exhalation, lower both arms to shoulder height. Hold for a moment, and then raise slowly to return to the starting comfortable position. Three sets of 10-12 reps.


Women and men can benefit from the same chest exercises. Maintaining good posture and building upper body strength are essential benefits of chest exercises. Push-ups are one of the best compound chest exercises for men’s chests, and the best part is that they are easy to perform anywhere.

·         Cable Crossover

Your feet should be about hip-width apart. Stand with one foot forward. Slightly bend your torso forward. Hold the cable handles with both hands. Place your hands slightly above your shoulders and do a slight bend in your elbows. Slowly bring your hands together in a wide arc as your arms are almost fully extended. Repeat slowly until all your fingers are together. Perform three sets of 10, 12, and 15 repetitions.

·         Dumbbell Chest Press With Hold

Lie on your back on a flat bench. Plant your feet on the floor and hold dumbbells with your palms facing forward. Set your dumbbells in line with your shoulders by lifting your arms straight up. While keeping your left arm straight, lower your right arm until your elbow is even with your shoulder. Keep the right arm straight up, raise the right arm again, and lower the left arm. Do three sets of 12 repetitions.

Final Words

Many exercises target the triceps and the back when done for the chest. Over time, you can build both chest strength and mass by combining isolation and compound chest exercises. Be sure to pay attention to your shoulder positioning and focus on high-quality movement patterns while performing these exercises. Which chest day exercises are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!

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