The largest muscle on the upper body’s frontside is the large pectoral muscle – Pectoralis Major. There are many who struggle and fight to receive pumped and good-looking chest muscles which is why we will provide you with a lot of chest exercises.

Chest Anatomy

To get the maximum effect from the chest-workout, you should be aware of the anatomy of the pectoral muscle. The most important muscle for the chest is the Pectoralis Major and it is located high up on the humerus (below your shoulder muscles). It then goes out like a triangle and is attached upwards at the far end of your collarbone and downwards at the far end of your sternum and upper ribs. It is almost shaped as a fan where your muscle fibers go obliquely upwards towards the collarbone, straight to the side towards the sternum and obliquely downwards towards the lower parts of the sternum. To exercise your chest in the best way, you must perform exercises that load the muscle in these three angles, obliquely upwards, straight to the side and downwards this is due to how the muscle fibers move when activating the muscle. 

Chest Muscle Functions

The pectoral muscle has two main functions. To push things in front of your body with your arms and to pull your arm in towards your body, similarly to when you clap your hands with straight arms. The function of pulling in the arm also applies to when the arm has passed the center of your sternum, so feel free to perform cable exercises and pull the handles over the center. These two functions also affect how you should train the muscle.

The Structure of the Exercise Bank

With the anatomy and  muscle functions in mind, we have collected a lot of chest exercises (see below) that exercise your entire chest from different angles divided into upper(clavicular head), middle and lower chest (sternal head of pec).

Lower Chest

Mid Chest

Upper Chest

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More about chest exercises

Although chest exercises are often divided into three different groups, the chest muscle is a single cohesive muscle. All muscle parts are activated when you perform exercises, but to varying degrees depending on the angle of your arms when performing the exercise. It can be said that exercises where the arms have more than 90 degrees mainly train the upper part of the muscle. Arms at a 90 degree angle mainly train the middle part and angles below 90 degrees train the lower part.

Exercising the chest can be difficult at first, but once you get a grip on the technique, the payoff is great. Especially in the press exercises when lying on your back, you can put on a lot of weight and expose your muscles to great tension. This will make you achieve very good results, but first and foremost make sure you lift correctly. The risk of injury increases very much if you do heavy lifting with the wrong technique. Firstly think of shape, then volume in the amount of reps and first to last the weight, not the other way around. 

If you are unsure of how to perform a certain chest exercise, despite our descriptions and pictures, you should ask a more experienced strength trainer or instructor at your gym to demonstrate the exercise to you.

Tips on chest exercises

  • Always pull the shoulder blades back so that the shoulders go backwards
  • Push your chest forward in the exercises
  • Be careful with your elbows and wrists
  • Do not lift too heavy! Think shape, volume and finally weight
  • Do different exercises that focus on all three parts
  • When you train your chest, the triceps are often trained in the same exercise. It can therefore be good to run the chest and triceps during the same workout