Body Sculpting For Men: 5 Key Exercises For A Complete Chest Workout

Five key exercises to build and sculpt the chest.

A well developed and cut chest is one of the most readily identifiable traits of a physically fit person. Building a cut, massive, or well sculpted chest is easy, and only requires a few key exercises. The following five exercises and their variations can be used in an infinite amount of combinations to ensure that you get the chest you're looking for. Additionally, as we discuss these key exercises, we'll be sure to note their variations, as well as general strength training techniques that work well for these exercises. As always, ensure that you properly warm up, stretch, have appropriate safety measures (spotter and catches), and ensure that you properly cool down.

One of the first chest building exercises that comes to mind is the bench press. This is an easy exercise, but has several variations to work virtually every portion of your chest. To begin, load the bar with a moderate to heavy amount of weight-when in doubt, error on the lighter side, as you can always add more weight. Then lie flat one the bench with both of your feet flat on the ground, and grip the bar with both hands approximately shoulder width apart. Have someone assist you in lifting the bar off of the rack. Using steady controlled motions, lower the bar until it is within an inch of your chest. Then return the bar to the starting position. To ensure your safety, never allow the bar to bounce on your chest, never arch your back while pushing up, and always ensure that you continue to breath throughout the exercise. You can vary the portion of your chest that is worked by either moving your hands closer together or further apart. Additionally, you can either incline or decline the bench to work the upper or lower parts of your chest, respectively.

Another key exercise to building the chest is the nautilus butterfly. This is an excellent exercise as it allows you to work the chest exclusively. This exercise is as simple as sitting in the chair, placing your arms comfortably on the pads and the raising the weight by pushing your elbows together. Many weight trainers find it especially beneficial to pause for a moment while your elbows are together. As with the bench press, you can vary the incline of the chair and the placement of your hands to work different portions of the chest. As always, ensure that you use controlled motions and breath properly throughout the exercise.

Sometimes you will not have the nautilus butterfly machine available for your use. In these cases, you can use crossed cables in their place. For this, you should find a machine with two cables facing each other, place the hand grips on both sides, and clear the middle of it. You should also move the cable pulleys to the top, so the weight is lifted when the cable handle is pulled down. Taking a standing stance in the middle with your feet approximately shoulder width apart, gripping both hand grips, you draw the handles down in front of you and cross them over and approximately waist level. Ensure that you return them to the starting position using controlled motion, not allowing them to snap back or slam down.

The chest can also be trained without using any weights at all. Two exercises that come to mind in this case are the pushup and dips. Though these exercises are great for the chest, they have the unfortunate drawback that they include many other muscles, to include the triceps and shoulders. One of their greatest benefits is that they require minimal equipment. With the pushup, you simply lie flat on the ground. Placing your hands approximately shoulder width apart, while on your toes, you just push yourself from the down position to the up position. You should try as hard as possible to keep your body in a generally straight line, and go down as far as possible during the exercise. For the dip, you simply need two horizontal bars approximately shoulder width apart and a few feet off the ground. Placing your hands approximately shoulder width apart on the bars, you can bend your knees and completely suspend yourself in the air. Then you should lower yourself until you armpits are approximately level with your hands. Then you push to return yourself to the up position. Again, you can change the position of your hands or your incline to work various parts of the chest.

Using these five simple chest exercises, you can build virtually any chest you want. Just find the exercises you like, design your simple schedule, and stick to it. Good luck!

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