If you want to build strong chest muscles, there is no way you can ignore the chest press exercise. In fact, it is one of the basic exercises that gym trainers suggest adding to the chest workout when you are just starting out. 

Maintaining the proper form is a must while doing the chest press exercise. Otherwise, you might end up putting pressure on various muscle groups in your body. To make sure that you do chest press exercise with the right technique, we have jotted down this guide for you. Read this guide till the end and you will be ready to practice the chest press exercise at home. 

Muscles Worked

Here is a list of the major muscles that get engaged while practicing the chest press at home:

  • Pectorals
  • Deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Serratus Anterior¬†
  • Biceps

Benefits Of Chest Press

Here is a list of chest press exercise benefits that you get by practicing the exercise regularly: 

  • It Improves Your Posture: One of the most important muscle groups that are responsible for maintaining your body posture is the pecs. And chest press exercise is quite efficient at hitting your pecs. So, if you have bad body posture, you should definitely include the dumbbell chest press exercise in your daily workout.¬†
  • It Aids Deep Breathing: It is quite obvious that chest muscles are involved in the process of breathing. If you have strong and long chest muscles, you will be able to breathe deeply and get more oxygen into your body. Chest press workout makes your pecs strong and hence in expanding your rib cage for deep breathing.¬†
  • It Supports Your Breasts: Many people believe that practicing chest press exercise for ladies leads to the shrinking of breasts. However, the truth is that chest pressing exercise builds muscles around the breast tissue. This tissue lifts and supports the breast.¬†
  • It Helps In Doing Daily Tasks: We do not realize it but we use our pecs for a large number of daily tasks such as lifting things, holding things, or squeezing things. If you have strong pecs, you will be able to do these daily tasks with much ease.¬†
  • It Aids In Maintaining Muscular Balance: Sometimes, people lose their symmetry of muscles because of some medical condition or doing strength training in the gym the wrong way. Thankfully chest press exercise can help in maintaining muscular balance and appearing symmetrical. It should be mentioned here that muscular imbalance does not just change your looks but it also increases the chances of injuries.¬†

How To Do Chest Press Exercise - A Step-by-Step Guide

Although there are many variations of the chest press exercise, here is how you can practice its traditional form using dumbbells:

  • Lie down on the floor and grab dumbbells in your hand.¬†
  • Keep your arms at an angle of 45 degrees to your body and the dumbbells should be positioned at the shoulders.¬†
  • Keep your palms facing forward and thumbs wrapped onto the hand of the dumbbells.¬†
  • If you feel pain in the shoulder joint while doing the exercise, it might be because of the extra pressure. You can avoid this pain by keeping your elbows forward of your shoulder line.¬†
  • Contract your abdominal muscles and move your chin towards your chest.¬†
  • Breathe out, push the dumbbells upwards and ensure that you do not lock out your elbows in a quick, explosive movement.¬†
  • When you push them upwards, the dumbbells should move in a shallow arc and meet over your chest.¬†
  • You can straighten your arms while pushing the dumbbells but make sure that you do not move them with a jerk.¬†
  • Keep your head and shoulder blades touching the floor while lifting the dumbbells.¬†
  • Now, breathe in, contract your muscles, lower down the dumbbells back to the position where you started this exercise.¬†
  • As a beginner, three sets of 10 reps of the horizontal chest press exercise is enough for you. Make sure that you choose an appropriate weight according to the strength of your muscles.¬†

Tips For Beginners

Use the following tips for beginners to get the best out of this exercise:

  • Do not arch your lower back and keep the spine flat while performing the chest press exercise.¬†
  • Whether you are doing this exercise on a bench or on the floor, you have to press your buttocks, head, and shoulders against the support throughout the exercise.¬†
  • If you want, you can also use a block or any other raised platform for extra comfort if you are doing the exercise on a bench.¬†
  • Just like your head and shoulders, you have to keep your feet pressed against the ground (or the block).¬†
  • If you want to target your triceps along with the chest muscles, you have to draw the elbows close to your sides.¬†
  • Sometimes, people bend their wrists in either direction but that is the incorrect way to do the chest press exercise. To get the best results and to prevent yourself from putting strain on wrist muscles, keep the wrists in a neutral position.¬†
  • If you want to focus on strengthening your pectorals, you have to move your elbows away from your body instead of drawing them close.¬†
  • Always lift the dumbbells slowly while doing the chest press exercise. When you lift the dumbbells in a flow instead of taking full control of the swing, you increase the chances of getting injured and also reduce the effectiveness of the exercise.¬†


Bored of doing the same chest press exercises again and again? Here is a list of the best chest press exercise variations that offer the same set of benefits plus some more and also add a dash of fun to your workout:


  • Incline Chest Press Exercise¬†
  • Cable Chest Press Exercise
  • Seated Chest Press Exercise
  • Standing Chest Press Exercise
  • Plate Loaded Chest Press Exercise


Chest press exercise is much loved by gym enthusiasts for its huge list of benefits. From pectoral and deltoids to biceps and triceps, chest press exercise engages and strengthens a number of major muscle groups in your body. So, if you want to build a strong upper body, you should take the chest press exercise more seriously. 

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August 16, 2022

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