There are many great exercises that can be used to train the chest. Given I have a lot of clients who attend the gym and regularly ask for advice on how they can train their chest and have variety in their program. I have decided to put together a list of different exercises that can be included in ones exercise program.

Bench Press
The Bench Press is probably the most widely used exercise for training the chest. The reason for this is that it gets results.  There are many different bench press variations, these include:

  • Barbell Flat Bench – This is the most commonly used exercise for training the chest.
  • Barbell Incline Bench – This focuses more on the upper chest region and anterior deltoids.
  • Barbell Decline Bench – This focuses more on the lower chest region

Bench Pressing with the elbows in close to the body is the way Powerlifters will typically bench press. They will also often lock their scapulars down against the bench to create a strong stable base. This is a good way to bench press for individuals who may suffer from various shoulder issues.

Video Demonstration – YouTube

Dumbbell Bench Press Flat, Incline or Decline. Using the Dumbbells instead of the Barbell allows the individual to perform a chest press movement through a greater range of motion. The individual is also required to stabilize the weight on both sides of the body. For those individuals with shoulder issues, reducing the range of motion or width of the press may be important in preventing any aggravation of shoulder injuries.

Video Demonstration – YouTube – Bret Contreas

Floor Pressing

With Dumbbells or a Barbell is a great way to work on improving lock out strength. The fact that the range of motion of the pressing movement is reduced is also another way to vary up chest pressing for those with various shoulder complaints.

Video Demonstration – YouTube

Chest Fly’s

This can be performed using dumbbells or cables. The idea is to get a good squeeze on the inner chest. Another great way to vary up training the chest.

Video Demonstration – YouTube

Push Ups

The Push Up is probably one of my favourite exercises to perform because there are so many different ways to do a push up. Ground Push Ups, Decline Push Ups, Incline Push Ups and varied hand positions are some of the many great ways to create variety.

Video Demonstration – YouTube

A Quick Look At Using Other Equipment To Train The Chest


Chains can be great for individuals wanting to improve their lockout on a barbell chest press.

Video Demonstration – YouTube


Bands are similar to chains in that they require the individual to work harder and get used to a heavier weight as the bar moves away from them.

Video Demonstration – YouTube

Wood Blocks

These can be used to help train the bench press and improve strength through specific ranges of movement. Different wood block depths placed on the chest will require the individual to work from that specific height.

Video Demonstration – YouTube

Swiss Ball

The Swiss Ball is another great tool that can be used to vary up chest workouts. They can be used for Dumbbell Chest Press or Fly’s. Push Ups and many more options.

Video Demonstration – YouTube

Medicine Balls

These can be used for those individuals wanting to perform push ups on a more unstable surface.

Video Demonstration – YouTube

This list of exercises is only a sample of the many different ways that you can train your chest. If you are looking to get more advice on how to vary up your chest workout or routine, please feel free to book an appointment at Principle Four Osteopathy. Osteopath Heath Williams is a Level 1 Strength & Conditioning Coach, a certified FMS instructor and Osteopath.

Principle Four Osteopathy is located in the heart of the Melbourne City CBD 3000 at 29 Somerset Place, Melbourne City CBD 3000 (near the corner of Little Bourke & Elizabeth St). To book an appointment, please call 03 9670 9290 or book online @

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