Want a Bigger Chest? Don't Focus on the Flat Bench | STACK Fitness

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for Our FREE Newsletter.

Want a Bigger Chest? Don't Focus on the Flat Bench

February 7, 2013 | Chris Costa

Must See Strength Training Videos

The Bench Press is the quintessential exercise people perform to get a bigger chest. There's no doubt that the Bench Press is an effective upper-body exercise, but you must perform more chest exercises if you want to get bigger and stronger pecs.

To stimulate chest strength and size gains, you must hit both the pectoralis major and minor from different angles. The best way to do this is by adding incline and decline pressing exercises to your routine.

In addition, it's important to perform similar variations of the Fly (flat, incline and decline). Flies recruit the pecs through an adduction movement (pulling arms toward middle of body). Although pressing motions work the chest, they do not activate the pecs as much as Flies. (Learn how to perform the DB Fly.)

Finally, if you are having trouble making gains, try substituting bench press variations with Push-Ups. This staple bodyweight exercise improves your chest strength while also building joint stability and core strength. They will prepare you to lift heavier weight when you get back under the bar. (Learn about the benefits of bodyweight exercises.)

Granted it will take time for your chest to grow. If you are like me, the chest is your weakest and most problematic muscle group. With this programming, you will be focusing on developing a lean, evenly built chest.

Topics: CHEST
Chris Costa
- Chris Costa has participated in athletics as a coach, player and official for 22 years. He specializes in hockey training, both on and off the...
Chris Costa
- Chris Costa has participated in athletics as a coach, player and official for 22 years. He specializes in hockey training, both on and off the...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

10-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Don't let the title of this feature fool you. This ab workout isn't the ultimate solution to ripped abs. It take serious effort in training as well as...

Build a Bigger Upper Chest with These Exercises

The Hardest Plank of All Time

A Dumbbell Chest Workout to Build Strength and Size

The 4 Rules of Bulking Up

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

Baseball Workout for Power Hitting

Improve Your Strength for Track & Field Success

Get a Big Chest With 5 Stand-up Exercises

Build Your Chest Without the Bench Press

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout

The 7 Best Slide Board Exercises

The Total-Body, Crunch-Free Ab Workout

The 14 Best Exercises From 2014

4 Non-Bench Press Exercises to Build Chest Strength

Perfect Your Bench

Game Changer: Should You Be Using Machines or Free Weights?

The 12 Best RDL Variations

Boost Power With This Med Ball Chest Workout

Develop a Bulletproof Core With Advanced Barbell Rollouts

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

Off-Season Baseball Exercises for Your Shoulders

STACK Challenge: The Chest and Abs Circuit

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Why I Recommend Dumbbell Chest Exercises for Athletes

3 Dumbbell Chest Exercises to Impress the Rest

Demolish Your Delts With This Super Shoulder Training Strategy

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

The Secret to Bigger Pecs

Do Your First Deadlift

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

3 Common Causes of Weight Room Chest Pain

Want a Bigger Chest? Don't Focus on the Flat Bench

Why Do So Many Exercises Have Foreign Names

3 Loading Schemes to Build Muscle Size

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

The Ultimate Push-Up Workout Plan

Improve Your Bench Press With Perfect Push-Up Form

Female Athletes: 4 Ways to Test if Your Knees Are Durable

Build a Game-Ready Chest

4 Easy Fixes for Your Bench Press Routine

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

The Turkish Get-Up for Youth Athletes

Sport-Functional Ways to Build Your Chest

Medicine Ball Training for Hockey Players

5 More Exercises Only Elite Athletes Can Conquer

TD1 Minute: The Bench Press

Developing Pre-Pull Tension for a Monster Deadlift

Vanderbilt Baseball Pull-Ups

Bilateral or Unilateral Exercises: Which Are Better?

How to Build a Stronger Chest

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

Build Explosive Hips to Jump Higher

Power Up Your Pecs With Inner-Chest Exercises

4 Ways to Get a Jacked Back

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

3-Day Workout to Build Chest Mass and Strength

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

2 Stretches to Prevent Chest Pain

Basketball In-Season Battle Rope Complexes, Part 1

Do Your First Pull-Up With This Simple Workout. Guaranteed.

3D Triceps Workout: 3 Exercises for Huge Arms

Female Athletes: Get Strong, Not Bulky, With These Workouts

How to Pair Exercises for a Chest and Back Workout

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout