Full-Body Workout for Chest Days | STACK

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

Full-Body Strength, Size, Endurance and Stability Workout for Chest Days

February 20, 2013 | Jim Carpentier

Must See Strength Training Videos

Stop! Want a really intense total body training session instead of your standard "chest day" workout? The following sports-functional exercises work not only your chest muscles but also your other upper- and lower-body sports-essential muscle groups to enhance full-body strength, size, endurance and stability—key attributes for athletes.

Worried you'll miss something by not devoting an hour to your standard "chest day" routine? Don't be. Your chest will still be thoroughly pumped without your having to perform 20 or 30 sets of various chest exercises.

Equipment Needed

  • A pair of light, moderate and heavy dumbbells
  • A bottle of water to hydrate before, during and after your workout


Chest Day Workout

Strength-Building Combo: Dumbbell Deadlifts and Dumbbell Push-Ups

The Deadlift, like the Squat, is a full-body strength and size-building exercise. It releases muscle-building natural testosterone and growth hormone throughout the body by engaging leg, hip, arm, shoulder, back and core muscles and indirectly increasing chest size. Push-Ups, a terrific upper-body strength and size exercise, build the chest, increase arm size and strengthen shoulder, back and core muscles.

  • Assume athletic stance, feet shoulder-width apart with dumbbells beside feet
  • Keep back straight (not rounded), bend at the hips, keep arms straight with palms facing each other, and use leg and hip muscles to slowly lift heavy dumbbells from floor in three seconds
  • Pause one second at top, lower in three seconds and repeat four more times
  • Without rest, immediately go to push-up position with hands on dumbbells shoulder-width apart, and do five reps by lowering to floor in three seconds and pressing up quickly in one second

Size-Building Combo: Single-Leg Squats and Dumbbell Press-Outs

Performing a Squat on one-leg not only stimulates leg, hip and upper-body size but also engages core strength and stability by forcing other muscle groups to work harder. Stability training is often overlooked in off-season or in-season conditioning programs, yet it often comes into play in sports. Dumbbell Press-Outs target chest, shoulder and triceps muscles.

  • Hold two dumbbells at shoulder level with an underhand grip and do 10 squats per leg (holding dumbbells at shoulder level instead of down at your sides makes the exercise more challenging, because you have to maintain balance while also continuously contracting your biceps)
  • Without rest, assume athletic stance holding dumbbells at chest level
  • Explosively press dumbbells away from chest and back 10 times

Endurance-Building Combo: DB Standing Flys with Lunges and "Punches"

This combo promotes endurance; it's also an example of the pre-exhaust weight training principle.

  • Assume lunge position holding dumbbells at chest level with palms facing each other
  • Bend arms slightly and bring dumbbells laterally away from chest in three seconds
  • Explosively return to start position, pause and squeeze your inner chest one second
  • Do 15 reps
  • Without rest, hold dumbbells with an overhand grip at chest level and alternately lunge with the right foot while quickly pressing dumbbell away from chest with left arm
  • Switch to a left leg lunge/right arm Press-Out and alternate back and forth 15 times, imitating a boxer

Photo: Bodybuilding.com

Topics: CHEST
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Off-Season Baseball Exercises for Your Shoulders

When we think of baseball workouts, the perception that comes to mind is the usual external and internal rotational shoulder workouts, mixed in with...

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

3 Common Causes of Weight Room Chest Pain

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

Build a Game-Ready Chest

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

Perfect Your Bench

Build Your Chest Without the Bench Press

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

3 Sandbag Training Mistakes Athletes Make

Developing Pre-Pull Tension for a Monster Deadlift

Break Through Plateaus With the 1-10 Drop Set Method

Get a Ripped Core With 6 Advanced Dead Bug Variations

Demolish Your Delts With This Super Shoulder Training Strategy

Don't Train Your Arms Until You Can Do These 4 Things

Medicine Ball Training for Hockey Players

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

5 Isolation Exercises Your Workout Is Missing

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

7 Exercises That Safely Build Shoulder Strength

Sport-Functional Ways to Build Your Chest

Build a Bigger Upper Chest with These Exercises

Improve Your Strength for Track & Field Success

Why Do So Many Exercises Have Foreign Names

4 Ways to Get a Jacked Back

The 14 Best Exercises From 2014

Build Powerful Pecs With This Multi-Angle Chest Workout

STACK Challenge: The Chest and Abs Circuit

How to Build a Stronger Chest

7 Strategies for Dealing With a Meathead in Your Gym

Baseball Workout for Power Hitting

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

Boost Power With This Med Ball Chest Workout

Improve Your Bench Press With Perfect Push-Up Form

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

Improve Your Back Strength with the Inverted Row

The Total-Body, Crunch-Free Ab Workout

Why I Recommend Dumbbell Chest Exercises for Athletes

Get a Big Chest With 5 Stand-up Exercises

Bilateral or Unilateral Exercises: Which Are Better?

A Dumbbell Chest Workout to Build Strength and Size

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

Notice On-Court Results With This Basketball Core Workout

The Ultimate Push-Up Workout Plan

TD1 Minute: The Bench Press

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training

3 Dumbbell Chest Exercises to Impress the Rest

How to Pair Exercises for a Chest and Back Workout

3 Explosive Exercises Designed to Increase Pitching Power

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

Power Up Your Pecs With Inner-Chest Exercises

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

The 7 Best Slide Board Exercises

Build Explosive Hips to Jump Higher

Get Faster by Improving Your Core Mobility

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

2 Stretches to Prevent Chest Pain

Vanderbilt Baseball Pull-Ups

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

5 More Exercises Only Elite Athletes Can Conquer

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

The Turkish Get-Up for Youth Athletes

3-Day Workout to Build Chest Mass and Strength

4 Non-Bench Press Exercises to Build Chest Strength

The Simplest Bodyweight Workout Ever

10-Minute Ab Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout

Basketball In-Season Battle Rope Complexes, Part 1

The Secret to Bigger Pecs