10 Best Chest Exercises for Men
The chest is one of the easily noticed muscle groups on a man’s body. If you put in the effort to develop these muscles, it won’t be long before the fairer sex (and even guys too) start stealing glances at your impressive shirtless trunk. And even when you are suited up, a broad chest conveys masculinity, confidence, and strength.
Let’s take a look at some highly effective workouts that can give you a chiseled, muscular chest in no time. The good thing about chest exercises for men is whether you work out at home or the gym, you don’t have to overdo them to get results.
So, let’s start pumping those chest muscles, shall we?
A Quick Overview of Your Chest Muscles
It’s going to be difficult trying to develop muscles you don’t know. So, an excellent place to start your chest building workouts is to know a little bit about these impressive set of muscles.
Your chest is made up of pecs or pectoral muscles, to be more accurate. These are grouped into several other muscle sets.
The pectoralis major is a large muscle that begins from the collarbone and runs all the way to the rear of the humerus. It has two muscle heads, namely, the clavicular and sternal heads. The clavicular head sits at the upper chest and is required for horizontal abduction, shoulder flexion, and internal rotation.
The sterna head is located at the mid and lower chest area and caters to shoulder extension, internal rotation, and horizontal abduction. The pectoralis minor lies under the pectoralis major. That’s the muscle in charge of pulling your shoulder down and forward.
To get the strong physical and chisel out chest muscles you so desire, it is important also to include exercises that hit the following muscles of the upper trunk.
- Traps or Trapezius: these are the muscles that cover the shoulders, upper back, and neck. When you twist your arms, shrug, move your neck and head, you are engaging your traps.
- Delts or Deltoids: these are part of the shoulder muscles. They help you rotate your arm. Any weight training targeted and building chest muscles will likely involve the delts since they are responsible for arm rotation.
- Serratus anterior: this is the muscle surrounding the ribs and reaching the shoulder blades. When you hold a weight in front of you or get into a plank position, for example, these are the muscles that help you maintain scapular stability.
- Rhomboids: these are the muscles on the upper back that allow movement in the shoulder blades.
- Lats or Latisssiumus dorsi: these are the large muscles running down your back from your shoulder to your waist. The best chest exercises for men will also target these muscles, as it does not good to have an impressive upper chest with a very weak back muscle.
Once you find a regular routine, it is best to remain consistent so that you don’t lose any progress. But what if you fall ill? Should you workout when you are under the weather? Find out here.
10 Best Chest Exercises for Men
1. Band Pull-Apart
The band pull-apart exercise is an excellent routine for cooling-down after a rigorous workout or warming up for something more intense. This is one of the easiest but effective chest exercises for men. Performing the routine is quite straightforward. Stand up straight, keeping your feet in line with your shoulders.
Hold an exercise band in front of you with both hands fully extended. Make sure your hands are shoulder-width apart. Now, pull the band apart as you simultaneously squeeze your shoulders. Pull the band until it touches your chest. Now, slowly return your hand to the starting position. Repeat the process.
Difficulty level: Beginner
Target muscle: Middle traps, rhomboids, deltoids
Equipment: Exercise band
Pushups are one of the exercises you can do at the drop of a hat and any location because it doesn’t require any special equipment. Although pushups have been around since 1905 (apparently, an Indian wrestler invented the exercise), a good number of people still don’t know how to do it correctly. However, I assume that you already know how to do this basic exercise, so let’s skip the procedure.
But here’s something you should keep in mind. The tips of your toes and your palms are the only parts of your body that should touch the floor when you do this exercise correctly. You’re doing it incorrectly if your knees, abdomen, thigh, chest, or any other part is touching the floor. Equally, always remember to keep your hands shoulder-width apart when you go up, and your legs should remain hip-width apart.
Difficulty level: Beginner to advance
Target muscle: Pectorals, abdominals, triceps, deltoids, wing muscles under the armpit
3. Suspended Pushup
Another variation of the pushup is the suspended pushup. Like the original version, it is a perfect exercise for your chest. To do this properly, get a firm grip on the handles of a TRX suspension training strap. Push your shoulders forward and over your wrist and incline your body so that you are leaning at an angle to the floor. Your legs should be extended behind you with your heels slightly elevated.
Now, tighten your abs and core while squeezing your glutes. Do this while you lower yourself toward the floor in a pushup formation. But do not go lower than the suspension handles to prevent hurting your shoulders. Push into the suspension handles again as you bring yourself back into the initial position. Repeat.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Target muscle: Deltoid, pecs, triceps, shoulders, chest
Equipment: TRX suspension straps, pull-up bar
4. Cable Crossover
The cable crossover is one of the commonest chest exercises for men who hit the gym, and it can be used to superset a press routine or chest fly. It requires a cable crossover machine with adjustable pulleys that allow for flexibility in the different muscles to be targeted during the exercise.
Start by adjusting the pulleys to above your shoulders or your preferred setting. With your palms facing up, grab the handles while positioning yourself in the middle of the machine and raise your arms out. Place one foot in front of the other and lean forward slightly. Using smooth movements, pull the handles toward your body in a wide arc. Keep your arms extended as you bring the handles in, and then cross one hand over the other.
Now, slowly let your hand return to the starting position. Repeat the routine and remember to interchange the hand that stays up when they cross each other.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Target muscle: Bottom part of the chest, deltoids, pecs
Equipment: cable crossover machine
5. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Improve your upper pec activation by inclining a bench at a 45-degree angle. Sit on a bench with your feet firm on the floor. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lean all the way back. Raise the dumbbells above your chest while keeping your arms straight and your palms facing your legs. Now, bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells toward your chest. Pause for about 2 seconds and then raise them up again while bringing your hands together slightly. Repeat as necessary.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Target muscle: Chest, triceps, shoulders
Equipment: Inclined bench, dumbbells
6. Parallel Bar Dip
Done correctly, a parallel bar dip is one of those chest exercises for men that can easily chisel your chest muscles. And by done correctly, I mean leaning forward to redistribute your weight as you lower your body. This will place the stress on your chest, and that’s your goal. On the flip side, if the weight is concentrated on your shoulder joints, you are doing it wrongly, and it might cause problems for your shoulders.
To execute the bar dip, stand in the center of a dip station, and firmly grab the bars. Lift yourself off the floor in one smooth motion so that your arms are straight. Bend your knees at an angle and keep them that way throughout the routine. Lean forward so that the pressure shifts to your chest muscles. Now bend your arms and lower yourself while still leaning forward. Pause a bit before pushing back to the starting position. Repeat as required.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Target muscle: Chest, back, triceps, shoulders
Equipment: Dip bar
7. Dumbbell Pullover
Powerlifters enjoy the dumbbell pullover because it is a highly effective chest workout for any man interested in getting their chest to pop. Grab one dumbbell with both hands while lying face-up on a flat bench. Hold the dumbbell directly over your chest, and plant your feet flat on the floor.
Extend your hands beyond your head so that they are perpendicular to the floor. Keep your back pressed to the bench and start to slowly lower the weight as you arch your back slightly. Lower the dumbbell until your elbows are at ear level. Now, return your hand to the starting position. Repeat as necessary.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Target muscle: Pecs, lats, chest
Equipment: Bench, dumbbell
8. Barbell Bench Press
If you are looking to build mass, I’ll suggest you include the barbell bench press in your routines. This is one of the staple chest exercises for men who hit the gym regularly. It is helpful to have a spotter around when doing this chest workout. The goal is to perform the exercise without moving or arching your back. Always remember to keep things reasonable with this exercise – don’t push yourself too hard.
Place your feet flat on the floor and lay face up on a bench, aligning your eyes with the bar. Grab the bar tightly with an overhand grip. Make sure your hands are slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Now, take the bar off the rack by fully extending your arms.
Let the bar hover above your chest for a few seconds before you start to lower it. Keep your elbows close during the gradual journey downward until the bar touches your upper chest. Pause very briefly before pushing the bar back up until your arms are fully extended again. Repeat as necessary.
Difficulty level: Advanced
Target muscle: Chest, deltoids, triceps
Equipment: Bench, barbell
9. Seated Pec Deck
The seated pec deck is so popular among gym-goers. And that’s because it gives consistent results, particularly around the chest area. It is pretty straightforward to do and looks easy, although it really isn’t. The good thing about the exercise is that it hits all the right spots, and you’ll see impressive results in no time, provided you remain consistent (without overdoing it, too!)
Here’s how to do the seated pec deck. Sit at the machine and grab the handles using an overhand grip. Make sure your elbows are at 90 degrees. Now, pull the handles backward. Ensure that the pull force is coming from your forearm and chest, and not your hands. If done correctly, you should feel the muscles stretching in your chest. Hold for one or two seconds before slowly returning to the initial position.
Difficulty level: Intermediate to advance
Target muscle: Chest, pectoralis major
Equipment: Pec deck machine
10. Decline Pushup
Like the regular pushup, the decline variation is one of the most effective chest exercises for men, particularly designed to hit the muscles of the shoulders and upper chest. By placing your feet on an elevated surface such as a stability ball, a step, bench, or box, you convert a regular pushup into a more effective bodyweight exercise.
Assume a plank position and place the balls of your feet on your preferred elevated surface. Whatever you choose, make sure the height is suitable for the strength of your upper body and your overall fitness level. Once your feet are up, tighten your core and glutes. If you do this correctly, your form should be straight from head to heel.
Lower your body in one smooth motion until your chest is only a few inches away from the floor. Make sure your hips don’t sag while you remain in that position for about 2 seconds. Now, push yourself slowly back up until you return to the starting position.
Difficulty level: Intermediate
Target muscle: Shoulders, upper chest
Equipment: Stability ball, short bench, or any elevated surface
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
With cellphones so ubiquitous, your watch choice can be less about telling time and more about personal style. However, a watch is not ‘just’ a watch. For example, the vast majority are made for right-handed people, but a select few cater to the lefties among us. There is a wide range in functionality and size.
The wristwatch is also one of the few socially acceptable accessories for men, so why not have a small selection? If you’re not cashing a CEO’s paycheck just yet, here are the top 28 most handsome watches for men that retail for under $500.
Got a bigger budget? Then check out our guide to the best men’s watches under $1000 instead.
Top 29 Best Watches Under $500 For Men
1. Tommy Hilfiger Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
If you like the feel of a pliable, non-metal band but aren’t comfortable with genuine leather, this watch comes equipped with a handsome synthetic band. At 46mm in diameter, this watch is perfect for men of smaller stature, as it will not overpower your hand or make it look like you’re wearing your father’s watch. With bold Arabic numerals, a stainless steel case, and classic styling, this watch is an outstanding choice for an everyday watch and the man on a budget.
2. Nordgreen Pioneer – Black Dial
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Not everyone has an endless amount of cash to drop on a luxury timepiece. If you’re money-conscious but want something high-end, then why not consider the Nordgreen Pioneer.
An inspired take on a classic Chronograph, Nordgreen celebrates the Danish with what they call a timepiece “that captures the sustainable future.” Available in various dial colors from blue, black, and white. There’s even the choice of three case colors – gunmetal, silver, and rose gold. A perfect addition to the collection of any watch enthusiast.
3. Fossil Grant Brown Leather Watch
This lovely offering by Fossil features slim Roman numeral hour markers and delicate cut-out hands. The casing is stainless steel and is water-resistant to 165 feet, making it a great dive watch. The band is made of supple, soft calfskin leather and uses a buckle closure.
Of course, this timepiece also comes with the generous 11-year warranty and it’s own fun tin. This watch oozes class and is great for nearly every occasion in your life.
4. Citizen Sport Stainless Steel Men’s Watch With Brown Leather Band
If you don’t want to deal with changing out a battery in a digital watch, this watch is powered by either natural or indoor lighting. The mineral crystal face and stainless steel case make this watch water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for swimmers and snorkelers.
Handsome and utilitarian, this is a great watch for everyday wear. It’s one of the best watches for men who are always on the go.
5. Fossil Men’s Machine Chronograph Silicone Watch
This watch was designed with the active man in mind. The knurled silicone band stands up to sweat and oils without issue, and the timepiece itself is water-resistant to 165 feet.
The patterned bezel and quality craftsmanship of the black dial is excellent, as is to be expected from a Fossil watch. It even comes in the iconic and collectible tin!
6. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Watch
This men’s watch features Japanese quartz movement that charges itself indoors or out when exposed to light, making it a great choice for those who don’t want to change out the battery too often. The stitched canvas strap is soft against your skin and will wick away moisture, while the mineral crystal face stands up to the rigors of your everyday life.
Water-resistant to 330 feet, this dive watch is a classic and simple design you’ll be proud of for years to come.
7. Invicta Pro Diver Chronograph Men’s Watch
Another gorgeous offering by Invicta, this watch features a bold design with a slightly nautical feel to it. It will look at home whether you’re wearing a business suit or are going for a dive of less than 660 feet. This piece is also covered by a one-year warranty as a matter of course. The luminosity feature and magnified date window make it a great choice if you work or play in low light.
If you want something that looks like a Tag Heuer but without the luxury watch brand price tag, this is a good option!
8. Casio Edifice Multi-Function Men’s Watch
This watch has three sub-dials for 12 hour, 60 minute and 60-second displays, in addition to the standard time. It also features a fold-over, push-down clasp on the stainless strap, keeping it secure throughout your activities. If you’re looking for a classy timepiece that shrieks sophistication, this is a great choice.
9. Fossil Machine Three Hand Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This quality watch is a chameleon piece. It looks at home as a dress watch riding below the cuff of your best suit, and it also looks great paired with jeans and a t-shirt. Backed by Fossil’s 11-year warranty as a matter of course and beautifully crafted, this smoke-colored piece is guaranteed to become the go-to accessory for nearly every occasion.
10. MVMT Watches Black Face Men’s Watch
If you like the look of a simple watch, this minimalist offering from MVMT is right up your alley. With just a plain black face, tick marks to denote the hours and a single date window, there is nothing overdone or extravagant about this design. The is understated and suited to the simple design. It’s definitely a classy, low-key piece for the budget-conscious.
11. Timex Weekender Watch
If you’re looking for a fun watch to pair with casual outfits, this is a great option. The band is blue and yellow woven nylon, and the face features both civilian and military timekeeping. An Indiglo night light is also included. This watch is water-resistant to 99 feet, meaning it can withstand splashes of water or exposure to rain but you won’t want to submerge it.
12. PUMA Ultrasize Black Sport Men’s Watch
Boasting a 50mm diameter, this piece is perfect for the large-framed man or one who likes to wear his accessories oversized. A true fashion statement, this sports watch comes in eight different colors schemes to match your favorite hues.
Do be aware, however, that the dial knob is configure for left-handed men!
13. Timex Easy Reader Men’s Watch
Another dress watch designed with the older gentleman in mind, this watch features a white dial with generously sized numerals that do not appear comical to the casual observer.
It’s also an excellent choice if you take your contacts out at night and still want to be able to check the time. With classic lines and a simple white face, the watch would not be out of place at any casual gathering. It comes with Timex’s one-year warranty at no additional charge.
14. Fossil Nate Men’s Chronograph Watch
For men who like a more gritty, industrial feel to their accessories, this Fossil watch is right on point. The bezel is gear-edged and the face is utilitarian black and gray. Water-resistant to 165 feet, this watch is a great choice if you like your adornments to be understated yet add visual interest.
It’s definitely a stand-out piece, for those who would take notice!
15. Timex Expedition Field Chronograph Men’s Watch
Featuring an indigo night light, tachymeter, a date window and a buckle closure, this watch is perfect for men who like to work or play outdoors. It is also water-resistant to 330 feet, making it a great choice for snorkeling or swimming.
You won’t want to wear it for diving, however. With classic, black styling and a genuine crystal face, this is a timepiece that will stand the test of time in both form and function.
16. Seiko 5 Automatic Stainless Steel Men’s Watch
This Seiko automatic watch has all the bells and whistles you need, but presents it all in a plain and strikingly attractive manner. It features a date window in either English or Spanish, sword-shaped hands, a sweeping second hand and a mineral dial window. This is a great option for the man on the go. The canvas strap can be removed and hand-washed if sweat or other odors become an issue.
This watch is not water-resistant, so you’ll only want to wear it when you won’t be popping by the pool for a swim!
17. Invicta Pro Diver Collection Silver-Tone Men’s Watch
For those who prefer an all-metal timepiece, the stainless steel Invicta fits the bill nicely. It has a similar aesthetic to a Tag Heuer watch, but at a more affordable price. Equipped with a unilateral bezel and removable links, the band can be customized to fit your wrist perfectly. The face is flame fusion crystal and features a magnifier to highlight the date window.
It’s also water-resistant to 660 feet. If you’re looking for a gorgeous watch that stands up to an active lifestyle, this is an excellent choice.
18. Seiko Men’s Adventure-Solar Classic Casual Watch
This Seiko watch derives its power from either natural or indoor light and can withstand water depths of up to 330 feet. The supple brown leather strap and timeless brushed steel give this piece an attractive look, and the alarm chronograph is easy to set.
If you’re looking for a watch that can serve as a backup for your wake-up call while traveling, stand up to the elements and look awesome, this casual wrist watch is a winner.
19. Nautica Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Blue Resin Band
Featuring a plethora of options and a smart, snappy style, this a great casual watch with a eye-catching blue dial. The hardy resin band is adjustable, and the face is protected by a mineral window. Whether for work or play, this bold blue design is handsome and substantial on the wrist. It comes with Nautica’s five-year warranty at no additional charge.
20. Citizen Sport Men’s Stainless Steel Watch with Black Leather Band
The black, red and white face of this piece eschews the traditional two-tone color scheme so often employed in other watches, and the contrasting stitching on the band adds creative flair. It comes backed by Citizen’s five-year warranty and will compliment any casual outfit.
21. Alessi Tic15 Analog Display Analog Quartz Black Men’s Watch
Another not-quite-round offering on our list, the curved square casing of this piece gives it instant visual appeal. Sleek and clean, this unfussy design will be a compliment to almost any occasion. It has quartz movement and is water-resistant to 99 feet, making it a great choice for everyday wear.
22. Invicta 1517 I Force Collection Watch
Another on our list designed for left-handed men, this watch is something special. Water-resistant to 330 feet and featuring oversize stenciled numbers and a sub dial, this watch is great for any casual outfit. The cloth band is extremely durable and stands up to dirt, sweat and grime.
If you lead an active lifestyle, this watch will be right at home in your collection.
23. TRIWA Blue Steel Nevil Canvas Watch
This watch comes in a whopping 14 color variations, all of them beautiful. You may decide to add more than one to your collection!
Designed in Sweden, this watch features Japanese quartz movement, a stainless steel casing and a strap made from Tärnsjö organic leather. TRIWA, which stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches, believes in the artistry of fine jewelry and it shows in their product.
24. Victorinox Swiss Army Alliance Watch
Another fine dress watch from the makers of the Swiss Army knife, this watch is emblazoned with the internally recognized cross and shield emblem. It has no sub-dials, tachymeter or other add-ons to detract from its simple and appealing style.
This watch will be at home with all but the most formal of outfits and carries a two-year warranty.
25. Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Bull Run Watch
Again, Ingersoll remakes the classics and brings them into the present day. With a highly polished stainless steel casing, two sub-dials, a date aperture and arrow-shaped hands, this quartz watch is beautiful.
The band features contrasting stitching on the fine-grain leather, adding depth and detail to the workmanship. This watch will compliment any casual occasion and can be relied upon for years to come.
26. Tissot Quickster Chronograph Black Leather Men’s Watch
Made with scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and Swiss automatic movement, this watch is a smart and utilitarian choice. If you’re looking for a solid Swiss watch that isn’t flashy, this is an excellent option. It’s also guaranteed for two years.
27. Seiko Sport Solar Men’s Beige Watch
Are you getting tired of squinting down at your watch or holding it closer and closer to your face? Don’t worry, we all get a bit nearsighted with age, especially over the age of 40.
If you’re not quite ready for reading glasses or a comically huge watch, this is a great choice from Seiko. The numerals, indices and luminous hands stand out in stark white against a black background, and the numerals are generous in size. It’s a perfect casual watch for the older gentleman.
28. Seiko Men’s 5 Watch Blue Canvas Band
This simple and affordable watch has a clean, crisp aesthetic to it and doesn’t bog down its design with a ton of bells and whistles. It’s time and date, end of.
If you want a watch for casual wear, this Seiko is a shoo-in. The band is forgiving and comfortable against your wrist, and it’s blue color will likely compliment your existing wardrobe. The price is also extremely affordable.
29. Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Stainless Steel Watch With Brown Leather Band
Featuring the Hilfiger logo at the three o’clock position, this wrist watch is a statement piece. It is a bright, shiny stainless steel work of art that you’ll be proud to wear at all but the most stuffy of workplaces. The calfskin leather band uses a buckle closure and the date window is beside the logo at three o’clock.
If you’re a fan of Tommy clothing, cologne or luggage, you can complete your look with this stunning accessory.