Having a bulky, muscular and chiseled chest is considered as a symbol of strength among bodybuilders.
Chest building exercises are one of the most popular workouts in every upper body split day. There are different chest exercises that are preferred in chest days. However, the fact that there are too many options, it becomes important to find out the best exercises to build chest muscles.
We are aware of the benefits of doing different types of bench presses, with varying weights and equipment i.e. barbells, dumbbells, etc. But, the modern day fitness regime is constructed more around the exercise machines.
Working with free weights tends to give better results, but it needs you to recruit several stabilizing muscles. They often lead to injuries, especially for beginners. Therefore, machine exercises are considered ideal; they suit best even for the individuals that have just started working out. They can simply select a specific machine, with weighted plates and start by learning the movement of the exercise.
Machine exercises helps individuals to maintain balance and get comfortable with the range of motion, before going for free weights. It is also considered as a safe way of exercising.
Being precise, you are less likely to go wrong with using the exercise machines because they are designed for specific purposes. It ensures you train well and build your strength, without actually losing your cool!!!
Here are 3 best machines for chest exercises
1. Pec-Deck Machine
The muscles of the upper chest (pectoralis major) become a major part of our upper body. Exercises to get stronger chest include bench presses, push ups and pec-deck machine exercises.
The pec-deck machine consists of a platform where you sit. It is a weight machine, so has weight plates attached to it. Sticking out from the bars behind the seat are two arms or levers that you pull together.
When we work with the pec-deck machine, we squeeze our chest muscles together; this activates the muscles in the upper chest (pectoralis major).
The pec-deck machine exercise is an isolation exercise, as because only one joint is used while performing it. Moreover, there is no stabilizer muscles used as the machine itself acts as the stabilizer.
The primary target of this exercise is the pectoralis major. But it also includes sternum, lower region of the pectoralis major, whereas the upper part of the muscle only acts as a support to complete the action.
You can go for different grips based on the model of your machine to activate other muscles of the chest as well, including pectoralis minor or lower chest and sternum.
- Sit on the platform with your back straight resting on the back pad.
- Hold the handles or arms of the machine.
- Pull your arms towards each other and squeeze your chest and release till you feel the stretch. This is one complete repetition.
If you are interested in buying a Pec-Deck machine, here is what we recommend, XtremepowerUS pec-deck machine. Not being too complicated to use, you are also provided with instructions on how to install them on your own and start working out with it. Apart from helping you with chest exercises, it also has lateral bars that can be used for pull-ups, pull-downs and foot wraps for leg workouts as well.
Being a multi-purpose gym station, it is considered ideal for doing weight lifting at home.
2. Cable Crossover Machine
The cable machines are very easy to use and allow the individual to follow proper technique and maintain the right form. As this allows isolating one muscle at a time, it becomes a very effective chest building machine exercise. It can be used to target upper chest, mid-chest (sternum) and lower chest by varying the pulley height.
It is a machine that consists of two vertical stands, which has cables and pulleys attached to it. The cable is attached with weights that can be adjusted based on the strength of the individual.The cable crossover machine allows us to get in through a wide and angular motion of hands. This increases chest activation and also involves the core as well.
This also is an isolation exercise that impacts the chests more. In order to activate the pectoralis major, it is recommended to do a horizontal movement at an angular motion towards the mid line. The height of the pulleys can be adjusted based on the chest muscles that you are looking to workout i.e. high for upper chest (Pectoralis major), medium for mid-chest and a little lower for lower chest (Pectoralis minor).
- Grip the handle and move away from both the bars, you can either use a wide stance or stand with one leg in front of another.
- Hands should be straight out, palms facing inward. Keep your elbows slightly bent and ensure that your hands are below your shoulders.
- Pull to bring both your hands closer, but in a controlled manner. Both the eccentric and concentric motion has to be slow.
- Release your arms slowly back to the initial position. Do not allow the arms to go past the shoulders. This completes one repetition.
If you are looking to buy a cable crossover machine, we will suggest you the PowerLine cable crossover machine. It has a strong frame and can withstand a lot of force. The machine can be easily be dismantled and move to a different place.
You have different options for grips as well, as it comes with cable handles, ankle strap, chin-up handles and collars. It consists of varying weights, which can be adjusted while training.
3. Seated Chest Press Machine
The seated chest press machine is the alternate version of the bench presses that you do by lying on the bench. It is recommended especially for the individuals that are beginning to do the weight lifting exercises. The seated chest press machines helps to get stronger pectoral or chest muscles. Additionally, it also develops the biceps, deltoids or shoulders and the lattissimus dorsi.
The machine consists of a seat that can be adjusted according to your comfort. There are arms that are attached to weight bearing loads, which are pushed away from the body and returned back to its original position.
It helps to activate the same muscles similar to bench presses on barbell or using a dumbbells or using the cable machines.
- Sit on the machine placing your feet on the floor, keeping them at a distance of shoulder-width. It is recommended to use weights that you are comfortable with.
- Grip the handles, so that it becomes easier for you to push the bars by extending your arms.
- Keeps your head straight and neck still on the pad. Breathe out as you push the bars and breathe in as you bring it back to maintain the blood flow.
- It is important to feel the muscle tension during the horizontal push exercise. You can adjust your weights till you are able to push the weight slowly. It is important to maintain the intensity. Increase the difficulty of the exercise to gain better results.
For seated chest press machine, our personal favorite is the Home Gym Weider. Although it is recommended for seated chest press machine exercise, it has additional functions too. This allows you to work out all your major muscle groups as well. Apart from chest presses, it can also be used for Lat pull-downs to help get strong back, arms and core muscles.
Keep in mind that machine exercises for building chest muscles are recommended, because it helps you to avoid muscle imbalances and prevent injuries. It is often advised to be used during the initial phase of your training, when you are trying to get acquainted with heavy weight training. You can switch to free weights as you become expert at it or choose to stick with it.