TOP 3 CHEST BUILDING EXERCISES
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) sponsored a research study in 2012 to determine which exercises were most effective to strengthen and tone the chest. If you want to build a better chest, look no further. This post summarizes the results.
Included in the study were nine common chest exercises:
Table 1 summarizes the results. The average EMG column shows the measured values, the RPE is the subjects' perceived exertion level.
1.Barbell Bench Press
The barbell bench press turned out to be the best chest exercise, with an average EMG score of 100.
Here is a video showing the proper way to do a barbell bench press:
2.Pec Deck Machine
The pec deck came in second with an average EMG score of 98. Here is a video showing the correct way to use the pec deck:
3. Cable Crossovers
Cable crossovers came in third, with an average EMG score of 93. Here is a video on proper cable crossover technique:
No mention of the dumbbell chest press was made. In my own experience, you could substitude the dumbbell chest press for the barbell press and get similar results.
Also surprising is that the venerable push up exercises came in last place. Not that they aren't effective, just not as effective as the top three given above.
This post doesn't go into how many sets and reps produce the best results - that's a whole different subject, but if you want to strengthen and tone your chest in the most effective way possible, include the barbell chest press, the pec deck and cable crossover exercises with your current routine.
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