The 8 Best Chest Exercises (NO BENCH OR DIPS!)

  • Published: 06 October 2017
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    The best chest exercises are not determined by the ones you can lift the most weight on but rather the ones that work best for you. In this video, I’m going to show you the 8 best chest exercises to help you build a bigger chest despite using bench press and dips for years. Many people think that these staple chest workout moves must be included if you want to develop a big chest, but the reality is they do not work best for everyone.

    That said, the eight chest exercises shown here are ones you can try if you feel like you have hit a dead end in your chest development. Beyond that, these can be done as activators before your chest workout that will help you to get even more out of the bench press and dips later in the routine. The key is first to understand why these two big exercises may not be working so great for you.

    It comes down to the anatomy of the chest and how it prefers to contract. The biggest motion that the pecs are responsible for above all others is horizontal adduction at the shoulder. This means, taking the upper arm and driving it across the chest. Ideally, you would want your chest exercises to incorporate the motion so that both arms could almost cross over each other or at least the midline of your body if you want to get a maximal chest contraction.

    We can do that with the first exercise shown, the twisting pushup. Here, no equipment at all is needed to help you get more from your pushups. Instead of just pushing straight up and down you can twist your body as you do and get a relative adduction at the shoulder which will help you get a better squeeze and contraction. Since your hands will be fixed on the ground as they are in a regular pushup, the twisting of the body will draw the arm across and help you get better results from doing this.

    The plate squeeze is an awesome chest exercise that can be used as an activator before your chest workout or at the end as a finisher. The key is to squeeze the plates as hard as possible together and not let them slide apart. The chest contraction you feel here will be insane and well worth the inclusion of this move in your chest workout.

    The Db chest pullover is a variation of the classic dumbbell pullover, except this one will target the upper pecs as opposed to the lats. Instead of flaring the elbows and trying to pull the weight all the way up over your chest, restrict the range of motion a bit and squeeze the hands together to get the weight up. This will light up your upper pecs and really help you to recruit this often hard to hit area much better.

    Floor flys give you a safer way to overload this common chest exercise. The problem with the traditional fly exercise is that it places your shoulder joints in a compromising position. Some will say to just drop the amount of weight you use here and you will have no problems. The issue is, you will be leaving gains on the table by doing that. Here you can get the best of all worlds while having the floor to support your use of heavier, muscle building weights.

    The variations of chest crossovers give you an obvious way to get not just one arm, but both, across your body and experience a strong chest contraction. Whether you do the 3D cross over or the X cross, both of these are going to help you to get great chest activation and even better chest growth over time.

    The UCV raise and Cavaliere Crossover are two final exercises you can do with a single dumbbell for your chest that are going to help you to blast your pecs at any point in your workout. The key is to hold each rep for a split second in the contracted position if you really want to increase the intensity of the exercise and grow bigger pecs.

    Finally, I show you how focusing on your biceps being pressed together during the bench press and even the dip is one of the greatest tips you can use to get better results from these two popular chest exercises. Don’t think about your hands since they usually wind up traveling in a straight bar path. Get the biceps closer to each other on every rep and you will get way more out of these two popular chest exercises.

    If you are looking to get more out of all of your workouts, not just your chest workouts, head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. Start training like an athlete and watch how much faster your chest and the rest of your body grows by incorporating techniques you may never have used or thought of before.

    For more chest workouts and exercises for a bigger chest, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip at
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Comments • 1 721

    ATHLEAN-X™   8 months back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • Bennett Price
      Bennett Price  3 weeks back

      oh for real? cant tell

    • Qazi Riyyan
      Qazi Riyyan  6 months back

      How can I get your supplements in Pakistan

    • Claudiu Power lift
      Claudiu Power lift  6 months back

      More tension👉💪☝️

    • maddogrk1
      maddogrk1  7 months back

      ATHLEAN-X™ I'm

    • Janoy Cresva
      Janoy Cresva  7 months back

      I love the cavy crossover. But since i have a limited time to workout i included a simple bodyweight squat.

      I'll start with the dumbbell right in front of my foot and squat down to pick it up

      Stand back up, do the cross over and squat back down,

      let the weight touch the floor in front of my foot and rep it again.

      So when i do 10 reps of cross over on each arm i also did 20 bodyweight squats. It really gets my whole body up and running. Just be careful going too heavy at first because you WILL want to cheat the squat and if the weight is too heavy you'll mess your back up. Thanks Jeff for all your knowledge.

  • Steven Hagting
    Steven Hagting  2 days back

    Tip: when you do the UCV raise, gently put your other hand on you upper chest, you should definitely feel it working.

    • Richard Kane
      Richard Kane  5 days back

      That tip about squeezing your biceps together for chest exercises is gold. Never heard that before. Thanks!

      • Get Schwifty
        Get Schwifty  2 weeks back

        1 thousand bench presses disliked this video

        • Gs_kills G10
          Gs_kills G10  2 weeks back

          Ima get weird looks when i do flies on the floor but oh well

          • JP Dayrit
            JP Dayrit  2 weeks back

            Thanks! Great content.

            • Yair 305
              Yair 305  2 weeks back

              What body tip is jeff?

              • Ulrik Falkenberg
                Ulrik Falkenberg  3 weeks back

                One papercut and he is dead

                • KILLERKROW23
                  KILLERKROW23  3 weeks back

                  Hurt my shoulder w bad form from bench did these exercises. To keep my chest built up. Actually got bigger. It's only been a few weeks. Shoulder feels great. May not go back

                  • Ted
                    Ted  4 weeks back

                    Can i do the 3d crossover from low to high for upper chest?

                    • Vince Miller
                      Vince Miller  3 weeks back

                      if the attachment is low, you target the upper fibers
                      if the attachment is high, you target the lower fibers

                  • Gerry Castaneda
                    Gerry Castaneda  4 weeks back

                    Recovering from rotator cuff surgery. looking at these (chest)exercises seem to be easy on the I wrong?

                    • yeshua yahwey
                      yeshua yahwey  4 weeks back

                      Cavalier crossover... Just what the doctor ordered! thankyou

                      • Your Loneliness
                        Your Loneliness  4 weeks back

                        I just wana know what da fuck is in this guys workout programs, it feels like he gives everything on his channel. And then on top of that he don't even charge typical internet guru prices. Im so confused.

                        • Best Gamer
                          Best Gamer  4 weeks back


                          • Rafael MusicMan
                            Rafael MusicMan  1 months back

                            Irmão, são muito bons seus vídeos. Obrigado. Grande abraço do Brasil.

                            • Dim
                              Dim  1 months back

                              2:12 So thats how V shred made up its dumb chest exercise

                              • Carlos Ornelas
                                Carlos Ornelas  1 months back

                                Great video. Nice shirt 👍

                                • Rodge Mulang
                                  Rodge Mulang  1 months back

                                  Plate squeze? I dont like to try that. Imagine if u drop the plate. Either the plate crush or the feet. Whew! Overall tnx jeff! I always refer to ur chanel everytime i nid help. I trust u more than any other vloger on utube! Kudos!

                                  • PetaBread27
                                    PetaBread27  1 months back

                                    I want my chest to be so big that my nipples point towards the ground. That's my goal lol

                                    • Jake Davies
                                      Jake Davies  1 months back

                                      How much weight was being used for the chest squeeze

                                      • Dustin Brooks
                                        Dustin Brooks  2 months back

                                        I wish you would do a complete dumbbell series in your playlists that would be awesome

                                        • BestHomeBizUsa
                                          BestHomeBizUsa  2 months back

                                          Thanks for helping me understand how to save on my cable bills.

                                          • Sam Fletcher
                                            Sam Fletcher  2 months back

                                            If you do 3 sets of face pulls then look in the mirror and say shoulder rotation three times Jeff appears.

                                            • Mabix _
                                              Mabix _  1 months back

                                              No top comment :(

                                          • Eddy Jimenez
                                            Eddy Jimenez  2 months back

                                            Fuck! I need one of ur programs jeff, thing is, im 63 in damn good shape, but i have bad hips and knees, which of ur programs is best for me ???

                                            • schrodingerdiscovery
                                              schrodingerdiscovery  2 months back

                                              I had never thought Jeff would tell us to do a fly, even on the floor.

                                              • jo seph
                                                jo seph  2 months back

                                                you talk too much

                                              • Best Gamer
                                                Best Gamer  2 months back


                                                • matt
                                                  matt  2 months back

                                                  What rep range is good for these exercises?

                                                  • littlethuggie
                                                    littlethuggie  2 months back

                                                    Start by using the best exercises: bench variations, push-ups, dips....Then, if it's not working great for you, or you are "already doing those lifts", just work them harder/differently....Accentuated eccentrics, pauses, concentric only, change your volume, etc....There are way too many exercises that accomplish the same things. The exercises aren't the issue.

                                                    • Dyspo
                                                      Dyspo  2 months back

                                                      how to make chest day out of this? should i do everything in one training or should i choose like 4 exerciese?

                                                      • Therapist 67
                                                        Therapist 67  2 months back

                                                        Dyspo as long as you do 12 - 16 sets of any that’ll be fine. I’d choose 4 for one workout and then do the other 4 in another workout to mix it up

                                                    • Gus Stone
                                                      Gus Stone  2 months back

                                                      Superb video again. Like most of Jeff's videos, i usually implement stuff into my routine immediately. He's the best.

                                                      • franki3Ru550
                                                        franki3Ru550  2 months back

                                                        I don’t have a Bench press machine.. I hope this workout increases my chest

                                                        • Sebastien Viany
                                                          Sebastien Viany  2 months back

                                                          great as usual!

                                                          • Ellis Brown
                                                            Ellis Brown  2 months back

                                                            One paper cut and he’s in trouble

                                                            • stuggim
                                                              stuggim  2 months back

                                                              Im struggling with those pushups.
                                                              The side with he turns in is possible by lifting his hand slightly and losing pressure on that side , increasing the pressure on the other side..?!

                                                              • Thomas Smartphone
                                                                Thomas Smartphone  2 months back

                                                                Thank you, you helped me a lot. 😊👍

                                                                • Pankaj Deori
                                                                  Pankaj Deori  2 months back

                                                                  very helpful

                                                                  • Sweden from above
                                                                    Sweden from above  2 months back

                                                                    Great Jeff, I have been lifting for 18 years and I also get some good tips from you. Thanks man, my fire is on again!!!

                                                                    • Daniel Hernandez
                                                                      Daniel Hernandez  2 months back

                                                                      Thank you

                                                                      • John Cooper - Art of Social

                                                                        Its funny how most guys in the gym only want to do biceps and chest. I call them Bicesters. "hes a proper bichester that boy"

                                                                        • Logen M
                                                                          Logen M  3 months back

                                                                          Awesome video and advice Jeff! Thanks! 🙏

                                                                          • Rob Lewis
                                                                            Rob Lewis  3 months back

                                                                            So I am recovering from Carpal Tunnel Release surgery in both wrists/hands. At present, I cannot do any exercises that include pushing of anything with weight. So what can I can i do for a routine to keep my chest development going? Any help is appreciated. Thanks

                                                                            • Raven
                                                                              Raven  3 months back

                                                                              Hello, the 2nd exercise.. "if you struggle to see your chest grow" ... totally no activation left side XDXDXD:*(:*(

                                                                              • Kaio Castillo
                                                                                Kaio Castillo  3 months back

                                                                                Great information Lewandowski, thank you so much!

                                                                                • Kevin McGravey
                                                                                  Kevin McGravey  3 months back

                                                                                  For the cable x crossover, I notice that you alternate your arms. Does that mean that if you alternate say the right arm then the left that that is only 1 rep since there is an alternation? Or would that count as 2 reps?

                                                                                  • Coddy Alle
                                                                                    Coddy Alle  3 months back

                                                                                    Real useful 👌

                                                                                    • Don Ragnar
                                                                                      Don Ragnar  3 months back

                                                                                      👆The GOAT

                                                                                      • rakesh r
                                                                                        rakesh r  3 months back

                                                                                        Jeff the best.