5 Red Flags of a Weak Chest (FIX THESE!)

  • Published: 13 January 2019
  • If you have a weak chest, it not only will show up when you take your shirt off and look in the mirror but it will also have a detrimental effect on your bench press and other lifts in your chest workouts. In this video, I’m going to show you the 5 biggest red flags for a weak chest, and most importantly, what you can do to fix them.

    The first thing you want to do is look at the way in which you are performing your dumbbell bench press or barbell bench. If you have the tendency to allow your shoulders to drift forward ahead of your chest on the pressing portion of the lift then you likely are compensating for a weak chest. This becomes especially true if you find that it happens even more as you fatigue during the set.

    Next, take a look at your performance and strength on the overhead press as compared to the bench press. If you find that you are meeting or coming close to pressing your bodyweight on the OHP but are far less capable of pressing one and a half times your bodyweight on a bench press, you likely have a very weak chest. Why is that? This is because the OHP requires primarily the strength of the delts to perform it well. Given that your delts are also needed on the bench press, if you have incredible strength in them that should carry over to the bench. If yours falls apart however, the most likely cause is that your chest is not nearly as strong as your shoulders.

    Sticking with the bench press, you also want to be aware of where in the range of motion you seem to most often fail or struggle. Generally, the shoulders are most responsible for getting the bar off of your chest at the bottom of the lift. On the opposite end, the triceps are relied on tremendously for locking out the lift. The chest however, is most active and recruited during the midrange of the lift. If you find that it is here that you are failing on your reps or getting stuck, then it is something that you are going to want to work on and at the very least, identify as a major red flag.

    Continuing on, you don’t just want to be concerned with your absolute strength in your chest but also your ability to produce force over time repeatedly. The muscle endurance of the chest can be tested by simply performing 25 pushups as I show you in the video, breaking them up into 5 reps at a time with a 5 second hold in the midrange of the exercise each time. Without stopping, see if you can get all the way to 25 reps while accruing 25 seconds of holding time. If not, you want to be alerted to the weakness you likely have in your chest muscles.

    Finally, take note of any potential discrepancy in your performance of the dip. We know that leaning forward in the dip is going to more effectively recruit the muscles of the chest rather than relying heavily on the triceps (as happens in a more upright dip). If you find however that you can do more reps upright than you can tilted forward in more of a chest dip, this is a major red flag.

    The fixes for each of these red flags are included. Be sure that you keep your shoulders held back during all pressing movements so that your chest can more actively contribute to the lift. Likewise, it is ok to work on including partials in the midrange of a bench press or even paused reps in the midrange to evoke more work from the chest and strengthen it. Finally, with dips, don’t just treat them as a high rep exercise. Remember to include some weighted dips and lean forward into the chest dip position and work on increasing your strength on the exercise in the lower rep ranges.

    If you are looking for a complete workout program that helps you to not only overcome these red flags but everywhere else you can develop them in your body, be sure to click the link below and get a step by step plan for training like an athlete. Build ripped, athletic muscle in just 90 days by training with the ATHLEAN-X Training Systems.

    For more videos on how to build a bigger chest and the best chest workout for getting bigger pecs, be sure to subscribe to our channel at the link below and turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

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Comments • 2 720

    ATHLEAN-X™   7 months back

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    • MaurerBarros
      MaurerBarros  3 months back

      Jeff, can you make a video about isometrics exercises, Thanks from your brazilian fan

      TECH/GAMER ESHAN  5 months back

      When I am doing bench dips my once side chest is going like inside and painting a lot

    • Madness
      Madness  5 months back

      and how i combine that to my chest workout ?

    • Hope Hicks
      Hope Hicks  5 months back

      I got very weak pectorals. No upper chest whatsoever. My right pec is almost half my left- doesn't extend toward the middle at all. And no matter what, i can't do more than 12 push-ups or 8 dips. How could u help me out with this, Jeff? Btw I'm a 33-year-old male.

    • gibson gibson l
      gibson gibson l  5 months back

      Hello Alex
      is it possible to maintain muscle mass and strength while having really really low testosterone levels?

  • Draggy654
    Draggy654  8 hours back

    Gonna have to come back on this vid sore atm

    • Dean Bellamy
      Dean Bellamy  2 days back

      shit, you got me, Jeff. Didnt even realise i was doing this and im honestly quite observent. Clearly not with my chest.

      • Kevin Skonetzki
        Kevin Skonetzki  2 days back

        1,5x my bodyweight on bench?! Havent seen a single man doing this irl

        • Dean Bellamy
          Dean Bellamy  2 days back

          205 lifting 300 should be relatively easy? Unless it’s not healthy weight then I’m not surprised. But if you’re 205 of solid mass then yeah, easy

        • Kevin Skonetzki
          Kevin Skonetzki  2 days back

          @Dean Bellamy 205, yeah

        • Dean Bellamy
          Dean Bellamy  2 days back

          Kevin Skonetzki you weigh 200ibs?

        • Kevin Skonetzki
          Kevin Skonetzki  2 days back

          @Dean Bellamy 310 lbs is a lot I thought

        • Dean Bellamy
          Dean Bellamy  2 days back

          so you workout at planet fitness?

      • Felippe
        Felippe  3 days back

        Hi Jeff, have you ever tried to do the zero point training (ponto zero) of Fernando Sardinha, Brazilian bodybuilder? Cheers.

        • Bomb this masterhill
          Bomb this masterhill  3 days back


          Jeff Cavaliere: i have a vain around the left eye

          • MrKenantheboss
            MrKenantheboss  2 days back

            i was looking for this lmao wtf he is testostorone itself

        • L0rdCROISSANT
          L0rdCROISSANT  3 days back

          you forgot that if not done properly one can create shoulder injury by over straining to compensate for weak chest

          • El Chingón
            El Chingón  4 days back

            You talk too fucking much. This is a 6 minute video tops

            • Dave C.
              Dave C.  5 days back

              dude u have orbital veins

              • Alan Martinez
                Alan Martinez  6 days back

                This nigga is retarded

                • Jesus Zavala
                  Jesus Zavala  1 weeks back

                  Wow thanks so much I’ve been doing the first exercise wrong

                  • Sauna Mad Man
                    Sauna Mad Man  1 weeks back

                    I fareal will start doing more chest

                    • Caleb Woodson
                      Caleb Woodson  1 weeks back

                      It’s been awhile since I have worked out but just got into the gym again. I also come from a Bach in exercise physiology with minor in nutrition. My question is I read it’s good do do 20 mins of cardio aka bike after a workout cause your body burns the fat as fuel since ur muscles are already sore. Is that true? Thanks

                      • davidjovanovik
                        davidjovanovik  1 weeks back

                        After I saw this video, i took a look at my peck and i literally had a red flag on it😥😪😓

                        • Lehlohonolo Mokale
                          Lehlohonolo Mokale  1 weeks back

                          Hi Jeff! When I do my pushups, my wrists feel the pressure and it's painful. how do I solve that?

                          • Jack Olesen
                            Jack Olesen  5 days back

                            You can train your wrist by exchanging dumbbells with barbells when training chest with dumbbells. Good luck ✌️

                          • DaM0ful
                            DaM0ful  7 days back

                            no wrists, no problem

                        • legokingiscool
                          legokingiscool  1 weeks back

                          Just finished Day 2. I get it my chest is fuckin ass. 🧐👍

                          • Robert Nixon
                            Robert Nixon  1 weeks back

                            Looks like the implants went into the wrong place on those arms. Damit those are some weird looking arms y’all.

                            • X3MCTZN
                              X3MCTZN  2 weeks back

                              This video will be RED FLAGGED !!

                              • Anthony Kerry
                                Anthony Kerry  2 weeks back

                                1.5 my weight? Then my entire gym crew including instructors are weak. Am 66kg and my best without spotter is 50kg (55 if am really struggling) damn I feel like a cripple now.

                                • Kaan Uçar
                                  Kaan Uçar  2 weeks back

                                  1:16 That video angle kinda freaked me out

                                  • Rowdy Ron
                                    Rowdy Ron  2 weeks back

                                    I never realized that me failing in the middle of my bench like you said meant my chest was weak thats crazy

                                    • Erick Rosa
                                      Erick Rosa  2 weeks back

                                      I benches 200ibs 3 times.....on the Smith machine....

                                      • bigfaxnocap
                                        bigfaxnocap  2 weeks back

                                        i have back spasams in my higher region of my back when i do chest. How can i combat this?

                                        • kid Lifted
                                          kid Lifted  2 weeks back

                                          Mannnn I have to join a gym. Working out in my basements fun but that weighted press looks awesome for u and looks like fun. Thanks for all the content hope y’all are doing well 💯🤟

                                          • Tamer Said
                                            Tamer Said  2 weeks back

                                            OHP with body weight😲😲 i wish 😂😂

                                            • Yair Celis
                                              Yair Celis  2 weeks back

                                              I watch jeffs video before hitting the gym just to make sure I'm this shit right. After the gym, I check the video again and I get this little voice in the back of my head telling me "Ya see! Jeff did it differently. Go back and do that shit right again!!" And it makes me feel like If I'm not making any progress.

                                              • Erick Rosa
                                                Erick Rosa  2 weeks back

                                                Over thinking it makes you mess up. I recall doing skull crushers wrong one day thinking I remembered how to do them correctly. Okay so next time aka today I did them correctly this time. I didn't worry about it too much. Lift light until you feel confident in safe and proper movements. I'd even record yourself doing some reps to get an idea of what you are actually doing

                                            • Wolf Gang
                                              Wolf Gang  3 weeks back

                                              What i got from this im weak period

                                              • Robert Douglas
                                                Robert Douglas  3 weeks back

                                                1.5 times my body weight is 360 pounds! Yeesh. Lol maybe that benchmark isn’t for fat people

                                                • gipen
                                                  gipen  3 weeks back

                                                  Me: my chest isn't weak
                                                  Jeff: the standard is 1.5 times your bodyweight
                                                  Me: I'm a weakling :(

                                                  • Bryan120000
                                                    Bryan120000  3 weeks back

                                                    I really liked this video. Good information. Do more red flag videos.

                                                    • de omair
                                                      de omair  3 weeks back

                                                      Well thank God!! I’m doing most of them correctly. I never push away too much i keep the tension on the muscle and do the small reps

                                                      • daCorasla
                                                        daCorasla  3 weeks back

                                                        Great video!

                                                        • Andrew Wilson
                                                          Andrew Wilson  3 weeks back

                                                          Been doing bench presses for years and never thought of this and I'm pretty sure my Ben h leads with my shoulders will Che ck next time. Cheers for the heads up.

                                                          • Ben K Lore
                                                            Ben K Lore  3 weeks back

                                                            my bodyweight on an overhead press would be amazing for a body builder...still got a bit of fat to lose

                                                            • John Rios-Brooks
                                                              John Rios-Brooks  3 weeks back

                                                              I’m lucky, I have a nice chest. And it’s really really weak. Thanks Jeff. 👍 I look forward to addressing my weakness and working on it. Keep uploading stuff, could you talk about hip abducters and foot supination/pronation relating to anterior pelvic tilt? Or upload about squatting without having quads bear the load (disproportionately) and having pressure on the lower back (lumbar.) My squat looks great in the mirror, but I need to work on my feet and I’d like help taking pressure off my back and using my glutes instead of my quads to lift. Thanks!

                                                              • Ryan Wexler
                                                                Ryan Wexler  4 weeks back

                                                                I have been watching Jeff's videos for years now, and I have learned so much from him that I have incorporated into my own training, as well as included into my clients training programs. Thanks for all the great content!

                                                                P.S. Looking lean lately Jeff, lookin' lean

                                                                • Ryan Mc Gahon
                                                                  Ryan Mc Gahon  4 weeks back

                                                                  When I do dumbell bench press my left arm tingles from the elbow down to my wrist, and sometimes my little finger loses grip and my arm genuinely shakes uncrontrollably. It only ever happens to my left arm but not my right! I dont know why this happens, but has anyone else ever experienced this?

                                                                  • Shakirios eats Cheerios

                                                                    Superman vs batman more like God vs jeff

                                                                    • Boots the God
                                                                      Boots the God  4 weeks back

                                                                      I like how quick and to the point these videos are. Not only covering the issue, but tips to improve also. Can watch on the way to the gym and try to implement into the routine

                                                                      • abcmaya
                                                                        abcmaya  4 weeks back

                                                                        when it comes to pressing 1.5x the bodyweight, another thing to consider is their fat percentage. someone who is 150lb with a 5 percent bodyfat should be able to bench 225 lb no problem. but if a person have like 40 percent bodyfat, it'll be very difficult to press 1.5 of their bodyweight.

                                                                        • abcmaya
                                                                          abcmaya  4 weeks back

                                                                          interesting. i purposely move my shoulder forward to help my chest pop out of my body, resulting in a more chiseled separated look.

                                                                          • Tuğbay Deniz
                                                                            Tuğbay Deniz  4 weeks back


                                                                            • BeePhotoPrints
                                                                              BeePhotoPrints  4 weeks back

                                                                              Great info as always Jeff, Thanks! My chest is one of my weakest points.

                                                                              • Sunny Tian
                                                                                Sunny Tian  1 months back

                                                                                for me i only have the 5th rad flag with the dips

                                                                                • Dale Cavalho
                                                                                  Dale Cavalho  1 months back

                                                                                  Very informative...innovative.....and to the point on point.....no unnecessary squabbling........yea reel talk

                                                                                  • James Kirk
                                                                                    James Kirk  1 months back

                                                                                    I like the total body workout with dumbells,, it is short and does not take long, wondering if there is a TBW using other methods that is short too ?

                                                                                    • Jozua Smit
                                                                                      Jozua Smit  1 months back

                                                                                      Sigh, my chest is definitely lacking. I can almost military press my bench press. Lol

                                                                                      • Otis Ritchie
                                                                                        Otis Ritchie  1 months back

                                                                                        Stop saying everything everyone does to get their dream body is wrong or putting people down.