Here is a list of 15 chest exercises ranked worst to best. These chest exercises are performed by many people in the gym, but some are good, some are bad, and some can actually injure you.
Jeff Cavaliere was the head physical therapist of the New York Mets for 3 years and is now a YouTube sensation. He delivers clear information without noise on his ATHLEAN-X YouTube channel.
The physical therapist made a list of 15 chest exercises ranked worst to best on one of his latest videos. The very first exercise which he deems worst is the dumbbell fly, and the push-up is not even close to being the best one.
“There are some criteria for selecting where an exercise will fall. We want to make sure that this is an exercise that can actually deliver results. We don’t want it to be something that is insufficient in being able to challenge you and to cause growth,” Cavaliere explains at the beginning of the video.
Check Out These 15 Chest Exercises Ranked Worst to Best
Worst Chest Exercises
- Bench Flys
- Standing Cable Press
- 60-Degree Incline Bench Press
- The WTF Blaster
The bench flys are in this category because, according to Cavaliere, it places your shoulder joint at increased risk of injury.
Incline bench presses are good, except when you go over 60-degree on the inclination of the bench. Then you start working on your shoulders much more than on your chest.
Good Chest Exercises
- Floor Flys
- Underhand Dumbbell Bench Press
Push-ups are just not challenging enough because you can do many of them if you are an experienced athlete. The standard push-up will only increase your muscles up to a certain level. That is only valid for people who can do 30 or more push-ups unbroken.
Better Chest Exercises
- Twisting Push-Ups
- Cable Crossovers
- Bench Cable Press
- Dumbbell Upper Chest Pullovers
The upper chest pullover is a unique chest exercise that recruits the upper chest fibres that you can do when all you have is a flat bench.
Almost Best Chest Exercises
- Dip (weighted optional and twisting optional) step up from push-up
- Heavy 1-Arm Crossovers
- 30-Degree / 45-Degree Incline Bench Press
The 1-arm crossover allows you to go heavy and makes your core not activate as much, compared to doing a crossover with two arms. Get full abduction across the midline.
Best Chest Exercise
- Barbell / Dumbbell Bench Press
Either version of it, be it with barbell or dumbbell, is the best exercise for chest growth, according to Jeff Cavaliere, because of the opportunity for progressive overload.