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6 Best Chest Accessory Exercises to Force Massive Muscle Growth

Upgrade your chest.

When it comes to building a formidable and chiseled chest, many fitness enthusiasts tend to focus solely on traditional compound exercises like the bench press.

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While these movements are undoubtedly effective for overall chest development, they often overlook the crucial role that accessory exercises play in achieving massive muscle growth.

This article delves into the realm of chest accessory exercises, shedding light on their significance and untapped potential for taking your chest gains to new heights.

By incorporating these exercises into your workout routine, you can target specific areas of the chest, activate different muscle fibers, and address imbalances, ultimately sculpting a well-rounded and powerful chest.

bar muscle up workoutSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll unveil the six best chest accessory exercises that have been proven to unlock hidden muscle growth. Each exercise is carefully selected for its ability to isolate and engage the chest muscles from unique angles, providing a holistic approach to chest development.

From targeting the upper chest to honing in on specific muscle groups, these accessory exercises will help you break plateaus and accelerate your journey to a more muscular and symmetrical chest.

Whether you’re an aspiring bodybuilder seeking to reach new levels of size and definition or a fitness enthusiast aiming to improve your upper body strength, the following sections will equip you with the knowledge and techniques necessary to unleash the full potential of your chest muscles.

Let’s embark on this transformative journey and unlock the secrets to maximizing chest muscle growth through these six exceptional accessory exercises.

Dumbbell Pullovers: Unleashing the Power of Pectorals

Among the treasure trove of chest accessory exercises, dumbbell pullovers stand out as a classic and potent movement that has stood the test of time. This exercise, often overlooked by modern gym-goers, has the potential to unlock substantial muscle growth in the pectoral region.

Targeting the Sternal and Clavicular Fibers:

Dumbbell pullovers are renowned for their unique ability to engage both the sternal and clavicular fibers of the pectoralis major, the primary muscle of the chest. By lying perpendicular on a bench with your upper back supported and your hips slightly flexed, the movement allows the dumbbell to be lowered behind the head, effectively targeting the sternal fibers.

Simultaneously, as you raise the dumbbell back up toward the chest while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows, the clavicular fibers come into play. This dual muscle engagement makes dumbbell pullovers a must-have exercise for comprehensive chest development.

Technique and Execution:

To perform dumbbell pullovers correctly, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Lie flat on a bench with only your upper back resting on it, leaving your hips and glutes unsupported.
  2. Grasp a dumbbell with both hands, holding it above your chest with your palms facing the ceiling and your arms slightly bent.
  3. Inhale deeply and lower the dumbbell in a controlled arc behind your head, keeping a slight bend in your elbows. Continue the movement until you feel a gentle stretch in your chest and shoulders.
  4. Exhale as you bring the dumbbell back to the starting position, focusing on contracting your chest muscles throughout the movement.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, maintaining smooth and controlled motions.

Benefits and Variations:

Incorporating dumbbell pullovers into your chest workout routine offers a myriad of benefits:

Isolation and Stimulation: Dumbbell pullovers effectively isolate the chest muscles, providing targeted stimulation to the pectorals and enhancing their growth potential.

Ribcage Expansion: The stretching motion during the exercise helps expand the ribcage, which can increase chest cavity volume and improve overall chest aesthetics.

Enhancing Flexibility: This exercise promotes shoulder flexibility and mobility, making it a valuable addition to warm-up routines.

Variations: Dumbbell pullovers can be performed with various grip positions, such as a neutral grip or an overhand grip, to emphasize different muscle groups and create muscle confusion.

When incorporating dumbbell pullovers into your chest workouts, remember to start with lighter weights and gradually increase resistance as you become more comfortable with the movement. Additionally, always prioritize proper form to minimize the risk of injury and maximize muscle engagement.

By including dumbbell pullovers in your chest accessory exercises repertoire, you can unlock the true potential of your pectoral muscles, paving the way for a stronger, more defined, and awe-inspiring chest.

Cable Flyes: Sculpting a Strong and Defined Chest

When it comes to sculpting a strong and well-defined chest, cable flyes are a dynamic and essential chest accessory exercise that should not be overlooked.

Unlike traditional compound movements, cable flyes offer the unique advantage of targeting the pectoral muscles from different angles, leading to comprehensive chest development and enhanced muscle definition.

Activating the Pectoral Muscles from Different Angles:

One of the primary benefits of cable flyes lies in their ability to activate the pectoral muscles from various angles.

By using cables instead of free weights, you can maintain constant tension throughout the entire range of motion, which is crucial for maximizing muscle engagement. The movement involves bringing the cable handles together in front of the body, effectively mimicking a hugging motion.

This action targets the middle and lower fibers of the chest, contributing to a fuller and more sculpted appearance.

Proper Cable Flye Form:

To perform cable flyes effectively, follow these guidelines to ensure proper form and muscle activation:

  1. Stand in the center of the cable machine, grasping one handle in each hand with your arms extended out to the sides at shoulder height.
  2. Adopt a staggered stance, with one foot forward and the other foot back for stability.
  3. Engage your core and maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the exercise.
  4. Inhale as you bring the handles forward, squeezing your chest muscles together as if you were hugging someone.
  5. Exhale and slowly return to the starting position in a controlled manner, feeling the stretch in your chest.

Incorporating Supersets and Dropsets:

To take your cable flyes to the next level, consider incorporating supersets and dropsets into your chest workout routine.

Supersets: Pair cable flyes with another chest exercise, such as the bench press or push-ups, to keep your muscles under constant tension. This technique not only enhances muscle activation but also helps boost overall workout efficiency.

Dropsets: After completing a set of cable flyes, immediately reduce the weight and perform another set to muscle failure. Dropsets are an excellent method for stimulating muscle growth and pushing your chest muscles to their limits.

Cable flyes are a versatile and effective chest accessory exercise that can significantly contribute to sculpting a strong and defined chest. By activating the pectoral muscles from different angles, maintaining constant tension, and incorporating advanced training techniques like supersets and dropsets, you can unlock the full potential of your chest muscles.

Remember to prioritize proper form, gradually increase resistance, and challenge yourself with variations to keep your workouts engaging and effective.

With dedication, consistency, and the incorporation of cable flyes into your chest workout routine, you can achieve a chest that exudes strength, symmetry, and impressive muscle definition.

Incline Bench Press: Elevating Muscle Growth

When it comes to elevating chest muscle growth, the incline bench press takes center stage as a powerful and essential exercise.

This versatile movement hones in on upper chest development, providing the foundation for a well-rounded and balanced chest.

Focusing on Upper Chest Development:

The incline bench press is a game-changer for those seeking to build a more pronounced and developed upper chest.

By adjusting the bench to an inclined position (typically set at an angle of around 30-45 degrees), the exercise places greater emphasis on the clavicular fibers of the pectoralis major. This variation not only enhances the appearance of a fuller chest but also contributes to better overall upper body symmetry.

Ideal Incline Bench Press Technique:

To perform the incline bench press with precision and efficiency, follow these steps for optimal results:

  1. Set the bench at the desired incline angle and lie flat on your back, ensuring your feet are firmly planted on the ground for stability.
  2. Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart, and wrists aligned with your forearms.
  3. Unrack the barbell and lower it in a controlled manner towards the upper chest, slightly below the collarbone, while maintaining a slight arch in your lower back.
  4. Exhale and push the barbell upward until your arms are fully extended without locking out your elbows.
  5. Lower the barbell back down with control and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

Customizing Incline Bench Press for Maximum Impact:

To maximize the impact of the incline bench press, consider incorporating the following techniques:

Progressive Overload: Gradually increase the weight lifted during each session to challenge your muscles and stimulate continuous growth.

Tempo Variation: Manipulate the tempo of the exercise by slowing down the lowering phase (eccentric) and exploding upwards during the lifting phase (concentric) to enhance muscle tension and activation.

Dumbbell Incline Press: Alternate between barbell and dumbbell incline press to provide variety and engage stabilizer muscles for better overall chest development.

Superset with Isolation Exercises: Pair the incline bench press with isolation exercises like incline dumbbell flyes or cable crossovers to target the upper chest from multiple angles and achieve a more sculpted appearance.

The incline bench press is a staple exercise for anyone seeking to elevate muscle growth and sculpt a powerful upper chest. By focusing on the clavicular fibers of the pectoralis major, this exercise provides the foundation for a well-balanced and aesthetically pleasing chest.

With proper technique and customization through progressive overload and variations, you can maximize the impact of the incline bench press on your chest development. Embrace the challenge, stay consistent, and witness the remarkable transformation of your upper chest as you progress on your journey to a stronger, more defined, and impressive physique.

Chest Dips: The Bodyweight Secret to Explosive Growth

If you’re in search of a bodyweight exercise that can unlock explosive chest growth, look no further than chest dips.

This dynamic movement targets not only the chest but also the triceps, making it a powerhouse exercise for building upper body strength and muscle mass without the need for heavy weights.

Engaging Chest and Triceps Muscles:

Chest dips are renowned for their ability to engage the chest and triceps muscles simultaneously. As you lower your body, the emphasis shifts to the chest, specifically the lower pectoral fibers.

On the ascent, the triceps take center stage, creating a comprehensive workout for both muscle groups. This dual muscle activation not only contributes to a robust chest but also enhances arm strength and definition.

Mastering the Dip Technique:

To perform chest dips with precision and efficiency, follow these step-by-step instructions:

  1. Position yourself between a set of parallel bars or dip bars, gripping each bar firmly with an overhand grip.
  2. Lift your body off the ground, supporting yourself on straight arms with your elbows locked out.
  3. Lean slightly forward to target the chest muscles, maintaining a neutral spine throughout the exercise.
  4. Inhale and lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping them flared out to the sides.
  5. Continue the descent until your shoulders are slightly below your elbows or until you feel a comfortable stretch in your chest.
  6. Exhale as you push your body upward, extending your arms and returning to the starting position.

Overcoming Challenges and Scaling Difficulty:

Chest dips can be challenging, especially for beginners. However, with dedication and proper technique, you can overcome these challenges and scale the difficulty to suit your fitness level:

Assisted Dips: If full chest dips are too challenging initially, use a resistance band or an assisted dip machine to provide support and gradually build strength.

Proper Form: Focus on maintaining proper form throughout the exercise to ensure maximum muscle engagement and reduce the risk of injury.

Increase Repetitions: As you become more proficient, aim to increase the number of repetitions in each set to further challenge your muscles.

Weighted Dips: Once you have mastered bodyweight dips, consider adding weight plates or a dip belt to increase resistance and stimulate even greater muscle growth.

Chest dips are the ultimate bodyweight secret to explosive chest growth and upper body strength. By engaging both the chest and triceps muscles, they offer a comprehensive workout without the need for heavy weights or complex equipment.

Mastering the dip technique and scaling the difficulty as you progress will unlock the full potential of this exercise, transforming your chest and arms into a powerful and well-defined powerhouse. Embrace the challenge, stay consistent, and let chest dips be the secret weapon in your arsenal for achieving remarkable muscle growth and upper body prowess.

Push-Up Variations: Simple Yet Effective Chest Builders

Push-ups, a staple bodyweight exercise, are not only simple but also highly effective chest builders.

These versatile movements target the pectoral muscles along with the shoulders, triceps, and core, making them a go-to exercise for developing upper body strength and muscle definition.

Classic Push-Up for Overall Chest Engagement:

The classic push-up serves as the foundation for all push-up variations and engages the entire chest evenly. To perform a classic push-up:

Start in a plank position with your hands placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet together.

Lower your body by bending your elbows, keeping them close to your sides, until your chest almost touches the ground.

Push your body back up to the starting position, extending your arms fully.

By maintaining a straight line from your head to your heels and focusing on proper form, classic push-ups provide overall chest engagement and serve as an excellent starting point for your push-up journey.

Diamond and Wide-Grip Push-Ups:

Once you’ve mastered the classic push-up, you can explore different hand positions to target specific areas of the chest:

Diamond Push-Up: Place your hands close together in a diamond shape, with your thumbs and index fingers touching. This variation emphasizes the inner chest and triceps, providing a more challenging workout for those seeking to improve muscle definition in those areas.

Wide-Grip Push-Up: Position your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. This variation shifts the focus to the outer chest, shoulders, and upper back, contributing to a broader and more powerful chest.

Plyometric and Decline Push-Ups for Advanced Gains:

For those looking to take their chest gains to the next level, incorporating plyometric and decline push-ups can provide an advanced challenge:

Plyometric Push-Up: Perform a explosive push-up, pushing your body off the ground with enough force to lift your hands off the floor. As you land, immediately go into the next repetition. Plyometric push-ups enhance chest explosiveness and overall power.

Decline Push-Up: Elevate your feet on an elevated surface, such as a bench or a box, to create a decline angle. This variation shifts more of your body weight to your chest, challenging the muscles from a different angle and increasing the difficulty of the exercise.

Push-up variations offer a myriad of options for building a strong and defined chest without the need for specialized equipment. By starting with the classic push-up and gradually progressing to diamond and wide-grip push-ups, you can target specific areas of the chest for balanced muscle development.

For those seeking advanced gains, incorporating plyometric and decline push-ups will take your chest workout to new heights. Embrace these simple yet highly effective chest builders, and witness the transformation of your chest into a formidable and well-defined powerhouse.

Chest-focused Isolation Exercises: Nailing Down Precision

When it comes to achieving precision in chest development, isolation exercises play a crucial role. These exercises specifically target the chest muscles, allowing you to fine-tune and sculpt specific areas for balanced muscle symmetry and a well-defined chest.

Targeting Specific Areas for Muscle Symmetry:

Isolation exercises enable you to focus on specific regions of the chest, addressing any imbalances and ensuring uniform muscle growth. By isolating the chest muscles, you can enhance their definition and create a harmonious and aesthetic chest appearance.

The Power of Cable Crossovers:

Cable crossovers are an exceptional isolation exercise for targeting both the inner and outer chest muscles. By utilizing a cable machine and adjusting the pulleys to shoulder height, this exercise allows you to create constant tension on the chest throughout the range of motion. As you bring the cables across your body, you engage the inner chest, while extending your arms outward activates the outer chest.

To perform cable crossovers:

  1. Stand in the center of a cable machine, gripping the handles with your palms facing down.
  2. Take a step forward with one foot to stabilize your stance.
  3. Keep your elbows slightly bent and your core engaged as you bring the handles together in front of your chest.
  4. Squeeze your chest muscles at the peak of the movement and then slowly return to the starting position.
  5. By incorporating cable crossovers into your chest routine, you can achieve enhanced chest separation and create more defined lines in your pectoral muscles.

Isolating Chest Muscles with Dumbbell Flyes:

Dumbbell flyes are another powerful isolation exercise that targets the entire chest, with a particular focus on the outer and upper chest fibers. This movement requires a controlled and deliberate motion, emphasizing the stretch and contraction of the chest muscles.

To perform dumbbell flyes:

  1. Lie flat on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended upward with a slight bend at the elbows.
  2. Lower the dumbbells to the sides, allowing your arms to open wide while maintaining a slight bend at the elbows.
  3. Feel the stretch in your chest as you lower the dumbbells, then bring them back up to the starting position by squeezing your chest muscles together.
  4. Dumbbell flyes are effective for creating chest thickness and fullness, contributing to a more three-dimensional chest appearance.

Chest-focused isolation exercises are the key to nailing down precision in chest development. By targeting specific areas of the chest, such as the inner and outer fibers, with exercises like cable crossovers and dumbbell flyes, you can achieve muscle symmetry and a well-defined chest.

These exercises not only enhance chest aesthetics but also contribute to improved strength and overall upper body performance. Incorporate these isolation exercises into your chest workout routine to fine-tune your chest muscles and unlock a more sculpted and impressive chest.


In the pursuit of a massive and well-sculpted chest, the importance of accessory exercises cannot be overstated. While compound movements like the bench press lay the foundation for chest development, accessory exercises add depth and precision to your workouts, targeting specific muscle fibers and addressing imbalances.

From dumbbell pullovers and cable flyes to incline bench presses and chest dips, each exercise contributes to explosive chest growth in its unique way.

The key to achieving massive muscle growth in the chest lies in developing a comprehensive workout routine that incorporates a variety of exercises. By combining compound lifts with isolation movements, you create a synergistic effect that maximizes muscle engagement and development.

Start with foundational exercises like the bench press and incline bench press to target the overall chest. Then, add in accessory exercises like dumbbell pullovers, cable flyes, chest dips, and push-up variations to hit different angles and muscle groups.

Achieving Massive Muscle Growth with Consistency and Proper Form

Consistency is the backbone of any successful fitness journey. To achieve massive muscle growth in the chest, commit to a regular workout schedule and stay dedicated to your goals. As you progress, increase the resistance and challenge your muscles with progressive overload.

Equally important is maintaining proper form during exercises. Proper form not only minimizes the risk of injury but also ensures that the targeted muscles receive the most benefit from each movement. Focus on executing each exercise with precision and control, feeling the muscle contractions throughout the entire range of motion.

Remember, building a massive chest is a gradual process that requires time, effort, and patience. Avoid rushing or overtraining, as it can lead to burnout and injury. Allow your muscles ample time to recover and grow stronger between workouts.

In conclusion, harnessing the power of accessory exercises for chest growth, developing a comprehensive workout routine, and maintaining consistency with proper form are the cornerstones of achieving massive muscle growth in the chest.

With dedication, determination, and a commitment to excellence, you can unlock the full potential of your chest muscles, creating a strong, well-defined, and awe-inspiring chest that demands attention and admiration.

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