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Best Chest Workout Without The Barbell Bench Press (Only 20 Minutes Needed)

Build big pecs by following this workout session.

Looking to build a bigger chest faster? Then keep scrolling down to see the best chest workout without the barbell bench press. It only takes 20 minutes!

The chest is an important muscle group for both men and women. A strong chest is imperative for good posture, reduces back and shoulder injuries, and can help with virtually any upper body movement necessary.

Not to mention that having a nice well-defined chest is also desirable by most people.

Sam-Dancer-Chest-Muscles Chest Finisher ExercisesSource: Deposit photos / CrossFit Inc

So when it comes to training your chest, you want to select the proper exercises to target the pecs the best way possible. We know the barbell bench press is a staple within the bodybuilding community, but that is not a “must-do” exercise.

In fact, we even talked about why you should stop bench pressing and gave three other alternative exercises to charge your pecs. When it comes to training, you want to vary every once in a while and not do the same movements for longer than 6 weeks.

And this is where the best chest workout without the barbell bench press comes in. It only takes 20 minutes and it will put your chest under tension, breaking down its tissue and making them bigger and stronger after a day’s rest.

Why Not Include Bench Press In This Chest Workout?

Best Chest Workout Without the Barbell Bench Press

The best chest workout without the barbell bench press that you are about to see was designed by Jeff Cavaliere, a former head physical therapist of the New York Mets for 3 years who is now a YouTube sensation. He delivers clear information without noise on his ATHLEAN-X YouTube channel.

According to Jeff, the bench press is great for building strength, but the exercise requires a longer warm-up and longer rest periods between sets to maximise gains.

The idea of this workout is that it is fast-paced and it targets your pecs without having to spend too much time resting. Also, changing plates on the barbell takes time and it is faster to simply change the dumbbells you will be holding for this.

So check below for the best chest workout without the barbell bench press.

Best Chest Workout Without the Barbell Bench Press

1. Superset Cable Crossover + Static Dumbbell Bench Press

  • 3 sets to failure (minimum of 10 reps on the cable and 5 reps on the dumbbell bench press)

The idea of doing sets to failure in the best chest workout without the barbell bench press is to pre-exhaust the pecs in the very first exercise.

“By pre-exhausting with cable flys you are able to isolate the pecs as much as possible to fatigue them heading into the second half of the combination.”

2. Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

  • 3 sets to failure (minimum of 10 reps)

Classic exercise performed with a set of dumbbells to hit the upper chest.

3. Superset Bodyweight Dip + Assisted Dip

  • Drop sets to failure

You may also choose to do a weighted dip and follow up with a bodyweight dip. The key is fewer sets but done as a superset to limit the interest rest periods to keep the workout moving.

If you can do more than 12 bodyweight dips, you definitely should move to a weighted dip first.

4. High-to-Low Banded Crossover

  • 3 sets
  • 30 seconds on each arm

Do not take any rest between each arm. You will be resting one arm when the other one is working and vice-versa.

How to Use the Mind-Muscle Connection for Muscle Growth

And that is Jeff Cavaliere’s best chest workout without the barbell bench press. To understand how to perform each of these movements, see Cavaliere’s explanation on them by clicking on the video below.

VIDEO – The Best Chest Workout Without The Barbell Bench Press

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The chest Muscles Are:

  • Pectoralis Major
  • Pectoralis Minor

The chest muscles, Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor, function to:

  • Move the arm across the chest (adduction)
  • Rotate the arm medially (internal rotation)
  • Assist in deep breathing
  • Stabilize the shoulder joint.

The serratus anterior is a muscle located on the sides of the chest and helps to:

  • Move the scapula (shoulder blade) away from the spine
  • Assist in rotating the scapula upward
  • Stabilize the scapula during arm movements, especially overhead movements.
Chest-Muscles-and-Hypertrophy Best Way to do Pushups for a Bigger ChestSource: Depositphotos / CrossFit Inc

Why is a Strong Chest Important?

A strong chest is important because it can:

  • Improve posture
  • Reduce risk of shoulder and back injuries
  • Enhance upper body strength for daily activities and other exercises
  • Increase athletic performance in activities that involve upper body movements such as pushing, pulling, and overhead movements.

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