12 Upper Chest Workout and Exercises of All Time

Chest day is one of the most favourite days of many fitness enthusiasts. But the chest doesn’t grow without proper chest workout routine. The best way to develop your chest is through doing the right exercises for the right muscles group. And this is only possible when you know which exercises target the middle, lower and the upper chest. In this article, I’ve especially covered workouts for the upper chest. As well as, you can also get the free chest workout routine which I have designed for all fitness levels.

Where is the Upper Chest Located?

Chest, also called pecs, are the lager muscles located between the neck and the stomach. It is divided into two parts, namely pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. The upper chest muscles (or also called the clavicular head) is part of pectarolis major. And it does not fully engage while doing most of the flat presses or flies such as bench or dumbbell press or cable fly.

How to Workout Upper Chest With Proper Technique

How To Workout Upper Chest - Exercises, Proper techniques and step by step instructions
How To Workout Upper Chest (Dumbbell Fly)

1. If you want to develop the upper chest faster, start your chest workout with incline exercises like the incline bench press (instead of the flat press). Because it will allow you to press more weights than you normally use. As well as, you would also be able to do more reps and sets. And it will help your upper chest grow faster.

2. To target the upper pec more precisely, you can use a flexible bench because it will allow you to set the bench according to your need as well as let you use the full range of motion.

3. Always try different variations of exercises. Most people worry because their muscles don’t grow. And there can be many reasons for that, for examples; diet, wrong technique and poor routine. If you don’t see your muscles growing, you should try all the different variations of exercises like machine weights and free weight exercises.

4. Use the negative contraction and drop sets method. Negative contraction means very slowly lowering the weight down with full focus. When you reach the muscle failure, do this method and take your partner help when you lift or press the weights up.

To perform the drop sets method, you don’t need anyone’s help. You can do it yourself using the different dumbbells. When you reach muscle failure, instead of dropping the dumbbell and resting, use 20 to 40 per cent lighter dumbbells and perform till your muscles failure and repeat this process as many times as you can.

Best Upper Chest Workout Exercises

  • Bodyweight Upper Chest Exercises
    • Incline Pushup
    • Decline Pushup
    • Incline Diamond Push-Ups
    • Chest Dips
    • Push away Push Up
  • Barbell Upper Chest Workout
    • Incline Bench Press
  • Upper Chest Exercises With The Dumbbells
    • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
    • Incline Dumbbell Fly
    • Dumbbell Pull-Over
  • Upper Chest Workout You can Do At the Gym with Machines
    • Standing Incline Cable Fly
    • Incline Bench Cable Fly
    • Butterfly Or Seated Machine Fly

Bodyweight Upper Chest Exercises


If you love working out without weights, then you can try some of the best bodyweight chest workouts at home that primarily target the upper chest.

1. Incline Push-up

  1. Place a bench in front of you, and get into a push-up position with your arms are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Keep your body straight in line from head to the heels. Now, lower your chest without flaring your elbows out to the sides. And then press back to the starting position. That’s one repetition.
  3. Keep your back straight and abdominal muscles tight during the movement.
  4. Do 2 sets of 15 to 30 reps each.

2. Decline Push-up

  1. Place your feet together or hip-width apart on the bench, and get into the push-up position with your arms are straight underneath your shoulder. Make sure your body is in an elevated position and forms a straight line from heels to the head.
  2. Keep your core tight, and back straight, lower your chest toward the floor and then push back to the starting position. That is your one repetition.
  3. Recommended sets and reps: 2 x 15-20.

Some tips for proper technique

  • Do not flare your elbows out to the sides during the movement.
  • keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
  • Look downward instead of looking forward.

3. Incline Diamond push ups

  • Place a bench or table in front of you and place your hands on it. Keep your hands closer forming a diamond shape. And kick your legs behind so that your body forms a straight line from top to bottom.
  • Now, lower your chest toward the floor and then press back to the starting position. That’s your one repetition.
  • Do two sets of 15 to 30 reps each

4. Chest Dips

  1. Stand between the parallel bar or dip bar, garb the bar firmly and lift yourself upward until your arms are straight and elbows are locked. Also, make sure that your body is straight from head to down. You can slightly bend your knees. That is your starting position.
  2. Now, bend your elbows and lower your body and then press using your chest, arms and shoulder strength push your body back to the starting position. That is your one repetition.
  3. Recommended sets and reps: 2 x 15-20.

Important tips for correct form

  • Keep your elbows close to your body during the entire movement.
  • Make sure you feel your chest is engaging as you push back to the straight position. If you don’t feel your chest is working, then you need to check your form.

5. Pushaway Push up

  • Get on your all fours, and put your arms out in front of the body and instead of placing them just underneath your shoulder. Keep your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Kick your legs behind you and lift your hips slightly up. And keep your back straight and core tight. That is your starting position.
  • Now, dive down with your elbows flare out and squeeze your pecs, and then push through the heels of your hands to return to the starting position. That is your one repetition.
  • Do two sets of 10 to 20 reps each.

Upper Chest Workouts Using with Barbell


1. Incline Bench Press

Upper Chest workouts

Out of the all upper chest workouts, the incline bench press is one of the best exercises you can. And doing it perfectly will pump your upper chest.

Other than upper chest, this movement also works on the shoulder, triceps, arms and the core.

To perform the bench press correctly, set the bench at 30-degree incline. Because it will allow your upper pecs engaged fully and put less stress on the anterior deltoid muscles.

Here is the step by step instructions you can follow do to the incline bench press with a barbell.

  1. Put a weight plate according to your strength.
  2. Set the bench at 30-degree incline, and lay down on your back and place your feet flat on the ground.
  3. Grab the bar with your hands are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and remove it from the rack. And hold it over your chest with your arms are straight. This is your starting position.
  4. Breathe in and lower the bar slowly until it is close to your upper chest.
  5. Hold for a second, keep your core tight, breathe out and press the bar up with your full strength until your arms are straight over you.
  6. Pause, and then come down slowly in the bottom position. This is your one repetition.
  7. Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps each for better result.

Pro tips

  • Hold the bar over your upper during the whole movement.
  • Keep your core tight as it will give you power while pressing the weight.
  • Increase load after each set and perform till the muscles failure.
  • Take your partner help, if possible, so that you can perform more reps.

Upper Chest Exercises with the Dumbbells


1. Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

  1. Position the bench 30-degree incline; grab one dumbbell in each hand; sit on the bench and keep the dumbbells on your thighs for support so when you lie on the bench you can easily bring the dumbbells to a level of your chest.
  2. Lay on your back on the bench and keep your feet flat on the floor. And hold the dumbbells directly over your neck with your arms fully extended straight. This is your starting position.
  3. Breathe in and lower the dumbbells to a level of your chest in a slow and controlled manner. And then press the dumbbells upward until your arms are straight over your upper chest. Repeat this for the maximum number of repetition.
  4. Suggested sets and reps: 3 x 8-12

2. Incline Dumbbell Fly

  1. Lie on an incline bench holding one dumbbell in each hand with your palms are facing away from you. Also, keep your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Hold the dumbbells directly over your upper chest. This is your starting position.
  3. Now, lower your arms out to the sides in a slow and controlled manner till they reach below your shoulder height.
  4. Pause for a moment, and again raise your arms straight over your upper chest. And complete eight to twelve repetitions.
  5. Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps each.

3. Dumbbell Pull-over

  1. Grab the top of the dumbbell with your both hands, and lie on a flat weight bench and keep your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Hold the dumbbells directly over your chest with your arms are fully extended. That is your starting position.
  3. Extend your arms back in a slow and control range of motion until they are straight behind your head. And pause for one second and then slowly bring your arms back to the starting position. That’s one repetition.
  4. Maintain a soft bend in your elbows during the whole movement.
  5. Recommended sets and reps: 3 x 10-12.

You may also like: 10 Best Dumbbell Triceps Exercises For Bigger Arms


machine Exercises For Upper Chest

1. Standing Incline Cable Machine Fly

  1. Set the rack at a lower point (at knee height) as well as the desired weight.
  2. Grip the handles firmly and stand upright in the staggered stance (like a walking position).
  3. Maintaining a slight bend in your elbows, squeeze your chest muscles to pull your arms forward until your hands meet at your face or forehead height.
  4. Pause for a second, squeeze your upper chest and slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. This is one repetition.
  5. Do 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps each.

Pro Tips:

  • Keep your back straight and abdominal muscles tight during the exercise.
  • Maintain a neutral position of your wrist during the whole exercise.
  • You can bend your knees and elbows fractionally throughout the movement.

2. Incline Bench Cable Machine Fly

  1. Positon the cable handles at the lowest point and place a 30-degree incline bench between the cable machine.
  2. Grab the handles firmly, and lay down on the bench on your back and hold your feet firmly on the ground.
  3. Hold your arms straight with your palms upward. And maintain a slight bend in your elbows during the movement.
  4. Brace your core, inhale, squeeze your upper chest and raise your arms upward until your hands meet over your face. And then exhale.
  5. Pause for a count at the top, and then return your arms in the starting position in a slow and controlled manner.
  6. Suggested sets and reps: 3 x 8-12

Pro Tips

  • Maintain a proper form throughout the exercise.
  • Keep your back nice and forth on the bench and look upward.

3. Butterfly or Seated Machine Fly

To perform the machine fly, first, you need to adjust the seat pad so that when you sit down, the handles come at your chest height. And when you extend your arms out to the side for gripping the handles, your elbows and wrists should in line with your shoulder.

After adjusting the machine , follow these steps to perform seated machine fly.

  • Sit tall on the seat pad with your back relaxed on the back pad. And hold your feet firmly on the floor.
  • Grab the handles with your palms are facing forward. Now press your arms each other in a slow and controlled manner until they are together in front of your chest.
  • Pause for a moment, squeeze your chest and slowly return your arms back to the starting position. This is one repetition.
  • Recommended sets and reps: 3 x 10-12.

Final Words

This is the complete list of upper chest exercises. Because of the different variations, you can work out your upper chest anywhere through bodyweight chest exercises, with the dumbbells you can do chest workout at your home. And with the help of machines, dumbbells and barbell you can train your upper chest at the gym as well.

I’ve also shared some technique that may help you in your as well as your client training. So build your upper chest with the help you above exercises and always try different variations.

The last few reps are really significant for muscles growth. So, if you want to build bigger pecs, don’t just stop at failure. Challenge yourself and try to do more reps than you could do.

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