How to Exercise Your Pectoral Muscles at Home


Exercising your pectoral muscles can increase your upper body strength and give you the look you want. Most men want well-defined "pecs" and most women want a bust line that is firm. Strengthening this area of your body can improve your performance in sports such as football, baseball and tennis. Be aware that you must combine these exercises with a proper diet and cardiovascular exercise in order to achieve the strength and look you desire.

Things You'll Need

  • Weight bench
  • Various weights
  • Barbell
  • Dumbbells

Bench Press

  • Lie on a weight bench with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.

  • Grasp the barbell with your hands slightly closer than shoulder-width apart. If you've never bench-pressed before, use the lightest weight possible on your first try. If it seems too light, increase the amount.

  • Lift the barbell off of the support rack and lower it slowly until it is a few inches above your chest.

  • Slowly raise the barbell until your arms are completely extended.

  • Repeat the exercise for the desired number of repetitions and sets. It's a good idea to have a person "spot" you in case your arms fatigue during the exercise. Bench presses target the entire pectoral region. In order to target your upper pectoral muscles, try lying on an inclined bench (30 to 45 degrees). If you want to target your lower pectoral muscles, adjust the bench to a decline of 30 to 45 degrees.

Dumbbell Fly

  • Lie on the bench with your knees bent and your feet resting on the end of the bench.

  • Grasp a dumbbell in each hand; your palms should be facing each other. Use weights that are heavy enough to make your muscles feel tired after about eight to 10 repetitions. If you can't perform that many repetitions, the weight is too heavy. As you get stronger, increase the amount of weight you use.

  • Lower the dumbbells as you spread your arms out to the sides. Stop when your hands are parallel to your shoulders and the bench, or even slightly lower.

  • Raise the dumbbells as you bring your hands back toward each other over the center of your chest.

  • Repeat this procedure. Dumbbell flys target the outer pectoral muscles.


  • Lie on the floor face-down with your hands beneath you. Your palms should rest on the floor and your hands should be about shoulder-width apart. Point your toes toward the floor as well.

  • Push yourself up from the floor using your upper body. The only parts touching the floor should be your hands and toes.

  • Once your arms are fully extended, lower yourself slowly back toward the floor until your elbows are bent at a right angle.

  • Keep your back straight throughout the entire motion and remember to lift and lower your body evenly.

  • Repeat as desired. Push-ups target the entire pectoral region.

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