10 Chest And Arm Workouts: The Ultimate Guide For 2024!

Looking for the most effective chest and arm workout? You’re in the right place. We have ten of the best exercises that work both muscles simultaneously. Whether your goal is muscle growth or weight loss, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gym-goer, there is something for you here. 

It’s worth pointing out before we jump in that if weight loss is your goal, you’ll need to factor in nutrition as well as your chosen routine. You should be making as much effort in the kitchen as in the gym! (And supplements like fat burners can play their part too).

Are you ready to tone up, build muscle mass, and strengthen your core?

Let’s get started!

Best Chest And Arms Workout For A Strong Physique

Here are ten of the best exercises for an arms and chest workout to hit both muscles simultaneously for maximum effect. 

  1. Push-Up
  2. Dumbbell Chest Press
  3. Barbell Bicep Curl
  4. Triceps Dip
  5. Incline Dumbbell Press
  6. Diamond Press-Up
  7. Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
  8. Cable Fly
  9. Dumbbell Chest Fly
  10. Plank To Push-Up

Best Chest And Arm Workout To Build Your Upper Body

Below are ten of the best workouts to build a more substantial chest and arms, with details on how to perform each exercise properly. These exercises will work your upper arms, chest muscles, and biceps muscles.

Push-Up

Push-ups are a classic bodyweight core exercise that works for your chest, shoulders, and triceps. 

Push-up
Push-Up Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Begin in the starting position on your hands and knees.
  2. Extend your legs straight and raise up on your toes. 
  3. Keep your arms straight and slightly more than shoulder-width apart. There should be a straight line from your head to your heels.
  4. Lower your body towards the floor in a controlled fashion until your chest almost touches the floor. This is one rep.

Tips

  • Start on your knees if you cannot do any from the plank position.
  • Position your elbows at about a 45-degree angle from your body, not flaring them out wide. 
  • Lower your chest as close to the ground as possible while maintaining control, and then fully extend your arms at the top. 

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-48-12
Hypertrophy3-412-15
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-46-8

Dumbbell Chest Press

A dumbbell chest press is a fundamental upper-body exercise that gives your arm muscles a good workout. It targets your pectoral muscles, shoulders, and triceps. 

Dumbbell Chest Press
Dumbbell Chest Press Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Lie on the floor.
  2. Hold dumbbells in your hands, positioned at chest level.
  3. Press the weights upward.
  4. Extend your arms fully.
  5. Lower arms with control. This is one rep.

Tips

  • Heavier weights and lower reps build strength and power; lower reps and higher weights build muscular endurance.
  • Ensure your feet are flat on the ground, and your back is pressed firmly against the floor. 
  • Lower the dumbbells slowly and under control, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training4-56-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-312-15+
Power Training3-53-6

Barbell Bicep Curl

While this is a bicep workout routine, it works out your upper body muscle group (biceps, triceps, and forearms).

Barbell Biceps Curl
Barbell Bicep Curl Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Stand with a barbell along your thighs, palms facing forward.
  2. Curl the weight toward the shoulders.
  3. Keep your elbows tucked into your body.
  4. Lower the barbell back down slowly. This is one rep.

Tips

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and keep your back straight. 
  • Avoid swinging the barbell or using your back to lift the weight. 
  • Choose a weight that allows you to maintain proper form and complete the desired number of repetitions with control.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training4-56-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-312-15+
Power Training3-53-6

Triceps Dip

The triceps dip is a great exercise to train chest muscles and triceps. The more upright you are, the more your triceps are emphasized. When you lean forward, your chest becomes the primary muscle. 

Triceps Dip
Triceps Dip Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Straighten up on the dip machine.
  2. Then lower your body according to whichever body part you want to emphasize (as above), dipping until your shoulders go beneath your elbows. 
  3. Then push back up until your elbows lock out. This is one rep.

Tips

  • Maintain a straight body position with your elbows pointing backward, not flaring out to the sides. 
  • Focus on a controlled descent and ascent, avoiding any jerky or rapid movements.
  • Ensure the equipment is stable and can support your body weight.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-46-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-312-15+
Power Training3-43-6

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

This incline dumbbell bench press exercise targets the chest muscle group, but the triceps and shoulders are also given a good workout. Incline dumbbell curls help improve upper body strength, muscle tone, and functional fitness, making it a valuable addition to any arms and chest workout routine.

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. First, position yourself on an incline bench with the dumbbells by your shoulders.
  2. Your shoulder blades should be flat on the bench.
  3. Engage your core and lift both dumbbells above your body simultaneously in a controlled manner. Keep your at a slight bend as you raise the dumbbells.
  4. Reverse the movement, slowly lowering the dumbbells to your chest with your elbows tucked into your body.
  5. An incline bench press should finish at roughly a 45-degree angle.

Tips

  • Set the incline bench at an angle of around 30-45 degrees. 
  • Avoid excessive arching of the lower back or using momentum to lift the weights.
  • Gradually increase the weight as you progress to continue building strength and muscle.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training4-55-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-312-15+
Power Training3-53-6

Diamond Push-Up

The diamond push-ups are excellent exercises that target your triceps as well as strengthen your core. 

Diamond Push-Up
Diamond Push-Up Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. On a mat, get into the push-up position.
  2. Place your hands under your chest in a diamond-like shape.
  3. Gently lower your body until your chest nearly touches the ground.
  4. Then push up again. This one rep. 

Tips

  • Avoid sagging your hips or raising your buttocks to ensure proper form and engage the chest and triceps effectively.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body to prevent unnecessary strain on the shoulders.
  • Keep your neck in a neutral position to reduce strain and maintain proper alignment.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-48-12
Hypertrophy3-412-15
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-46-8

Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press

While the normal bench presses target the chest and engage your triceps, this is the reverse.

Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press
Barbell Close-Grip Bench Press Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Lie on a bench and hold the barbell slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Press the barbell above your chest in a controlled fashion.
  3. Gently lower until it touches your chest. This is one rep. 

Tips

  • Place your hands on the barbell closer together than in a standard bench press, around shoulder-width apart. 
  • Maintain a firm and stable position on the bench with your feet flat on the ground. 
  • Avoid excessive arching of the back or using momentum to lift the weight.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training4-55-8
Hypertrophy3-48-12
Endurance Training2-312-15+
Power Training3-53-6

Cable Fly

If you want to target your chest, triceps, and shoulders from various workout angles, try cable flys. 

Cable Fly
Cable Fly Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Stand between cable stations.
  2. Adjust the pulleys to the upper chest with an overhand grip.
  3. Lean forward with your elbows slightly bent.
  4. Arc your hands back together in front of your chest, gently squeezing your chest when fully contracted.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position. This is one rep. 

Tips

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the exercise. 
  • Maintain control during both the concentric and eccentric phases to maximize muscle engagement.
  • Use an appropriate weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions with proper form.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-48-12
Hypertrophy3-412-15
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-46-8

Dumbbell Chest Fly

Dumbbell flyers work your pectorals and also activate your arms. With a straight arm, the biceps, in particular, come into play.

Dumbbell Chest Fly
Dumbbell Chest Fly Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Set your position on a bench.
  2. Grip the dumbbells at chest level with your elbows slightly bent.
  3. Lift the dumbbells up in an arced fashion until both dumbbells are above your body.
  4. Lower them again in a controlled fashion until they are back at chest level. This is one rep.

Tips

  • Lower the dumbbells slowly and with control, maintaining a slight bend in your elbows.
  • Avoid not bringing the dumbbells close enough to chest level or not opening your arms wide enough. 
  • Avoid lifting too heavy, which can compromise your technique and increase the risk of injury.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-48-12
Hypertrophy3-412-15
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-46-8

Plank To Push-Up

The plank to push-up is one core exercise that targets the entire upper body. 

Plank To Push-Up
Plank To Push-Up Guide. Photo: Aliaksandr Makatserchyk

How To Do

  1. Set your press-up position with a straight line from shoulder to heels, with your arms fully extended and palms flat on the mat.
  2. Move one arm onto your forearm like a plank.
  3. Repeat with the other arm until you are in a full plank. Hold for around five seconds.
  4. Move both arms until you are in the press-up position again.
  5. Do a press-up: lower your body in a controlled fashion until your chest almost touches the floor before pushing up again. This is one rep.

Tips

  • Engage your core muscles throughout the movement to keep your body stable and avoid excessive hip rotation.
  • Avoid rushing or jerky movements to maintain proper form and reduce the risk of injury.
  • Ensure your hands are positioned directly under your shoulders in the push-up position, and your elbows are close to your body.

Optimal Sets And Reps

Training StyleSetsReps
Strength Training3-48-12
Hypertrophy3-412-15
Endurance Training2-315-20+
Power Training3-46-8

Can You Do Arm And Chest Workout Together?

Can You Do Arm And Chest Workout Together
It is perfectly natural to work your chest and arms together. Photo: fxquadro/Freepik

Yes, you can work out your chest and arms together. In fact, it is perfectly natural. Think about it. Any upper body exercises you do will involve your arms, too (some more than others).

Bench press? You won’t get far without your arms! Your triceps get a great workout here.

Chest fly? These are mostly chest and deltoids, but the straighter your arms, the more your biceps come into play.

Press-ups, of course, use your arms. The narrower your hand position here, the more triceps activation you’re getting.

You can easily work your chest and arms together thanks to the beauty of muscle synergy.

How To Prepare Your Body For The Arm And Chest Workout?

How To Prepare Your Body For The Arm And Chest Workout
Warming up your body before any workout is essential. Photo: Racool_studio/Freepik

It is important to warm up your body at the start of any workout. It includes dynamic stretches and light cardiovascular exercises. The advantages include:

Consuming water is also essential during and after workouts. It helps you maintain peak performance,[2] prevent dehydration, and regulate body temperature

Conclusion

It is not only possible to work for muscle groups simultaneously, i.e., chest and arms together, but it is also perfectly natural. By combining the above exercises, you can achieve your fitness goal, whatever it may be. Remember to perfect your form before progressing with heavier weights and more reps. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to do chest after arms?

You should work the bigger, compound muscles earlier[3] in the workout for best strength gains- so chest, before arms.

What is the most effective chest triceps and shoulder workout exercise?

The bench press is the most effective exercise for working the chest, triceps, and shoulder.

Should you work out every day?

No. Your muscles need time to recover, so aim for 3-5 weekly workouts (depending on your goals and experience).

How many days a week should your chest and arms work out?

Doing a chest arms workout 2 to 3 times a week is recommended.

Can I do an arm and chest workout at home without equipment?

Yes. Press-up variations can be done from home and will give your arms and chest a good workout without needing equipment.

How can I avoid injury during my chest and arm workout?

Using proper form and starting with lower weights helps you decrease injury risks.

Can women benefit from chest and arms dumbbell workouts?

Yes. The chest and arms dumbbell workouts help women improve overall upper body strength and toning.

Resources

  1. Park, H.-K., Jung, M.-K., Park, E., Lee, C.-Y., Jee, Y.-S., Eun, D., Cha, J.-Y. and Yoo, J. (2018). The effect of warm-ups with stretching on the isokinetic moments of collegiate men. Journal of exercise rehabilitation, [online] 14(1), pp.78–82. doi:https://doi.org/10.12965/jer.1835210.605.
  2. Judge, L.W., Bellar, D., Popp, J.K., Craig, B.W., Schoeff, M.A., Hoover, D.L., Fox, B., Kistler, B.M. and Al-Nawaiseh, A.M. (2021). Hydration to Maximize Performance And Recovery: Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors Among Collegiate Track and Field Throwers. Journal of Human Kinetics, [online] 79, pp.111–122. doi:https://doi.org/10.2478/hukin-2021-0065.
  3. João Pedro Nunes, Jozo Grgić, Cunha, P.M., Ribeiro, A.S., Schöenfeld, B.J., Freitas, B. and Edílson Serpeloni Cyrino (2020). What influence does resistance exercise order have on muscular strength gains and muscle hypertrophy? A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Sport Science, [online] 21(2), pp.149–157. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2020.1733672.