We all have those body areas that we are self-conscious about and would do anything to tone them up. They could be your midsection, arms, butt, or chest. For many, the arms and chest top the list. Almost everyone hates flabby arms and desires to flaunt a toned and chiseled chest. It is possible to achieve this if you work with a good chest and arm workout. Worthy to remember is that there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of chest and arm workout plans that promise quick and easy results. So how do you determine the best chest and arms workout plan?
Most people will go for a highly praised workout plan online or one designed by known celebrities and fitness gurus. Does that mean that is the best way to determine a good chest and arm workout plan for you? Before you settle on a regime you think is appropriate for you, spare a minute or two to go through the summary below.
In this article, we will be shedding light and educating you on how you determine what is a good chest and arm workout plan. We will also provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, including how to get a bigger chest and pecs at home.
What Makes A Good Chest And Arm Workout?
When considering a chest and arms workout plan, most of us may be tempted to look for a regime involving equipment. There is an assumption that the best chest and arm exercises involve using machines and equipment. As mentioned earlier, this is but a notion.
You do not necessarily have to break your back in the gym to get rid of your flabby arms and tone your chest. You can also work out at home and still attain this goal. Here are the only aspects that matter when it comes to determining the most suitable chest and arms workout plan:
The Targeted Muscle Groups In The Regime
The best chest and arms workout plan will target various muscle groups and not just one. Targeting only one muscle group may not put to work the other muscles that work alongside them. As such, there may be delayed results (15).
That said, the best chest and arms workout plan will target both of these muscles. Sometimes, such a regime may also target your shoulders and triceps, as these are the other muscles that work alongside your targeted muscle groups.
The Incorporated Exercises
Whether or not the exercises added in such a regime require equipment, the bottom-line is that they have to suit your fitness level. This is where most people go wrong when choosing a chest and arm exercise routine.
Most of us forget to evaluate our fitness levels and merely go with the flow of the trending regime. Remember that you may be a beginner and that the fitness guru may be providing an online workout plan for people at the advanced level.
Note that doing such exercises will not quicken your results. Instead, you are more likely to sustain injuries and pain because you are biting off more than you can chew. Additionally, you may be new to the fitness world and may not know the proper form for doing the suggested exercises.
The Accompanying Diet Plan
Have you ever heard of the saying that abs are built in the kitchen? The same theory applies to your toned arms and chest. Exercising alone will not help you lose chest fat and tone this area. You also have to focus on proper dieting to quicken the rate of how fast you shed your chest and arm fat.
The best diet plan to match your chest and arms workout plan must focus on healthy dietary practices such as (12):
- Consuming whole foods, fruits, and vegetables
- Paying attention to food ratios and portions
- Limiting alcohol intake
- Avoiding consumption of highly processed foods
- Avoiding sugary drinks, snacks, and foods
The Best Chest And Arm Exercises
The exercises in this list are not new, and neither are the exercises which you have not tried before, if indeed you are a workout fanatic. You might be familiar with most or all of these workouts. The only difference could perhaps lie in the intensity and form.
Most of us often do the correct exercises to tone our chests and arms but they are done in the wrong form. By following this pattern you will end up getting constant injuries and pains instead of your expected muscular and bigger chest.
The following training plan has comprehensively detailed how you are to perform each exercise. Follow the plan to the letter, and in no time, you will have a toned chest and some sleeve-busting biceps and triceps. Below are the exercises in this training plan:
Bicep Curls With Dumbbells
Benefit: These curls are the key to helping you build those sleeve-busting biceps.
Equipment: For this exercise, you will need a pair of comfortable dumbbells.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms by your sides with the dumbbells in hand. Let your palms face forward (3).
- Flex at your elbows and curl the dumbbells up to your shoulder level. Make sure your elbows are close to your sides throughout this movement.
- Hold this position for some seconds, and then lower your arm to the initial stance.
- Repeat with your other arm.
Reps: Between 8 and 12
Sets: Either 2 or 3
Caution: Using heavyweights may result in injury to your bicep muscles and tendons, causing bicep pain. Try resting or icing the affected area (16). If the pain persists and symptoms worsen, swelling increases, and you feel pain moving the arm, seek immediate medical assistance.
Benefit: These are the exercises you need if you want to get rid of your flabby arms, best known as the “bat wings.” Getting rid of the flabbiness in your arms will give you well-toned arms and triceps.
Equipment: You will need a pair of comfortable dumbbells.
- Hold the weights in your hands and lean forward while maintaining a flat back (1).
- Hug your elbows in towards your sides and then pull them up towards the ceiling.
- Keep your elbows still and kick the weight towards the back of the room. This is by moving the lower half of your arm back and up. Hold for a second. You will feel the back of your arm tightening.
- Release back to the initial position.
Caution: For effective results, you need to tighten your abs and maintain a neutral and balanced arch in your back. Also, remember to keep your wrists rigid and make smooth and controlled movements (11).
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Benefit: The standard push-up is one of the best chest exercises to do to lose chest fat and tone this region.
Equipment: All you need is the floor where you will perform this exercise. It makes it a good chest and arm workout with no equipment involved.
- Get down on the floor and place your hands on the ground. Let them be shoulder-width apart.
- Step back and extend your legs such that you are in a high plank position. Keep your core tightened, back straight, and body parallel to the floor (7).
- Slowly and cautiously, start to lower your body down until your chest is parallel to the elbows or a bit lower. However, your chest should not rest on the ground.
- Push into your hands and raise to the starting position.
- This is one rep. Repeat.
Caution: If you have not done any push-ups, let alone a perfect one, you may sustain various injuries. This may result from performing the exercise in the wrong form. To help you master doing a push-up correctly, take note of the following (6):
- Grazing the floor first with your chest as you lower to the ground. If your legs or hips are the first to graze the floor, then you are doing it wrong.
- Doing push-ups with your legs straight out and lowering your chest not lower than 2 inches from the floor. Doing this increases the muscle mass that you build in your upper arms and back.
Benefit: The lateral raise with dumbbells targets your shoulders and help you work on getting bigger shoulders. The exercise can also improve your postural alignment if done correctly and in balance (9).
Equipment: You will need a pair of dumbbells.
- Stand with your feet together and with a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly lift your arms to your shoulder height such that you form a T shape.
- Pause at the top of the movement, and then slowly lower your arms to the starting position. If you want to increase the intensity or make the exercise extra challenging, pause for longer at the top of the movement. This could be for two or three seconds.
Reps: 10 to 15
Sets: 2 to 3
Caution: Always keep your shoulders down when you are lifting your arms. Similarly, use comfortable weights to avoid straining and damaging your shoulder muscles and tendons.
Benefit: The bench press works all your chest muscles but is vital for building your pecs (10). You can, therefore, add them to your regime if you want to work out pecs and get a chiseled chest.
Equipment: You will need a barbell to perform this exercise.
- Lie on the bench facing the ceiling.
- Grasp the barbell on the stand above your head such that your forearms are parallel with each other.
- Lift the weight off the rack and lower it to within a few inches of your chest. Slowly then lift it again. Remember to exhale when you lift and inhale when you are dropping the weight.
Reps: 8 to 12
Caution: Although the bar is attached to a stack of weights, it does not entirely rule out the possibilities of sustaining injuries. You can still injure yourself if you lift heavyweights. Try to start with more manageable weights and then add weight slowly as you progress (8).
Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly
Benefit: The Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly is one of the best upper chest exercises to do in the gym to get that chiseled chest. It works all your chest muscles (5).
Equipment: A pair of dumbbells
- Lie back on an incline bench (45 degrees or less) and grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Bring the dumbbells to your shoulders.
- Press these weights up and directly above your chest and let them almost touch each other. As you do this, try to have your palms facing each other.
- Lower the dumbbells out and away from each other in an arching movement. Your elbows should be slightly bent, and your hands should be aligned with your upper chest area.
- Let your upper arm go parallel to slightly past parallel to the floor before returning them to the initial position.
- When ending this exercise, place your weights on the shoulders and then onto your thighs or sides.
Reps: 8 to 12
Caution: Always rest your back on the incline bench to avoid damaging your back. Similarly, use comfortable weights to make the exercise less strenuous.
Benefit: The incline push-up is one of the best bodyweight chest workout exercises that requires no equipment. These chest workouts can be done at home and help you tone your chest area.
Equipment: A secure chair, bench, or desk.
- Lie face down on a secure chair, desk, or bench. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, with your feet hip-width apart and toes pressed on the ground.
- Start to lower your chest towards the bench slowly. Let it rest at least 4 to 8 inches above the bench.
- Extend your elbows to push your body up to the starting position. You will have completed one rep.
- Repeat until you complete your reps.
Reps: 8 to 12
Caution: Keep your back straight, and body parallel to the floor throughout this exercise. Be also cautious of your hand placement to help in working out the targeted muscle groups.
Bent-Forward Cable Crossovers
Benefits: The bent-forward cable crossovers are an excellent exercise that helps strengthen your chest muscles and build muscle mass (4).
Equipment: The cable crossover machine.
- Start in a staggered position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grip each handle. The handles must be lower than your shoulders, and your elbows must be slightly bent.
- Lean forward and then start to bring your hands together in front of you as if you want them to clasp. Hold this position for about three seconds and then release.
Reps: 10 to 12
Caution: It is recommended that you do this exercise slowly and with caution. The faster you perform this exercise, the more likely you will lose your form and sustain injuries. Similarly, if you have never done this exercise before, perform it in the presence of a fitness instructor. They will guide you on correctly doing it, the best reps, and the best weights to use.
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How To Fuel Your Chest And Arm Workout
The success in your chest and arm workout plan will not come from sticking to this plan alone. As mentioned earlier, your diet plan also plays a crucial role in toning your chest and arms. You need to pay attention to what you are eating as much as you are paying attention to your exercises.
Here are some dietary practices that can fuel your workouts and help you reap the most from them:
Eating Muscle-Building Foods
Most of these foods are high in protein content. Protein plays a crucial role in muscle development (2). Some of these foods include eggs, chicken, Greek yogurt, salmon, tuna, soybeans, and whey protein powder.
Consuming Complex Carbs
Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy. You will need to consume them to acquire energy for your workouts. Focus on complex carbs, which increase your satiety. They also have numerous health benefits, including high vitamins, mineral, and fiber content (14). Complex carbs include foods like whole-wheat toast and whole-grain pasta.
Eating Before And After Your Exercise Regime
Some people work out on an empty stomach, while some choose to eat before their workouts. If you decide to have a pre-workout meal, select one with fluids, low fiber, low fat, and moderate carbs and protein (13). After your workouts, you can enjoy some eggs or protein shakes.
Eating Fruits And Vegetables In Every Meal
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. Such fiber can increase your satiety and limit your calorie intake. Consuming fewer calories will make your body burn more chest fat, further toning this area. Again, remember that each fruit and vegetable contains calories. Your focus should be on consuming fruits and vegetables with low calories.
Most of these chest and arm workouts will leave you sweating and dehydrated. Remember to drink water before, during, and after your exercise. You can try flavoring your water with mint or citrus fruits like lemons to increase your water intake.
Sticking To The Daily Calorie Limit
If you want to lose chest and arm fat, you must consume calories within your daily requirements. Anything above this limit leads to a calorie surplus that may compromise your workout results.
The Bottom Line
A good chest and arm workout is not that which is popular or designed by a famous fitness guru. Instead, it targets the right muscle groups, details how to perform the exercises correctly, and has a suitable diet plan.
The training plan discussed in this piece can help you reach your chest and arm toning goals. It contains some of the best chest and arm exercises, including the bench press, lateral raise, regular push-up, incline push-up, bent-forward cable crossovers, and incline dumbbell chest fly. Talk to your instructor before adding any of these exercises to your workout plan.
Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on for decision-making. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 5 exercises to tighten and tone your arms for summer (2019, nbcnews.com)
- 30 muscle-building foods to fuel your goals (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Arm Exercises to Tighten and Tone (2004, webmd.com)
- Best Exercises for Men’s Chest (2020, webmd.com)
- Chest Exercises to Help Tone and More (2005, webmd.com)
- Doing the Perfect Push-up (2009, webmd.com)
- Home and gym workouts for men to try (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)
- How to Start Strength Training (2020, webmd.com)
- Shoulder Exercises to Sculpt and Tighten (2005, webmd.com)
- Strength Training: Building Chest Muscles (2009, webmd.com)
- Video: Tricep kickbacks with resistance tubing (2021, mayoclinic.org)
- What to do to lose chest fat (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- What to Eat Before, During, and After Exercise (2013, webmd.com)
- All you need to know about carbs (2020, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Which muscle groups can people work out together? (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why does my bicep hurt, and what can I do about it? (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)