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Most people know the gym is the place to be to build muscle all over your body. But what are some gym machines specifically for bigger chest muscles?
You can definitely also build chest muscle with free weights like dumbbells, kettlebells, or a barbell or your bodyweight. Even so gym machines offer certain benefits like isolating your chest more and being more forgiving if your exercise technique is not perfect yet.
In any case, you can definitely build a big chest with the help of these 6 gym machines.
Even though your injury risk is likely slightly smaller compared to using free weights, like any exercise, there is always some risk of injury. Implement a good technique to keep your injury risk low. When in doubt talk to an expert.
1. Chest press machine
The chest press machine is basically the popular bench press exercise in machine form. Instead of using a barbell and lying down on a weight bench, the weights have a fixed motion and you are sitting down.
Make sure you adjust the seat and handles to the right settings for you personally.
Your upper arms should be at about a 45-degree angle to your upper body in starting position.
If your shoulders hurt during the motion it may be a sign that the machine settings or your technique are suboptimal.
2. Pec deck
The pec deck is a gym machine where you sit up straight with your arms folded and your upper arms behind pads.
To do the exercise you then push these pads toward each other engaging your chest muscles in the process.
The motion of this machine is similar to the chest fly machine but they are not exactly the same. Your arms start stretched out to the side with the chest fly machine instead of folded like with the pec deck machine.
Similar to the chest press you engage all the parts of your chest muscle.
3. Cable machine
The cable machine is a type of gym machine where a steel frame holds weights and pulleys.
Thanks to the cable going through these pulleys and attached to these weights you can do many types of strength training exercises for a wide variety of muscles.
One example of a chest muscle exercise you can do with the cable machine is the upward chest cable fly. To do this exercise you want a double pulley cable machine in a low setting.
Stand in the middle of the pulleys with your sides toward them. Put one foot slightly forward and one foot slightly backward for balance.
Your arms are slightly less than stretched and are at about a 45-degree angle with your upper body. Your hands hold the handles of each side. Slowly move your hands forward and upward until they meet in front of you slightly above shoulder height. After that lower your hands again into the previous position in a controlled motion.
This upward movement makes the exercise focus more on your upper chest muscles. If you want to target your lower chest muscles you would set the pulleys high and pull downward in a similar motion.
As you can hear the cable machine is very versatile. You can use it to work out many different muscles ranging from calves to shoulders.
4. Chest fly machine
As mentioned before, the chest fly machine involves a movement very similar to the pec deck.
You take place in a seat but instead of putting your arms folded behind pads you extended them and grab two handles.
Your arms should be slightly less than stretched throughout the exercise.
After that you push the handles toward each other by moving your hands forward in a controlled motion. After that slowly move your hands back to starting position.
The chest fly machine mainly engages the middle of your chest muscles but also the upper and lower part.
5. Hammer strength incline chest press
At first the hammer strength incline chest press may look like you would go through the same movement as a regular chest press but there are some important differences.
This machine has seperate weight holders for each arm. You can load different weights on each side if you would like to. This can be helpful for resolving muscle imbalances.
It also helps you avoid muscle imbalances by making sure each side pushes the same amount of weight.
The second main difference is that you push not just straight forward but forward and upward. This makes it so this gym machine focuses your upper chest muscles more compared to the regular chest press.
The image below is the flat bench version of this machine.
6. Smith machine
The smith machine looks similar to a squat rack but there are a few differences which make the smith machine more of a machine.
First of all, the barbell is attached to a rail system. This makes it so it can only move up or down alongside these rails and not forward or backward.
Secondly, it has a system where you can rack the barbell at any height. This can be helpful for individuals who lift without a spotter.
A great chest exercise with the smith machine is the classic bench press.
The Smith machine version engages your chest muscles in a similar way but you have to balance less since the bar can only go up and down not forward and backward.
This can be both an advantage and a disadvantage depending on your skill level and resistance training goals.