You can build muscle in your chest using dumbbells, barbells and your own body weight.
There are various exercises at your disposal to help build muscle in your chest -- or pectorals. Performing combinations of dips and exercises with dumbbells and barbells is one of the best ways to do this. Remember, however, that proper nutrition and improved strength on all of your lifts are key factors in building muscle anywhere on the body, including the chest.
Impressive Bench Presses
The bench press is one of the most effective exercises for the chest and triceps. Lie face up on a bench and unrack the bar. Lower the barbell in a straight line until it touches your chest on the nipple line. Press upward until your arms fully extend. You may also perform this exercise using dumbbells. Sit on the bench with the dumbbells resting on your thighs. Kick the weights back into their starting position at the sides of your chest. Press upward until your arms are fully extended and lower the dumbbells until you feel a stretch in the chest before repeating.
Let the Dumbbell Flyes
Dumbbell flyes isolate your chest as they remove the involvement of your triceps. Begin seated on the bench with the dumbbells on your thighs. Kick the weights back, as in the dumbbell bench press, and hold them over your chest with a slight bend in your arm with your palms facing each other. Lower the weights away from one another until you feel a stretch in your chest. Bring the dumbbells back together while maintaining the same bend in your arm.
Benches: Incline, Decline and Flat
The pectorals are made up of three heads. The smallest, at the top, is the clavicular head. In the middle, the sternal head, is the largest. The abdominal head is located on the bottom of the chest. Diversify your routine by performing the aforementioned exercises on either an incline, decline or flat bench. The incline bench will help target the clavicular head, while the decline will help target the sternal and abdominal heads. The flat bench is useful for more even stimulation.
Take a Few Dips
Dips are a bodyweight exercise that stimulates the chest and triceps, as you are pressing your body upward. For more recruitment of the chest, assume a wider grip on the dip bars. Lower your body until you feel a stretch in the chest and press back upward to the starting position. If this is too difficult, use an assisted dip machine or recruit a partner to help support your weight. You may also assist yourself by placing your feet on a bench. Increase difficulty by adding weight to a dip belt or holding a dumbbell between your ankles.
Tips on Nutrition, Progression and Safety
As useful as these exercises are, progressive overload and a caloric surplus are vital when trying to gain muscle. Over time, you must either lift more weight for the same number of repetitions as before, or you must lift the same weight for more repetitions. In addition, you must eat more calories than your body needs to maintain the same weight. However, exercise with caution. Consuming too many calories consistently will lead to increased body fat and adding weight too quickly can lead to injury. Warm up and stretch beforehand and learn proper form with lighter weights before adding weight.