7 Best Chest Fat Burning Exercises (From a Trainer)

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: March 31, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Christiana Mikesch, CPT
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Excess chest fat is not only a cosmetic concern but also poses health risks, including a higher likelihood of heart disease.

As a health coach, I often assist clients in attaining their physical fitness goals while maintaining a focus on their overall health.

That said, what exercises can you safely do to achieve a toned and strong pectoral muscles?

After thorough research, my team and I have discovered scientifically backed chest exercises that are effective in reducing fat.

Read on and discover a new workout that you could incorporate in your training routine.

Quick Summary

  • The best chest exercises for burning fat include push-ups, standing cable fly, bench press, cable crossover, dumbbell pullover, pec deck, and straight bar dips.
  • Upper body workouts, including chest-specific exercises, can help reduce fat of the chest and strengthen supporting muscles.
  • While gynecomastia affects about 24% to 65% of men ages 50 to 80, most cases are asymptomatic, making chest exercises beneficial for those seeking to improve chest appearance.
  • In my personal opinion, regularly performing these chest exercises can be particularly beneficial for older men, helping to maintain a firmer and more defined chest, even in the presence of conditions like gynecomastia.

Are There Exercises That Target Chest Fat?

shirtless man with big belly measuring his waist

Yes, there are exercises that target chest fat. From my experience, our team's insights, and client feedback, targeted exercises combined with overall fat reduction have proven effective. It's vital to consider factors like fat distribution and shoulder width for a balanced appearance.

But, targeted exercise may not alone eliminate stubborn fat deposits in your chest. Undoubtedly, it can help.

TeachMeAnatomy says that these chest workouts emphasize focus on the major muscles found in the chest: the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and serratus anterior [1].

What Are Chest Specific Workouts To Shed Fat?

There are specific chest workouts to shed fat, which you can do with or without any equipment.

Here are the top chest exercises:

1. Push-Ups

shirtless man in a pushup position on a yoga mat

The push-up is a classic, proven exercise that works on your chest and upper limb. It targets your pectoralis muscles or "pecs'' and the serratus anterior muscles or "wing" muscles under your armpit.

Push-ups are effective exercises for building torso strength as they also engage the core and the lower back.

Steps To Get It Done

Equipment: None

  1. Position by getting down on all fours, your palms resting on the floor, arms placed slightly wider than your shoulder. Straighten your legs behind.
  2. Next, slowly lower your body and maintain your chest above the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then press upward to push your body back up, forming a high plank position.
  3. Repeat as many reps as possible.

Also Read: Old School Chest Workout Routine

2. Standing Cable Fly

shirtless man doing standing cable flys

Standing cable fly is a machine exercise that primarily targets your pecs and engages muscles on your upper limbs.

Some cable fly variations may not require any special equipment, while others may need different types of cable fly equipment.

Knowing which works for you can help you to strengthen your torso and reduce fat of the chest effectively.

Steps To Get It Done

Equipment: Cable machine

  1. Before you begin, set both pulleys directly or slightly above your shoulder height and select the desired weight.
  2. Start by grabbing both handles with a regular grip and take a step with one leg forward and one leg back.
  3. Press the cables out until your hands meet at the center while keeping your chest upright and abs tight.
  4. Next, allow the arms to open in a controlled manner with a slight bend on your elbows as your chest stretches.
  5. Then, bring your hands together while flexing your chest muscles. Continue by opening your arms and squeezing your muscles of the chest. Repeat as many as possible.

3. Bench Press

man in a gym doing bench presses

The bench press is an ideal exercise that mainly works your pecs and upper limb muscles.

It is perfect for lean muscle gain and reducing chest fat while building torso strength.

Steps To Get It Done

Equipment: Bench and a Barbell

  1. Start by lying on a bench, flat on your back. Grab a barbell over your chest with both hands, slightly wider than your shoulder-width.
  2. Fix your feet flat on the ground, and your hips press against the bench.
  3. Next, gradually lift the bar by pulling your shoulder blades together and arching your back. Breathe out as you lower the bar to your chest, maintaining your elbow bent at a 45-degree angle.
  4. Continue by slowly lifting back up and repeat as many reps as possible.

4. Cable Crossover

woman in a gym working out with a cable machine

The cable crossover is a cable fly variation to strengthen the muscles of the upper chest area. It primarily targets your pecs and engages your anterior deltoids.

Cable crossover can help you gain more muscles and build strength. It can also tone the muscle around your chest and underneath your arms to reduce fat of the chest.

Steps To Get It Done

Equipment: Cable Crossover Machine

  1. Start by standing with your left leg forward and your right leg back, your body facing forward, and your back to the machine.
  2. With your hips steady, grab the handles and slowly bring both pulleys all the way forward until your arms cross into an X shape.
  3. Keep your chest straight and core tight.
  4. Then, open your arms and stretch your chest with elbows slightly bent. Repeat as many as you can.

5. Dumbbell Pullover

man in a dumbbell pullover position in a gym

The dumbbell pullover is an excellent workout for your chest and upper limb.

It mainly targets the pectoralis major and serratus anterior of your chest. It also engages your lats at your back as it helps increase torso strength.

Steps To Get It Done

Equipment: Bench and Dumbbell

  1. Start by lying on a bench, flat on your back, with your head almost hanging at the edge.
  2. Secure the dumbbell with both hands and straighten your arms over your chest, with elbows slightly bent and palms facing each other.
  3. Keep your abs and back steady as you lower the weights over your head. Keep your arms extended as low as you can for a few seconds, then slowly return your arms over your chest.
  4. Repeat as many reps as possible.

6. Pec Deck

man using a pec deck machine in a gym

A pec deck is technically a weight machine used for chest routines.

It works by squeezing some muscles on the upper parts of the body and activating the pectoralis muscles and serratus anterior.

The pec deck exercise helps build up power and strength on your muscles of the chest and torso.

Steps To Get It Done

Equipment: Pec Deck Machine

  1. Position by sitting on the machine with your head and back pressed against the back pad. Keep your feet flat on the ground. Place your forearms on the vertical pads so you can grab the handles with your hands.
  2. Start by squeezing your chest and pulling your arms together to the center of your body. Then, slowly release the tension by reversing the movement until your chest is fully stretched out as in the starting position.
  3. Repeat as many reps as possible.

7. Straight Bar Dips

man doing bar dips in a park

The straight bar dip is a challenging chest dip variation that works primarily on your pecs and upper limb muscles.

It is an excellent workout to enhance torso strength and improve hand grip.

Steps To Get It Done 

Equipment: Straight Bar Dip Station or Dip Machine

  1. Start by stepping up on a straight bar dip station and grabbing the bar with thumbs facing in.
  2. Lower yourself into a dip by unlocking and bending your elbows until your forearms are almost parallel to the ground.
  3. In a controlled manner, drive back to the starting position by pushing through your palms.
  4. Repeat as many as you can.

Can Upper Body Workouts Help Reduce Chest Fat?

close image of shirtless man's hand gripping a cable machine

Yes, upper-body workouts can reduce chest fat. But, it's important to focus on reducing overall body fat percentage, as chest fat occurs due to a combination of factors, including breast tissue and excess body fat.

This training can help reduce chest fat by mixing chest-specific exercises with other workouts that target supporting muscles around the chest area.

Are Chest Workouts Effective To Burn Male Chest Fat Or Man Boobs?

shirtless man flexing his arms with dumbbells

While chest workouts can help reduce male chest fat, it's crucial to understand its causes. Apart from lifestyle factors, medical conditions can also contribute.

Gynecomastia is a word to describe an increase in the development of breast tissue in men caused mainly by hormonal imbalance, such as having high levels of estrogen or deficient levels of testosterone [2].

However, some cases of gynecomastia may not be fixed by a simple weight-loss diet and workout regime [3]. Men with such cases might be recommended for both cosmetic and hormone replacement to treat imbalances.

To summarize, chest workouts can effectively help promote male chest fat. However, since everyone is shaped by genetics differently, results may not be the same for all.

FAQ

How Does One Achieve Results in Reducing Chest Fat?

You achieve results in reducing chest fat if you consistently work out and follow a balanced diet. However, individual responses vary due to metabolism and genetics.

What is The Best Way to Get Rid of Chest Fat?

The best way to eliminate chest fat is by combining strength training exercises that target the chest with cardiovascular workouts.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

References:

  1. https://teachmeanatomy.info/upper-limb/muscles/pectoral-region/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gynecomastia/symptoms-causes/syc-20351793
  3. https://www.austinplasticsurgeons.com/doctor-holzman/can-gynecomastia-be-treated-with-weight-loss-and-exercise/
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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