Avoid Pulled Chest Muscles in Your Workout

A strained or pulled chest muscle may cause a sharp pain in your chest. This happens when your muscle is stretched or torn. If you have a significant muscle injury (or if home remedies bring no relief in 24 hours), call your doctor.

Everyone seems to be doing chest exercises to get their chest in the best shape possible. Gaining chest muscles is not difficult, but it takes time and dedication to get the results you want. We will look at some of the best tips and tricks to get the chest muscles you want, in as short of a time as possible, while avoiding the pain of a pulled chest muscle.

Things To Avoid In Chest Exercises

The biggest tip for chest workouts is to work more than just your chest. Simply focusing on your chest alone will not increase your chest muscle size.

Your chest muscles do not actually gain muscle, they simply get emphasized when they are worked out. Gaining muscle anywhere in your body requires your whole body to be worked out.

Chest workouts will help to emphasize those particular muscles, but other muscle groups, such as the legs and glutes need to be worked to get maximum results.

You need to rest your muscles in order to build a bigger chest. After muscles are worked by lifting weights, they actually grow when given a chance to rest.

Going to the gym every day of the week and working the same muscles will not get you any results. Going about it that way will actually cause damage to your muscles. Chest muscle pain is not pleasant. Getting a pulled chest muscle while doing your bodyweight chest exercises or doing your chest workouts with dumbbells is avoidable.

Things To Do In Chest Exercises

Now that we know what not to do, what needs to be done to gain chest muscle? It all starts with a combination of proper nutrition and whole body strength training.

The key to building a bigger chest is adding weight by building muscle mass. That is not the easiest thing for most people to do.

Tone Your Chest Muscles


Diet is the first thing that needs to be looked at when trying to gain muscle mass anywhere, the chest included. If you are working out to gain muscle mass, on average you need to consume 500 more calories than what your body needs to maintain it’s current weight.

Those calories need to come from high protein, nutrition dense food choices. Eating junk food to get the additional 500 calories will not help anything. Muscles need food to fuel themselves and grow, so having the correct food will get you the best results.

NOTE: Ladies, if you do not increase your caloric intake and follow the diet suggestions above, You WILL NOT build body mass.

Core Chest Exercises

Chest workouts need to be based around four core chest exercises. Bench presses, push-ups, weighted dips, and dumbbell presses all need to be incorporated into your lifting routine to gain maximum results.

These exercises, along with other total body lifting exercises, will develop muscle mass in your chest area. All exercises you do, including these four, need to be done with proper form.

Trainers and/or Spotters

Consult a trainer when beginning to work out. Trainers can not only tell you the exercises you should be doing, but they will also teach you the correct form to do them in. They can help you avoid getting a pulled chest muscle while doing your bodyweight chest exercises or doing your chest workouts with dumbbells.

If weights are lifted without correct form, you do not get the benefits of them. There is no point in taking the time to lift weights if you do not get results.

Having a spotter when you lift is another important thing to consider. Spotters not only offer a safety aspect to your workout, but they also can ensure you are lifting with proper form and thereby avoiding a pulled chest muscle.

Safe Workouts vs Workout Injuries


Resting is an essential part of chest workouts. Muscles actually grow and develop after you have worked them.

If you do not allow your muscles time to rest, they do not develop. Overworking muscles by working them too much in a row will actually cause damage to them and you will lose muscle definition and mass.

Use days that you are not working specific chest muscles to work other muscles in the body. All of the muscle groups need to be worked to get results, so incorporate your days of rest around the other muscles you need to work.

Focus on chest exercises two times per week and let them rest the remainder of the week. Even in a resting state, the muscles are growing and developing.

Make Obtainable Goals

The last step is to have goals that are realistic to obtain. Before starting your lifting journey, have a goal of what size you want to chest to end up.

Give yourself a timeline to get the results in. The timeline should be realistic but stick to it.

Take measurements weekly and find out where your results are in relation to your goals. Do not allow yourself to think it is ok if you aren’t meeting your goals. They are set so you push yourself.

You need to be patient with seeing results, but don’t allow yourself to add on substantial amounts of time to your goal. If you do, you will never reach it.


Chest workouts are tough on the body, but as you see results, they quickly become worth every weight you lift. Always lift in proper form and never forget the importance of your diet to get you the results you are after. That beach body you dream of can become reality fairly quickly if you work hard and follow your diet and workout plan each day. Remember, chest muscle pain is not pleasant. Getting a pulled chest muscle while doing your bodyweight chest exercises or doing your chest workouts with dumbbells is avoidable.

Easy Workout to Bulk Up Your Chest Muscles

Chest Workouts with Dumbbells for Women

Photo Credit: SheFit
Many women may avoid resistance training as they worry it will create bulky muscle or that it will reduce breast size. However, these worries are unfounded.

They will not make your breasts smaller. The size of your breasts depends on the amount of fat since they are made up of that. Hence, if you train your pectoralis muscles, you work the muscles under it. Your breast size is going to be smaller ONLY if you lower the level of the fat in your body and that mainly depends on your diet.

They will lift breasts high and make them look bigger. They may look larger since the number of muscles under them are more. And since that muscles underneath are firmer, your boobs may be higher.

Building chest strength — your pectoral muscles — will increase your upper body strength while improving your posture and lifting your breast tissue. Use lighter weights and higher repetitions to tone your chest area. For a full workout, do only one set of all exercises for a complete circuit and repeat three to four times.

1. Chest Fly

1. Chest Flys

Dumbbell Flys are beneficial moves to stretch and widen your pecs, but it is important to perform this move precisely. You should do it as if you want to hug the trunk of an enormous tree. Among the chest exercises with dumbbells, this is the one that is really recommended.

• Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
• Raise your dumbbells above your chest.
• Keep your elbows slightly bent.
• Slowly lower the dumbbells out to the side until you feel a stretch in your chest.

2. Chest Press

2. Dumbbell Chest Press

They are the most valuable chest exercises with free weights. I believe dumbbell press is far better to a barbell since it lets us focus on the muscles better and works other secondary muscles. There are incline and decline variations of them if you use a bench.

• Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
• Push the dumbbells up so that your arms are directly over your shoulders and your palms are up.
• Lower the dumbbells, keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle with your body.

3. Close Grip Chest Press

3. Close Grip Chest Press

• Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
• Place the dumbbells in front of you, palms facing toward each other, weights touching together.
• Keep the weights touching together & raise your arms all the way up, slightly bending your elbows.
• Slowly lower the dumbbells into the fly position until you feel a stretch in your chest.

4. Close Grip Chest Press Fly

4. Close Grip Chest Press Fly

• Lie on your back with feet flat on the floor.
• Place the dumbbells in front of you, palms facing toward each other, weights touching together.
• Keep the dumbbells touching together & raise your arms almost all of the way up slightly bending in your elbows.
• Lower the dumbbells back down to your starting position.

5. Push-Ups

5. Push Ups – Best Bodyweight Chest Exercises

Push-ups work the entire upper body not just your pecs but also your shoulders and triceps. Push up variations are the most significant chest exercises without weights. If you are beginner do push-ups knelling then you can move on to more complicated movements.

• Lie with your stomach on the floor.
• Place your hands on the floor outside your chest and under your shoulders, toes on the floor as you would a regular push-up.
• Tighten your core and push up from the floor until your arms are fully extended, but not locked.
• Lower yourself back down slowly until you are back to the starting position with your body on the floor.
Pause for a few seconds

To reduce the difficulty, you can balance on your knees rather than your toes, but still, keep your torso straight. Repeat the pushup 10 times for three to five sets.

Bodyweight Chest Exercises for Men

Photo Credit: Travis McCoy/LIVESTRONG.COM
You don’t have to pay monthly gym membership fees, sit in traffic to get there and then wait for an open bench to get a bigger chest. You don’t even need to leave your house. All you need is your own body weight and a bit of floor space to do this push-up-only routine that will target your entire chest, building strength and size.

Do one set of each exercise back-to-back with as little rest as possible in between sets. Do three to four rounds, resting for 2 minutes in between rounds. Use this workout as an adjunct to weight lifting, leaving 24 to 48 hours between workouts for recovery, or do it twice a week as a standalone chest-busting routine.

Standard Push-Up

1. Regular Push-ups

The best way to avoid chest muscle pain is to start with a warm-up using straight-forward push-ups and ensure proper form before you move on to more challenging variations. Do 15 repetitions.

Keep your back flat, abs tight, butt down and shoulders rotated so that the crooks of the elbows face slightly forward. This position ensures that your core is engaged and that your shoulders are in the position that’s the least likely to cause pain. If your wrists bother you, perform the push-up on your knuckles, which keeps the wrists in a more neutral position. From the plank, bend your elbows in toward your body and lower your chest to the floor. Push the floor away from you to come back up.

Single Leg Push-Up

2. One-Legged Push-ups

Doing a push-up with one leg lifted puts almost 100 percent of the load on your arms and chest. Do five to 10 repetitions on each side.

Begin again in a high plank but lift one foot a few inches off the floor. Keep your core engaged as you lower down and back up, keeping your lifted foot where it is. Make sure to do the same number of reps on each side.

Incline Push-Up

3. Incline Push-ups

An incline push-up focuses on the muscles of the lower and middle chest and is a great modification for beginners.

Place your hands shoulder-distance apart on an elevated surface and your feet on the floor for the push-up. The higher the surface, the less intense the incline push-up.


Diamond Push-Up

4. Diamond Push-ups

Goodbye flabby underarms! With this variation, your triceps (muscles at the back of the upper arms) experience greater activation. Also called narrow push-ups, this exercise focuses on your lower chest and triceps. Complete 10 reps.

Assume a standard push-up position, but bring your hands close together under your chest so that the fingers form a diamond shape. As you lower down, allow the elbows to brush your ribs.

Explosive Push-Up

5. Explosive Push-Ups

This plyo push-up will really get all the muscles in your chest and back going! They will help you build size but also power. You’ll use momentum to “explode” off the floor at the top of the push-up. Try your hardest to reach 10 repetitions.

Do a standard push-up, but as you press up from the floor, do so explosively so the hands leave the ground and clap together before you return to a bent-elbow lowered position.


From the pages of HealthLine: What You Should Know About a Pulled Chest Muscle

A helpful article by WebMD: Workout Injuries: Prevention and Treatment

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