How to Tighten My Pecs

Gym and fitness concept - bodybuilder and dumbbell over black

The pecs, also known as pectorals, consist of the large visible muscle group of your chest that allow you to flex, adduct and rotate your upper arm across your chest. Tight pecs do more than improve your profile, they also reduce your risk of injury. Always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.

Lying Pec Fly

Lie on a flat bench with your feet placed flat on the floor. Pull your shoulders back and down, so your head, spine, shoulders and buttocks are making contact with the bench. Bring dumbbells to your chest with your palms facing inward and keep the dumbbells close together as you extend your arms upward so the dumbbells are directly above your chest.

Bend your elbows slightly as you lower your arms to your sides until the dumbbells are even with your shoulders and chest. Be sure your feet remain flat on the floor.

Extend your arms upward in a hugging motion until the dumbbells again meet above your chest. Repeat the steps.

Bench Press

Lie on a flat bench with your feet placed flat on the floor while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Pull your shoulders down and back as you bend your elbows to your sides and bring the dumbbells to your chest so they're even with your shoulders. Your palms are facing the wall in front of you.

Extend your elbows until your arms are fully extended above your shoulders and the dumbbells are directly next to each other above your chest.

Lower the weights to the starting point until a slight painless stretch is felt in the chest. Repeat the steps.


Lie belly down on the floor with your palms slightly wider than your shoulders and kept flat on the ground. Rest your feet on your toes with your heel elevated toward the ceiling.

Press into the floor and raise your body off the ground by extending your arms. Contract your abdominal muscles to keep your spine stabilized during the entire pushup and imagine an invisible line from the top of your head to the back of your heels. As you balance your weight between your palms and toes, your back and legs remain straight.

Lower your chest back to the floor until your chest is about 2 inches from touching the ground. Keep your body straight during the downward motion. Repeat until your muscles are fatigued -- aiming for at least eight pushups.


Start with light weights until you master the technique and body mechanics of the exercises, then progressively add heavier weights.

The size of your dumbbells should be heavy enough to fatigue your muscles after eight repetitions.


These exercises pose a risk for injury, such as a pulled muscle. Exercise with a partner and have a personal trainer verify you're using correct techniques to minimize your risk of injury.

Explore In Depth

Muscle activation during the tennis volley. June 01, 1999
  • John W. Chow
  • Les G. Carlton
  • Young-tae Lim
  • Jae-ho Shim
  • Woen-sik Chae
Role of muscles in the stabilization of ligament-deficient wrists April 01, 2016
  • Mireia Esplugas
  • Marc Garcia-Elias
  • Alex Lluch
  • Manuel Llusá Pérez
Attenuation of the effect of the FTO rs9939609 polymorphism on total and central body fat by physical activity in adolescents: the HELENA study. April 05, 2010
  • Jonatan R. Ruiz
  • Idoia Labayen
  • Francisco B. Ortega
  • Vanessa Legry
  • Luis A. Moreno
Anatomy of the iliocapsularis muscle. Relevance to surgery of the hip. May 01, 2000
  • W. Ward
  • Isabelle-Désirée Fleisch
  • Reinhold Ganz