If you are looking to bulk up, tone, or define your chest, chest press machines are a great way to do it. Chest press machines specifically target your pectoral muscles for a challenging workout that focuses on nothing but your chest. Both men and women can benefit from chest-enhancing workouts for strength and aesthetics. Keep reading for our review of the top chest press machines and chest-enhancing products that you can use at home.
Before you start searching for your new chest press machine, read our buying guide! We’ve included tips and considerations for finding the best chest press machines and chest-enhancing products for you. One downside to owning your own equipment: You are responsible for cleaning and maintenance. Have no fear! We’ll lay out all the possible expenses and new responsibilities that come with exercise equipment like a chest press machine.
Why should I invest in a chest press machine?
You may be wondering if chest press equipment is really a worthy investment for you. You may have other equipment and other expenses in your home fitness area, but chest press machines can complement any home exercise routine. As you will see in the reviews below, chest press machines and other chest-enhancing products fit with any budget. They can also be included as a set with other fitness equipment, giving you a full body exercise and saving you money.
Chest press machines are specifically designed to target your chest muscles, giving you a highly efficient workout. These machines are one of the best ways to get the chest you want quickly. Some machines allow for heavy weight to be added on, really challenging your muscles for bulking. Many women fear chest exercises will make them look buff. If you’re not interested in bulking up your chest, lower weight or body weight chest exercise equipment can improve strength in women and perk up your breasts.
Regardless of what your chest and shaping goals are, make sure you get approval from your doctor to engage in weight-bearing exercise. Understand your limitations to avoid injury.
What types of chest press machines are out there?
Here are several types of chest press machines on the market. We also included some other chest-enhancing products if you find chest press machines are not the best option for your home fitness area:
- Seated Chest Press Machine: When using a seated chest press machine, you sit at the machine and push the handlebars away from you. There can be a variety of handgrips and arm positions on a seated chest press machine, but it tends to only work the middle and upper parts of the chest. Seated chest press machines are more upright than the chest press machines that require you to lie down. These machines can come with built-in weights or may require you to have your own weight plates.
- Incline Chest Press Machine: Incline chest press machines require you to lie on a padded bench. Depending on the machine, the incline chest press may have the ability to adjust the angle of the bench for incline, flat, or decline workouts. The handlebars are attached to the machine and may require weight plates for resistance. These machines are versatile since you can change the angle of the bench you’re laying on, therefore changing which chest muscles you are using.
- Cable Chest Press Machine: There are other chest press machines that use weighted cables, rather than handlebars. You push the weight cables away from you in order to engage your chest muscles. Weighted cable machines are often multi-faceted and can perform tons of workouts. Weight cables force you to really focus on your form and technique, since you have a full range of motion and less stability when using the cables (1).
- Bench Press: A bench press is slightly different to the other chest press machines, however, it has the ability to work the same muscles. A bench press requires you to lie on a weight bench and push up a barbell from a rack. Unlike the other chest press machines, the barbell is not attached to the machine. Weight benches can be adjustable so that you can get incline, flat, and decline workouts for your chest.
- Pushup Equipment: There are many popular pushup grips and bars on the market that can give you similar results as a chest press machine. Pushup equipment uses your own body weight to give you a burn. You place the pushup equipment on the floor and do pushups. Pushup equipment can range from an all-in-one pushup bar or separate pushup grips. These products can be very simple, or they can have rotating handles to work all areas of your chest.
We will review products in every one of these categories so that you can pinpoint which chest-enhancing product is best for you. Now that you have a better understanding of the different ways to get the chest you want, check out the list below for the top-rated chest press machines
Best Seated Chest Press Machine
This seated chest press machine received 5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. It is part of a complete total body home gym. This product can exercise the muscles in your back, chest, legs, and arms. It also includes all the weight necessary for using this product.
- Can exercise muscles in your chest, back, arms, and legs for a full body home workout
- Includes both a bench press and cable press station
- Highly adjustable seat, bench, and handlebars for user customization
- Total product weight is 575 lbs. Dimensions: 82.9in x 56.5in x 82in
- Amazon.com Price: $2,417 + FREE Shipping
Who Makes It:
Bodycraft strives to master “the art and science of movement.” The company was founded in 1994 with the mission to create fun and motivating fitness equipment for their users. They strive to make high-quality products that are safe, affordable, and that offer variety for their customers to choose from.
The Bottom Line:
If you are a beginner to home workouts or new to strength training, this may be the best way to begin your new fitness lifestyle. Not only does this product have various chest press exercises, but it also is capable of exercising your back, legs, and arms. Consider this all-in-one product as your one-stop shop for home workouts. Who would have thought that you could have an entire gym by purchasing one product? One thing to note: This is a huge and heavy piece of equipment (and a huge investment), so make sure you have the room and funds for this product. If you are still interested in creating a well-rounded and effective home fitness area, found out more here.
Best Incline Chest Press Machine
This incline chest press machine received 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.com. It is also an “Amazon’s Choice” product. You can use this incline chest press on several areas of your chest, giving you a well-rounded chest workout.
- Heavy-duty steel frame (2in x 2in)
- Adjustable bench for incline or flat chest exercises (can also do abdominal exercises)
- Plate weights required and not included with the unit
- Total product weight is 83 lbs. Dimensions: 44in x 20in x 10in
- Amazon.com Price: $258.99 + FREE Shipping (assembly is required)
Who Makes It:
Valor Fitness is a Florida-based company that sells over 400 fitness products to home exercisers, studios, professional athletes, and commercial gyms. Their beginnings in 2006 were rough and plagued with financial hardship and the personal struggles of its founders. After several years of challenges, the company moved from a single-family home to a large warehouse in order to accommodate increasing sales.
The Bottom Line:
This product would be optimal for someone who is looking to add a chest machine to a fitness area that already has free weights and plate weights available. If you are an avid home exercise enthusiast, consider investing in this tried-and-true incline chest press machine to reach your chest goals.
Best Cable Chest Press Machine
This cable chest press machine received nearly 4.5 out of 5 stars by customers. There are over 1200 customer reviews and 370 questions answered about this product, so you can be sure you have tons of helpful information at your fingertips on Amazon.com! This is another all-in-one product that can give you a total body workout (including chest exercises). You can do over 100 exercises on this equipment!
- Adjustable bench for increased incline exercises
- Resistance bands can create weight up to 50 lbs
- Max capacity weight is 250 lbs
- Total product weight is 72 lbs. Dimensions: 62in x 19in x 8in
- Amazon.com Price: $116.99 + FREE Shipping + $146.27 for expert assembly
Who Makes It:
Weider specializes in home gym equipment. Some of their products include shaping and resistance equipment as well as workout DVDs. This company has been around for over 50 years and is based in New Zealand.
The Bottom Line:
If you want a multi-use workout machine that targets several different areas, this one is both cheaper and smaller than the other total body machine above. If you need weight resistance greater than 50 lbs, however, this product may not be able to push you, so consider some of the other products on this list.
Best Bench Press Equipment
This is another machine that can give you a full body workout with exercises to emphasize your chest. You can work on your arms, chest, abs, and legs. It is the #1 best seller on Amazon for strength training Olympic weight benches, probably because of its ability to tone your entire body for under $200.
- Adjustable seat and backrest for incline, decline, flat, and military-style exercises
- Allows for hookup with a 6 to 7-foot weight bar for bench presses
- Plate weights and barbell required and not included with the unit
- Total product weight is 86.5 lbs. Dimensions: 76in x 56in x 55in
- Amazon.com Price: $179.98 + FREE shipping
Who Makes It:
Body Champ is a subdivision of Body Flex Sports Inc. that gears their products towards serious weightlifters. They strive to provide products that offer real, long-term results on machines that challenge your body. Body Flex Sports Inc. designs their products using a mixture of tried-and-true methods as well as new innovations. Body Flex Sports Inc. has various product lines such as Body Champ and Body Rider.
The Bottom Line:
While this total-body product for under $200 seems like a no-brainer, it may not be right for everyone. This is a large piece of equipment that comes with some accessories but not all (excludes a weighted bar for bench presses and squats). This machine may be best suited for someone who just wants one piece of equipment in their home or garage. This may be a good option for an avid weight lifter who wants to downsize their at-home fitness room with an all-in-one machine. People who are new to weight lifting may not feel comfortable using a product that requires the use of a 6-to-7-foot weighted bar for a full set-up.
Best Pushup System Equipment
- Adjustable handlebars so that you can work out all areas of your chest and arms
- Uses your own body weight, so no additional weights necessary
- Purchase of this product gives you access to specific workout videos online
- Total product weight is 10.4 lbs. Dimensions: 38.2in x 24in x 2in
- Amazon.com Price: $47.99 + FREE Shipping
Who Makes It:
Maximum Fitness Gear makes all sorts of small and portable exercise equipment like yoga mats, resistance bands, and videos so that their customers can use their products anywhere. They also have 10-week workout calendars for people who need structure and motivation to start their exercise regimen.
The Bottom Line:
This is an awesome piece for someone who wants chest and arm exercises on a budget! Maybe you already have a complete home fitness area and you just want a small addition to target your chest. This pushup system is extremely portable and easy to store, so if you are looking for effective exercise equipment that takes up minimal space, this product is perfect for you!
Best Pushup Grips
- Rotating handles are both ergonomic and can exercise several chest muscle groups
- Exercises can engage the chest, arms, back, and abdominal muscles
- Max weight capacity is 400 lbs
- Total product weight is 4 lb. Dimensions: 10in x 8.25in x 6.2in
- Amazon.com Price: $24.99 + FREE Shipping on orders over $25
Who Makes It:
Perfect Fitness was founded by Navy SEAL Alden Mills who saw the value in restorative, function fitness training during his time in service. He met former college athlete Mark Friedman and began releasing fitness products in 2004. The company strives to create ergonomic products that are simple yet effective.
The Bottom Line:
This product can be a great addition to anyone’s home fitness routine, but it is also the smallest and cheapest product on the list, so budget-conscious consumers will love this product. Consider utilizing these pushup grips to get the toned chest you are looking for. This product uses body weight, so no additional accessories needed!
The Essential Buying Guide for Chest Press Machines: Things to Remember
After reading the reviews above, you can see that there are lots of different options in chest press machines. How do you choose? To make selecting your chest press equipment easier, here is a list of the important factors you should consider:
- Your Chest Goals: Not everyone wants to bulk up their chest. Some people want to tone, create definition, or perk up their breasts. Once you identify what you really want out of your chest exercises, choosing the equipment is easy. If you want to bulk up and increase your muscle size, choose one of the products that use weights (not just your body weight). Some of the products can accommodate more weight than others. If you want toning, definition, and perkiness, you should opt for the products that use your own body weight or those that have lower weight options.
- Necessary Accessories: Some of the products in this review require additional items for use. The cost of plate weights can add up if you need several plates in order to feel the burn! You may also need a barbell, particularly for the bench press. That can be a whole other cost! When using plate weights, we recommended using weight clamps so that the weight plates are secured during your workout. You should also consider weight plate storage rack and power rack or squat rack for your barbell. Not all of the items on this list have these requirements, but it is important to note.
- Understand the Fine Print: Pay attention when buying any fitness equipment! Read the fine print so you know exactly what will be coming in the mail. Some chest press equipment is sold with weights, whereas others require additional purchases.
- Space and Footprint: Regardless of which chest press equipment you choose, make sure you have ample space in your home. Some of these products are tall and big. We reviewed products from mobile handgrips to large total-body gym stations. Choose the equipment that will best complement your home and fitness area.
Tips to Caring for Your New Chest Press Equipment
- With exercise equipment ownership comes your responsibility for cleaning and maintenance. For the larger equipment we reviewed, there may be steel frames, leather seats, moving joints, and cables. All of which have the potential for damage over long-term use.
- The pushup equipment is used on the floor. Make sure your floor is clean or get into the habit of frequently cleaning the pushup equipment. No one wants to workout on dirty, dusty equipment!
- If plate weights are required for your chest press machine, make sure you store weight plates properly on a weight rack! Avoid dropping free weights to prevent damage to your floor, furniture, equipment, and yourself.
- If you have children or pets, consider how you can safely store your free weights. You may opt to leave your weight plates on the barbell, but use clamps. Keep pets and children locked out of your fitness area. If keeping them locked out is not an option, store all weight plates in a locked closet or cabinet. Use care when using free weights, barbells, and plated weights to avoid injury to yourself and those you care about.
The Bottom Line on Investing in a Chest Press Machine for Your Home
Chest press machines are great for targeting key chest muscles for bulking up, defining, and toning, but sometimes you don’t want to buy a huge machine that only does one workout. Luckily chest press machines are often seamlessly included in full body stations or can be incorporated as small body-weight workouts.
Even after reading this article, you still may feel lost as to which chest press machine is the perfect fit for you. A word of advice: The chest press machines are diverse and can fit anyone’s needs. They are readily available. The most difficult part is determining what you are truly looking for in chest-enhancing workouts! Don’t worry though! You can always refer back to our essential buying guide so that you know you are making an educated purchase.
Which chest press products are you most interested in trying? The all-in-one gym? What about the pushup equipment? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.