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Muscular man holding a barbell in a curl position.

Training chest and biceps on the same day can be a great way to group your upper body workouts.

We’ve included exercises for a dedicated chest workout as well as a thorough biceps workout, especially if you take advantage of some of the alternate postures suggestions we’ve included.

But first, a look at the chest and bicep muscles we’re going to be working on.

Chest and Bicep Muscles

The muscular anatomy of what we refer to as the chest muscles are quite simple, it’s pretty much just the pecs.

The pectoralis major is a paired set of muscles that lie on top of the ribcage to either side of the sternum. They reach from your clavicle to the top of your abdomen and from your sternum to your arm where it terminates between the deltoid and the bicep.

Because the pectoralis major is so large it is split into three groups: the abdominal, clavicular, and sternocostal parts. These parts work together to help rotate, round, and straighten the shoulder as well as raising and flexing the arm to 90° and pulling it downward.

Located just underneath the pectoralis major is the lesser-known pectoralis minor. This comparatively small muscle helps with respiratory movement as well as movement of the scapula or shoulder blade.

As for the biceps, or the biceps brachii muscle, it too is a fairly large muscle, one of the principal muscles of the arm, second only to the triceps. The biceps begin at the scapula and terminate at the radius in the forearm making it a part of both elbow and shoulder movements.

The biceps brachii consists of two heads, the long head and the short head. The long head is the rounded topmost part of the bicep when flexed and the short head in the interior bulge.

Chest and Bicep Workout

These muscle-pumping chest and bicep exercises target all aspects of the pecs and biceps; you’ll even hit a few extra muscles like triceps and delts too.

Make sure you set aside time for warm up and stretches before jumping in. It’s also smart to fuel your body properly before your workout; read more in our Expert Guide to Pre-Workout for Beginners.


Push ups

We’ll start with a classic that should be familiar: pushups. This is also a great exercise in general if you are doing workouts at home as pushups don’t require any equipment to perform.

Standard pushups target your pecs as well as your triceps, and there are several variations that can help target the biceps as well including close stance pushups where your hands are less than shoulder-width apart and you keep your elbows tucked in, one arm pushups that are pretty self-explanatory, and definitely the weirdest looking one, inside with reverse hands where you place your hands with your fingers pointing towards your feet.

For a regular pushup, if you find it difficult to keep proper form, start with an adjusted form of either doing pushups against a wall or counter or in the standard position with your knees on the ground. If the standard form is too easy, try an inverted pushup with your feet elevated.

  1. Start from all fours with your hands a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Bring your weight into your arms as you come onto your feet in a plank position.
  3. Keeping your back straight, your head level, and your elbows in, bring your body down to nearly touching the ground.
  4. Push yourself back up to the starting position. DO NOT lock your elbows at the top of the motion. 
  5. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets.


Bench Press

Bench press workout in the gym

The bench press is another classic that you are likely familiar with, but it does require some equipment. At its most basic, a bench press can be done on the floor with dumbbells, but a bench and a barbell will be much more comfortable and easy to control.

There are two main variations of the bench press: the traditional and the incline bench press. For the traditional bench press, you lie flat on your back parallel to the ground pushing the weight up straight out in front of you. This works the pecs and biceps as well as the deltoids, triceps, and serratus anterior, the muscle knit to the sides and back of the ribcage.

For incline bench presses you lie at a 45° to 60° angle and push the weight straight up from the ground instead of straight up from your chest. This adds more of an overhead movement that works more of the upper part of your chest as well as your shoulders.   

  1. If you are using a barbell, set the weight to the desired amount. If you are adding heavier weights than you are used to, make sure to use a spotter.
  2. Lie flat on your back and position your body so that you can grip the barbell and lift it out of the rack with ease but that you won’t be hitting the pegs when you are doing the bench press. 
  3. Position your hands just outside of shoulder-width and place your feet firmly into the ground.
  4. Engage your core and lift the bar from the rack without arching your back or lifting your hips off the bench.
  5. Bring the bar down to your chest while your elbows flare out to a 45° angle until they dip just below the line of the bench, DO NOT let the barbell come to rest on your chest. 
  6. Dig in through your feet and push the bar straight up in front of you. DO NOT lock your elbows at the top of the motion. 
  7. Repeat for 5-10 reps.
  8. Repeat for 3 sets.


Bicep and Hammer Curls

Bicep curls in the gym

To specifically target the biceps, we’ve included bicep and hammer dumbbell curls. You can do both variations as individual exercises, switch out sets, or vary from one to the other with each workout session.

Bicep curls target, somewhat obviously, the biceps, but also the connecting muscles in the forearm. They can be done as barbell curls, but hammer curls cannot. Hammer curls target the same muscles as bicep curls, just with a focus on different regions of the bicep, so it’s certainly not a waste to do both.

The only real difference between bicep curls and hammer curls is the way you hold the dumbbell. For bicep curls, you hold the weight horizontally with the palm of your hand facing upwards, and with hammer curls, you hold the weight straight up and down with your thumb on top. 

  1. Stand with your feet planted about shoulder-width apart, a dumbbell in each hand in either the bicep or hammer curl grip, and with your forearms extended in front of you and your elbows resting at your sides.
  2. Raise your arms, either together or one at a time, to bring the dumbbell up to your shoulder while keeping your elbows in at your sides. 
  3. Reverse the motion and return to the starting position while maintaining control of the weight. DO NOT let the weight fall and bend your arm below a 90° angle.
  4. Repeat for 10 reps on each arm.
  5. Repeat for 3 sets.


Cable Fly

standing cable fly exercise

For the final exercise in your chest and bicep workout, you’re probably going to need to head to the gym. You can do some variations using dumbbells, but to get the full targeted effects of the three levels of cable flys you really need to use a cable resistance machine.

Standing or mid cable flys target the pecs including the pectoralis minor. Hight to low cable flys target the lower abdominal portion of the pectoralis major. And low to high cable flys target your upper and inner pecs.

Standing cable fly

  1. Stand with your back to the machine and a cable of the overhead pulleys in each hand. 
  2. Raise your hands and stretch out your arms as you lean forward. Your arms should be level with your back, elbow bent at about a 45° angle. You should feel a stretch across the front of your chest and in your shoulders.
  3. Bring your hands together in front of you in a slightly downward motion keeping your elbows loosely bent. 
  4. Maintain control as you reverse the motion and return to the start position.
  5. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets.

High to low cable fly

  1. Set the pulleys as high as possible and stand with your back to the machine, one cable in each hand with a neutral grip.
  2. Extend your arms out and up as you bend forward slightly. 
  3. Bring your hands down and together, keeping a slight bend in your elbows.
  4. Reverse the motion while maintaining control and return to the start position. 
  5. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets.

Low to high cable fly

  1. Adjust the pulleys to the lowest possible setting and stand with your back to the machine holding a cable in each hand.
  2. Extend your arms down and back as you bend slightly forward. 
  3. Keeping your elbows bent, bring your hands together in front of you in wide arcs.
  4. Return to the start position while maintaining control. 
  5. Repeat for 10-15 reps.
  6. Repeat for 3 sets.


Fuel Your Muscles with Allo

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