A lot of people think that the chest press and bench press are exactly the same thing, so I’ve decided to put together a comprehensive guide on this very topic. Here we will take a closer look at the very best chest press machines on the market.
But before we do so, let’s first talk about the main differences between chest and bench presses so that you can decide which machine is right for you and your home gym.
Table of Contents
- Chest Press Machines Compared
- Chest Press Vs Bench Press: Same Muscles, Different Design
- Are Chest Press Machines Available for Home Use?
- How To Choose The Right Chest Press Machine
- 5 Best Chest Press Machines Reviewed
- How To Properly Do a Chest Press
- People Also Ask (FAQs)
Chest Press Machines Compared
Weight of Unit
Max User Weight
58"L x 55" x 32"
59" x 69" x 59"
77.8" x 55.6" x 41.3"
50" x 39" x 82"
65" x 79.25” x 84.5"
Chest Press Vs Bench Press: Same Muscles, Different Design
Let’s get something straight here. When it comes to muscles, both machines (let’s call the incline bench press a "machine" for technical purposes) work the same muscle groups.
We are talking about pectoralis major along with the front (anterior) deltoids. These are the major muscles involved with both chest press and bench press machines. Secondary muscles that are targeted include the traps, back muscles and front shoulders.
When it comes to the design and positioning, bench presses have you on either an inclined bench or flat bench pushing a barbell with plates in front of you or above you. But this is not the case with the chest press machine.
Chest presses are usually used in a seated position while pushing two hand-grips forward. Some use one longer bar, which is connected to mechanical shoulders and are loaded with weight plates. Of course, some of these machines can also be used in the flat position, but this isn't as common.
Are Chest Press Machines Available for Home Use?
You might be surprised, but yes, there are several fitness manufacturers who make these machines specifically for home gyms - and they are actually quite affordable.
This guide on the best chest press machines reviewed will not be long for two reasons. The first is that I want to include only the very best on the market, and there are not so many of them when it comes to residential use.
The second reason is that I have focused only on the full-built chest press machines, not just inclined adjustable benches. This has filtered out the options quite a bit, which should actually make the buying process much easier.
How To Choose The Right Chest Press Machine
Construction & Durability
With any piece of weight lifting equipment, it's always important to look at the durability of the machine's frame. If the chest press is wobbly or unstable, then it's not a safe option for performing chest exercises. It's best to find a model that is constructed from low-gauge stainless steel and heavy enough to prevent wobbling or shakiness.
It's also important to consider the smoothness of the pressing motion. You want a machine that provides a great workout, but is also easy to handle and move.
There are several different types of resistance for performing chest press exercises, but the most common are standard weight stacks and Olympic weight sets. If you're looking for a high weight capacity and a challenging workout, I recommend finding a chest press machine that's compatible with Olympic weights.
Some chest press machines have you sitting in an upright position with your legs and torso at a 90-degree angle, while others have you laid back in a reclined position. Some of the best machines allow you to adjust your incline position, so if you want maximum comfort, this is a great feature to look for.
Maximum Load & Weight Capacity
The best chest press machines can handle a high user weight capacity, and the same goes for the weight plates it can handle. Make sure that the machine's bench/seat can handle your weight, and that the weight plate capacity is large enough to accommodate your workout needs.
Dimensions Vs Available Space
These machines aren't small by any means, so that's an important thing to consider before your purchase. Because of their bulky size, make sure to compare the frame's dimensions with your space available.
Many chest press machines come with additional extensions and add-ons to accommodate a variety of different workouts. Some even allow you to do pull-ups and bench presses, but these tend to be the pricier models.
5 Best Chest Press Machines Reviewed
1. Fitking ISO Chest Machine
Our list starts with a chest press machine manufactured by Fitking.
This machine is made of quality steel and can be used for flat and incline presses, so you have a variety of different positions to choose from based on your comfort preferences. The maximum supported weight is 360 lbs (163.3 kg), which is a bit low compared to other machines.
It does not include stacked weights, so you have to use your own plates (purchased separately). This is a plate-loaded machine, which means you'll add weight plates based on what you can handle and the challenge you want.
The assembled dimensions are 58″L x 55″W x 32″H (147.3 x 139.7 x 81.3 cm) and the weight is 92 lbs (41.7 kg). Fitking also offers 3-years warranty on the frame and 1-year warranty on other parts, which is above average considering the affordable price.
To be honest, there's not much else to say about this chest press. It's fairly basic, but it's also easy to use and comes at a great price.
2. Iron Company SportsArt Fitness A977 Chest Press Machine
- Commercial-rated. Welded steel frame w/ bolt...
- Independent arm movement with converging...
- Designed for use with Olympic plates with 2"...
- One plate horn on each press arm for load...
The 2nd machine on our list is manufactured by IronCompany. This is a great option if you want something slightly fancier than the Fitking with commercial quality components.
While these guides are especially designed to review and compare home-gym equipment that is usually affordable, I had to include one commercial-grade chest press machine as well – the SportsArt Fitness A977.
The top-quality welded steel frame with charcoal gray shade gives the machine a powerful look. It also has an electrostatic powder coating finish, which is resistant to scratches. This is a machine that can be found in any public gym and the maximum user weight is set to 500 lbs (226.8 kg)
The arms have independent movement with progressive resistance curve and converging pushing angle. The back-rest and seat are made of heavy-duty quality vinyl for maximum comfort and durability. The seat is also adjustable in height.
This machine is designed for Olympic weight plates only with 2-inch center hole. It uses one plate horn on each arm side for weight loading and the frame has four additional plate horns for weight plate storage. The weight plates are not included and need to be purchased separately.
This is a machine for dedicated home-gym enthusiasts and hard-core body-builders.
The assembled dimensions are 59″ L x 69″ W x 59″ H (149.9 x 175.3 x 149.9 cm). The manufacturer offers 5-year warranty for frame and 6 months for upholstery.
3. Powertec Fitness Multi Press Work Bench (WB-MP16)
- The WB-MP16 features a newly designed...
- The new workbench allows users to adjust the...
- The isolateral arms can be used independently...
- Max load capacity - press arms: 500 lbs
Third on our list is a chest press machine manufactured by Powertec Fitness. This newest version of the machine uses the most practical and comfortable design of all the models on this list. The frame is made of quality steel and the total supported weight is 500 lbs (226.8 kg).
The cushioned seat is adjustable via sealed bearings carriage, which is comfortable for all heights. The back rest pad can be adjusted as well, so in terms of comfort, this one is hard to beat.
The new and improved design uses isolated arms that can be used separately or locked together for the standard bench/chest press. The older versions had some issues with alignment, but that shouldn’t be the case with WB-MP16 (you can double check with manufacturer on this information to confirm that you're getting the newest version).
The assembled dimensions are 77.8 x 55.6 x 41.3 inches (197.6 x 141.2 x 104.9 cm) and the weight is 188 pounds (85.3 kg). My only complaints have to do with the assembly process; there have been many complaints of missing bolts and nuts, and the manufacturer doesn't include wrenches that are necessary for safely putting the machine together.
4. GOPLUS Multifunction Home Gym System
- Sturdy and Durable Construction---This...
- Dual Function Arm Press---Equipped with a...
- High and Low Pulley System---This home gym...
- Easy 4-Roll Leg Developer---With thick foam...
The 4th machine that made it to our list is manufactured by GOPLUS.
The entire construction is made of heavy-duty steel tube and PVC. This is another multi-function machine that can be mainly used for chest presses. Besides chest presses, the machine can be used for dual-function arm presses, leg development, and it also offers a high and low pulley system, which can be used for a variety of different exercises.
This particular machine does come with the included weight stack of 100 lbs (45.35 kg), so there is no need to purchase weight plates. However, 100 pounds isn't much, so keep that in mind if you're looking for hardcore weightlifting or body building.
In regards to pectoral muscle development, the machine can be used for flies and chest presses. The 12 high and low pulleys can be utilized for various exercises and the 4-roll leg developer station with thick foam will comfortable accommodate your ankles and legs. All in all, this is a versatile chest press that will fit well in any home gym.
5. Marcy Free Weight Strength Exercise Machine
- This all-in-one gym equipment features a...
- Power-up your upper body muscles with the...
- This multi-functional machine will help you...
- For thighs and legs training, the bottom...
A multi-purpose exercise machine by Marcy also made it to our list. This particular piece of equipment is specifically designed for home use since the materials used are not commercial quality, but this is also reflected on the affordable price tag.
The frame is made of heavy-duty steel and supports up to 300 lbs (136.1 kg) of weight (user weight capacity). The frame also has a powder coated finish, so it won’t scratch or scuff easily. The machine uses weight plates (both Olympic and standard are supported) which need to be purchased separately.
This is a multi-purpose machine with a pulley system, but I’ve included it in our list of the best chest press machines because it has one of the best designed chest press systems. The seat itself is not adjustable, but it is designed to work comfortably with a range of heights.
The assembled dimensions are 56 x 38 x 84 inches (81.3 x 96.5 x 213.4 cm) and the weight is 113 pounds (51.25 kg). Marcy offers a 2-year warranty on the machine, so if you want something versatile and easy to use, this is an epic choice.
How To Properly Do a Chest Press
The chest press is an amazing exercise for working out a variety of different upper body muscles - but the benefits are only possible if you do the exercise properly. Here are the exact steps for doing a chest press safely and effectively.
- 1Lie on the flat/inclined bench with your feet pressing into the floor.
- 2Draw your shoulders down and back to press them into the bench with your hands firmly around the machine grips.
- 3Hold the grips with palms facing forward and your thumbs wrapped around the handle.
- 4On an inhale, lower the weight slightly wider than your mid-chest, slowly and with control.
- 5On an exhale, press your arms upwards, keeping your elbows slightly bent.
- 6Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
What are the benefits of using a chest press machine?
The main benefit of using a chest press machine is the ability to target hard-to-reach muscles of the chest. This includes your pectorals, deltoids, and triceps, and the workout builds muscle tissue as well as strength. It also works your serratus anterior and biceps.
Working out the upper body means that you'll be better able to perform day-to-day activities, even movements as simple as pushing a shopping cart or opening doors.
What other fitness equipment is good for working the chest muscles?
A bench press is another amazing tool for working out the chest muscles. However, you can also use dumbbells, a pec deck, dip bars, a cable crossover machine, or even simple push ups.
How much does a chest press machine cost on average?
It depends on the quality of the machine, its features, and the manufacturer. It's no surprise that commercial-grade chest press machines cost significantly more than those that are specifically designed for home use.
It's possible to find a home chest press for less than $1000, but this isn't typically the case for the machines you'd find in commercial fitness settings.
That concludes the list of the best chest press machines on the market. As you can see, I’ve included the very best machines in regards to quality and affordability.
Don’t forget to check the pros and cons to make sure your chosen machine suits all your home gym fitness needs. I personally love the FitKing product, but all of the models listed here are worthy additions to any home gym.