If you think that you need expensive benches and barbells to grow your chest muscles, killer pecs, and a wide back, think again! A consistent routine of body weight exercises for chest can provide even better results.
The bodyweight exercises for chest listed in this article can help you develop a rocking upper body in no time. They also have benefits such as improving posture, heart health, and lifting everyday items with greater ease.
All in all, strength training comes with a lot of benefits with the biggest being that you can do it at home. Now, let’s learn more about chest muscles and what exercises work best for this part of the body.
Chest Muscles (Pectoral or Pecs)
The pectoral region includes muscles, also known as pecs, that connect the front of the chest with the bones of the upper arm and shoulder.
Therefore, working out your chest means working out your pecs which can help you execute daily tasks including pushing and lifting objects with ease.
Performing bodyweight exercises for the chest can help you improve both looks and strength but also lift your mood. That being said, let’s dive right into it.
Watch this Video: Learn More About Pectoral Muscles And Their Function
How To Work Your Chest Without Weights?
The most popular body weight exercise for chest is undoubtedly the pushup.
According to a study published in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, the traditional push ups provide very similar strength gains to the bench press when done properly and consistently.
This bodyweight exercise works more than just chest muscles. It also strengthens and develops deltoids, core, and triceps. Most of the bodyweight exercises listed below include variations of pushups.
They’re variations of push ups that work your chest muscles differently. Therefore, pick your bodyweight exercises very carefully as each one works your chest muscles at different levels of intensity.
Without further delay, let’s take a look at some of the most effective chest exercises.
Body Weight Exercises For Chest
You don’t need any equipment or going to the gym to build and grow your chest. There’s a broad range of body weight exercises for the chest that you can do at home or outside without weights.
Use your own weight as your equipment. It’s not complicated to build chest muscles, despite what other people tell you, especially if you develop a consistent routine with the following exercises.
The traditional pushup is the perfect bodyweight exercise that targets both arms and chest. What I love about push ups is that you can perform this exercise basically anywhere and anytime.
All you need is a firm surface and your body weight. Pushups put multiple muscle groups to work. Unlike other exercises, they don’t require weights but use smaller muscle groups as stabilizers.
Meaning, your hip flexors and core will also take part in the process. As you can see, push ups target your chest. However, they basically activate your whole body and provide excellent results.
Watch this Video: This Is The Right Way To Do Pushups
If you want to step up your pushup game a notch, try decline pushup. It’s a difficult variation of the basic pushups because you’re putting your feet on a higher level than your hands in the process.
Keep in mind that the higher your box, chair, or bench is, the harder and more intense the exercise gets. However, this isn’t a negative thing because the harder the exercise, the better the results.
Watch this Video: Tutorial On How To Do Decline Pushups Properly
Another more challenging variation of traditional push ups is diamond pushups. They’re my favorite due to many reasons, one being that they’re great for developing triceps and inner chest muscles.
Put your hands close together until your index fingers and thumbs touch making a diamond. Taking this position while performing push ups will slightly change which muscles take part in the process.
Watch this Video: The Beginner’s Guide For Diamond Pushups
The pushup hold is exactly what it sounds like. You’re basically taking a regular pushup position but hold the lowered down position for as long as you can. It’s great for boosting your chest strength.
However, your shoulders, arms, and core will also benefit from this exercise. Another excellent benefit is mental exercise. The pushup hold will not only make you physically strong but also mentally.
Therefore, if you believe that doing regular push ups is difficult, you’re up for a surprise with the pushup hold. The key to making this exercise right is to believe that you can do it and push yourself.
Watch this Video: This Is How To Do The Pushup Hold The Right Way
If you really want to put extra pressure on your chest, give wide pushups a try. They move the weight of your body right to your pecs when you position your hands in a wide position.
Therefore, the farther you position your hands out, the bigger the pressure for your chest. You basically lift your body using your pectoral muscles, so it’s perfect for building strength.
Watch this Video: Step-by-Step Guide On How To Do Wide Pushups
Bodyweight Exercises For Upper Chest
There’s a golden rule in bodyweight training that will help you build muscle and gain strength faster. It’s all about feeling your muscles contracting as you exercise and visualize yourself.
This plays a key part in building muscles. Arnold Schwarzenegger agrees! He says that the weights aren’t the most important part in building muscles but how well you contract your muscles.
Therefore, make sure you visualize and feel muscle contraction in each rep by doing the exercise slowly. Instead of stressing over the number of reps, focus on contraction during the exercise.
I’m not saying that the number of reps isn’t important at all. You still have to step up the number of reps workout after workout. Still, take this new approach when training any muscle.
Arm Positioning is Crucial
Another thing I want to point out is that arm positioning is very important when performing upper chest exercises. So, how well you contract your muscles will depend on your arms.
If they’re wrongly placed, you will end up affecting other muscles. Place your arms at a 120-degree angle from your torso to activate your triceps, shoulders, and lower chest muscles.
When you engage these muscles, you will still be affecting other muscles. However, this position delivers better results. Now, let’s list some effective body weight exercises for the chest focusing on your upper chest.
This exercise usually activates the shoulders. However, you can modify it to target your upper chest. So, try it out and decide which position exactly activates your upper chest the most.
Instead of decreasing your head directly downward just stick your chest out and slide forward until your shoulders get in line with your arms. The diving movement will affect your chest.
Watch this Video: The Beginner’s Guide For Pike Pushups
Dive bomber push ups
If you’re looking for a challenging upper chest exercise, look no further than dive bomber push ups. It’s a very difficult exercise so don’t fret if you can’t do it on your first attempt.
Instead, build your strength with other types of push ups such as pike and decline pushups. Dive bomber push ups activate your shoulders, lower and upper chest, core, and traps.
Watch this Video: This Is How To Do Dive Bomber Pushups Correctly
Feet-elevated pike pushups
If you’re getting bored of regular pike pushups, try feet-elevated pike pushups. Just position your feet on a surface and make sure that your hands aren’t positioned the wrong way.
Watch this Video: Guide On How To Do Pike Pushups With Elevated Feet
To strengthen your arms and shoulders, do handstand push ups regularly. The best part? If you’re facing a wall while performing this exercise, you will also target and grow your chest.
Watch this Video: The Beginner’s Guide For Handstand Pushups
How To Workout Lower Chest?
If you want to activate and grow your lower chest, you can try some of the bodyweight exercises listed in this article.
You can strengthen your pecs by developing a consistent workout routine that involves a few variations of pushups including incline, decline, and diamond pushups.
What Is The Best Workout For Pecs?
The Physical Activity Guideline for Americans says that people should do muscle-strengthening exercises and activities at least two times per week.
One set of 8-12 reps is highly effective in resistance workouts. However, two or three sets could provide even more effective results.
Pushups, in general, make a great choice for activating the whole upper body and back. However, doing incline push ups will place additional pressure on your pectoral muscles.
Watch this Video: This Is How To Do Incline Pushups Properly
Parallel bar dips
This type of bodyweight exercise activates different muscle groups including shoulders, back, arms, and of course, chest. They’re also perfect for developing lower chest muscles. Note that you will have to lean a bit forward on the dip to activate your pecs and achieve better results.
Watch this Video: Learn How To Do Chest Dips The Right Way
How To Workout Your Inner Chest?
Technically, you can’t work out your inner chest because there’s no inner chest muscle. You have lower and upper pectoral muscles, and exercises target your chest as a whole. So, you can’t solely activate the inside area of your chest but you can work out your chest and get results.
Watch this Video: Take a Sneak Peak Into This Home Workout For Inner Chest Line
How To Workout Outer Chest?
The pectoral muscles dominate your chest. However, it’s divided into different sections that should be tackled equally to obtain a well-balanced upper body.
Incline push ups target your upper chest while decline pushups activate your lower chest. However, the rest of your chest might not develop at the same pace.
You can easily fix this by making adjustments to your chest exercise to cover your entire chest. Try wide-grip bench press, chest dips, and dumbbell flyes.
Watch this Video: Take a Look At This Outer Chest Workout For Aesthetics
Body Weight Exercises For Chest: Wrap Up
A well-developed and nicely-defined chest screams strength, endurance, and masculinity.
And most people believe that to get one, you’ve got to attend the gym regularly and perform a bunch of dumbbell flyes. However, consistent bodyweight training at home can provide the same results.
The best part? You can perform body weight exercises for the chest and grow your chest muscles anywhere, anytime. What’s your take on bodyweight training? Share your honest thoughts in the comments below.
Share this article where you see fit and help other enthusiasts strengthen their chest too!