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5 Killer Chest Workout At Home Without Weights

Whether you’re looking to build strength and power or just simply improve the look of your upper body, chest exercises are essential. Let’s face it: the average person doesn’t have the time to spend hours in the gym sculpting their chest. Membership fees can be costly and the equipment is just too complicated for the task at hand.

So, I put together some simple but effective chest home workouts that will work a wide range of muscles. These are some of the most effective exercises that don’t require the use of dumbbells, resistance bands or trendy gimmicks. This isn’t for people trying to win a bodybuilding competition, but with the right workout routine, you can build strength and definition in your chest.

SEE ALSO: 12 Badass Prison Style Workouts (Build Strong and Lean Muscles)

Chest Main Muscle Groups

The chest isn’t just one massive muscle. It’s actually made up of two main muscle groups. You’ve got the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. Together, these muscle fibers comprise the bulk of your upper body muscle mass.

The pectoralis major has a narrow band (the clavicular head) that runs from the clavicle, near your neckline and a wideband (the sternal head) that controls most of the shoulder motion. The pectoralis minor has three narrow bands that connect the ribs to the scapula. You can target the different muscles of the chest with variations on traditional bodyweight chest exercises.

Recommended  Workout Video:

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Warm-Up Before Chest Exercise

As with all forms of physical exercise, I’d recommend starting with some stretches. Avoid the static stretches, the ones in which you simply hold your arm to the side for a few seconds. These are actually for cooldowns, not warm-ups. Go for dynamic stretches that prime your body for physical exertion.

To bring more flexibility to your arms and shoulders, try some dynamic arm rotations. Swinging your arms in circular motions for 30 seconds loosens up the rotator cuff, which is the collection of tendon and bone where the upper arm meets the shoulder.

SEE ALSO: Best Push Up Equipment

Best Bodyweight Chest Exercises

Without further ado, here are my top 6 bodyweight exercises for chest, ranked in no particular order.

The traditional push-up is one of the most basic bodyweight exercises. It’s not a feature act though. You need to supplement it with other exercises in rotation to maximize its results. In the traditional push-up, you’re directly working the sternal head of the pectoralis major. You’re also working other muscle groups, as well. The clavicular head of the pectoralis major, the triceps and deltoids are also working during the exercise.

You might be thinking – sure, I know how to do a push-up. Yet, you might not be doing enough of them or doing them in proper sets to see results.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Start by lying prone on the floor with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your body stiff and raise your upper body from the floor using the muscles of the arm and chest.
  • Hold for a second at the apex of the movement.
  • Lower your upper body back down to the floor, all the while keeping a straight body posture.
  • Repeat this motion 12 to 15 times for beginners or 20 to 25 times for advanced practitioners.

Pro Tip: Don’t rush through these. Maximize the effect of the exercise by moving through the action slowly and methodically.

Upper Chest Bodyweight Exercise

Decline push-ups are one of my favorite variations on the push-up. It’s a great stand-alone exercise for advanced practitioners and it can be scaled to your specific fitness level. Since we’re running a rotation with other exercises, let’s assume a basic elevation.

You simply put the toes of your feet on a box (roughly 10 to 12 inches off the floor) and maintain the upper body positioning from the traditional push-up.

This exercise targets the upper chest, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major. You’re also going to feel it in the triceps, the forearms, deltoid and sternal head of the pectoralis major.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Start by kneeling on the floor with a bench or box behind you.
  • Place your hands roughly shoulder-width apart and place your feet so that the toe of your foot is on the edge of the box or bench.
  • Now, your body should be in a plank position with the back and legs straight.
  • Lower your upper body slowly down toward the floor by bending the arms, not the back.
  • Raise your upper body back to the plank position.
  • Repeat this motion 7 to 10 times for beginners or 10 to 15 times for advanced practitioners.

Pro Tip: Variations on your hand positioning will also increase the difficulty of this exercise and bring into play the pectoralis minor muscle fibers. Want to make it even harder? Try placing your feet on a stability ball.

Lower Chest Bodyweight Exercise

The incline push-up actually lowers the level of bodyweight resistance by shortening the distance that the muscles will extend from full arm extension to an inclined bench or box. This is a great beginner push-up, but it is also used to specifically target certain muscles.

This exercise is great for hitting the sternal head of the pectoralis major and even the entire length of the abdominal range. You will also feel exertion in your deltoids, triceps, and biceps as those muscles fire off to keep your body stable.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Start by facing a low horizontal bar or a bench with your feet together.
  • Place your hands around the bar or flat on the bench, roughly shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your back and legs straight, lower your upper body by slowly bending the arms.
  • Once you reach the bar or bench, raise your upper body to a plank position by extending the arms once again.
  • Repeat this motion 12 to 15 times for beginners or 20 to 25 times for advanced practitioners.

Pro Tip: Since this an inclined push-up, the resistance starts as soon as you lean over the bar. Be sure to prepare yourself for immediate activity of the muscles to avoid injury.

Doing chest dips will require the use of parallel bars or two high stable platforms. It’s possible to do this in a narrow kitchen where the counters run parallel to one another, but you’re better off heading down to your local park.

This is one of the best exercises for working out the pectoralis minor, the outer bands of the chest, the lower region of the pectoralis major, the obliques (back) and abdominal muscles. It’s a beast.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Step between two parallel bars and take an oblique grip. That means your palms are facing the body.
  • Lean slightly forward with your arms open to about 170 degrees. Don’t lockout.
  • Now, squeeze the glutes and abs to keep steady positioning and lower your upper body down toward the floor by bending the arms at the elbow. Keep your torso only slightly leaning forward and your calves and feet behind your body. You can do this by crossing the ankles if you like.
  • When you feel a stretch in your chest muscles, push your body upward again by extending the arms.
  • Repeat this motion for 7 to 10 repetitions if you are a beginner or 10 to 15 repetitions if you are more advanced.

Pro Tip: Keep your head neutral. Don’t look up or down. Also, try to avoid rocking back and forth. Keep the motion going up and down in a smooth cycle.

Outer Chest Push Up

The wide push-up is a variation on the traditional push-up. Simply extending the width of your stance can change the traditional push-up. In this exercise, you go beyond shoulder width palms to hit a different range of target muscles.

This exercise will engage the pectoralis minor muscle fibers as well as all three bands of the deltoid (shoulder).

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Start by lying prone on the floor with your hands about 8 to 10 inches wider than shoulder-width.
  • Keep your body stiff and raise your upper body from the floor using the muscles of the arm and chest.
  • Hold for a second at the apex of the movement.
  • Then, slowly lower your upper body back down to the floor, all the while keeping a straight body posture.
  • Repeat this motion 12 to 15 times for beginners or 20 to 25 times for advanced practitioners.

Pro Tip: You can make this exercise even more challenging by adding a hand clap at the apex of the motion or work the muscles to fatigue by holding your last repetition just a few inches off the ground for as long as you can.

Related: Bodyweight Exercises for Back

Inner Chest Muscle Workout

Diamond push-ups is a variation on the traditional push-up that features a diamond form hand posture. I like this exercise because when you’re performing it, the diamond sits directly over the muscles being worked.

You’ll feel a major burn in the center of your chest. It works the sternal head of the pectoralis major and the triceps. You will also feel an intense burn in your abdominal range.

Here’s how it’s done:

  • Start by lying prone on the floor with your hands placed together in a diamond formation. The thumbs and forefingers of both hands should be touching.
  • Keep your body stiff and raise your upper body from the floor using the muscles of the arm and chest.
  • Hold for a second at the apex of the movement.
  • Then, slowly lower your upper body back down to the floor, all the while keeping a straight body posture.
  • Repeat this motion 7 to 10 times for beginners or 10 to 15 times for advanced practitioners.

Pro Tip: Since you have such a narrow hand posture, it is important to maintain good balance at the apex of the movement. This is what engages all those synergistic muscles.

Related: 6 Ways To Build Biceps At Home Fast Without Weights

Topic: Apartment Workout