Best Bodyweight Chest Workout

Best Bodyweight Chest Workout

Do you keep on checking yourself out in the mirror, trying to monitor how close you are to that popping chest you’ve always wanted? Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to increase your pec size more rapidly than ever before? Life tends to get in the way of this goal as it often pulls you away from your gym sessions which is why we are here to show the best bodyweight chest workouts to do exactly that.

A lot of fitness enthusiasts believe that the gym equates to a paradise for building chest muscles. All-equipment all the time. Hands-on coaches. But what if we told you that you can make just as much progress with your own bodyweight and a little ingenuity?

In this bodyweight chest workout guide, allow us to walk you through the best bodyweight chest workouts that can help you reach your body goals even while at the comfort of your home.

Can I build my chest even without weights?

Chest with Weights

To make muscle building possible, your body must enter a state of hypertrophy. This is basically the expansion of your skeletal muscle fibers as a coping mechanism to high tension levels induced.

Your brain doesn’t really care about how that tension is created. Regardless of whether it is caused by top-notch equipment or your own bodyweight, the important part is that your muscles are stimulated with an adequate amount of resistance. If it’s too little, improving your chest strength and size is unlikely no matter how many reps you perform.

Tweaking how much resistance is incorporated into your exercise is a no-brainer with weights. Just add a bit more weight each time you work out and your muscles grow (and you often get injured!). But with bodyweight exercises and just a bit of effort and planning, you can have similar results without many of the downsides.

To scale your bodyweight chest workout according to your skill level and progress, you can vary things up by changing your:

  • Body angles
  • Tempo
  • Range of movements
  • Number of repetitions and sets

You can also consider upgrading your chest exercises with minimal equipment like the parallettes bars. This tool allows you to perform calisthenics a little above the ground, and that space can bring significant progress for your strength and balance training. Parallettes are especially useful for push-ups, inverted press, tricep dips, and planks.

Best Bodyweight Chest Workout of All-Time: Push-ups

Pushup

The king of the bodyweight chest workout is the simple yet trusted push-up. After all, it looks like a reversed counterpart of the gym-based bench press.

Take it from the experts. According to a 2015 study from the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, the efficacy rates of strength training between the standard push-up and the bench press are quite similar. The key is to stimulate your pecs with the same levels of muscle activity as an equipment-assisted exercise would.

Even better, push-ups can enhance not just your chest muscles, but also your core, deltoids, and, triceps.

Introducing variations to your bodyweight chest workout is also a breeze, all thanks to the different kinds of push-ups you can try out. In choosing which one to use for your training program, be sure to understand the specific muscles it targets and its level of intensity.

Allow us to introduce you to a list of push-up exercises that can assist beginners and advanced calisthenics enthusiasts alike.

Enhance your chest with these 11 push-up variations

#1 – Standard push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, shoulders, arms, and abs

Equipment required: None

Start by extending your legs and placing your hands below your shoulders. Make sure that they’re aligned slightly farther than your shoulder width, then bend your elbows to lower your chest until it’s a little above the floor. Hold that for a second then push your body back to your starting position. Do 10 to 15 repetitions for each set.

To maintain a proper form as you perform standard push-ups, keep your head aligned with your torso and hips. This straight posture allows you to engage your core muscles as well. Moreover, you must shift the pressure from your wrists to the outside of your hands.

Watch your breathing patterns too. Inhale as you lower your body to the floor, then exhale as you push back to your original position.

#2 Ankle Taps push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, core, shoulders, arms, thighs, calves, and glutes

Equipment required: None

Place your body in the regular push-up starting position, then lower your body to the ground by bending your elbows. As you push yourself back, lift your hips so you could extend your right hand to touch your left ankle. Return to your original position, then repeat the previous on the opposite side. Keep on alternating your movements as you complete a set of 10 to 15 repetitions.

To stimulate your glutes and core, maintain your spine’s straight form. 

Try to keep your movements fluid by breathing in as you lower your chest and breathing out as you lift your hips up to tap your ankle. 

#3 Asymmetrical push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, shoulders, arms, and abs

Equipment required: None

Let’s start by executing the regular push-up starting position, then switch things up by placing your left forearm on the floor. Check if your elbow is aligned to your shoulder, then bend your right elbow to lower your body. Push yourself back, repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times, then do the same for the other side.

Likewise, it’s important to keep your head, spine, hips, and torso aligned to effectively stimulate your core muscles. 

Similar to the correct breathing pattern for a regular push-up, inhale as you lower your chest to the floor then exhale as you push yourself back up.

#4 Decline push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, shoulders, triceps, upper back, and core

Equipment required: Box, stability ball, or step

Begin with the regular push-up starting position, then use a box, stability ball, or step to elevate your feet. Bend your elbows to lower your body to the floor, and then push yourself back to your original form. Repeat these steps for 10 to 15 times each set.

Even with the rest of your body aligned lower than your feet, maintain a straight form with your head, torso, and hips. 

The proper breathing pattern for this exercise is to inhale as you bend your elbows slowly, then exhale as you straighten your arms.

#5 Hindu push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, shoulders, abs, back, arms, hips, and legs

Equipment required: None

For the starting position, mimic a downward dog pose by placing your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart, then arch your body into a V shape. Lower your body into a low plank pose by bending your elbows, then lift your torso up to an upward dog pose as you straighten your arms. Lift your hips and lower your torso to return to your original form. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions for each set.

Keep your neck and spine relaxed throughout this exercise, and maintain a smooth, fluid transition from one step to another. 

Inhale deeply when you slowly shift from the downward dog to the upward dog pose, then exhale when you lift your hips to return to the starting position. 

#6 Knee and elbow push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, shoulders, quads, upper back, calves, core, and arms

Equipment required: None

Place your elbows just under your shoulders and your knees below your hips. At the same time, straighten your arms and legs so that your hips will be lifted up. Lower yourself into the starting position, then repeat these steps for 10 to 15 times each set.

Keep your head, neck, and back aligned as you transition to each step. 

Breathe out whenever you extend your limbs to lift the hips, then breathe in when you return to the starting position.

#7 Knee push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, shoulders, abs, and arms

Equipment required: None

Let’s start by placing your hands beneath the shoulders and your knees on the floor with your feet crossed. Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the floor while keeping your back straight. Hold it for a second, then push your body back to the starting position. Repeat these movement 10 to 15 times for each set.

The proper form for this routine involves keeping your core muscles tight and making sure your head, torso, and hips are aligned straight. 

Breathe in whenever you bend your elbows, then breathe out as you straighten them to push yourself back.

#8 Medicine ball push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, abs, shoulders, and arms

Equipment required: Medicine ball

Execute the regular push-up starting position, then place a medicine ball beneath your left hand. Lower your body just above the floor by bending your elbows. Straighten your arms to return to the starting position, then roll the medicine ball towards your right hand. Repeat these steps for 10 to 15 times each set as you roll the equipment back and forth.

To stimulate your core muscles as well, keep a straight form with your head, torso, and hips, aligned.

Inhale whenever you lower your body to the floor, then exhale when you push yourself back up.

#9 Pike push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, arms, upper back, and core

Equipment required: None

This exercise’s starting position requires you to get down with your hands shoulder-width apart and your legs straight, with your hips lifted up. Form a 90-degree angle with your arms by bending your elbows. This will bring your head closer to the floor. Straighten your elbows to push your body up, and return to the original form. Execute 10 to 15 repetitions for each set.

Always check if your back is kept straight throughout the steps, and maintain a 90-degree angle between your upper and lower body.

As you would in a regular push-up, inhale as you lower your body and breath in when you push yourself back up.

#10 Spiderman push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, core, obliques, arms, and shoulders

Equipment required: None

Begin with the regular push-up starting position. When you bend your elbows to lower your body, life your left knee towards your left shoulder as well. Go back to your original form, then repeat the same movement on your right side. Continue alternating these steps for 10 to 15 repetitions for each set.

It’s better to master your regular push-ups first before trying the spiderman push-up out. Always maintain a straight form and keep your knees high above the floor when you lift them. Try to transition smoothly from one step to another, keeping your body well coordinated.

Likewise, this exercise requires the same breathing pattern as a regular push-up. Breathe in when you bend your elbows, then breathe out as you straighten them again.

#11 Staggered arm knee push-ups

Target muscles: Chest, triceps, arms, shoulders, and biceps

Equipment required: None

Start by placing your knees on the ground and positioning your hands in such a way that one is higher than the other. Keep them shoulder-width apart. Lower your chest just above the floor by bending your elbows then hold. Push body up then reverse your hand position and perform these steps for 10 to 15 repetitions in each set.

Remember to keep your head, hips, and torso aligned at all times. For proper execution, hold your lowered position for a second or two. You can also perform this exercise with your legs extended back instead of having your knees on the floor.

Proper breathing involves inhaling as you bend your elbows, and exhaling as you straighten them.

Other Bodyweight Chest Workout you can do at home

While push-ups that vary in intensity and difficulty are often enough to build a chest workout program, there are other calisthenics exercises you can perform so that your training routine doesn’t become boring or stale.

Couple Exercising

#1 Butterfly Dips

Target muscles: Chest, triceps, shoulders, inner thighs, and glutes

Equipment required: None

This exercise requires you to begin with a sitting position with your feet together. Put your hands behind you, with fingers facing forward. Bend your knees up and then allow your thighs to fall open. Check your starting from, then lift your hips up by straightening your arms and bringing your knees together. Return to your original position, then repeat for 10 to 15 times in each set.

Be sure to hold for a few seconds and squeeze your legs together whenever you extend your body upwards.

The correct breathing pattern involves breathing out as you lift your hips, then breathing in as you lower yourself to the starting position.

#2 Chest Stretch

Target muscles: Chest, shoulders, and biceps

Equipment required: None

Stand beside a wall, then put your left palm on its surface. Rotate your torso to the right slowly to stretch your chest and shoulder. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side.

To maintain a proper form, remember to press your palm firmly against the wall with your hand aligned to your shoulder. Keep your back straight throughout this stretching exercise.

#3 Floating Plank

Target muscles: Chest, abs, and obliques

Equipment: None

Begin with a planking position, feet together and arms spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your torso by bending your elbows, then hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds.

As you pause, you feel an urge to push yourself towards your backside. Resist this by keeping your entire body aligned straight and your core tight.

#4 Sliding Fly

Target muscles: Chest, shoulders, and arms

Equipment: Cloth or any similar item

Execute the regular-push up starting position with a cloth or any similar item under each of your hands. Bring your chest closer to the floor by allowing your hands to slide out. Breathe out, then squeeze your arms back in with a strong motion. Repeat these steps for 10 to 15 times in each set.

When done right, you must feel that stretch that goes through your chest and shoulders as you transition from one position to another. 

Note that this workout will not work if you’re on a carpeted floor.

Conclusion

Let this bodyweight chest workout guide be a testament to how you can build your muscles even without an expensive gym membership! You can completely compensate for the lack of incremental weight resistance available in a gym with a little ingenuity, repetition, and intensity!

With proper nutrition and adequate rest, we hope that our guide on the best bodyweight chest workout can help you leap closer to your ultimate physique goals.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *