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The Ultimate Chest Workout You Can Do At Home

Building a big chest is the (secret) goal of almost every man who steps into a gym. Thanks to the work of many female fitness advocates, many women are also beginning to pay attention to this muscle group. But with gyms unlikely to be open for a while, it is time to start looking at building a stronger chest from the comfort of your own home. 

In this article, we will talk about how best to train the chest through bodyweight movements, and what equipment you may want to buy to create a chest-friendly home gym. 

Benefits of Building a Better Chest

The biggest benefit of working on your chest is a stronger and better looking chest, that’s why Monday has been called “International Chest Day” by gym bros for at least 20 years. A bigger chest means that you can lift more during the bench press, a hallmark of strength. 

A stronger chest means better posture, and it can also help to support and lift the breasts, putting the myth that training the chest will shrink women’s’ breast size to bed. 

This means that there are aesthetic benefits for both men and women, as well as performance and posture related benefits. If you are looking to improve your body through exercise, then spend at least some of that time focused on the chest. 

Chest Workouts at Home

Sadly, the number of bodyweight exercises that focus on the chest is quite low. Other than push ups, you’ve only got dips and some chest stretches. On a positive note, there are so many push up variations, that your workouts will never be dull. 

Investing in a set of dumbbells and an exercise bench could help to massively increase the number of chest exercises you can perform. With bench presses, incline bench presses, and chest flyes available to you. 

Another option would be to invest in some resistance bands, which are often significantly cheaper and allow you to perform a variety of push up and chest press variations. 

What Bodyweight Exercises Target the Chest?

  • Push Ups (Beginner) – The push up is a superb chest exercise, but many people struggle to perform it properly at first. That’s where the beginner push up comes in. To perform it, get into a traditional push up position but then drop your knees to the ground and raise your feet off the ground.
  • This takes away half of your body weight, making the push up a lot easier. You can use this variation to build up your strength and eventually progress to full push ups. 
  • Full Push Ups – This is the regular push up. Place your hands flat on the floor shoulder width apart. Your toes should also be touching the floor, raise your hips up so that there is a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. This is the starting position. Lower your chest down until it is almost touching the ground, pause, and then push up until you reach the starting position. 
  • Push Up Eccentrics – This is a great way to build up to full push ups. Start off in the full push up position outlined above. You then lower your chest down to the floor as slowly as possible. Once your chest touches the floor the exercise finishes. You are just performing the lowering (eccentric) part of the push up. 
  • Close Grip Push Ups – This is a regular push up but with your hands closer together and instead of having your elbows flared out at a 45 degree angle, your have your elbows tucked in by your side. This places much more emphasis on your triceps. 
  • Wide Grip Push Ups – Just like a regular push up but with hands wider than usual, placing more emphasis on your chest. 
  • Plyometrics Push Ups – Perform a regular push up, lower your chest all the way down towards the ground then instead of just pushing up you are going to explosively push up so that your hands actually leave the ground. This requires more power to be generated and is much harder than a regular push up. 
  • Clapping Push Ups – Just like a plyometric push up but you push yourself even further up in the air which gives you more air-time in which to clap your hands together, just ensure that your hands return to normal in time so that you land safely back on them. 
  • Tricep Dips – Set up a chair and sit on it with both hands gripping the seat. Shuffle off the seat but keep your hands in place. Bring your feet out and straighten them. Only your heels should be touching the floor while your hands remain on the chair. Slowly lower your glutes towards the floor, then use your arms to push yourself back up again. 

Home Workout for the Chest

This is a simple workout that you can follow each week to build a stronger chest. It’s a full-body workout that places more emphasis on the chest. It’s aimed at intermediate or advanced exercisers. If you can’t do a push up yet, then replace all push up variations with either beginner push ups or eccentric ones. 

Monday

  • Push Ups 2 x 10 reps
  • Clapping Push Ups 1 x 5 reps
  • Prisoner Squats (regular squats with hands behind head for chest stretch) 3 x 10 reps
  • Split Squats 2 x 10 reps (each leg)
  • Burpees 2 x 15 reps
  • Mountain Climbers 2 x 30 seconds 
  • Push Up Plank x 30 seconds

Tuesday

  • Rest

Wednesday

  • Wide Grip Push Ups 2 x 10 reps
  • Close Grip Push Ups 2 x 10 reps
  • Eccentric Push Ups 1 x 10 reps (slowly as possible)
  • Prisoner Squats (regular squats with hands behind head for chest stretch) 3 x 10 reps
  • Body Get Ups 2 x 15 reps
  • Mountain Climbers 2 x 30 seconds
  • Push Up Plank x 30 seconds

Thursday

  • Rest

Friday

  • Push Ups 2 x 10 reps
  • Plyometric Push Ups 1 x 10 reps (or as many as you can)
  • Tricep Dips 3 x 10 reps
  • Sumo Squats 3 x 10 reps
  • Alternating Lunges 3 x 10 reps
  • Plank Get Ups 3 x 10 reps

Saturday

  • Rest

Sunday

  • Rest

Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets, and 90-120 seconds between different exercises. Focus on your technique, even if that means that you don’t perform as many reps as you should. 

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