If you’re under the impression that fancy gym weights are necessary for rock hard chest muscles, you’re wrong.
Through an impressive mix of at-home chest exercises, you can finally get the confident pectorals you have always wanted, without using a single weight.
What are the Chest Muscles?
Together, these two groups help to create movements of the scapula, shoulders, and arms and aid supplementarily in respiration. The pectoralis major is larger and in the front, creating the visual aesthetic that is a well-toned pectoral muscle.
The pectoral minor sits behind the pectoralis major but helps to support and keep it firmly attached.
Working out these chest muscle groups not only results in a strong core and powerful upper body movement but also boosts metabolism and uses a significant amount of energy, leading to increased weight loss and muscle tone.
Working out the chest is not only functional training, but it will surely give you a look you desire.
Best Chest Exercises to Do at Home
Below we have included some of the best individual chest exercises to do at home, and why they are each effective. But a word of caution. Like all new exercises, be sure to start slow, progress carefully, and never push yourself to the point of injury.
Building muscle is a process that, when given the proper time and patience, achieves fantastic (and safe) results.
To honor this safety guideline, we will start with the more straightforward exercises and end with some more advanced moves.
Let’s start easy for those who may be struggling to do even a standard pushup at the beginning. Sometimes it takes a few weeks to build your foundational strength. Starting with incline push-ups is a great way to do this.
For incline pushups, instead of having your body parallel with the floor to begin the exercise, find an object such as a table or a sturdy chair and place your hands on the flat surface. Lower yourself down onto the object, and press back up.
Start with a higher table, and if it’s easy, continue to decrease the angle of your body to the ground by using gradually lower objects. Before you know it, you’ll be in a parallel push-up position.
Once we have the strength built to be parallel to the ground, it’s time to start our perfect form push-ups. With a straight back, place the palms of your hand firmly on the ground right under your shoulders and slowly lower your body down to the ground.
Keep your back straight, the head relaxed, and your eyes looking softly at the ground. Flex your core, and touch your chest gently to the ground before propelling yourself back up.
Proper technique is king, so aim for lower reps with perfect form over high reps and bad form. Practicing bad technique is an easy way to injure yourself.
Now that we are comfortable doing strong and efficient push-ups, we can go the opposite way to how we started and begin to find objects to place our feet on to elevate the lower half of our body.
By doing this decline pushup technique, we increase the angle of the body to create more resistance, and more challenge.
Start by placing your feet on a sturdy chair or a couch, and find a strong position keeping your hands under your shoulders. Slowly bring your chest to the ground, keeping the core engaged and the shoulders level to the ground.
Find an angle where you can do 6-10 strong pushups before increasing the resistance.
Starting in a normal push-up stance, bring your hands together in front of you, creating a diamond space between your index fingers and thumbs.
When you bring your chest down to the ground, it should gently tap this diamond before you propel yourself back up to flat back.
These feel awkward at first, but they are a great way to track your progress. When you start, you may only be able to do a couple of them, but after a bit of practice, you might find them more comfortable than regular push-ups.
Opposite to the diamond push-ups above, the wide stance push-ups focus on bringing your hands out from underneath your shoulders and allowing your chest to fall further down to the ground with each rep.
These push-ups are hard, so be sure to start slow and progress gradually.
The best thing about these push-ups is that they work your pec muscles in new and creative ways while engaging the core and testing the shoulders. Alternating the angles of stress on the chest muscles will ensure functional strength.
Divebomb or Hindu Push-up
The Hindu push-up as a chest exercise is a bit more complicated but is incredibly useful and well worth the learning curve. Instead of starting in the traditional plank push-up pose, instead start in a downward dog-like position, with your hips high in the air.
Drop your shoulders to the ground, rotate and drop your hips to the ground, and bring the chest and head up perpendicular to the ground. Finally, pike your hips back to the air, and repeat.
A Divebomb pushup is very similar to a Hindu pushup. The difference is only the ending position. A Divebomber has the athlete do a Hindu in reverse, returning to the same starting position by bending the elbows a second time and bringing the body back through the lower area.
One Arm Push-up
Finally, we have our one-armed push-up, the true testament to chest strength. Don’t expect this one to come right away- the one-armed push-up takes practice and patience, and a strong foundational knowledge of the rest of the list above.
Use it as a means to track your progress or a goal to achieve.
Like it sounds, a one-armed push-up has one arm rooted on the ground and the other folded behind the back. It takes proper balance and a strong core and is a true full upper body workout.
There you have it, some of the best at home chest exercises that don’t require any equipment.
If you’re just starting, build up your strength by beginning with inclines and working your way up. Don’t overdo it- it’s good to be sore, but don’t push through to pain.
Practice good form and technique, slow movements, and you’ll have those rock hard pectorals in no time.