When you want to pump up your chest and you don’t want to spend some money to enroll in a fitness gym, it’s perfectly fine. You can work out your chest at home even if you don’t have any equipment available. There are different variety of push-ups you can perform and you can still get the result that you want.
Stop thinking that push-ups are not as great as the bench press or dumbbell fly. You need to recognize push-ups as a top-tier workout to pump up your chest. You don’t need to be benching at the gym for hours. You can build a strong and massive chest even when you’re at home.
I’m going to share and teach you the 9 chest workouts you can perform without a piece of equipment. Your body weight is only the equipment that you need. Let’s get started!
1. The Traditional Push-Ups
The traditional push-up is old, but gold. It’s the most basic and amazing chest workout you can perform anywhere and anytime. You only need a flat surface and your body weight to perform this exercise. Push-ups target your chest muscles, shoulders, and triceps. It is also beneficial to improve your upper body strength.
A lot of people who regularly perform the traditional push-ups saw some improvement in their upper body strength. You would also notice some gains if you are consistent in doing push-ups. Correct form is also a must when doing push-ups to avoid injury.
I would recommend doing the traditional push-ups for beginners. This is the most basic chest workout they can perform without having any equipment. Master the traditional push-up first before trying other variations.
How To Do:
1. Look for a flat surface and put your hands on the floor. Straighten your shoulders, back, and feet. Your body should be like a straight line.
2. Inhale as you lower your body. When bending your arms it should be at a 90-degree angle.
3. Exhale as you rise going back to the starting position.
4. For beginners, you can start with 10 reps and take a 30-second break. You can increase the number of each set once you have mastered the basic push-up.
2. Incline Push-Ups
This is almost the same with traditional push-ups, but your body must be elevated by a piece of object. It can be your bench, box, or chair where you will place your hands. The incline push-ups help improve your lower chest. It will also activate your shoulders and arms.
Compared to the traditional push-ups, you will feel less stress with this chest workout. This type of push-up reduces the stress on your wrist, arms, and shoulders. I also find it easier to perform the incline push-up compared to the traditional.
Even though it’s the easiest push-up to perform, it is still effective to develop your upper body strength and improve your chest size.
How To Do:
1. Look for a flat bench or box that you can use. Place your hands on it shoulder-width apart. Keep your back and legs straight.
2. Inhale as you lower your body. Your chest must be a few inches from the bench.
3. Exhale as you lift your body. Make sure to straighten your arms.
4. When you are in the starting position, repeat.
3. Wide Push-Ups
When done correctly, the wide push-up is a great exercise that would strengthen and develop your chest muscles. You need to perform this exercise in proper form. Some people would not recommend this exercise because they experience shoulder pain and they’re afraid of possible injury.
The truth is, wide push-ups are not bad for you. It doesn’t mean that this workout is unsafe because you felt discomfort on your shoulders. This can be beneficial for your chest when proper form is applied. Often, the people who are performing this exercise don’t have any idea how to perform it correctly.
The wider your position your hands when performing push-ups, the greater challenge you will experience on your chest. Based on my experience, there’s a lot of pressure when I do this exercise.
How To Do:
1. Look or a flat surface. Position yourself by straightening your shoulder, back, and hips.
2. Position your hands wider than your shoulders. Allow your scapular to be in the upward rotation.
3. Slowly control your body as you lower yourself to the floor and bend your elbows.
4. Stop when your chest is already lower than your elbows.
5. Lift your body to the starting position.
4. Diamond Push-Ups
Another variation of push-up that I love to perform. This is quite challenging because you are going to position your hands close together forming a diamond shape. Your inner chest and triceps will be the target for this exercise.
I consider diamond push-up is a fantastic exercise because it helps build the overall strength of your chest and triceps. Compared to the traditional push-up, this is more advanced. I would recommend this for people who already mastered the basic push-up.
How To Do:
1. Perform this exercise on a flat surface. Your body must be in contact with the floor. Connect your index and thumb fingers forming a diamond shape.
2. Before lowering your body, straighten your body and engage your core. As you lower your body to the ground, shoulder blades should be retracted.
3. Inhale as you lower your body and try to pause for a moment.
4. Exhale as you lift your body. Your shoulder blades should protract to easily push your body to the top.
5. Don’t forget to squeeze your chest and triceps.
5. Decline Push-Ups
Compared to the traditional and incline push-ups, this version is quite difficult. This is a little bit difficult because you need to place your feet on a higher level than your hands. You are going to place your feet on a raised surface. It can be a bench, chair, or box. Your body is at a downward angle.
The higher the surface is, the more intense and difficult this exercise is to perform. This is the opposite of the incline push-ups. To build upper strong chest muscles, decline push-ups is the key. This exercise would also target your shoulders.
Proper body position is very important when doing this exercise. Avoid locking your elbows and keep a strong core to avoid sagging in the middle. Avoid going down partially to get the full benefit of this exercise.
How To Do:
1. Look for a raised surface like a bench or box. Make sure it’s strong enough to be able to hold your weight. You can also place that bench against the wall so that it won’t move
2. Place your feet on the bench and position yourself like in a basic push-up. Your body must be at a downward angle. Position your hands not too far away.
3. Control your body as you bend your elbows and lower your chest. Heads up to avoid touching your nose or forehead on the floor.
4. Push your body up until your elbows will be straight, avoid locking your elbows.
5. Finish the recommended set and reps.
6. Regular Push-Ups with Time Under Tension
Time under tension (TUT) means your muscle is held under tension for a certain amount of time. In short, you are making your sets longer. When you are slowing down your push-up, it will give you greater results because you are causing an extensive muscle breakdown to your chest muscles.
You need to master the regular push-ups before doing this exercise, this is for advanced people. When you are doing this kind of push-up, you are forcing your muscles to work harder. If you haven’t mastered the traditional push-up, it will be difficult for you to do this with proper form and maintain a steady tempo.
How To Do:
1. Look for a flat surface. Position yourself just the same with the traditional push-up.
2. Inhale as you slowly lower yourself. Make sure to lower yourself very slowly.
3. Push back yourself very slowly again. Exhale as your return to the starting position.
4. Finish the recommended sets and reps.
7. Close Grip Push-Ups
If there’s a wide grip push-up, there’s also a close grip push-up. Close-grip push-ups will help you strengthen your chest and triceps. To perform this exercise, you need to place your hands narrower than shoulder-width apart.
This kind of push-up is also known to people who usually perform calisthenics. This push-up is also a valuable addition to my chest workout program at home. When doing this exercise, you should settle for anything other than the correct form.
Every time I do this exercise, it’s a killer exercise for me because I can feel the pump on my chest and triceps. Compared to the traditional, the only difference that I noticed when I perform this push-up is how you place your elbows. I try to stick my elbows to my torso.
How To Do:
1. Look for a flat surface and position yourself the same as the traditional push-up.
2. Place your hands underneath your shoulders. Play with your hands and find what’s best for you.
3. Maintain the rigidity of your body. Make sure to rotate your shoulders and straighten your legs.
4. Inhale as you lower yourself to the floor.
5. Exhale then push back up to return to the starting position.
8. Plyometric Push-Ups
If you are ready to explode into action, the plyometric push-up is a great chest workout without having a piece of equipment. When you perform this chest workout, it can be fun and fantastical for you. Though this is an advanced workout that targets your chest, triceps, and shoulders.
This is so unique for me because there is a “jumping” element that is added to the exercise. With that, it becomes challenging and explosive. It took me a long time before I discovered this type of push-up. When I learned about this, I added this to my program.
I don’t recommend this for beginners who are just starting with their fitness journey. A lot of athletes perform plyometric push-ups because they can build strength, speed, and endurance.
How To Do:
1. On a flat surface, position yourself like the basic push-up. Your body must be in a straight position.
2. Lower your body until your chest will almost touch the floor.
3. As you push up, explode as high as you can. Force your hands to lift your body and leave the ground. Some people will clap their hands, but that is optional.
4. Land softly on the ground then control your body so you can proceed into your next rep.
5. If you’re new to this. You can start with fewer reps.
9. Spider-Man Push-Ups
Doing a variety of push-ups is the key to spicing up your chest workout. It’s also a great way to make your chest workout more fun and amazing. This type of push-up has an amazing name because they added a famous superhero.
Besides its amazing name, it has the benefits of increasing your upper body strength and giving you a killer core workout. This kind of push-up is great for beginners and advanced. You can easily modify it if you want to.
This exercise might not turn you into a real superhero, but if you perform it correctly, it can help you develop a superhero body. I easily pick up the spider-man push-up because I’ve already mastered the traditional push-up. When I performed this push-up, I was like spiderman trying to crawl up a high building.
How To Do:
1. Position yourself into a traditional push-up
2. When you lower yourself to the ground, bring your right knee to your right elbow. Just continue keeping it off to the ground.
3. As you lift yourself, also straighten your right leg to return to the starting position.
4. Repeat the push-up with the alternate leg, this time bring your left knee towards your left elbow.
5. Aim for at least 3 sets with 10 to 12 reps, alternating sides.