The chest is one of the most popular muscles to train, with compound movements such as the bench press being a staple in all of our workouts.
However, many people that workout at home don’t have access to such facilities. This article will provide you with a complete chest workout that can be performed from the comfort of your win home with little-to-no equipment.
Bodyweight Chest Exercises
This routine is for those who have no equipment what so ever and just want to perform exercises which use their bodyweight to train their chest.
Most people will think of standard push ups when it comes to bodyweight chest exercises, but as good as the exercise is, there are ways you can modify it to really blitz your chest.
Clapping Push Ups
Lower yourself into a usual press up starting position, with your arms shoulder width apart and your back straight. Lower yourself to the floor performing the first part of a push up movement. When you push back up, do so explosively, raising your arms and upper body off the ground and performing a clap as you do so. As you lower back to the ground, go straight back into another clapping push up, using the momentum to help complete the repetitions.
Incline Push Ups
Using an elevated platform of your choice (around 1 foot off the floor, but it’s up to you), get into a regular push up position with your arms elevated and your feet on the floor. Ensure that your arms are shoulder width apart. Perform the repetitions as you would with a normal push up, contracting your chest as you do the movement. If you do not have a suitable platform, this can be performed using stairs to elevate your arms
Decline Push Ups
Using an elevated platform of your choice, as with the prior exercise, get into a regular push up position only with your feet elevated this time. Perform a regular push up in a controlled motion contracting your chest. If you don’t have a suitable platform, you could use stairs, a chair or your couch.
Single Leg Push Up
Get into a regular push up position with your arms shoulder width apart and back straight. Raise one leg off the ground and perform one repetition. Lower the leg, raise the other one and repeat. This counts as one repetition. Try to keep your core tight throughout so your leg isn’t flailing around.
This bodyweight workout is designed to target your entire chest, but utilising decline and incline movements to simulate the movements that would be performed on an incline or decline bench press. There are also functional athletic movements to build up power and agility.
>> SETS AND REPS
You should perform each exercise for 10-15 repetitions, starting at the lower end if you are a beginner and working your way up. Try and perform each one with minimal rest, working your way towards having no rest. Once you have performed all 4, take a short 30 second break (again, over time try to reduce this) and then repeat the circuit. You should perform this circuit 3-4 times.
Don’t worry if you struggle at first, lower the reps, increase the rest times and keep at it.
Many of us have a pair of dumbbells lying around the house somewhere, unused and untouched. Go and pick them off, dust them off and prepare for the ultimate home dumbbell chest workout!
You will need to use some sort of bench for these exercises. You can experiment with other pieces of equipment but anything that you can lie on which is narrow enough that you can move your arms either side will suffice.
Dumbbell Bench Press
A standard exercise which most of us include in our chest workouts. With a pair of dumbbells and a bench, lie flat and raise your arms with the dumbbells above your torso. Lower the dumbbells down towards your chest with a pronated grip. Press them back up and repeat, ensuring you don’t totally lock out your elbows.
Get into the same starting position as with the dumbbell bench press, however this time you want to hold them dumbbells with a neutral grip so that your palms are facing each other. With a slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights towards the ground slowly stretching out your chest, then bring them back up to the starting position ensuring you don’t bang them together. Don’t lower them too far at first to prevent injury.
This time you want to lie across the bench, with your upper back resting on it and feet firmly planted on the floor. Keep your neck off the bench to prevent injury. Pick up one dumbbell raising it above your head with a slight bend in your elbows and lower the weight behind your head. Hold the stretch for a second and then press it back up to the starting position and repeat.
>> SETS AND REPS
You should perform 8-12 reps for each of these exercises in a circuit with minimal rest. Repeat the circuit 3-4 times.
Take Home Message
Whether you usually work out at home or just can’t make it to the gym one day, try one of these workouts out on your next chest day. They will help you to develop that full chest which you have always desired.
For more exercises and routines, check out some of the other articles here on The Zone.