For many, the most comfortable place for them to workout is within their home. However, homes are not always ideal when it comes to moving gym equipment in for chest exercises. What are some bodyweight chest exercises that are effective from home?
A few bodyweight chest exercises that are great for those who want a workout from home include a classic push-up, slow-motion push-up, wide push-up, diamond push-up, atlas push-up, incline push-up, decline push-up, jumping push-up, archer push-up, burpee, and pull-ups.
Being able to work out from home is convenient, it is financially savvy due to no expenses paid out for a gym membership, and it is time-saving as you don’t have to worry about the commute to and from the gym. However, it can be intimidating to complete chest exercises from home, especially when you do not have any equipment and are relying on body weight. Continue reading to discover the multitude of bodyweight chest exercises.
What are the Benefits of Bodyweight Exercises?
Bodyweight exercises have become very popular in the last several decades as people have realized that their bodies can afford them the same muscle-building, endurance training, and flexibility that gyms are able to provide through the implementation of various workouts that hinge on the practice of repetition. This may seem like a new practice to some, so let's take a quick look at the benefits that are provided by bodyweight exercises.
Strength Building is Possible
It may seem that using your own body weight would not be a way to promote overall strength and muscle building, however, one of the biggest advantages of bodyweight exercises is that your strength can increase through the variation and progression of different bodyweight exercises. Consider a basic push-up - once this becomes easy for you, you can add in variations that make it much more difficult like decline push-ups and archer push-ups.
Endurance is Built
One of the key factors to any workout is increasing your heart rate so that endurance can be built. One of the biggest components of bodyweight training is the repetition of different workouts. Repetition is necessary in order to achieve the same types of muscle building and endurance training that weight training provides. You are able to work from being able to do 10 jump squats to being able to do 50.
Bodyweight Training Offers Flexibility
Bodyweight training offers flexibility in a few different ways: first, through the use of your own body, you are able to use your body in a way that promotes overall flexibility through the different workouts you have to participate in order to target either specific body part or achieve overall fitness. Second, it also offers you the flexibility to work out when you want, how you want, and where you want. So what are the best exercises for your chest?
Bodyweight Chest Exercises You Can Do at Home
There are a slew of different bodyweight chest exercises you can do at home that will fit the needs of any level of fitness of just about anyone out there. The important thing to remember is to start at a level that is going to afford you the most success. If you are new to bodyweight workouts, take your time and get familiar with the pace rather than jumping into a workout that is too high-level or too high-intensity for you. Proper pace is essential to success.
The Classic push-up
There are few things as familiar, but also as beneficial to the chest, as the classic push-up. This age-old exercise is tried and true and aids those everywhere in their workout journeys in the gym and at home. To complete a push-up, start in a plank position on the ground with your arms placed at your shoulder’s width. You will then push off from the ground and extend your arms to a straight position, maintain a level core, then slowly lower yourself back down.
Contrary to popular belief, faster does not always mean better when it comes to improved physical fitness. Really, the slower you are able to go with the most resistance, the better your results will be. Therefore, the slow-motion push-up is highly effective. Simply get into a push-up position and when you are pressing up and lowering down, take your time with the process. This will help to target your chest muscles in a more intense way.
The Wide Push-Up
If you want something that is going to mix-up the classic push-up in a way that will challenge you a bit more while also really targeting your chest, the wide push-up is for you. To complete a wide push-up, you will again start in a plank position on the ground but you will place your hands wider than shoulder’s. Lower your body down to the floor once you have extended them completely and then repeat.
The diamond push-up is another alternative to the classic push-up that directly targets your chest muscles. This is a push-up that takes time to master, so give yourself and your strength a little grace. To implement a diamond push-up, start in a plank position and place your hands under your chest so that your pointer fingers and thumbs create the shape of a diamond. Bend elbows inward and lower your body close to the ground and back up.
An atlas push-up is an incline push-up (read below), but with a bit of variation. You will need two elevated surfaces to support both hands which can be either weight plates, bars, or boxes. Place them shoulder-width apart. Then, simply get into the stance of a regular push-up and lower yourself between the two surfaces. This will help to create more resistance and will target your chest muscles in a more specific way.
The incline push-up is a push-up rendition that adds elevation into the workout to help create resistance, build muscle, and build stamina. This is usually done on a bench, but it can be done on any surface that is available and at the right height in your home. Find a piece that is about 1.5 feet off of the ground and lower yourself down onto the piece with your hand’s shoulder-width apart. Then push back up and repeat.
Reverse of an incline push-up, there is a decline push-up. This exercise is for those who are a bit more adventurous when it comes to their chest exercises, but it is extremely effective. Find any surface that will allow your feet to rest on them and start out with your hands shoulder-width apart. Then put your feed on the surface and perform the same action that you would with a classic push-up.
If you want to push the boundaries even more with your push-up, try to complete a jumping push-up. This is typically done once you have really mastered other forms of push-ups and have a solid upper body strength. A jumping push-up is simply a regular push-up, but when you go to push yourself up, accelerate your speed and spring your upper body and hands off the floor to complete a clap with your hands.
The archer push-up is a fantastic way to target each individual side of your chest. For this exercise, you get into a planking position and place your arms in an outreached position on either side. Lift your body up and keep one arm extended while leaning into the other arm so that it bends as it would in a regular push-up. Then, go back to the middle and put your weight on the opposite arm to create the same motion and repeat.
Beyond push-ups that keep you on the ground, there is a rendition of a push-up that incorporates a jump and squat as well - the burpee. This is a full-body exercise that will get your chest worked out well, but will target other muscle groups. Simply begin in a standing position, squat down, place your hands on the floor and jump back into a push-up position. Lower yourself to the ground and then bring feet back to your chest and jump up.
Push-ups are great and are highly effective when it comes to home exercises for your chest, however, there are a few other options out there that are just as effective but can also break out the monotony. For a pull-up, you will need a pull-up bar installed in your home, but these are easy installations. Simply place your hands on the bar shoulder-width apart, pull your body up and place your chin above the bar, then lower back down and repeat.