The Importance of Chest Muscles
Your chest is composed of 2 primary muscles. The pectoralis major is the larger muscle that attaches to the shoulders and breastbone. The pectoralis minor is the smaller muscle located just below the major muscle.
The type of home chest workout routine you choose will affect the increase and widening of your chest muscles.
Top 11 Chest Workouts
1. Regular Push-Ups
This is probably the most basic chest workout. It is a great home chest workout for beginners. Though it is simple, the execution takes time before it becomes perfect.
- Situate yourself in a planking position. Make sure of the following:
- facing flat on the ground
- palms positioned at the side of the chest areas
- elbows tucked, shoulders sturdy
- legs together
- toes in contact with the surface
- core tight
- spine straight
- Perform a pushing position as you exhale until your elbows are straightened from being bent. After reaching the peak of straightening, lower your body by bending the elbow in the same but opposite manner. Inhale on the way down.
- Do as many reps as possible to ensure to are doing the exercise to build chest muscles.
2. Incline Push-Ups
If a regular push-up is challenging, you can start with this simplified variant. It is an easier variation, making it the best home chest workout for beginners.
- Position yourself in the same initial position as regular push-up but start in an elevated position. Your feet should stay on the ground while your palms are placed on a higher plane like on a chair, table, or workout bench.
- Perform a push-up in the same manner as the regular one and take note of your breathing. Once you get a comfortable rhythm, you can easily transition to regular push-ups.
3. Decline Push-Ups
As the name indicates, it is the opposite of incline push-up. In this chest workout, the palms should be on the ground and the feet on an elevated plane.
However, this type of push-up is a bit more difficult at-home chest workout than a regular push-up. Hence, you should only use this drill on special occasions.
- Position yourself in the same initial position as regular push-up but begin in an elevated position. Your palms should stay on the ground while your feet are situated on a higher plane like on a chair, table, or workout bench.
- Perform the push-up in the same manner as the regular one. However, do not decline beyond your capability and ensure that your abdomen does not sag.
4. Plyometric Push-Ups
If you want a more explosive exercise to build chest muscles, then plyometric push-ups are for you. This is a more insane variation of the regular push-up and must be performed only when you have mastered the regular push-up mechanics.
- Start in the initial position of a regular push-up and perform a single rep.
- On the second rep, transition in pushing up and burst your body upwards as if you are leaping. On your way up, you can spread your arms or perform a clapping motion swiftly.
- Your feet should stay firm on the ground and posture remain intact.
- On the way down, return to the initial position for executing the next rep without compromising the distance and position of your hands. As much as possible, exhale upon exploding and inhale possible upon returning to the initial position.
5. Regular Chest Press
The chest press is another exercise to build chest muscles. This exercise relies on weights like dumbbells and barbells to substitute body weight.
- Lie flat on a workout bench with feet at 90 degrees bent and dumbbells on each side of the hand. Your chest should be out and your stomach in.
- Place the dumbbells at chest level so that they can be pushed upward easily. Maintain a strong grip, with the weight of the dumbbell situated on the lower palm.
- Push the dumbbells upward, in a similar fashion with a regular push-up.
- Return to the initial state.
- Perform the exercise in a set of 10 to 15 reps and then take a short break. Start around 3 to 5 sets. As you get comfortable, gradually increase the dumbbell weight.
6. Incline Chest Press
Like the regular push-up, the chest press has an incline variation. The incline chest press targets a strong yet slimmer chest.
- Adjust your workout bench wherein the upper body area can be in an elevated position.
- The optimum position is a 45-degree increase from the regular position. Make sure the elevated position is secured and comfortable.
- Perform the same mechanics as the regular chest press. You can have someone assist your lifting (aka spotting).
7. Decline Chest Press
If there is an incline variation, there is a decline variation as well. This home chest workout focuses more on the lower pectorals, which will result in a buffer chest. This chest press also enables you to lift a bit more weight with the same amount of effort in a movement.
- Position yourself on the decline bench. Make sure your legs are wrapped securely to the leg rests. Protrude your chest more while keeping the stomach engaged and exhale as your lift and inhale as put down the weights.
- Perform the same mechanics as the regular chest press.
8. Chest Fly
The Chest fly is another type of exercise to build chest muscles. The best thing about this workout is some variations can be done, either lying on the workout bench or standing up. For simplicity, we will focus on the lying position.
- Lie flat on a workout bench similar to the regular chest press position. Have your hands with the dumbbells in level to your chest area.
- Raise the dumbbells upward, perpendicular to your chest. The weight of the dumbbell should be at your lower palm area.
- Slowly lower the extended arms until they are spread widely.
- Keep your elbows slightly bent at all times.
- Bring the dumbbells upward for the next rep.
- Repeat 10 to 15 times and perform the exercise around 3 sets.
9. Incline Chest Fly
The position for an incline chest fly is similar to the incline chest press. The purpose of this home chest workout is the same – to target the upper chest muscles. However, in this drill, the triceps and shoulders are involved in a significant amount.
- Position yourself in the same manner as that of incline chest press.
- Perform your chest fly routine. Increase the weight of the dumbbell gradually after being comfortable for some time.
- For another variation, you can try the chest workout on a large medicine ball rather than on a workout bench.
10. Decline Chest Fly
This is the decline variation of the chest fly workout. Similar to the incline chest fly, this variation has the same purpose as the decline chest press but involving more of the triceps and shoulders. However, do not perform this home chest workout during the same period with the other chest flies and chest presses.
- Position yourself in the same manner as that of the decline chest press.
- Perform your chest fly routine and incorporate larger breaths as you inhale.
- In a single session, if you start performing the decline variations, then do the rest of your workouts at decline variations.
11. Chest Dips
Chest dip is an exercise to build chest and tricep muscles. One of the crucial elements here is the alignment wherein a small misalignment can lead to sores or injuries. Another factor is the pace, where the amount of effort exerted in a single rep is more important than the number of reps.
You can do this chest workout at home without weights. However, you need a set of parallel bars to keep your upper body above the ground.
- Grab the bar on each hand.
- Lift your body upward while keeping your elbows straight and the posture upright.
- Slowly bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle to lower your body while having your chest area leaning a bit forward. Make sure to fully commit to bending to complete one full rep and look forward at all times.
- After stabilizing the position, lift your body again towards the initial position.
- Perform 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps and keep the pace slow and engaging.
How Can You Use Your Home Equipment?
You may not go to the gym to perform an exercise to build chest muscles. You can invest in home workout equipment like weighted dumbbells, a simple workout bench suitable for incline or decline variations, and a set of parallel bars for chest dips.
- Dumbbell – A dumbbell is a great piece of equipment for a home chest workout. There are various variations of chest exercises that you can use with this equipment, whether you are a novice or experienced athlete. Besides, dumbbells come in various weights and you can increase the weights as you advance.
- Resistant Band – This equipment comprises an elastic band that provided resistance during workouts. When doing a home chest workout, you can simply hold it with your arms and spread as much as possible while ensuring that you don’t pull your back.
- Imprint Support – These are pushup supports that will ensure the effectiveness of your exercise to build chest muscles. This equipment is very versatile because it can also be used to perform dip exercises.
With these tools alone, you can perform all 11 of the aforementioned exercises however or whenever you want. If you are performing weighted exercises, make sure that you have someone to assist. You can also invest in vanity mirrors for easy correction of the posture during your home chest workout.
The aforementioned home chest workout routines will help you build your chest in no time. These are great exercises you can do in the comfort of your home.
Each of the workout drills is an ideal option if you want to do a chest workout at home without weights. The key to doing a chest workout is posture. If something hurts, then you may be engaging the wrong muscle groups as you perform a move.
Observe the changes in your chest. If you are doing more of the incline variations, you may be having a wider chest. If you settle much on the decline variations, you will develop a buffed chest. However, if you want things to be balanced or prioritize aesthetics, then do more of the regular variations.