Bodyweight chest exercises can be performed in the gym or in the privacy of your own home to condition your chest without the need for weights or added resistance. These exercises will only need the use of your own body weight to perform a wide variety of challenging chest exercises that will tone, condition, and increase muscle size in your upper body.
The great thing about most of the bodyweight chest exercises outlines here is that they are ideal for both men and women. Men can use these bodyweight exercises to bulk up and increase the size of their pecs. Women can use the same exercises to tone their chest and balance the proportions of their upper and lower body.
Push-ups are beginner bodyweight chest exercises that can be done anytime, anywhere and by anyone to strengthen your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
How to perform push-ups:
- Lie on the floor face down with your hands underneath your shoulders and your feet behind you. For women this exercise can be performed with your knees on the ground.
- Push yourself up with your arms extended.
- Lower your body until your chest is several inches above the floor.
- Press your upper body back to starting position to perform one rep.
Wide push-ups are an intermediate variation of basic push-ups that will condition not only the chest but also the shoulders and triceps. You can perform a wide push-up the same way that you would a traditional push-up simply with a much wider grip.
This wide grip will place even more resistance on your chest during the exercise for advanced strengthening and toning.
Close push-ups are another one of the intermediate bodyweight chest exercises that tone the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Close push-ups are a variation of the traditional push-up with a close grip to place much more emphasis on the triceps during the exercise.
When performing close push-ups, make sure to keep your elbows tucked into your sides at all times to effectively condition your chest and triceps without the risk of strain or injury.
Explosive push-ups are an advanced variation of the regular bodyweight exercise for the chest…the push-up. This exercise will target your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
How to perform explosive push-ups:
- Begin the exercise in the regular push-up position.
- Lower your chest toward the ground.
- Push yourself up off the ground into the air.
- As you return to the ground try to land softly and return to the starting position.
This explosive motion is an isometric variation of the traditional pushup exercise to make the push-up even more physically challenging.
Inclined push-ups are an advanced variation of a traditional push-up to work your upper chest. An inclined push-up is performed with your hands on a chair or exercise bench in front of you as you complete one repetition.
This will help to build upper chest muscle strength by increasing resistance due to performing the exercise on a higher surface.
Declined push-ups are an advanced push-up exercise performed with your feet elevated on a workout bench or chair behind you. This bodyweight chest exercise works the lower chest and is very difficult because it places even more weight and resistance on your lower chest as you perform a regular push-up motion.
One Arm Push-Ups
Just like they sound, one arm push-ups are advanced push-up exercises that only use one arm. Once you have maxed out your bodyweight resistance with traditional push-ups and all of the above variations, you can use one arm push-ups to powerfully tone and condition your triceps and chest at the same time.
Depth Drop Push-ups
A depth drop push-up is an intermediate plyometrics exercise that will condition the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
How to perform depth drops:
- Start the exercise in a standing position or elevated pushup position.
- Drop onto a cushion or foam pad on the floor into a push-up.
- Since you will be dropping into a push-up, your arms will have to absorb the resistance and support your upper body, making the exercise even more difficult.
- Return to a standing position or elevated pushup position.
A dive bomber is a push-up performed with your glutes straight up in the air to form an inverted V. A dive bomber is an intermediate push-up exercise that will condition your chest, shoulders, and biceps.
Perform the exercise like a traditional push-up in the inverted V position to place even more resistance on your chest and upper body.
Chest dips are intermediate bodyweight chest exercises that tone the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps.
How to perform chest dips:
- Perform the exercise by supporting your upper body with both hands gripping parallel bars or dip station.
- Lean forward slightly and dip down using the bars for support.
- Contract your chest and return to starting position to perform one rep.
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