chest exercises at home

The Best Chest Exercises At Home Workouts

Whether you are a man or a woman, having a strong and big chest is something to be proud of. There are quite a few different exercises that can be done at home or at the gym. So, of course, we are going to discuss both!

Chest Exercises At Home

Get the FREE Fat Loss Training Guide!

We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

This post may contain affiliate links, please read our disclosure for more info

I want to cover a few things first before we get to the exercises.

First, you want to figure out what your end goal is.

Are you trying to build lean muscle and size?

Is your main focus on developing strength only?

Or, are you just trying to lose weight and tone up?

These questions all come into play because they determine how much you eat, what kind of exercises you should be doing, and how often you should be doing these chest exercises at home (or the gym).

Let’s get to it!

Chest Exercises At Home Tip #1 – Figure Out Your Goal

If your goal is to put on some lean muscle tissue, then you are going to want to consume more calories than you are burning. I like to emphasize LEAN MUSCLE because it’s very easy to put on weight, especially the wrong kind. The key is to put on as much muscle as possible without adding any body fat into the equation.

Perhaps your goal is weight loss and toning up. Whichever path you choose to go down, you need to calculate how many calories you need each day. If you’re trying to build muscle, then you obviously want to consume more calories than you are burning. If your goal is weight loss, then you want to be in a calorie deficit (burn more calories than you consuming).

How do you do this?

With a TDEE and macro calculator!

TDEE stands for total daily energy expenditure, which basically means how many calories you burn throughout the day (not to be confused with BMR). Once you figure out how many calories you need to consume each day, now you want to punch that number into a macro calculator.

What are macros?

Macros, or macronutrients, are the essential elements your body needs to survive and function daily. These are your proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Once you determine both of these numbers, you are ready to get to your workouts.

Chest Exercises At Home Tip #2 – Determining What Type Of Workout You Should DoChest Exercises At Home

If you are trying to build lean muscle, you are going to want to do a mix of split routines and some HIIT. Split routines (focusing on only a few muscle groups per workout) should be incorporated 3 or more time per week (depending on your schedule), while HITT (High-Intensity Interval Training) should only be done 1-2 times per week.

Once you have a feel for your schedule, you want to focus on how you should be doing your workouts. Since your goal is building muscle, you want to aim for the 8-12 rep range.

If your goal is to tone up and lose weight, then you are going to want a higher rep range aiming closer to 12-15 reps, you may want to even go higher such as 15-20 reps if your goal is a mix of toning and endurance training. I would aim for 3-5 workouts a week, having at least 2 being HIIT workouts and the rest being a split routine.

For building strength, you would be looking to aim for the 1-6 rep range. Again, be careful with these type of weights as they can put a lot of unwanted stress on the joints. You are better off cycling through these types of workouts, which means for 1-2 weeks you should focus on strength workouts, and then move to muscle building workouts, and then cycle back etc. 

I would have most if not all of your workouts being split type routine workouts since your goal is gaining raw strength.

Chest Exercises At Home Tip #3 – How Much Rest In Between Sets?Chest Exercises At Home

Again, this all cycles back to what your goals are…

  1. If hypertrophy (building muscle) is the primary goal, you want to aim for 1-3 minutes of rest between sets. Typical bodybuilding/hypertrophy training using a combination of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) and glucose to replenish the muscles, which is why the 1-3-minute mark is more than sufficient.

 

  1. For building strength, you are going to need longer periods of rest, ranging anywhere from 3-5 minutes in between sets. This is because strength building (heavy weight training) draws its energy source directly from the ATP-PC system (Adenosine Triphosphate Phosphocreatine). Your body has very small phosphagen reserves, which burn up in about 15 seconds. It takes your body 3 minutes or more to fully replenish your phosphagen reserves.

 

What do all these crazy facts mean, it just simply means your muscles need 3 minutes or more before they will be fully energized enough for your next set.

 

  1. Of course, the last one, for toning/weight loss you only need 45 seconds to 2 minutes of rest in between sets. This will help you get toned and potentially build muscle, but will not do as much in regards to building up a lot of strength.

 This is because endurance type training draws most of its energy from aerobic metabolism vs   anaerobic. This simply means your body is using carbs and fat in the presence of oxygen and doesn’t   need to use phosphate or creatine as an energy source.

Alright, now that I just confused the living daylights out of you, let’s finally focus on your chest exercises at home workouts!

Let’s first focus on the chest workouts at home, then we’ll jump to the ones you can do at the gym!

Chest Exercises At Home Workouts #1 – Push-upChest Exercises At Home

This is probably the most well known chest exercise. It’s great because it can be done literally anywhere, and it’s EXTREMELY effective if done correctly. Notice how I said if done CORRECTLY…

Having proper form is important with any exercise, but it’s paramount if you want to actually see the benefits of beefing up your chest with this exercise. 

Let’s focus on what you shouldn’t do.

Tip #1: DO NOT let your elbows flare out at your sides. Make sure they are tucked at your sides at all times.

Tip#2: Make sure your hands are in the correct position. For a push-up, you want to make sure your hands are in line with the center of your chest. Too often I see people with their hands past their shoulders, which is great if you’re looking to stress out your deltoids (DON’T DO THIS). 

Tip #3: Keep your hand’s shoulder-width apart to evenly distribute the load between your chest and triceps. If you want to hit the chest more efficiently, then I would recommend going a little beyond shoulder width and widening them up a bit.

Alright, so to get started with the exercise, you want to keep your toes on the ground, your body straight, and both of your arms in the appropriate position with the arms extended and elbows locked. Lower your
torso until your chest is just a few inches off the floor.

Next, push yourself back up until your arms are
fully extended and elbows locked. Keep your elbows at your side (don’t let them move outward, away from your body) and do as many reps as you can.

Note: If you cannot do a full push-up, substitute with knee push-ups instead.

Chest Exercises At Home Workouts #2 – Decline Push-up

Chest Exercises At Home

Probably not the most popular exercise, but very effective. This exercise will help develop the lower portion of the pectoral muscle, so if your goal is to have a well-rounded chest, this is an important exercise to include.

Tip #1: Make sure your hands are shoulder width apart.

Tip#2: You want to align your hand positioning so that they are in-line with the lower portion of your chest. Whatever your positioning was for the standard push-up, try moving your hands a couple of inches lower than where they were previously.

Tip#3: Do not let your knees bend or let your torso cave in. It is important to maintain a straight and rigid form when performing this exercise (keep your body nice and straight).

This again is going to be EXTREMELY similar to the regular push-up. The only difference is your feet are going to have to be higher than your upper body. The best way to do this is to place your feet on a table, couch, or even a chair (whatever you can find that works best for you). Make sure that the platform you are resting your feet on is not too high, you want to aim for a 25- 35-degree angle when you are in the downward push-up position (Chest is just above the ground).

Chest Exercises At Home Workouts #3 – Incline Push-up

Chest Exercises At Home

Yet again, another important exercise you want to make sure you include if you want to form and maintain a well-balanced looking chest.

There is typically only one way to do this exercise effectively without any gym equipment, and that would be to do this exercise standing up while leaning onto a table, or even a stairwell. Try to maintain that same angle, 45 degrees. 

Tip #1: The same principals apply when doing this exercise, you want to again, keep your hands shoulder-width apart.

Tip #2: Adjust your hand position so that your hands are in line with the upper portion of your chest (try moving your hands just a couple inches above your standard push-up positioning). 

Tip#3: Since you are in a standing position, it is important to keep your chest pointed outward with your shoulders rolled back while maintaining a straight back. (if you want to make this exercise more difficult, you can put a weighted vest on, throw on a backpack stuffed with some weights, or simply have someone lean on you back to back to increase the intensity). 

Chest Exercises At Home Workouts #4 – Pectoral FlysChest Exercises At Home

This a great exercise that can be done at home or the gym. You are going to need some equipment for this exercise, which is going to consist of either resistance bands or dumbbells. In addition to those, you will also need something you can lay on, such as a flat bench or a stability ball (if using dumbbells). For the purposes of explaining this exercise, we will use a stability ball.

Tip # 1: Make sure if you are using dumbbells, you are laying flat on the stability ball with your knees bent. 

Tip #2: You want your hands positioned so that they are in line with the center portion of your chest.

Tip #3: Grab a weight that requires only 60-70% maximal effort to effectively lift the load. If you go to heavy with this exercise, you will end up over-compensating with other muscles (not to mention you greatly increase your chances of injury). 

First, make sure your arms are above your head fully extended with your palms facing each other (while gripping the dumbbells). Next, begin to drop the weights at your sides while slightly bending your elbows until they reach chest height or slightly below (you should feel a slight stretch/pull). Now, bring the weight back up while maintaining that slight bend in the elbows until you’ve brought the weight back to starting position.

Chest Exercises At Home Workouts # 5 – Incline Press W/ Resistance BandsChest Exercises At Home

Another effective exercise for helping develop the upper portion of your chest.

Tip #1: Make sure you position your hands so that they are in line with the upper portion of your chest.

Tip #2: Because resistance bands are generally lighter weight, make sure you to keep a steady pace between reps so that you get an effective burn.

Tip#3: Always grab a band that gives you enough resistance. The last thing you want to do is push out 50 reps without feeling challenged (seen it too many times).

So, in order to perform this exercise, you want to wrap the band around an object (a pole works well) close to waist height. Next, you want to position your hands shoulder-width apart with your palms facing down. Now, begin to push the band until your arms are fully extended, and then bring them back to starting position.

Note: If the band keeps sliding up and down the pole, I’ve found that wrapping the band at the feet of folding chairs works well as long as you put some weight on the chair to prevent it from sliding. Also, you can use your foot like in the picture displayed above.

Chest Exercises At Home Workouts # 6 – Decline Press W/ Resistance Bands

This is going to be very similar to incline press, the main difference is it’s going to be focusing on developing the lower portion of your chest.

Tip#1: Position your hands so that they are in line with the lower portion of your chest.

Tip#2: Make sure to wrap the band around an object that is just above head height. I would suggest using a doorway anchor, you just place the anchor in the doorway at the appropriate height and close the door.

Tip#3: When pushing the resistance bands, make sure to push at a slight downward angle while still keeping in line with the lower portion of your chest. Also, make sure your elbows stayed locked your sides.

You want to start with your hands in the starting position (lower chest height) and push the band outwards until your arms are fully extended. Make sure to aim at a slight downward angle, and then quickly bring the band back to starting position and repeat.

Alright, that’s it for the chest exercises at home, not let’s cover the chest exercises you can do at the gym (or at home if you the equipment).

Chest Exercises At Home or Gym Workouts # 1 – Chest DipsChest Exercises At Home

This an exercise that you will need some sort of equipment. If you have access to a gym, then you have no problem. Assuming you do not, you might have to get a little creative and find a playground or park that has two poles of equal height and happen to be shoulder-width distance apart (like in the picture above). If you have access to a gym, this is better because they usually have a dip machine that allows you to adjust the grip-width (which is what you want). If your hands are too close together, you’re going to be hitting your triceps more than your chest.

Tip#1: If you are not strong enough to do this exercise, then make sure you use a dip machine that gives assistance (lifts you up with weighted assistance).

Tip#2: Make sure you lean forward enough so that you are targeting your chest, but not too much where you are over-compensating with your shoulders (I’ve pulled shoulder muscles before from improper form). 

Tip#3: Don’t roll your shoulders forward, and do not shrug them either.

You want to first make sure you have the dip bars set to wide grip so that you are hitting your chest properly. Next, jump (or kneel onto the designated platform if you are using assistance) up and grab the dip bars with arm fully extended and locked with your knees bent. Now, begin to lower yourself until your shoulders are slightly below your elbows making sure you are leaning slightly forward. Finally, push yourself back up to starting position with your arms straight and elbows locked, and repeat.

Chest Exercises At Home or Gym Workouts # 2 – Bench Press

Chest Exercises At Home

This is the staple exercise when it comes to any chest routine, but it’s also considered to be a more difficult exercise. Regardless, this is one of the best exercises you can do for chest development. (If you do not have a spotter, most gyms usually have a machine version of the bench press, which works just fine)

Tip#1: Make sure you have a spotter for this exercise, especially if the weight is something you feel you can’t do more than 5-6 reps comfortably. Trust me, you don’t want to be that person screaming to get a bar off your chest (I’ve been there).

Tip#2: Keep your hands shoulder-width apart (or you can use the pinky rings slotted out on the bar), and make sure you DO NOT roll your wrists back. You want to keep your wrists straight.

Tip#3: Do not lift your back or butt off of the bench, keep your body planted on the center of the bench at all times.

You first want to begin by lifting the bar up off the rack and moving forward so that the bar is parallel to the center of your chest. Next, lower the bar all the way to your chest still maintaining that parallel positioning to your center chest. Now, press the bar back up until your arms are straight and hold the weight up there for one second, and repeat. Lastly, when you feel you can only push one more rep (or reach muscular failure and can’t, hence the spotter), bring the weight up and re-rack the bar. 

Chest Exercises At Home or Gym Workouts # 3 – Incline Bench Press

Chest Exercises At Home

This is obviously going to be almost identical to regular bench press, the only difference will be the incline and where you want to aim the barbell.

Tip#1: Make sure to aim the barbell so that it is parallel with the upper portion of your chest.

Tip#2: Again, try to always have a spotter for any overhead barbell exercise.

Tip#3: Use the pinky rings to set your grip width.

You want to begin by lifting the bar off the rack, and make sure to position the bar parallel to the upper portion of your chest. Next, begin to slowly lower the weight down until the bar touches your chest. Now, press the bar back up until your arms are fully extended and elbows are locked. Finally, when you are on your last rep, lift the weight back up and re-rack the bar.

Chest Exercises At Home or Gym Workouts # 4 – Decline Bench PressChest Exercises At Home

I won’t go into too much detail, obviously you are at a decline vs an incline like the previous exercise.

Tip#1: Make sure to keep the bar parallel to the lower portion of your chest.

Tip#2: Take longer breaks with this exercise if necessary since you’re in a decline position (too much blood flow to the head can lead to lightheadedness or dizziness).

Tip#3:  Do not bounce the bar off your chest, as this rule applies to all barbell chest exercises.

Start by securing your legs in the foot holders and lower yourself down to laying position. Next, grip the bar so that your pinkies are on the pinky rings. Now, lift the weight off the rack and bring the barbell forward so that it is parallel to the lower portion of your chest. Begin to lower the bar until it touches your chest, and finally press the weight back up again. Obviously when you are finished, re-rack the bar.

Chest Exercises At Home or Gym Workouts # 5 – Chest Fly Machine

Chest Exercises At Home

This is a great exercise because it’s user-friendly and ALWAYS gives you a good pump (assuming you did it properly). This can be done sitting down, or if your gym provides free-motion machines, I feel those work best.

Tip#1: Whether your standing or sitting down, always try to keep your hands parallel to the center of your chest.

Tip#2: Make sure your arms are coming back far enough behind you, otherwise you will not get the full benefit from this exercise (remember, you should feel a slight stretch or pull when you bring the handles/cables back behind you).

Tip#3: Do not set the weight too high. The reason is that when you are bringing the weight back to feel that slight stretch, you are asking for an injury if the weight is too heavy.

Start by positioning your hands so that they are extended out at your sides with a slight bend in the elbows. Now, begin to bring the handles/cables in by trying to get your hands to meet each other (similar to a dumbbell fly, only your sitting/standing). Once you get your hands to meet, begin to slowly bring your arms back to starting position and repeat.

Alright, that’s it for the chest exercises at home workout article. 

If you enjoyed this article, then you’re going to love the HealthyFITNESS Fat Loss Challenge!

In the challenge, we teach you all about incorporating at home exercises, including plenty of chest workouts.

During the challenge, you can expect to lose anywhere from 10-28 pounds in just 28 days!

If you’re ready to FINALLY get the body you have always wanted, this is your BEST option!

Click here to get started with your HealthyFITNESS Fat Loss Challenge today!

Get the FREE Fat Loss Training Guide!

Powered by ConvertKit

This post may contain affiliate links, please read our disclosure for more info

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *