Updated: Feb 3, 2022
Need a chest workout to do at home or simply prefer exercising with your bodyweight? If you answered yes to either question, then look no further than this article!
We've designed you a muscle building push workout to try, that will help you pack on size in your pecs, delts (shoulders) and triceps.
5-10 minute warmup
Plyo Push Ups - 3 x 8-12
Diamond Push Ups - 3 x 12-15
Pike Push Ups - 3 x 8-12
Decline Push Ups - 3 x 12-15
Tricep Extensions - 2 x 8-10
Bench/Bar Dips - 3 x 8-12
Rest 60-90 seconds between sets.
Before you begin this workout, make sure you've had food to eat, water, and are warmed up. For a guide on how to warm up, click HERE.
NOTE: If you are more advanced and the target rep ranges don't provide enough of a challenge, you can either add resistance (through wearing a backpack, resistance bands, or putting a weight plate on your back if you have one) or take each set within a couple reps of failure. That way you'll get a proper stimulus on your muscles.
Plyo Push Ups
The plyo push up is a great variation that's more explosive and requires more pushing strength to perform. If you can't yet do a clap on every rep, just getting your hands off the ground is a great start.
Definitely a great exercise to add to your home chest workout.
To do the clapping push up:
Start in a high plank position.
Keep your core tight for the whole movement.
Lower yourself down until your chest is just above the floor.
Explode back up by driving your hands into the ground and try to get your hands into the air.
Do a clap if you can.
Catch yourself back in the same position and repeat.
Check out the video below by Pivot Cycles to see what this looks like!
Diamond Push Ups
These are another great alternative to the regular push up that places the emphasis onto the triceps, but still works the chest and shoulders pretty heavily.
To do them:
Assume a high plank position.
Bring your hands together and form a diamond shape with your fingers.
Keep your core tight throughout.
Simply do a push up with your hands fixed in that position.
Squeeze the triceps hard at the top of the movement.
Check out the video below by Reebok Training Center to see a demonstration!
Pike Push Ups
The pike push up is a great variation of the regular push up that primarily works the shoulders. It's a step down from the handstand push up, but will still give you a great burn in the delts if you've never done them before.
This is a must have in any home 'push' workout.
To do them:
Get into a high plank position.
Keeping your feet fixed, bring your hands closer towards your legs and towards the center of your body.
You should find that you're in a more upright position.
Now do a more vertical push up.
Allow your torso to lower, resisting the weight.
Press back up by driving your hands under your head into the ground.
Elevating your feet will make this more difficult
Check out the video below by Andrew Alinda to see what this looks like. (Just watch the start of the video).
Decline Push Ups
This exercise will work the upper chest, which helps to create an overall fuller looking pec. The upper chest is absolutely vital if you want to be aesthetic.
To do to the decline push up:
Elevate your feet until you're at about a 15-30 degree decline.
Keep your core tight throughout the entire range of motion.
Lower yourself until your chest reaches the floor.
Press yourself back up with force by driving your hands into the ground.
Squeeze the chest hard at the top of the movement.
Video by Inversion Nation
Next up we'll be isolating the triceps through the use of bodyweight tricep extensions. These are great to do at the end of your workout as they don't really engage any of the other muscles. Although they still will work your core.
If you want to build up your triceps, you're going to have to add these to your home 'push' workout.
Get into a regular push up position.
Bring your hands slightly further out in front of you.
Keep your core tight. Your body should be in a straight line.
Lower yourself, but by bending at the elbows and landing on your forearms on the ground instead of lowering yourself down like you would in a regular push up.
Basically you allow your elbows to drop, instead of bringing them back behind your torso.
Press yourself back up with force by straightening the elbows.
See the video below by Global Bodyweight Training to see what this looks like!
Bench/Bar Dips - Bench dips will be the easier option, but both exercises will work the same muscles. This is great for the lower chest, as well as the shoulders and triceps.
To perform the dip:
Support yourself on a bar with a grip just outside of shoulder width.
Keep your core tight.
Lower yourself down with control until your arms are bent at 90 degrees.
Stretch the chest.
Push yourself back up by driving your hands down into the bar.
Squeeze the chest hard at the top of the movement.
You can even do these on a kitchen counter!
Video by Josh Hollingsworth
Don't worry if you can't do the full movement, because everybody starts somewhere! It doesn't make the workout any less effective, and soon enough, even if it seems like it would take forever, you'll be able to do the full exercise. Every fitness influencer you ever saw started out somewhere like you as well!
Plyo Push Ups - If these are too hard, you can either do regular push ups, or pause the bottom of each regular push up to add that extra bit of intensity.
Diamond Push Ups - For this exercise, the way to make it easier is to do them on your knees instead of on your feet. That way, you're pressing approximately 10-12% less of your bodyweight when compared to doing them on your feet.
Pike Push Ups - If you want to make these easier, you can do them on an incline. By this, we mean putting your hands on an elevated surface, such as higher on a staircase or on a low lying bench. That way, you'll also reduce the amount of weight you're pressing up. The higher you elevate your hands, the easier the exercise becomes.
Decline Push Ups - If decline push ups are too difficult, you can also make them easier by doing them on your knees. You'll target the same specific areas on your chest, but reduce the load you're moving.
Tricep Extensions - To make this exercise easier, you simply have to go on an incline. Elevate your hands on a staircase, stool, etc. That way, you'll get the same benefits while building strength towards the full movement. The higher you elevate your hands, the easier the exercise will become.
Bench/Bar Dips - To make these easier, you can bend your knees and bring your feet closer to you on the bench dip. The closer your feet are to you, the easier the exercise should be. If you're on a bar, simply switch to doing them on a bench to make the exercise easier.
After your workout, you may want to do some static stretching in your chest and shoulders to reduce tightness that you may wake up with the next morning.
You should also have plenty of water to drink, and east a snack or meal that's high in protein. Examples of this would be things like protein powder in your shakes, protein bars, or chicken and rice.
This is a great home 'push' workout that you can do to build up some great muscle mass in your chest, shoulders and triceps!
Definitely look to give this workout a try, and leave a comment below telling us what you think of it!