Bodyweight Chest Exercises

Bodyweight Chest Exercises

Are you looking for some effective bodyweight chest exercises? If so, we’ve got the right movements for you.

Read on because we’ve compiled a list of seven effective push-up variations for all levels.

#1 Classic Push-Ups

The classic push-up is a fantastic movement to train your pectoralis major, triceps, shoulders, and serratus anterior. It also promotes scapular stability and shoulder health.

  1. Get down on all fours, extend your body, and place your hands flat on the ground.
  2. Inhale, lower yourself by bending your arms and press yourself back to the top.
Classic Push-ups

#2 Wide Stance Push-Ups

Using a wider stance allows for a slightly better stretch at the bottom position, potentially improving chest muscle activation.

  1. Perform the exercise as you would a classic push-up, but spread your hands slightly wider apart, but not to the point of shoulder discomfort.
  2. The push-up motion is the same as a classic push-up, just slightly more challenging.
Push ups

#3 Incline Push-Ups

The incline push-up is a more beginner-friendly variation, where the goal is to place the hands on an elevated object (e.g., a chair).

  1. Place your hands on a sturdy object, such as a chair, gym bench, or kitchen counter.
  2. Extend your body and lower your chest to the object’s edge before extending your arms.

 

Incline Push Up Form

#4 Decline Push-Ups

In contrast to the previous exercise, the decline push-up is more challenging. The goal is to elevate the feet on a chair or similar object while doing reps to emphasize the upper chest.

  1. Elevate your feet on a chair, plyo box, or gym bench.
  2. Extend your body, plant your feet on the floor, engage your abs, and lower yourself by bending your arms.
Muscles Worked With Decline Push Ups

#5 Plyometric Push-Ups

The plyometric (‘plyo’) push-up is a more advanced and explosive variation, where the goal is to push yourself off the bottom with as much force as possible, propelling yourself in the air for a moment. (1)

  1. Assume a standard push-up position and lower yourself.
  2. Press as hard as possible off the bottom to lift your hands off the floor.
Plyometric Push-ups

#6 Uneven Push-Ups

Uneven push-ups are a more advanced version, where you elevate one hand on an object. Doing so allows you to stretch your pectorals slightly better at the bottom. (2)

  1. Assume a push-up position with one hand on the floor and the other on an object, such as a book or a kettlebell.
  2. Perform reps as you usually would.

Uneven Push up

#7 Pseudo Planche Push-Ups

Pseudo planche push-ups are another more advanced version where the goal is to position your hands closer to your waist. Doing so makes each repetition more challenging and increases the stability demand.

  1. Get down on all fours, extend your body, and place your hands flat on the floor, close to your waist.
  2. Your fingers should point forward and out.
  3. Lower yourself by bending your arms, pause, and push back to the top.

Pseudo Planche Push up

Final Words

There you have it: seven fantastic bodyweight chest exercises you can do without equipment. Also click to see a complete push-up workout.

As you can see, most of these movements offer unique benefits, so it is best to combine them to reap more benefits and enjoy a more varied workout program.

Here are some more bodyweight exercises:

Click for more bodyweight exercise articles, and also our video library of bodyweight workouts.

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Philip Stefanov

Philip is a fitness writer, blogger, certified personal trainer, and the founder of ThinkingLifter.com. He has spent the last nine years writing fitness content and training men and women in the gym, as well as online. His passion is fitness and exercise, and helping others improve their fitness and wellness.

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References

  1. Chertoff, J. (2019, June 13). Plyo pushups: Benefits, how-to, and variations. Healthline.
    https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/plyo-push-ups
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Home – books – NCBI. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books

Click to see our medical disclosure.