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.
- Get down on all fours, extend your body, and place your hands flat on the ground.
- Inhale, lower yourself by bending your arms and press yourself back to the top.
#2 Wide Stance Push-Ups
Using a wider stance allows for a slightly better stretch at the bottom position, potentially improving chest muscle activation.
- 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.
- The push-up motion is the same as a classic push-up, just slightly more challenging.
#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).
- Place your hands on a sturdy object, such as a chair, gym bench, or kitchen counter.
- Extend your body and lower your chest to the object’s edge before extending your arms.
#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.
- Elevate your feet on a chair, plyo box, or gym bench.
- Extend your body, plant your feet on the floor, engage your abs, and lower yourself by bending your arms.
#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)
- Assume a standard push-up position and lower yourself.
- Press as hard as possible off the bottom to lift your hands off the floor.
#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)
- Assume a push-up position with one hand on the floor and the other on a flat object, such as a book.
- Perform reps as you usually would.
#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.
- Get down on all fours, extend your body, and place your hands flat on the floor, close to your waist.
- Your fingers should point forward and out.
- Lower yourself by bending your arms, pause, and push back to the top.
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:
- Bodyweight back exercises
- Bodyweight bicep exercises
- Beginner bodyweight workout
- List of Bodyweight Eoxercises
- Bodyweight abs workout
- Bodyweight exercise for strength
- Bodyweight Squats
- Chertoff, J. (2019, June 13). Plyo pushups: Benefits, how-to, and variations. Healthline.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (n.d.). Home – books – NCBI. National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books