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The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Chest without Weights

The Ultimate Guide to Building Your Chest without Weights

Have you ever thought that weight training is the only way to build muscle?

If so, you’re completely wrong. That also means you’ve never tried body weight training or calisthenics. For me, I go to the gym almost every day but weight training is not my only choice, instead, I also do calisthenics to work for the same muscle groups.

It’s obvious that weight training is more effective in building strength and muscle and it doesn’t mean you should only do it. In fact, with calisthenics or body weight training, we can not only build and maintain the muscle mass but also improve our mobility and flexibility. That’s the reason why I never forget to do some body weight exercises after training with heavy weights. Actually, even if you are a serious lifter, you will definitely get more benefit if you combine these two approaches together in a smart way.

Today, I want to introduce you to the 5 best ways to develop your chest without weights. Hopefully, these workout tips can make your training much more fun and exciting and more importantly, you don’t always have to go to the gym or use weights to build your muscle anymore.

5 best body weight exercises that will crank up your chest muscles

The following are the 5 body weight chest movements that I believe are the best. Additionally, they are in an increasing order of difficulty so just choose whatever is suitable for your current fitness level.

Here we go!

1. Hands-elevated push-ups

This is the easiest push-up variation so it’s very beneficial for beginners who cannot perform a regular push-up.

Here is how you do it

  • Find a bench, box or any elevated surface which is higher than the level of your feet.
  • Place your hands on the surface, shoulder-width apart with the arms straight and hands directly below the shoulders.
  • Slowly walk your legs out behind until you get in a push-up position. Make sure your body creates a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Retract your shoulder blades because you want to engage your whole chest muscles instead of working the front delts.
  • Brace your abs and squeeze the glutes if possible so as to keep your core nice and tight during the entire movement.
  • Gradually lower your body until your sternum nearly touches the bench or box.
  • Pause for 1 sec at the bottom to make the movement a bit more difficult and push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as you can.
  • Do not lock your arms on the top of the movement to prevent elbow injuries.
  • Remember to keep your hips from sagging at any point.

2. Basic push-ups

When it comes to chest muscles, most of you may think about the barbell or dumbbell bench press.

However, remember that a regular push-up is one of the most basic but effective chest movements and more importantly, almost everyone can perform it. Trust me, when I was a teenager, I can’t afford to go to the gym so I did push-ups almost every day and my chest was developed to some extents.

Here are the steps for this exercise:

  • Position both of your hands on the floor, approximately shoulder width apart and lie face down.
  • Retract your shoulder blades and slightly arch your back at the same time just like you’re setting up for the bench press.
  • Curl your toes upward so that the balls of your feet can touch the floor.
  • Try to raise yourself with your arms and don’t get to maintain a straight line from your head to your heels.
  • Unlike other chest exercises with weights, on the top of the movement, you have to contract your abs so that you can keep the hips from sagging.
  • Slowly lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor or you bend your arms down to a 90 degree. Do not lock your arms on the top of the movement to prevent elbow injuries.
  • Do as many of these push-ups as you can and rest for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Repeat this exercise for 3 or 4 sets.

This video will give you more details:

You can also change the type of push-ups by changing the hand placement. In general, the closer your hands are together, the more you will work the inner part of your chest and triceps as well. The wider apart your hands are, the more you hit the outer portion of your chest. If you want something more challenging, just increase the weight and stress of the exercise by placing heavy objects in a backpack and wear it while you’re doing the push-ups.

3. Feet-elevated push-ups

Your upper chest is weak or you’re looking for a body weight exercise to develop your Pec minor? If so, this one is worth a try. However, keep in mind that this push-up variation is not easy at all, especially for beginners. This is because you have to place your feet on a chair or a weight bench rather than on the ground. Besides, in this exercise, you will also have to focus more on your core or else your hips will probably sag, causing lower back pain.

  • Find a weight bench or a sturdy chair or anything like that so that it can hold your weight and won’t slide across the ground. For extra stability, place the chair or bench up against the wall.
  • Get into the basic push-up position as mentioned above.
  • Remember to slightly arch your back or straighten it so that on the top of the movement, your body can create a horizontal line with the floor.
  • Slowly lower your body by bending your arms down to a 90-degree angle and raising yourself up as quickly as possible. Do not lock your arms on the top of the movement to prevent elbow injuries.
  • Repeat this exercise of 3 to 4 sets of max reps and rest 1-2 minutes between sets.

4. Diamond push-ups

This is another push-up variation which is only suitable for intermediate-to-advanced trainees. And for me, this is one of the best movements for your chest muscles, especially the inner portion. As the name suggests, you need to place your hands in a diamond shape and that is the main difference between this one and other push-up variations. Here is how you do it

  • Stretch your arms and place your hands under the chest. Make a diamond shape by touching your thumbs and forefingers together.
  • Get into the basic push-up position as mentioned above.
  • Remember to keep your back straight or naturally arched so your body creates a straight line. Additionally, do not flare your elbows so you won’t put an excessive strain on your shoulders.
  • Slowly lower your body until your sternum touches the floor
  • Pause to make the movement a bit more challenging and lift yourself up as quickly as possible.
  • Do not lock your arms on the top of the movement to prevent elbow injuries.

Watch this video for better performances:

5. Front clap push-ups

This push-up variation requires high fitness levels, so if you are a beginner, then don’t even think about it. Actually, even for professionals, the front clap push-up is never an easy one. To be honest, I used to have wrist pain when doing this exercise and that took me weeks to get back to normal. Therefore, once again, if you are not an advanced trainee, then just skip this one.

  • As always, start as if you were performing the standard push-up, with your whole body in the down position.
  • Push yourself up as hard as possible so clap or slap your chest.
  • Rapidly place your hands back in the starting position.
  • Remember to keep your body straight and contract your abs during the movement as if you’re not strong enough, it’s quite difficult to control your body weight.
  • The hardest part of this movement is maintaining the same hand placement after performing each rep so please be careful about this.
  • Repeat this exercise of 3 to 4 sets of max reps and rest 3-4 minutes between sets.

If you still don’t know how to do, watch this short video:

Author: MarshallAuthor Bio: Marshall Evans (Founder/Author)

I’m Marshall and I’m a founder of AestheticGuys.com. I love fitness so I spend years searching for training and nutrition tips to get in shape. I really want to share my experiences and all my tips for anyone who cares about this area, that’s why I started Aestheticguys.com in 2017. Through the blog, I will have a chance to write about everything I want to share with you guys to make you love fitness more and help you get an aesthetic body.

 

Have you ever thought that weight training is the only way to build muscle? If so, you’re completely wrong. That also means you’ve never tried body weight training or calisthenics. For me, I go to the gym almost every day but weight training is not my only choice, instead, I also do calisthenics to work …

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