Chest workout at home

Getting a workout in at home is hard. So can we maintain our physique with a chest workout at home?

  • 21 January 2021

A daily run can keep your cardio up of course, many of us have a set or resistance bands or dumbbells for a quick arm or leg workout, and those brave enough to face the dreaded sit-ups can see great results using only our body. Yet certain areas, such as the chest, are perplexing to build up without the fancy gym equipment we’re so used to. So is there a way we can apply the ‘body only’ approach to maintaining our physique with a chest workout at home? 

As it turns out, push-ups are the answer. There’s nothing quite like one when it comes to striking a balance between lack of equipment, variety and results, according to healthline.com and a striking number of fellow online health resources. So, before we move on to the many variations you can tackle, let’s get to grips with the golden oldie, a standard push-up.

Standard push-ups

Often called a press-up, the push-up is as almost as old as mankind itself. Like a sit-up, we do them almost daily without noticing. Perhaps we’re getting up off the floor after a spot of dusting, or getting down low onto the floor to play with the dog. But it’s not until we push ourselves to do many in quick succession, with a disciplined posture and out-stretch, that we start to feel that burn not dissimilar from using a pectoral machine at the gym.

To do a single push-up, lie face down against the floor and extend your arms so that your hands are parallel to your shoulders. Then, bend your elbows and get your face as close to the floor as possible. A set is normally counted in tens, and most personal training websites, such as everyoneactive.com, recommend 3 sets for a full workout.

Knee push-ups

It’s often the case that people who are not used to standard push-ups will find them difficult to start with, and there’s absolutely no shame in that. Remember, this is an exercise used by hobbyists to the SAS alike, and it wouldn’t be the blanket-effective workout that it is if one size fit all. 

Usually, you’re best served starting out with knee push-ups and building up to a full standard push-up. These are pretty much exactly as they sound. Like a push-up, lie flat on the ground and extend your arms until they’re propping you up and you can draw an invisible line from your hands to your shoulders. But instead of relying on your toes to keep your legs up and your back straight, cross your legs and balance on your knees. If it helps you do the full three sets, it’s better than burning yourself out with half a set of standards.

Decline push-ups

On the other hand, those looking for a more difficult chest workout at home than the standard push-ups should look no further than a decline push-up. These are as they sound: Prop your legs up on something higher up than your shoulders and get that chest as low to the ground as possible.

You’ll feel the burn in no time, but we would only recommend this exercise to those who are comfortable and confident when it comes to push-ups and are looking for a challenge. Most people use a chair, table or sofa, while those who have really nailed the technique go as far as performing a hand-stand against a wall.

Plyometric, wide and diamond push-ups

Of course, the variations don’t end there. Since the push-up is centuries old, there has been plenty of time for aficionados to figure out the most challenging – yet arguably, rewarding – versions of the push-up. Plyometric push-ups, for example, are a matter of pride in the military. Participants must clap in-between push-ups, which forces one to push themselves into the air for a precious few seconds before re-planting their hands just in time to save their face. 

The other two variations that go hand-in-hand are the wide push-up and the diamond push-up, each of which can be used depending on the results you’re looking to see from your chest workout at home. While wide push-ups put more strain on your triceps muscles, deltoids and pecs, a diamond push-up (in which your hands are almost together, with your fingers and thumb touching to form a diamond of space between them) is fantastic for your core.