Chests of all shapes and sizes can profit from strength and conditioning. It’s not just about resembling Wonder Woman or Aqua Man, either
More robust pecs can make life easier, from unloading groceries to revamping your living room furniture. If you’re down to promote your health and build some strength, you don’t need to run to the gym. There are chest workouts that you can do within the comforts of your home.That said, we have come up with a list of excellent home chest workouts to help you keep on track to attain your fitness goals
But before we proceed, let’s first study the anatomy of the chest muscle and the reasons why you need to work it out.
Muscles of the Pectoral Region
The pectoral region is found on the anterior chest wall. It comprises four muscles that use a force on the upper limb: Pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and subclavius.
Let’s look at the anatomy of the muscles of the pectoral region.
The pectoralis major is the most external muscle in the pectoral region. It is a large, fan-shaped muscle that is composed of a sternal head and a clavicular head:
- Attachments: The distal appendage of both heads is into the intertubercular sulcus of the humerus.
- Clavicular head starts from the anterior surface of the medial clavicle.
- Sternocostal head starts from the anterior surface of the sternum, the superior six costal cartilages, and the aponeurosis of the external oblique muscle.
- Function: Adducts and medially pivots the upper limb and pulls the scapula anterior inferior. The clavicular head also works individually to flex the upper limb.
- Innervation: Lateral and central pectoral nerves.
The pectoralis minor lies beneath its bigger counterpart muscle, the pectoralis major. Both muscles make part of the anterior wall of the axilla region.
- Attachments: Starts from the 3rd-5th ribs and makes its way into the coracoid process of the scapula.
- Function: Supports the scapula by pulling it anteroinferior against the thoracic wall.
- Innervation: Central pectoral nerve.
The serratus anterior is positioned more laterally in the chest wall and forms the center border of the axilla region.
- Attachments: The muscle consists of individual strips, starting from the lateral aspects of ribs 1-8. They connect to the costal (rib facing) outside of the medial border of the scapula.
- Function: Turns the scapula, enabling the arm to be raised over 90 degrees. It also carries the scapula against the ribcage.
- Innervation: Long thoracic nerve.
The subclavius is a small muscle that is placed directly below the clavicle, running horizontally. It provides minor protection to the underlying neurovascular constructions (e.g., in cases of clavicular fracture or other trauma).
- Attachments: Starts from the intersection of the first rib and its costal cartilage, inserting into the inferior surface of the middle third of the clavicle.
- Function: Support and depresses the clavicle.
- Innervation: Nerve to subclavius.
Why You Need to Work Your Chest Muscles
Working your chest muscles (or pecs) serves more than simply enhancing your physique. These important muscles are included in essential activities you need to do throughout the day. It also makes the foundation for many moves you need in a variety of exercises and athletics.
The Chest Muscles
The chest muscles are formed up of the pectoralis major and, beneath that, the pectoralis minor. Together they are frequently referred to as the “pecs.”
The pectoralis major is the bigger muscle and has two parts: An upper part (called the clavicular head) and the lower part (called the sternal head). The pectoralis minor is triangular and operates in tandem with the pectoralis major.
The chest muscles are held for moving the arms across the body and up and down, as well as other movements. This includes flexion, adduction, and rotation. Most chest exercises include pushing the arms away from the body or the body away from the arms.
Any chest exercise you do will work the whole area, but distinct exercises will stimulate the chest in different ways.
The chest covers some of the largest muscles in the upper body and you use the chest muscles all day long.
For example, the chest muscles are required to push a door open, wash your hair, or get up and down from the floor. It’s essential to keep these muscles powerful for all your daily activities.
The more powerful your chest muscles are, the stronger your whole body is.
You also utilize the pecs in many standard exercises, such as the pushup. Your chest muscles are huge and can handle more weight, which enables you to burn more calories when you exercise them. When you work your chest, your shoulders and arms are also affected, enabling you to exercise more of your body at once.
A chest workout also works as a great warmup for those smaller muscle groups.
You can work your chest up to three non-consecutive days per week. However, if you’re carrying heavyweights (enough that you can only perform six to eight repetitions), you’ll need at least two to three days of rest before you do the exercises again. For this analysis, you may only want to work your chest once or twice per week.
If your goal is to trim your muscles, you’ll want to adhere to one to three sets of 12 to 16 repetitions, and at least one day of rest before you do the exercises again.
Some of the most traditional chest exercises comprise pushups, chest presses, and chest flies.
Have a mix of different exercises to hit your chest from a variety of directions. You should also modify your routine every four to six weeks to avoid plateaus.
To increase the intensity of your workout, you can change exercises, increase weight, or add repetitions.
If your intention is simply to get strong and fit, work your chest along with other muscle groups in sequence, as in an upper-body pyramid workout or a full-body workout. If you’re trying to increase size, pick exercises that work your chest by itself with a mixture of exercises, such as incline press and parallel bar dips.
Slight modifications in your chest exercises can impact the area that it targets.
For example, a chest press includes the entire pectoralis major with a focus on the lower part of the chest. By shifting to an incline position, you still work the whole pectoralis major, but now the focus transfers to the upper portion of the chest.
By switching the movement, the angle, or the type of resistance, you’ll draw different muscle fibers and challenge your body in new ways. Doing so allows you to work the entire chest. That’s why there are several variations for each exercise, and why it’s worth exploring a range of exercises.
Safety Issue to Consider
If you’re new to the weightlifting game, make sure you hire a trainer. This is to ensure that you are in proper form. Solid form decreases the risk of injury and makes each exercise count.
If you’re trying to bulk up, you want to feel the burn, but you don’t want your arms to shiver. Always begin with lower weights and work your way up and. Another thing to keep in mind is to start by completing fewer repetitions and progress as you proceed to the next exercise.
Always remember that you should stop what you’re doing when something hurts.Let’s face it: Strong pecs are good, but an injury-free body is much better. So, go take a break when you need one.
Best Home Chest Workout
When you’re engaging your chest muscles, you’ll mostly be hitting your pectoralis major and minor muscles, as well as your deltoids. These are the muscles that extend right across your chest and beneath your armpits, as well as your shoulders.
Before you do the main workouts, it’s essential to warm up properly. This is to prepare yourself and ensure that you don’t get hurt.
Begin with some stretches. For example, secure your fingers together behind your back and lift your arms behind you. Having them as straight as possible as you do so. Once you’ve stretched out, try performing some low-intensity dynamic movements. These can include things like gentle press-ups against the wall. Anything to prepare your muscles to move and warm, but without tiring yourself out.
Decrease the risk of injury (and that dreaded next-day soreness) by warming up your muscles before proceeding to any workout. Whether you like to do some jumping jacks or jog around the neighborhood, hang in about 10 minutes of light cardio before you get started.
It’s absolutely an oldie, but a goodie. The push-up or press-up is an excellent chest workout.
Lie your face down flat on the floor, have your hands in line with your shoulders, then extend your arms so they’re straight. Get up on your toes, maintaining a straight line from your heels to your neck.
Make sure that you don’t flex your hips or curve your back. This will lessen the effectiveness of the push-up and possibly put you at risk of hurting yourself.
To perform a single push-up, bend both your elbows and get your chest as close to the floor as possible. Make sure that you keep your back and legs in a straight line the whole time, or you won’t acquire the benefits. Perform a set of 10 reps, take a 30-second break and begin again. Perform three sets and that’s you done. Once it starts to get a little easier, start raising the number of reps in each set. Add two reps to all the sets every time you want to push yourself further.
If you want to attain the most out of every push-up and ensure you keep your form, you must finish each rep in a slow, controlled manner. Don’t rush yourself through them as this will give you the tendency to lose your shape and not acquire as much out of each push-up.
Slightly Easier Push-ups
Bear with us on this one, push-ups are going to be a steady theme in this piece, but trust us, it’s worth it. If you’re just working out for the first time in a while, or are new to home chest workouts, then it might be that regular push-ups are a little tricky, to begin with. If this is the situation, then there are techniques to make them a little easier before you finish a full-on push-up.
Instead of placing your toes on the floor for your push-up, you can do it on your knees. It’s still necessary to keep your back and legs straight down to your knees, however. Once these start to get a bit too easy, then you can proceed to the next step.
Push-ups are a bit easier if your hand position is higher than your foot position. With this in mind, get in a regular push-up position, but instead of having your hands on the floor, lift them slightly – on a sofa arm or chair seat. Everything else about the procedure is the same. These are called incline push-ups.
Unsurprisingly, these are the reverse of the incline push-ups outlined above and are an efficient home chest workout.
If you take your feet higher than your hands, then your push-ups are going to be more difficult. This is because you can take your chest to lower to the ground and push those pectoralis major and deltoid muscles.
We only really recommend trying these if you’re looking for a new challenge.
Just like before, hold your legs and back straight, with your hands on the floor and your feet elevated. Resting them on a desk, a garden bench, or even your sofa is an excellent idea.
Another exceptional home chest workout, the plyometric push-up adds more intensity to your workout.
To start, get in the usual push-up pose and lower yourself to the floor. Then comes the complicated bit. You’ve got to blast through the next section, launching yourself up as hard as you can. Try and push yourself with such power that your hands leave the floor.
If you want to show off, try clapping your hands throughout each push-up.
This modification of the push-up supplements intensity and explosive power to your home chest workout. This signifies you’ll be burning more calories, as well as raising muscle stamina.
What you’ve got to learn is that before even trying any of these more advanced push-up variations is to have your press-up form intact. Make sure your procedure is solid before proceeding to these trickier progressions.
This is an excellent element to incorporate into your home chest workout. Rather than keeping your hand’s shoulder-width apart, try having them a little wider. Doing this will help employ your tricep muscles, deltoids, and pecs.
Again, another progress from the standard push-up. With the diamond push up, instead of keeping your hand’s shoulder-width apart, try having them under your chest, with your thumb and index finger touching.
This is an excellent addition to your home chest workout routine as it is also ideal for working your core alongside all the other chest and arm muscles.
Yep, we know what you’re thinking: “another push-up modification?!”
You’re right. It is. But it’s an excellent addition to your home chest workout routine.
To perform this one, you start in a conventional push-up position, but rather than having both hands level, push one out in front of you and one behind you. Perform a push-up and then swap hands and try again.
Do at least 10 reps of this so that you’ve produced an even number of reps with your hands in a different position.
Okay, you will be needing some serious chops to be able to complete this home chest workout.
Begin with the usual push-up pose and then raise one leg. Keeping your glutes firm, finish your set of ten reps before swapping legs. Alternatively, you could always shift legs between reps. Just make sure you achieve an even number of reps for each leg.
This is certainly a challenging one.
Begin in a traditional push-up position, but this time elevate one hand to be resting on a stable surface. This could be a chair, a coffee table, anything flat. As long as it’s firm and sturdy.
Perform a set of press-ups before shifting arms. If you’re doing more than two sets, make sure you perform an even number of this exercise to make sure you don’t work with one side more than the other.
Adding off-set push-ups into your home chest workout routine has lots of advantages. As well as working your pecs and delts, it also establishes more pressure on your triceps, helping you develop arm muscle. It also demands some serious core control, meaning you’ll build up your abs too.
Begin with your body in a V-shape. Strengthen your core, then lower your head and chest towards your hands, leading your body forwards in an arc as your head nears the floor. Keep moving your body forwards until your head is facing forwards and your chest is higher.
Lift your hips to return to the start position. Don’t dominate over rep numbers with this move: instead, concentrate on feeling the various muscles at work at each point of the rep to develop a strong mind-to-muscle connection that will increase muscle activation.
During each rep, many various muscles are involved and placed under tension. The down-and-forwards then up-and-backward movement also causes your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core to work in different and more challenging ways.
Despite the aggressive-sounding name, the solution to this exercise is keeping a smooth movement path. The entire rep should be fluid and done at an even tempo.
Finally, this modification of push-up is a great supplement to any home chest workout regime.
Start in a standard push-up pose and bend your elbows so your chest is deeper than they are. As you perform this, bend one of your knees and take it up alongside you.
Hold this posture for a couple of seconds before coming back to the starting position. Then, do the same for the other leg. Make sure you perform an even number of these in each set you finish to work each side evenly.
As well as your chest, arm and leg muscles, this variant of the humble push-up is also incredible for working your core.
When your burning fitness passion is to develop a chest worthy of a 1980s cartoon character, it’s natural to gravitate towards the bench press. However, it’s going to take a whole lot more than pushing to sculpt the popping pecs you’re after.
Consider this for beginners: The main purpose of the pecs is to shift your arms inwards towards one another, which is difficult to do while holding a barbell. If you adhere solely to the bench press your chest is going to be left short-changed. A simple solution is to ignore all about the bench and do your chest workout at home.
You don’t require any kit to do the home workouts listed above. It’s made up solely of press-up variations and hits the muscles in your chest and arms from various directions. This is to ensure that every part of your upper body gets the workout it deserves.