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The Best Home Exercises for the Chest & Biceps

by
author image Sunny Griffis
Sunny Griffis, a certified performance technologist, is a fitness coach who has been a professional writer since 1998. Her work can be seen in online and print publications such as "Family Fun," "Cappers," "Rutherford Woman Magazine" and "Healthy Family Magazine." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in metaphysics from AIHT, and a CPT certification from NFPT.
The Best Home Exercises for the Chest & Biceps
A man is doing pushups. Photo Credit KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

The chest and biceps are two major muscle groups that can be incorporated into a home workout routine. Effectively work the chest muscles -- the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor -- with various bodyweight and resistance exercises. Create firm rounded bicep muscles by utilizing classic free weight movements. Combine a variety of chest and biceps exercises into a single workout as part of a split workout routine. Work the remaining muscles on other days. Use maximum effort to recruit the most muscle fibers for strength and growth.

Bicep Exercises

The biceps are a relatively small muscle group and don’t require much weight to foster growth. They consist of a long head and a short head, and are commonly coveted for aesthetic reasons. Perform basic bicep exercises at home using dumbbells, resistance bands, or a barbell. Bicep curls and hammer curls effectively work the entire bicep area. Perform them using the heaviest weight possible while maintaining good form for 8 to 12 reps.

Chin-ups also target the biceps. If a chin-up bar is available at home, grasp the bar with a reverse grip and perform as many as possible. Use a chair or bands for assistance if you are unable to perform any standard chin-ups. Lower slowly on each rep to thoroughly work the biceps.

Bodyweight Chest Exercises

Pushups are the most effective bodyweight chest exercise. Classic pushups effectively work the chest. Decline pushups stress the upper chest, while incline pushups work the lower chest. Perform them with hands wider than shoulder-width to work the outer chest. Advanced exercisers can spice up workouts and increase intensity using pushup variations such as divebomber pushups, staggered pushups, and plyometric pushups. Consider hiring a fitness professional to help learn proper form and technique when learning new exercises or beginning an exercise program.

Resistance Chest Exercises

If basic equipment is available at home, include resistance exercises to build a lean, muscular chest. Bench presses can be performed on a bench or a stability ball. Add pec flyes to work the outer chest. Use resistance bands to perform the chest press at home. Try the dumbbell pullover to really challenge the chest. Lay on a bench and grasp a dumbbell with both hands. Keep a slight bend in the elbow as you lower the weight beyond your head until the upper arms are parallel with the ground. Return the dumbbell back to the chest and repeat. Use an online directory, such as the American Council on Exercise's exercise library to study correct exercise techniques.

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