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Chest Workouts Using Body Weight

by
author image Keith Strange
Keith Strange spent more than a decade as a staff writer for newspapers in the southeastern United States, winning numerous awards for his work. He has a B.S. in wellness/sports medicine from Averett University and completed graduate work in exercise physiology. Strange is a former competitive martial artist and holds a third-degree black belt in tae kwon do.
Chest Workouts Using Body Weight
A woman is doing modified pushups. Photo Credit LuckyBusiness/iStock/Getty Images

You don’t need to go out and buy a lot of expensive equipment or join a gym to develop that thick, defined chest you’ve always wanted. Using the force of gravity, you have all of the equipment you need. Exercising using your body weight as resistance can help you develop muscular strength and definition at home. The secret is to get off the couch and get moving! Be sure to stop and check with your doctor if you develop serious pain when performing any of these exercises.

Pushup

The website ExerciseGoals.com calls the tried and true pushup “the best upper body exercise to build strong arms, chest and shoulder muscles. Begin by lying down and supporting your body weight on the balls of your feet and your hands. Be sure that your hands are positioned under your shoulders and are slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten your core muscles to form a straight line between your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. Bend both arms at the same time and lower your body weight toward the floor, stopping when your chest is about an inch off the floor. Pause for a second and then straighten both arms to return to the starting position. Repeat until exhaustion.

Hindu Pushup

This exercise starts from a position similar to the pushup exercise, but instead of keeping a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles, it begins with your butt stuck up in the air. Lower your body as you would for a regular pushup, but instead of lowering yourself straight toward the ground, dive forward slightly with your head and chest so that they are moving forward while you lower your butt toward the ground. Continue lowering your body until your chest is very close to the ground, then lift your head and chest while your hips nearly touch the ground. Hold this position for a second and then reverse the movement to return to the starting position.

Elevated Wall Press

This exercise begins from a similar position as the pushup listed above, but instead of resting on the balls of your feet, use your chest and core muscles to place your feet on a wall about two feet from the floor. Be sure that there is a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders and bend both arms to lower your body to the ground while continuing to press back to keep your feet on the wall. Stop when your chest is about an inch off the ground and use the muscles of your chest, shoulders and arms to straighten your arms and return to the starting position. Repeat until you can’t perform another repetition.

Dip

This exercise requires a support that you can place about shoulder-width apart to support your body. A dip machine at the gym is great, but if you don’t have one you can also use a couple of chairs at the house. Get onto a dip machine or stand between two sturdy, straight-backed chairs and place one hand on top of the backs. Lift your feet off the floor so that your body weight is supported by your arms. Bend both of your arms at the same time, keep your arms close to your body and lower your body weight toward the ground; stopping when your upper arms are about parallel to the floor. Hold this position for a second and then straighten both arms to return to the starting position. Repeat until exhaustion.

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