Building your chest is about a lot more than bench presses and push-ups. However, you don't need a bunch of machines to train the pecs effectively, either. The best chest workouts at home use minimal equipment, but if you do them correctly and consistently, offer maximum growth.
We're going to provide you with multiple exercises that can help you get a solid chest workout at home. This guide will help you learn ways to train your chest for size, strength, and schedule—if you need to get a session in with little time to spare.
Before you begin any of these workouts or any training in general, you should prepare accordingly by warming up thoroughly and stretching before you begin. You should warm the entire body up and stretch all the muscles in the upper body, especially the shoulders.
Devoting at least ten minutes to warming up will go a long way in helping you get the most out of these workouts, while also minimizing the risk of getting injured.
Bulking Chest Workout at Home
If you want to increase the size of your chest, then you should focus on using more resistance and hypertrophy training with sets that contain between 8 and 15 reps. Resistance bands are a great tool to help make chest exercises at home more challenging because the resistance increases as the band is stretched. You will also have to control the speed of the bands when you release that tension to perform the negative portion of the exercise. This helps increase your time under tension, which is another effective way to build muscle.
For each of the following exercises, aim to complete three to five sets of 8-15 repetitions each. Rest for 45 seconds in between sets. Follow this regimen, and you should see improvement sooner rather than later.
Seated Band Chest Press: 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps
Sit on a chair or bench with a back pad (adds stabilization). Wrap the band around the back of the chair and hold each end of the band in your hands. While sitting straight and tall, press your hands forward to stretch the band and contract the chest. Once you achieve contraction, lower the hands slowly back to the starting position.
Standing Band Chest Fly: 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps
Wrap your band around a solid object like a pillar or post. If you have resistance bands with a door connector, set it so the band is at chest height. Face away from the anchor with the ends of the band in your hands. Stretch your arms out to the sides like you're trying to touch the walls. Keeping your arms straight, bring your hands in front of your chest to stretch the band and contract the chest. Once you achieve contraction, slowly return to the starting position.
Push-Up with Band: 3-5 sets of 8-15 reps
Wrap the band around yourself so the middle is around your upper back, and you have the ends in your hands. Position yourself on the floor in a pushup position while holding onto the bands. When you push up, the band will stretch and increase resistance. Perform push-ups as you normally would while maintaining possession of the ends of the band.
Toning Chest Workout at Home
If your goal is to tone your chest, then circuits are a great training option. Circuit workouts can also save you precious time. You can take the band workouts from above and perform one set of each all in a row before taking a 90-second break. Three rounds of that would be around 15 minutes in length. You can also perform this training method with any combination of the workouts you'll find in this guide.
Bodyweight Chest Workout at Home
The push-up is about as basic as it gets. It was likely among the first that you learned during PE class. There's actually more than one version of the pushup that you can incorporate to train the entire chest from top to bottom, which is what this workout is here to show you.
You likely know how to do the original version already, so start with those exercises. Below, we break down two other ways to train the chest with your bodyweight and a couple of chairs. Perform three sets of each exercise. Perform one set for one minute, followed by a one-minute break. When you finish three sets of the first exercise, move on to the next.
Push-Ups with Feet Elevated: 3 sets of 1 min.
Place a chair behind you, then assume the push-up position with your feet raised up on the chair. This shifts the focus to the upper chest as well as the front delts in the shoulders. From this position, perform push-ups as you normally would. Lower yourself down carefully, pause at the bottom, and push up until your arms are locked out.
Dips with Chairs: 3 sets of 1 min.
This isn't exactly a push-up, but you're pushing your body weight up, and you're targeting the lower chest as well. Position a chair on either side of you. Place your palms down on the seat of the chair and stretch your legs out in front of you. Maintain an upright position or lean slightly forward if possible. Lower yourself carefully until your butt is close to the floor. Then, press up and contract your chest. Don't lock out your elbows on this exercise.
Dumbbell Chest Workout at Home
Dumbbells are a great free-weight option that allows you to maximize your range of motion and train the chest for strength, size, endurance, or all the above. If you're limited on the weight of your dumbbells, then perform five-second negatives for each of these movements. If you have adjustable dumbbells that you can train heavy with, focus on using different weights for each exercise. Try to perform 100 reps of each exercise in total. If you rest 30 seconds after each time you reach failure, you should be done with this one in around 20 minutes.
Flat Dumbbell Floor Press: 100 total reps
The method we're describing here is for the floor. If you have a bench, use that instead. Lie flat on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms should be straight up with the dumbbells. Lower the weights until your upper arms touch the floor. After a brief pause, press the weights up and contract the chest. This is one rep.
Flat Dumbbell Floor Fly: 100 total reps
Start in the same position as you did the presses. Turn your hands so your palms are facing each other. For this exercise, lower the weights and take your arms out to the sides until your arms touch the floor. You should feel a stretch in the chest at the bottom. Contract the chest and bring the weights back up until they are over your chest. They don't have to touch. This is one rep.
Push-ups with Dumbbells: 100 total reps
This will be better if you have either push-up handles or hex dumbbells. Assume a push-up position while holding the handles of your dumbbells. This will add a range of motion to the bottom of the exercise. From the top position, lower yourself as far as you safely can with your chest going between the dumbbells. If you can touch the floor, do so, but it isn't necessary. Once you feel a stretch, push up to the top position. This is one rep.
Don't feel as if you're limited to these workouts. If you have bands and dumbbells, then you can put together your own chest workouts at home that you can do anytime you want. The possibilities are endless, and they will make the workouts more challenging and fun.