Chest workouts at home

The No-Gym Chest Workout: 10 Exercises for Defined Pecs

The best chest workouts at home to pump up your pecs – guarantee!

Want a sculpted chest without a gym membership? This guide offers bodyweight and dumbbell exercises you can do at home, targeting different areas of your chest for complete development

Chest Muscles Anatomy

Chest workouts at home

In the gym, there are dedicated machines targeting the upper chest or lower chest. 

For example, if you want to gain strength in the upper chest, you’ll choose the incline bench press.

If you want to target the lower chest more, you would choose a decline bench press. 

But when you need to get in a chest workout at home, it takes a bit more creativity to find the perfect exercise.

In order to figure out what home chest exercises are best for you, let’s identify the main chest muscle.

The chest is one of the largest muscles in your upper body.

This muscle is called the pectoralis major (pec major), and it is the largest muscle and primary muscle on your chest. 

Even though this muscle covers your entire chest, different exercises will hit different areas of this muscle differently. 

You want to combine different at-home chest workouts in order to stimulate your chest completely. 

That is at least if you want a well-developed chest.

The good news is, you can do that from the comfort of your home. 

Beneath the pectoralis major is the pectoralis minor (also called the pec minor), which assists the pec major.

Exercises that involve the chest will always involve both muscles. 

10 Best Chest Workouts at Home

10 Best Chest Workouts at Home for Bigger Pecs

Best Chest Workout at Home

Let’s now look at some chest exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Anyone can benefit from these exercises, including men looking to build strength and muscle mass, women, and seniors. 

They target the chest muscles, delts, arms, wrists, forearms, and abs. 

We’ve incorporated a variety of basic equipment and bodyweight options to choose from too. 

Some equipment that may come in handy:

  • A mat, bench, or sturdy chairs
  • Dumbbells and weights that cause you to break a sweat (without risking your safety)

Chest Workouts at Home

Chest Workouts at Home

Simple bodyweight exercises like pushups and dips will challenge your chest effectively at home. 

1. Standard Push-Up

  • Muscle Groups: pec major, pec minor, deltoids, triceps, abs, lower back 
  • Reps: until failure
  • Sets: 3
Standard Push-Up - chest workouts

A pushup is a beginner-friendly chest workout. It’s one of my favorite equipment-free home workouts to do at home.

Until you can do ten pushups with your own body weight without stopping and with good posture, you need to have this in your chest workout. 

Pushups are a versatile exercise that you can do on the floor or on another stable surface at home. A full push-up target the pectorals, arms, and shoulders really well, but also challenge your core. 

After you get tired and reach failure, your core will start to give in. Make sure to keep your back flat and your abs tight. 

Since the pushup targets so many muscles, it will help you break a sweat, thereby helping you burn that arm fat. Strengthening your triceps too will add firmness to the underside of your upper arm, which is an area where it’s hard to lose fat. 

If you do pushups regularly, you won’t have flabby arms anymore! They’re also a good substitute for the barbell bench press. 

To perform:

  • Starting with the correct form is crucial to performing an effective pushup: keep your body as straight as possible, hands wider than shoulder-width, and don’t cheat!
  • Your hips, shoulders, and ankles, should move together in one line.
  • Engage your glutes and slowly bend your elbows, bringing your chest to the floor, while bringing your shoulder blades together. take a deep breath to Inhale.
  • Don’t reach for the floor with your chin, instead, look straight ahead.
  • Now, as the name suggests, push yourself back up and exhale. 
  • Complete 2–3 sets of as many reps as you possibly can!

2. Incline Push-Up

  • Muscle Groups: lower pecs and all the other muscles mentioned in the standard push-up 
  • Reps: until failure
  • Sets: 3
Incline Push-Up

You perform this bodyweight exercise the same way as a regular push-up.

But it’s better for beginners who don’t have enough strength to do a regular pushup. 

Or if you have a weighted vest or a partner to push down on your back as you push yourself up, it will target the lower pecs more effectively.

To perform:

  • Keep your feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on a sturdy elevated surface slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Keeping your abs, core, and glutes engaged, lower the chest down by bending your elbows. Inhale as you go down and hold for a second at the lowest point.
  • Maintaining your straight line from head to toe and straightening your arms to push up to the original position.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps or until you can no longer hold the form.

One way to perform this at home is to use stairs. 

Place your hand on the stairs instead of on the floor so that your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Now, you are ready to do an incline push-up. 

3. Decline Push-Up

  • Muscle Groups: upper pecs, deltoids, triceps
  • Reps: until failure
  • Sets: 3
Decline push-up chest exercises

Decline push-ups are one of the most challenging chest exercises because you have to lift more weight than in a standard push-up. 

In a regular pushup, your feet help to support your body weight against the resistance of gravity. 

But in a decline pushup, gravity starts to work against you more, effectively increasing the resistance of the exercise. 

This makes it feel like you’re lifting a heavier weight. 

One added benefit of this pushup variant is that it will target the upper pectoralis more than in a standard push-up, as well as the deltoids. 

If you’re trying to build a bigger chest, hitting your deltoids hard is crucial, because your chest will look wider. 

One downside of decline push-ups is that you use your chest less and less as the decline goes up and you use your shoulders more and more. 

Make sure to find an angle that hits your muscles the perfect way.

If your goal is to reduce arm fat, you should do decline pushups over standard push-ups because your triceps are more involved in the decline push-up. 

This is because your pecs become less involved, so your shoulders and triceps need to push harder. 

You will therefore build more firmness and muscle in that flabby area of your arms with the decline push-up.

To perform:

  • Place your hands on the floor and your feet on an elevated surface. 
  • Perform the pushup for the desired number of reps. 

4. Diamond Push-ups

  • Muscle Groups: inner pectoralis, deltoids, triceps
  • Reps: until failure
  • Sets: 3
Diamond Push-ups

When it comes to arm fat, this exercise is also better than the standard push-up at hitting the triceps. 

When you put your hands close to each other, your pectoralis major has less chance to do the heavy lifting. 

Your triceps and shoulders take over. But there’s one part of the chest that you hit harder with the diamond pushup. Can you guess what it is?

It’s the middle/inner pectorals. The pectoralis major is also connected to the sternum, the hard bone in the middle of your chest. 

When your hands are closer together in a pushup or dumbbell chest fly, for instance, the muscle fibers closer to the sternum are challenged more. 

So if your goal is to build a firm, round chest, make sure to include the diamond push-up after your other chest exercises to finish off your triceps and middle chest.

To perform:

  • Get into a regular push-up position. Now, move your hands towards each other and touch your index fingers and thumbs together. 
  • The space that is in between your hands now is the shape of a diamond. 
  • From here, perform a pushup in the same way as the standard push-up.

As you can see, changing your hand position is an easy way to hit different muscles. 

5. Plyometric Push-Ups

  • Muscle Groups: Chest, abdominals, triceps, shoulders
  • Reps: 8–12 reps
  • Sets: 2–3 sets
Plyometric Push-Ups

If pushups are starting to feel really easy for you, you can increase the challenge by doing plyometric push-ups. 

This is an effective exercise for increasing chest power, which is important in athletics. 

Say you’re a lineman for instance. Here, you’ll need not just strength in your chest to stop players on the opposing team, you’ll need power and speed as well. 

Plyometrics helps do that.

Also known as the jumping push-up, this exercise is also great for showing off your skills. 

Imagine doing a squat jump instead of a regular squat. It’s the same idea with a jumping pushup. 

This exercise is advanced, and if you don’t have the upper body strength to do it, it means you need to keep working on the other pushup varieties first with really good form and posture.

Once the standard push-up gets too easy, you will be able to explosively lift your torso away from the floor, so that your hands actually lift off the ground. 

To perform:

  • To do this, simply push as hard as you can with your hands to lift your body up. 
  • Imagine that your chest is so strong, you could just lift your whole body back into a standing position from the push-up. 
  • After returning back down from mid-air, you can either stop the momentum and reset before your next rep or lower yourself right back down into the push-up again and do another rep. 

The first method is harder than the latter because to smoothly transition into each rep takes more eccentric pec strength. 

That’s because since you lift your torso up, more weight is crashing down, and more strength is needed from the involved muscle groups to counteract that resistance. 

6. Wide Push-ups

  • Muscle Groups: outer chest, deltoid muscles, triceps
  • Reps: until failure
  • Sets: 3 sets
Wide Push-ups

If you’re trying to hit your outer chest more, then add wide push-ups to your home chest workout. 

Remember, the pectoralis major connects to the upper arm. By performing a wide push-up, you target the side of the pecs closer to your arms better. 

Wide push-ups are similar to dumbbell flies for this reason. 

This is why targeting your chest from different angles builds strength more completely in the pectoral muscles. 

Also, since you are involving the chest more, you will hit it even harder compared to a standard push-up. Just try it out, and feel the difference. 

To perform:

  • Start in a regular high plank position as you will do in a normal pushup
  •  Increasing the distance between your hands is wider than in a typical pushup.
  • Engage your glutes, and core to lower your chest down and back up as in a regular pushup. 

7. Triceps (Chest Dips)

  • Primary muscle Groups: Triceps Brachii
  • Reps: 8–12 repetitions
  • Sets: 2–3 sets
  • Equipment: sturdy bench, coffee table, or weight bench
Triceps dips

Another great bodyweight exercise that works your chest muscles is the tricep dips. It’s a simple bodyweight training exercise that’s easy to perform.

To perform:

  • Sit on the bench or chair with your arms by your sides, and feet on the ground.
  • Grab the front of the seat on either side of you, palms downward.
  • While you grip the seat, lift yourself up off it and walk forward. Fully extend your arms.
  • Lower your body until your elbows make a 90-degree angle. 
  • Lift your torso up by pushing up with your hands and returning to the starting position.

Turn it up a notch by placing your feet on a slightly elevated surface. 

Chest Workouts at Home With Weights

With some simple equipment, you can add more variety to your workout to train the pectorals. Here are some examples.

8. Dumbbell Bench Press

  • Primary muscle Groups: pectoralis chest muscles, triceps, deltoids
  • Reps: 6–10 repetitions
  • Sets: 2–3 sets
  • Equipment: dumbbells, barbell, weight bench
Dumbbell Bench Press

The bench press builds chest strength and chest muscle really well because it isolates it effectively. 

You can use a barbell or a pair of dumbbells to perform this. All you need to do is get a flat bench for yourself.

To perform:

  • Sit on the bench
  • Grab dumbbells and place them on your knees
  • As you lower your body to lie down, bring the dumbbells to your shoulders
  • Take a deep breath, and slowly begin to lower the weight down toward your chest.
  • Exhale and press them upwards (back to the starting position)
  • Lower the dumbbells back down towards your chest again.
  • Lower or drop the dumbbells to the floor when you’ve completed the desired number of reps


  • Use a slower tempo as you lower the weights down towards your chest for better control.
  • This also helps reduce your risk of injury. Your lower back should stay neutral the whole time. 

9. Dumbbell Chest Fly

  1. Muscle Groups: outer and inner pecs, biceps
  2. Reps: 8–12 repetitions
  3. Sets: 3 sets
  4. Equipment: flat bench, dumbbells
Dumbbell Chest Fly

This exercise puts more tension on the shoulder joint, and will thereby challenge your biceps more. 

Unlike a chest press, this type of exercise is called chest abduction, a movement that plays a key role in moving your arm across your chest. 

You will have to use light weights first to learn the proper form first. 

Like pushups, you can target the lower chest or upper chest to build a muscular chest, depending on your workout that day. 

To perform:

  • Bring your dumbbells to your shoulders like in the dumbbell bench press. 
  • Push them above you in a straight line. This is the starting position.
  • Rotate your palms so they are facing each other. Keep your wrists straight. 
  • Squeeze your abs and slowly lower the dumbbells outwards, keeping a slight bend in your elbows
  • Tightening your abs, lift the dumbbells back to the starting position in a semicircle motion

10. Dumbbell Pullover 

  • Muscle Groups: lats, triceps, upper abs, pecs
  • Reps: 8–12 repetitions
  • Sets: 3–6 sets
  • Equipment: flat bench, dumbbell (only one)
Dumbbell Pullover 

The dumbbell pullover is a fantastic exercise that targets the back and the chest at the same time, as well as your core.

To perform:

  • Place your upper back only on the bench, your torso perpendicular to it, with the dumbbell resting in your hands on your chest.
  • Grab the dumbbell so that it’s pointing down, with your inner palms supporting one end of the dumbbell.
  • Lift the dumbbell up in a straight line, and make sure your torso is parallel with the ground, your feet firmly on the floor.
  • Keeping your arms mostly straight, lower the dumbbell behind your head.
  • Lift it back up to the starting position.

As with the dumbbell fly, this exercise involves a circular lifting motion, rather than an up and down one. 

Because of this, it counts towards your core work too, because it requires a really strong core.

Other chest workouts with weights you can do at home:

  • Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Decline Dumbbell Chest Press
  • Diamond Press

All of these strength exercises are great for muscle strength. 

Final Take on Chest Workouts at Home

Chest workouts at home can be varied enough for both building muscle and strength training. 

Don’t make excuses to not hit your upper body because you don’t have a gym at the moment. 

Whether you’re in a hotel, at home, or in an office, you can do chest exercises without heavy weights. 

There is so much variety, and variety means better results.

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