Build a Superheroic Upper Body With These Bodyweight Chest Exercises

Build a Superheroic Upper Body With These Bodyweight Chest Exercises

For a killer physique and a stronger upper body, it’s important to mix some chest exercises into your workout routine. A powerful chest helps you carry heavy stuff, push open doors, and even sit up straighter. Plus, it looks pretty darn good. Thankfully, you can build your chest muscles — not to mention your triceps, shoulders, and core — without machines. All you need is your bodyweight and these seven push-up variations.

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1. Classic Push-Up

  • Assume a high-plank position with your feet together, arms straight, hands in line with (but slightly wider than) your shoulders, and your body straight from head to heels. Engage your glutes and core to lock your body into position.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked, lower your torso until your chest is within a few inches of the floor.
  • Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.

 

2. Plyometric Push-Up

  • Assume a high plank position.
  • Keeping your elbows tucked, lower your torso until your chest is within a few inches of the floor, and then push up with enough force for your hands to leave the ground.
  • Land softly, transitioning immediately into your next rep.

 

3. Power Push-Up

powerm push up demonstration | bodyweight chest workout

  • From a standing position, push your hips back and lower yourself into a squat as you bend your elbows and raise your hands in front of you (as if you’re preparing to catch a ball). Keep your core engaged and your back flat. This is the starting position.
  • Place your hands on the floor and jump your feet back into a push-up position.
  • Do a push-up, lowering your chest to within a few inches of the floor.
  • Push yourself back up explosively, so your hands come off the floor and simultaneously jump your feet forward, returning to the starting position.

 

4. Spiderman Push-Up

spidermanm push up demonstration | bodyweight chest workout

  • Assume a high plank position.
  • Keeping your core engaged and elbows tucked, simultaneously lower your chest to within a few inches of the floor and bring your right knee as close as possible to your right elbow.
  • Pause, and then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat, this time bringing your left knee to your left elbow.
  • Continue alternating sides.

 

5. Staggered Push-Up

staggeredm push up demonstration | bodyweight chest workout

  • Assume a high plank position, but with your right hand slightly forward and your left hand slightly backward.
  • Lower your chest to within a few inches of the floor, pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat, this time with your left hand forward and your right hand back.
  • Continue alternating hand positions with each rep.

 

6. Decline Push-Up

declinem push up demonstration | bodyweight chest workout

  • Assume a high plank position but with your feet elevated on a sturdy box, bench, or step.
  • Keeping your core engaged, body straight, and elbows tucked, lower your chest to within a few inches of the floor.
  • Pause, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.

 

7. Inchworm Push-Up

inchworm push up demonstration | bodyweight chest workout

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your back flat and core engaged, hinge forward at your hips and place your hands on the floor (you can bend your knees slightly if you need to).
  • Walk your hands forward until you are in a high plank position, and then lower your chest to within a few inches of the floor.
  • Pause, and then reverse the entire movement sequence to return to the starting position.
Lauren Bedosky

About

Lauren Bedosky is an experienced health and fitness writer who specializes in running, strength training, sports nutrition, and injury prevention. She writes for a variety of companies and publications, including Men’s Health, MyFitnessPal, Everyday Health, and BlueCross BlueShield. She lives in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, with her husband and their three dogs. You can find here on Twitter here.