So you know I gave up the gym several years ago now. One of the things I was worried about was doing my chest workout at home. But I don't worry any longer. Other than being disciplined to do it at home, you should be able to get an unbelievable chest from these exercises.
Doing Bench Press at Home
I'm not gonna lie, the bench press is the king of chest exercises. The ability to change weights and ratchet down to get a deep burn . . . nothing can replace that. But there are alternatives, as I described in the video, that are fantastic.
To get an overall chest workout, get yourself some suspension bands or TRX bands like I show in the video (at :54 seconds), you can really get ripped up using those. Suspend those from a door or frame and you've got chest, stabilizing muscles, abs. . . everything you'd want in a combo exercise.
If you can suspend these from above (they come with instructions) then you can put your legs on a chair and your hands in the stirrups of the bands. Then proceed to do push-ups like you'd normally do. Keeping the bands underneath you is a bitch. That's takes serious concentration. The reason the bands are great is because they move. They are not fixed or stable.
Your arms, your core and your chest have to be working hard while you do that. Similar to the way your arms have to stabilize the bar on bench press, with suspension bands your entire body must stay strong while you're doing the exercise.
Lower Chest Exercises
The lower chest are the muscles that grow when you do push-ups. They typically respond the quickest to growth and thus get the most attention.
While push-ups are pretty common place, not many people do them right. So let's go through the mechanics real quick to make sure you're going to get the bang for your buck.
Step 1 - From a lying down position with hands just under your shoulders, push-up to straight arms and hold it there. In this position your back and legs should be one straight line to your feet. No sagging or lifting. If someone put a ball on your neck, it should roll easily down your back to your feet.
Step 2 - Through bending your arms lower your entire body to the floor without changing your straight back and legs. Pretend as if your body is a table resting on your arms. As you lower your arms the table would lower.
Step 3 - When you reach the bottom, just above your chest touching the floor lift back up. This is a perfect push-up.
If you want to add a bit to it, use something like push-up bars or place your hands on books so you'll be able to lower your chest beyond your hands even deeper to get a better stretch. You can also grab two chairs (1:09 in the video) and do dips. Most people think dips are for triceps, and they are. But if you lean a little bit forward when you are doing them you'll get a killer chest burn and tricep burn. If your chairs are pretty strong and you need to make it a bit harder, hold a book between your knees or put it in your lap.
The key to dips is making sure your elbows go straight back. Don't let them flare out to the sides. Slowly dip down and slowly raise. Momentum is always your enemy.
Upper Chest Exercises
The upper chest is the holy grail of chest muscles. While most fit guys have a great lower chest, you only have to look at Schwarzenegger once to know that his upper chest muscles are just as powerful as his lower chest muscles. If you want to work your upper chest muscles specifically, you have to make some slight adjustments to the exercises.
In the gym the best way to target the upper chest is with incline press. We can replicate that at home by getting into the push-up position then raising our legs a bit, perhaps setting them on that chair. The higher we can raise our legs the more we steepen the incline.
And yes, you can raise them too high. Once you get past 30 degrees the shoulder muscles take on a much stronger role. You'll reduce the focus on the upper chest once that happens, so don't go too high.
To make it a bit harder you can do one of two things. If you have a hard surface you can put cloth under your hands and then slide them together as you lower. This would simulate the dumbbell press on the incline bench where you bring your hands together at the top. Or if you are on carpet you can step one hand into the other as you lower down to the floor and step back out as you push up.
Dumbbell Fly at Home?
To hit the other heads of the pec muscles do a "floor fly" instead of a dumbbell fly (2:27). A dumbbell fly (or pec fly) is really a wide push up that brings your hands together at the end. The dumbbell fly works the entire pectoral muscle but from a different angle.
With the floor fly you still get to start wide and end narrow, but make sure you are squeezing your chest muscles together the entire time.
Developing Fast Twitch Muscles
Fast twitch muscles come into play when your body does explosive or fast movements. They play a big role in muscle growth as well. If you're looking to increase your power, developing the fast twitch muscles is important.
As it pertains to doing your chest exercises at home, add a component - go explosive! Again get in the push-up position. Lower your body to the ground then push up fast exploding off the ground, clap in the air and then catch and lower yourself down. You can see that in action at 1:44 in the video above. Plyometrics really knock it up a notch.
Adding explosive movements to all your exercises will aid in fat loss, muscle growth and overall power. I wrote Ultimate Cuts: 7 Secrets to Burning Fat that goes into much greater detail into fat loss if you're interested.
So What's Next?
Do all of those and you have a serious chest workout at home. (If you do all of that and it's not a problem for you, video that shit and send it to me, I want to show the community).
Speaking of that if you're not part of the Brandon Carter Community yet, I want you in. We're doing workouts that will get you ripped up in no time... Getting results like these guys:
And this one:
And seeing everyone supporting each other on their path to awesome is fantastic.
Come join us! We need you.
Want to check out the High Life community and join a group of dedicated, like-minded people all helping each other reach their physique goals? Then Click HERE.
Also, check out my program The Simple Shredded Solution for more information about burning fat and building muscles.