Everybody in the modern world wants to look good and feel good, and there’s no better way to accomplish that than with regular exercise and physical activity. Many people flock to their local gym franchise to use all sorts of fancy machines to stay in shape, but the gym isn’t the right option for everybody. Maybe you're an introvert who doesn't like large groups of people, or maybe you're just starting your fitness journey and don’t want to feel like you're being judged by more accomplished members of the gym. Well not to worry, there are plenty of ways you can get in shape and look and feel good right at home. Check out the article below to find out the best exercises you can do for your chest right from the comfort of your own home.

Step One: Decide Which Exercises Are Right For You

Are Free Weight Exercises or Body Weight Exercises The Best Choice?

There are a few different options to build your chest muscles at home and you’ll want to decide which ones fit your fitness goals the best. There are really two main options. Exercises with weights like a set of dumbbells or with a barbell--and exercises that use the weight of your body in order to create resistance and work out your chest muscles. The benefit to the exercises that use the weight of your body are that they are totally free. The only thing you need is you. However, these exercises don’t readily let you adjust the amount of resistance you are making your muscles work through the way a set of weights will. So take the time to figure out what your fitness goals are and decide which exercises will be the right ones for you. 

girl in push up poistion outdoors
The benefit of body weight exercises are that they can be accomplished anywhere you take your body.

So You Decide To Go With Bodyweight Exercises

There Are Many Choices and Variations You Can Choose From

If you decide you want to exercise without spending money to get a set of dumbbells or other kinds of weights there are plenty of exercises you can do just using the weight of your body.

The most obvious exercise you can do without weights is a standard push up. A push just requires that you lay facing down towards the floor with your feet together. Put your hands a little more than the width of your shoulders apart and use your arms to push your body up until your arms are straight. This is a simple exercise you can do anywhere and have probably done before at some point in your life. These are great because they use the weight of your body to create the resistance your chest muscles have to help lift. They are a totally free exercise that you can do anywhere.

However, there are many different variations on the push up that you can do at home that provide different advantages depending on what your particular fitness goals are. Some exercises are better for building muscle mass whereas some are better for building up the strength of your muscles. You’ll have to decide what your goal is and pick which exercises will work the best for you.

A few of the common variations on the push up are the alternating shuffle push up. This exercise requires that you start in the standard push up position and move one of your hands over until it is right next to the other. Then take your other hand and slide it away from that hand in the same direction until your hands are roughly shoulder width apart again. Then you perform a push up and then switch your hands to the same position on the other side. These exercises can be great once you feel like a normal push up is not enough resistance for your chest strength. By putting both hands on one side it forces one of your muscles to carry more weight than it does in the standard push up position and by alternating the sides you can increase the resistance on both of your pectoral muscles.

Another common variation on the push up that helps provide extra resistance is the one arm push up. These are done by finding a small box or something else that can handle you putting your weight on it. SImply put the object under one of your hands in the standard push up position and use the hand that the object is not under to perform the push up. LIke the alternating shuffle push up, the one arm push up also creates some extra resistance when you feel like the standard push up isn’t providing you enough of a challenge anymore.

Another variation on the push up is the incline push up. This involves taking the standard push up position and adding a piece of furniture to the mix. SImply stand far enough away from your couch, bed, table, or whatever and lean forward at an angle so your hands are on the piece of furniture but your feet are still on the ground. Then simply perform a push up using the piece of furniture to keep you angled the entire time. These push ups are great if you find it difficult to get down on the floor, or to get back up from laying on the floor. 

man doing incline push up
Incline push ups can be done to make them more difficult or easier depending on how you use the furniture. 

So You Decided to Go With Free Weights

Make Sure You Choose The Right Exercise For Your Fitness Goals 

If you already have a set of weights, or decide that you want to spend the money to get a set of weights, there are also plenty of good chest exercises you can do at home with them.

One of the most common types of exercises to do with weights that build your chest muscles is a bench press. This can be done with a barbell or with a set of dumbbells. You simply lay on your back, preferable on a solid bench, and hold the weights with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Then simply push the weights up until your arms are straight up. This exercise does a great job at building the upper part of your chest muscles.

There are a few different variations on this exercise that will exercise different parts of your chest muscles so it's a good idea to figure out what your fitness goals are and pick the style of bench press that will achieve your particular goals. 

One common variation is called a Crush Press or a Squeeze Press.This is done by laying on your bench or whatever you are using to support your body and putting the weights together in the middle of your chest. Then, keeping the dumbbells together the entire time, you raise them to arms length over your chest. This exercise is particularly good at working the middle/inner part of your chest muscles. 

Another common variation is called a 45 Degree Press. This is done by lying on your back on the floor with your dumbbells arms length apart. Then you rotate your wrists so that your thumbs are closer together than your pinkies. Kind of like your holding a steering wheel right above you at 10 and 2. Then you simply lower your arms and the weights until the back of your arm makes contact with the floor. Once your arms hit the floor you simply push the weights back up into your original starting position and that is one complete rep. These exercises are great for building up the muscle in the lower part of your chest. 

set of dumbbells
Dumbbells give you the option of performing many different variations of chest exercises right at home

No matter what your reason is for working out from home, there are plenty of exercises that you can do. The exercises that use your body weight to create resistance can even be done totally for free wherever you are. There’s no need to worry about if your hotel has a gym when you are traveling if you are already used to doing push ups or incline push ups at home because you can do them anywhere. 

Unfortunately the exercises that require weights aren’t quite so accessible everywhere you go. But as long as you are at home there are a plethora of exercises you can do with dumbbells or a barbell that will help you meet your fitness goals. Whether those goals are to build muscle mass or simply to increase the strength of your chest. Whatever exercise you pick you are sure to be looking and feeling better in no time when you add them to your weekly routine.

May 6, 2021