The 9 Best Bodyweight Home Chest Exercises for Explosive Strength

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Looking for home chest exercises? This article will present you with 9 of the best bodyweight chest exercises that promote explosive strength.
The 9 Best Bodyweight Home Chest Exercises for Explosive Strength 17

Do you want to have perfect, strong pecs? like a plateau and to make you look like a god, on the beach, in the club, or in the meeting room? You are exactly in the right place! 

Here you will find out about the best 9 chest exercises performed only with your body weight that will help you develop explosive strength.

If you want to tone the muscles in your upper body, you need to train all the muscles in it, and this includes your chest muscles. To achieve this, you need to be able to perform exercises that could improve the strength of the cardiovascular system, as well as improve endurance.

In this article, you will discover the best 9 home bodyweight chest exercises and how to use them to build an impressive chest in the fastest possible way, as well as to increase your endurance, speed, and explosive strength. 

The benefits of push-ups:

Push-ups are one of the most basic upper body exercises, so it can be easy to forget about them in the face of more tricky moves, but for your overall strength and health, push-ups are an important part of the equation.     

Push-ups are an exercise that can be done anywhere, anytime and they offer a variety of benefits. For example:

  • Push-up is a compound exercise. This means that it works several different muscles at once. It builds strength in your chest, shoulders, triceps, and abdominals.
  • Push-up requires little or no equipment. You can do them almost anywhere, at home, at a park, at the beach, or even in your office!
  • It engages many muscles in your arms, chest, and back to help you stay balanced as you move from down position to up position. It also works your core muscles to keep your torso steady while you move your arms and legs.
  • Push-ups help improve your posture.
  • Push-ups are also an excellent way to build endurance and keep your heart rate up while you’re working out.
  • They help you burn calories and lose weight
  • The more you do push-ups the stronger you get!

To better understand these 9 chest exercises, let’s first look at the anatomy of these muscles.

Chest Muscle Anatomy

Chest Muscle Anatomy
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Photo Source: HELT

Chest anatomy refers to the muscles that are located on a human chest.

Chest anatomy is a lot more complicated than many people realize. It can get confusing, especially when you’re new to it and trying to make sense of the whole system.

Chest muscles are a group of muscles in the upper front part of the body. Their main function is to move or support the movement of the ribcage.

The chest muscles include:

  • Pectoralis Major
  • Pectoralis Minor
  • Subclavius
  • Serratus Anterior.

1) Pectoralis Major – which in turn consists of 3 sections:

Pectoralis Major
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Photo Source: Slide Player

• Upper / Clavicular Head

• Middle / Sternocostal Head

• Lower / Abdominal Head.

The pectoralis major is a large, substantially fan-shaped muscle. And, as you might guess from the word “major,” it makes up most of your chest muscle mass. It originates in the collarbone, ribs, and sternum and is inserted in the upper part of the humerus (the bone of the upper arm from elbow to shoulder).

The pectoralis major helps to flex the shoulder joint and moves the arm to and over the chest. When you train your pectorals, you will probably notice that your shoulders and triceps also benefit.

2) Pectoralis Minor

Pectoralis Minor
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Photo Source: Sports Injury Bulletin

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle that is located under the pectoralis major. It attaches to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th ribs and reaches the scapula (scapula).

Think of it as the little (but very strong) brother of the major pectoralis. His task is to help pull the shoulder back and forth.

3) Anterior Serratus

Anterior Serratus
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Photo Source: Physiopedia

Serratus Anterior is positioned on your rib cage below your pecs and armpits.

The anterior Serratus, although not part of the thoracic anatomy, is usually grouped as part of the thoracic muscle group because it attaches near the pectorals on the ribs. Its functions are to move the scapula forward and upward.

All of these parts work together to bring the arms closer to the body, rotate them inward, and extend the shoulder.

4) Subclavius

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Photo Source: Kenhub

The Subclavius muscle attaches from the clavicle to the first rib beneath the clavicle’s articulation with the scapula. It aids in stabilizing the scapula’s movement during respiration and assists in breathing movements.

Subclavius receives innervation through the first intercostal nerve, which branches off from the subclavian nerve that comes

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The 9 chest exercises for today’s training are:

1) Decline Push Up

2) Chair Chest Dips

3) Paper Plate Push-Ups

4) Diamond Push-Ups (targets the Triceps and Inner Chest)

5) Plyometric Push-Up (to build explosive strength)

6) Spiderman Push-Up

7) Pike Push Up

8) Dive Bomber Push-Up

9) Offset Push-Up

Reps for each exercise: minimum 10-until failure

Rest: 1-minute between each exercise

Repeat: 2-5x depending on your training level (1x for beginners, 2-3x for intermediates, 3-5x for advanced).

1.  Decline Push Up

Decline Push Up
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Decline push-ups targets: the upper chest, shoulders, and triceps.

This chest exercise, it’s a little more challenging than the regular push-up. You’ll have to use a platform or a piece of furniture (couch, chair) on which you put your feet.    

The primary benefit of declined push-ups is that they allow your body to move through a greater range of motion than regular push-ups while still engaging your muscles in the same way.

With this variation, you can focus on specific areas of your body like your chest and triceps without wasting time focusing on areas that are already getting plenty of attention from regular push-ups.     

Due to their position, declined push-ups also target additional muscles, including those in your core area. Muscle groups in your core are essential for stabilizing your whole body whenever you’re moving around or exercising.

How to do it:

•      Start by standing a few inches away from the platform/ couch/ chair you’ll put your feet on, then plant your hands on the ground in line with your shoulders.

•      Place one foot on the platform at a time until you are in a decline position.

•      Squeeze your glutes, quads, and core, and make sure your body is in a straight line.

•      Now, bend your elbows and your chest to the floor into a push-up before pressing your hands to the ground and returning to the starting position.

•      That is 1 rep.

2.  Chair Chest Dips

Chair Chest Dips
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GIF Source:

Chest dips target the lower chest. For this chest exercise, you only need 2 similar chairs that are about the same height.

Looking to get a chest workout in while sitting down? Chair dips are a great solution. They allow you to engage your chest muscles by using your hands as weights and your body’s weight as resistance.

Chair chest dips are a great way to work out your chest in the comfort of your own home. Their simplicity means you can do them anywhere without any equipment, so they’re great for travel or anytime you’re away from the gym.

The chair chest dip is a great way to target your pecs while also working out your triceps and shoulders. The elevation of the chair is also a great way to increase the difficulty of this exercise, as it increases the range of motion you’re using and forces you to engage more muscles than if you were simply doing regular chest dips on the ground.

You can do chair chest dips without weights, but adding extra weight will make them harder and give an even greater workout over time.

How to do it:

•      Take the chairs and place them side by side facing away from each other so that you can get in the middle of them. For more stability, I advise you to add something heavy to each chair.

•      Start by grabbing one chair in each hand, looking your elbows out, bending your knees, and raising your feet off the ground.

•      Lean your upper body forward.

•      Bend your elbows and slowly lower your body until your shoulders will be parallel with your elbows or a little lower, and your knees should be close to the floor.

•      Now, press back up until you reach the starting position.

•      That’s 1 rep.

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3.  Paper Plate Push-Ups

Paper Plate Push Ups
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Photo Source: The Tig Archives – Meghanpedia

You only need 2 paper plates or 2 pieces of paper.

Chest exercises are a necessity for those who want to build a good body.

These chest exercises work best if you use a roughly 6-inch wide paper plate and perform this move on a firm surface like hardwood or linoleum.   

You may have seen this method done with books or water bottles, which makes sense since their circular shape is similar to that of a paper plate. But paper plates have the added advantage of being able to grip both edges to get the most out of your push-up’s range of motion.

How to do it:

•      Start by placing the paper plates on a surface that will allow them to slide like hardwood.

•      Place your hands onto the paper plates and get into a push-up position and engage your glutes, quads, and core. Your body should be in a straight line.

•      Bend your elbows and lower yourself into a push-up, then press yourself back up off the ground, but unlike a regular push-up, as you push off, you want to squeeze your chest and slide the plates towards each other until your elbows are fully lockout, then slide them back apart as you lower yourself down.

•      That’s 1 rep.

4.  Diamond Push-Ups (targets the Triceps and Inner Chest)

Diamond Push Ups
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Nothing beats diamond pushups for building an iron chest and explosive strength. And not only the chest. Diamond push-ups are also a top-notch exercise to make your triceps grow.

Targets: Triceps and inner chest.

Diamond push-ups force you to engage your clavicular pectorals, which run along the underside of your pecs and give them that sharp V-shape. In a standard push-up, these muscles don’t get used because they’re located under the rest of your pec muscle in a way that makes it difficult for them to be contracted during the movement.

How to do it:

•      Get on your hands and knees.

•      Position your hands close together so your index fingers and thumbs make a diamond shape. It might look like a triangle, depending on the flexibility of your thumbs.

•      Stretch your legs back into a standard push-up position.

•      Keeping your core braced, lower yourself until your chest reaches the floor. Your elbows will flare out to the sides.

•      Return to the starting position.

5.  Plyometric Push-Up 

Plyometric Push Up
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The plyometric push-up is a great exercise to build explosive strength without the use of weights.

The push-ups are stapling chest exercises that can be performed anywhere, but it’s also very versatile. You can change up the exercises to work for different muscle groups, or you can modify them to make them easier or more difficult.

One of my favorites is the plyometric push-up. Plyometric movements are dynamic moves meant to increase power and strength, so they’re great for athletes and people who want to look like an athlete.

The added resistance provided by the plyometric push-up makes it a great exercise for men and women looking to build their chest muscles.

How to do it:

•      You’re going to start in a push-up position.

•      Slowly lower yourself down into a push-up, and from here explode as hard as you can.

•      You want your hands to come off the floor and land back down.

•      That’s 1 rep.

6.  Spiderman Push-Up 

Spiderman Push Up
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If you’re looking to build up your chest, there are plenty of chest exercises that can help. You might be thinking of doing a classic push-up, but if you want to better target your pecs, the Spiderman Push-Up is an excellent option.

Because it requires you to maintain a straight line from your shoulders to your hips with no sagging or excess movement, these chest exercises work two muscles in the chest: the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor.

It also strengthens the triceps because you have to stabilize yourself on just one hand for balance as you lower and raise yourself.

The Spiderman Push-Up is great if you’re getting tired of the standard push-up and need a challenge. This exercise is primarily chest and arm strengthening, but it also increases hip flexibility and works your core too.

Targets: Strengthens the core in addition to the typical chest muscles.

How to do it:

•      Assume a standard push-up position. 

•      As you lower yourself toward the ground, simultaneously bring one knee out to the side and up to touch your elbow, with your leg parallel to the ground. 

•      Your knee should touch your elbow at the lowest point of the push-up.

•      Reverse the movement to the starting position and repeat on the other side.

7.  Pike Push Up

Pike Push Ups
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Photo Source:

Only for the intermediate and advanced, there is a great risk of injury for beginners.

These types of chest exercises are effective because they allow you to use your body weight to target your chest muscles while also engaging your core muscles and shoulders. Although it’s not necessarily easy and requires a lot of balance from the user, you can start with small sets of repetitions every day until you build up strength.    

Pike push-ups are advanced push-ups where you tilt your body to work more of your upper chest. The exercise strengthens the muscles in your upper chest and triceps, making it a great addition to your workout routine.

Targets: Strengthens the upper body and core, with more focus on the shoulders.

How to do it:

•      Begin in a downward dog yoga position, with your feet and hands just wider than shoulder width. 

•      Keep your hips high, heels low, and maintain the inverted-V position as you bend your elbows and lower your head toward the floor between your hands. 

•      Reverse the movement to the starting position for one rep.

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8.  Dive Bomber Push Up

Dive Bomber Push Ups
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GIF Source: Warrior Made

This exercise will work your whole chest.      

The Dive Bomber Push Up is a great exercise for building upper body strength and building up your chest. The exercise is often used by many different athletes to help improve their performance in certain sports.      

The dive bomber push-up is a fun twist on the standard push-up because it puts your body at an angle, so it works your chest muscles differently.

It also combines upper body strength with lower body strength, which makes it an all-around awesome exercise!

How to do it:

•      Start into a downward dog position with your hips up.

•      Lower yourself to the ground for what looks like a pike push-up, but as you near down to the bottom of the movement and your chest comes closer to the ground you wanna drop your hips to the ground and press your upper body up, so you wind up into something that looks like a cobra stretch.

•      Hold up in this position for a second, then reverse the entire motion by bending your elbows and lowering your upper body to the ground as you raise your hips back up to the downward dog position, and then press yourself up until your elbows are locked out.

•      This is 1 rep.

9.  Offset Push-Up

Offset Push Up
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This variation targets the inner pecs more effectively by changing where you place your hands on the floor. Instead of having both hands directly underneath your chest, place one hand over a stack of books or a basketball ball.     

How to do it:

•      Get into a push-up position with one hand on the ground and the other hand on the stack of books or the basketball.

•      Then get into a push-up position, perform one push-up and step over with your hands, and switch sides.

•      Then, alternate back and forth.

•      This is 1 rep.

Last Thoughts:

Don’t neglect the warm-up! It is necessary to warm up before each workout. Do not skip the warm-up no matter where you are and the training program you want to follow.

Five to ten minutes of active stretching are enough to prepare your body for effort. When it comes to chest training, it is important to warm your shoulders and arms.

Push-ups can be an excellent exercise for strength, endurance, and muscle mass and a great addition to your workout program. But only when you use them correctly by choosing the right variant, intensity, and number of reps.

You can also read: 

You can do these chest exercises at home only with your body weight, 2x / week. It is important to listen to your body and give it continuous challenges to develop both in mass and endurance, speed, and explosive strength.

You can get an enviable chest right in the comfort of your own home, however, I recommend concentrating on the other muscle groups too, and if you want to get a harmonious body I suggest you try my full-body 8 weeks shredding challenges.

Did you saw? Even the pecs can be trained correctly at home, all you have to do is adapt your chest exercise program to the circumstances, then plan it and build it the way you would do at the gym.

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