Chest Workout Without Weights – The 4 Exercises You Really Need

Your chest muscles (Pectoral muscles) are among the most powerful muscles of your upper body and an essential part of a good physique.

Most people think that you need to lift heavy to build a bigger chest. Lifting weights will definitely help, but you can also build mass and size using Calisthenics and your own body weight.

First off all, muscle growth occurs when you tear and break down your muscle fibers, during exercise. Once broken down, then they need to repair. And as they repair back together, they do it with thicker and stronger muscle cells and fibers. This process is called hypertrophy.

In order to maximise your muscle growth, you must provide your body with enough fuel, so that it can begin the repairing process. Which is why nutrition plays a big part. Getting enough protein and sleep will help your repairing process.

Now, the reason why resistance training is very effective for building muscle, is because it’s very effective for breaking down muscle and tearing muscle fibers. But what happens when you don’t have any more weight to add up, or you use your own bodyweight for resistance?

In that case, the way that you reach fatigue and tear your muscle fibers is by using harder variations of the same exercise, or extending the time under tension. That, basically, means longer – harder holds and more repetitions.

The time under tension, from the increased repetitions and holds, is going to cause damage to your muscle fibers, just like when you increase weight. Then, the muscle repairing process will begin, which will increase the size of your muscle cells. This results in building bigger and more solid muscle.

The following 3 exercises target your upper chest, mid chest and the lower section of your chest too.


The Push up is one of the most fundamental chest exercises and prerequisite for a a lot of Calisthenics skills such as the handstandplanche and front lever.

This exercise is simple and targets a lot of muscles (chestshoulderstricepsabdominal muscles),

The problem is that, most people focus on rep quantity in expense of their form

In order to perform a proper Pushup you must focus on keeping the Hollow Body Position (rounded back) during the hole movement and also your abdominal, heaps and legs engaged.

Never let your back arch and your chest drop.

Your hand position is, also, really important. You need to place your wrists in a vertical line under your solders and keep your elbows as close to your body as possible, during the movement.

And, of course, make sure you are doing the full range of motion

It is more beneficial for you body to perform fewer, full range reps with perfect form than many short range reps with bad form.

Depending on your hand position, there are a lot of Pushup variations you can try and play with. Some of them are the Diamond Pushup, the Wide Pushup, the Archer Pushup and also the One Arm Pushup.

Do 4 sets of 8 to 15 reps.


The chest dips mainly focus on the lower part of your chest.

While any kind of dips involve your chest, this particular body position offers the best chest activation. The key in this variation is to lean your upper body a bit forward, while raising your legs at the same time. This body position puts the center of gravity right below your chest.

If you do the dip with an upright body, in the nearly vertical line, the focus switches from your chest to your triceps. If you lean your complete body forward, without raising the legs, you would mostly hit your shoulders.

It is also possible to do this variation with bent legs, as long as the center of gravity stays the same.

Do 4 sets of 8 to 15 reps.


The decline pushup is a great exercise for your upper chest.

A common mistake, when doing decline push-ups on the ground, is the hand placement and joint alignment.

If you do decline push-ups on the ground with a straight body, your head will touch the ground first, before you are able to get the full range of motion in your shoulder joint.

Most people try to compensate this by changing the hand placement.

Although, if you place your hands more to the front, you increase the range of motion in your elbow joint, but not in your shoulders. This will decrease the chest and increase the triceps activation. If you place your hands more to the back, you change the exercise to a more shoulder dominant movement.

This is the reason why, I only recommend this exercise if you do it on parallettes. This will allow you to use the full range of motion and the right joint alignment.

Do 4 sets of 8 to 15 reps.


The planche push up is an advanced push up variation, which mimics the bench press. It is, probably, the best bodyweight exercise you can do, in order to work your chest.

By adjusting your leg position, you can control the amount of weight you are lifting.

This exercise requires a great amount of strength and balance. It targets mostly your chest and your shoulders.

Do 4 sets of 8 to 15 reps.


Having strong chest muscles is really important for advancing in harder Calisthenics exercises, like the planchefront leverback lever and dragon flag.

By implementing the above 4 exercises and it’s variations in your workout, you can achieve your goals faster and without using any weights!

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