Quite a few people believe that weightlifting and weight training are the only two effective methods of developing your pectoral muscles, or in general, developing a muscular upper body.
Well, that is not the case. There are plenty of exercises and workout routines not involving weights, which help in building muscle. Here, we will focus on a chest workout without weights. The following information will help you gain insight on how to develop your chest muscles and tone your pectorals.
- Push ups against a kitchen countertop
- Push ups on knees
- Push ups on toes
- Push ups using a medicine ball, etc.
In the first case, you can make use of a wall or a kitchen countertop for performing push ups. This is an ideal exercise for beginners to judge their strength levels and their stamina.
Start with one set of 12 push ups, and gradually increase the count with every passing day. Once you are comfortable with this type, you can progress towards the next one, i.e. push ups on knees.
In this case, you rest your knees on the floor, and perform push ups parallel to the ground. Type 3, i.e. push ups on toes, is the most common way of performing push ups.
Once again, perform this variant in a set of 12 repetitions, and gradually increase the count as your stamina builds up. The last type involves performing push ups while resting your feet on a medicine ball, with your palms on the floor.
In this position, your body should approximately make an angle of 45 degrees with the floor. This is an advanced level position, and one which requires a good amount of shoulder strength. You should try it only after you gain a certain amount of expertise with the earlier push up types.
Pull ups are an excellent way of developing your lats, i.e. lateral chest muscles (or wings, as they are popularly referred to by men). In terms of exercise equipment, all you will need is a standard pull up bar.
Here is how to build a pull up bar. Pull ups too can be performed in many ways, such as the inward palms position, the outward palms position, kipping pull ups, close grip pull ups, wide grip pull ups, etc. Without getting into the nitty-gritty of each type, let me explain the numerous benefits that pull ups have to offer.
Basically, pull ups are one of the best exercises when it comes to overall muscle building. They not only work on your chest, lats, and shoulders, but also on your abs and back muscles. In addition to developing a V-shaped torso, they also help in providing a good amount of strength and stability to the entire upper body.
Ideally, a good 30-minute swim, three to four times a week, is more than sufficient to give your chest muscles a good workout. To make your swim workout even more effective, try alternating between different swimming strokes, so that you end up exercising all the muscle groups.
Resistance Band Exercises
To perform these exercises, all you need is a good quality resistance band. Basically, resistance band chest exercises are not very different from chest exercises which make use of weights.
In fact, the exercise remains the same; all that changes is the equipment, i.e. you replace weights with a resistance band.
- Resistance band chest press
- Resistance band push ups
- Arm punch
- Resistance band bench press
- Standing fly
This is another good way of working your chest muscles. All you need is 2 strong, high-backed wooden chairs. Place them in such a way that their backs face each other, and the distance between them is slightly greater than your shoulder width.
You need to stand in between the two chairs, grip the tops of each of the chair backs with either hand, bend your legs at the knees, and perform chair dips, i.e. lower yourself slightly towards the ground, hold, and return to the original position. This is a tough exercise, and one which will need several days of practice (and persistence!) to perfect.
Yoga has a plethora of health benefits, one of which happens to be strengthening the chest muscles.
Certain yoga exercises and asanas such as the Bhujangasana, i.e. Cobra pose, or the Surya Namaskara (Sun salutation exercise), are extremely useful in exercising and toning the chest muscles (not to mention the entire upper body and back).
This was an overview of some great chest exercises requiring no weights that can be done at home itself. Work hard, be disciplined, and follow a well-balanced diet in order to reap rich benefits.