If there’s one area at the gym that is always busy, it’s the bench press station. Chest workouts are a staple in every workout routine, from beginners looking for something simple to powerlifters wanting a serious test. So, having the ability to complete a pump worthy chest workout at home could be a game changer.
The pectoralis major and minor, aka your pecs, are two of the largest and most powerful muscles in your upper body. Working them out not only results in a better physique (for men and women) but also enhances your overall strength and stability; it even helps your breathing, expanding your chest wall and improving respiratory health.
Not everyone, however, has time to hit the gym every day. Below, we’ll examine how to get that chest pump in the comfort of your home and offer some product suggestions to help maximize your training.
How to Get in a Good Chest Workout at Home
Working out at home offers you the convenience of setting your schedule without fretting about gym hours, but it often means you won’t have access to all the machinery and weights that a traditional gym provides.
Despite this, you can still get a good chest workout at home using essential workout tools and even just your body weight.
Pros of home workouts include:
- Flexibility: You can work out anytime, adapting to your schedule.
- Privacy: Some people are more comfortable working out in their own space.
- Savings: Over time, you’ll save money on gym membership fees.
- No waiting: No more waiting for others to finish with the equipment.
Cons of home workouts:
- Limited equipment: You may not have all the equipment available at a professional gym.
- Lack of motivation: Some people find being in a public workout space more motivating.
- Space limitations: Not everyone has the space in their home to set up a full workout area.
- Distractions: Kids, television, refrigerator, and other people and and/or things in the home can distract you from your workout.
Regardless of these drawbacks, with the right gear and mindset, you can perform an effective chest workout at home that delivers the same results as those performed with a traditional gym setup.
The Key Factors for a Good Chest Workout
Whether it’s a simple chest dumbbell workout or a set of bodyweight chest exercises, you will be amazed at the results that are possible without leaving your home.
Here are the three key factors for a great chest workout at home:
First, you have to find a space large enough to train in. It doesn’t have to be a lot of room, but you need enough to move your arms freely in all directions, ideally more than your wingspan.
Here are some great options.
- Living room: Clear out some space by moving the coffee table, and you have a solid workout area.
- Bedroom: Push-ups on the ground beside your bed can offer a quick and easy morning chest workout without weights.
- Garage: If it’s clean and well-ventilated, a garage can serve as an operational gym. Get some padded rubber mats for some added comfort!
- Backyard: If the weather allows, outdoor workouts can be pretty refreshing. Just make sure to stay hydrated if it is hot and sunny.
Even setting up in the driveway is an option as long as you have enough space to lay flat and extend your arms without obstruction. Remember, the key here is enough room to perform your workouts safely.
The second key factor is the type of exercises you implement. There are three major categories of chest movements: pushes, stretches, and lifts.
These exercises are often the cornerstone of chest workouts and generally focus on the entire chest area. Here are some examples you can add to your home program.
Start in a high plank with your palms flat on the ground and shoulders stacked above your wrists. Keeping your core engaged and hips in line with the rest of your body, lower your body until your chest grazes the floor.
Push back up to your starting position, maintaining a straight back throughout.
Lie on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand resting on your thighs. Then, raise the dumbbells to chest level with your palms facing your feet. Push the weights upward until your arms are fully extended, and then slowly bring them back to chest level.
If you don’t have a bench, you can do a dumbbell floor press for the same effect by lying directly on the ground. You can also try using an exercise ball, just be careful and make sure you are stable at all times with room on either side of you in case you tip over.
Start by holding a small weight plate or dumbbell close to your chest with both hands making sure the palms are flat. Extend your arms while squeezing the weights, then retract to the starting position while maintaining constant tension.
These exercises help develop the hard-to-reach pectoral muscles and aid mobility and flexibility. Chest stretch exercises focus more on the pectoralis minor—the muscle below the pectoralis major.
Lie on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended over your chest, and palms facing each other. Reduce the bend in your elbows and lower your arms out to the side until you feel a stretch in your chest. Lift the weights back to the starting position.
Wide-Grip Bench Press
Lie on a bench and grasp a barbell with a grip wider than shoulder-width. Lower the barbell straight down to your chest, then push back upwards without locking your elbows at the top.
Lie across a bench with your feet positioned firmly on the ground. Hold a single dumbbell behind your head with both hands and extend it upwards over your chest. Keeping your arms straight, slowly lower the weight behind your head until you feel a stretch in your chest before pulling the dumbbell back over your chest.
These exercises generally target parts of the chest that many find difficult to develop, so incorporating lift movements into your chest routine can be very beneficial.
Stand straight with a dumbbell in each hand at arm’s length and palms facing out. Keep your torso still while lifting the weights up and to your side until they’re shoulder level, then lower them slowly. Squeeze and contract your chest muscles during each lift for maximum activation.
Landmine Station (Landmine Press)
Stand facing a barbell with one end secured (a corner of a wall or landmine station). Hold the other end of the barbell with both hands cradling the end from below and extend your arms at chest level, pushing the weight away from you and then bringing it back to your chest. This also works the front deltoids a lot.
If you have them, grip the dip bars and lift your body until your arms are straight. Slowly lower your body by bending your elbows until you feel a slight stretch in your chest. Push your body up to the starting position. If this is too difficult to do more than a few reps, try supporting your feet and giving yourself some spotting help. Dips will surely help you get in a good lower chest workout at home.
Having the right equipment is the final key factor for having the ability to complete a solid chest workout at home. While bodyweight exercises are great, adding weight significantly helps muscle growth and functional strength. Here are the must-haves.
- Dumbbells: They’re versatile and are the backbone of countless at-home workout routines.
- Resistance Bands: Resistance bands provide constant tension throughout the exercise, making muscle-building more effective. Plus, they’re light, portable, and can be easily stored.
- Bench: An adjustable workout bench would be best as it allows you to add variety to your workouts through incline and decline exercises.
- Barbell and Plates: If you have enough space, a barbell and weight plates are invaluable for heavy chest exercises like bench and landmine press.
- Pull-up Bar or Dip Station: These can be awesome for bodyweight chest exercises such as dips and more advanced movements like the muscle-up.
Remember, even without this equipment, a good chest workout can still be achieved with bodyweight exercises and household items as stand-ins for weights.
Top 5 Exercise Products for a Big Pump Chest Workout at Home
When you think of chest workout equipment you probably imagine a bench press machine, but we think this strange crossbow looking device is 100% worth checking out. Since it is highly effective and does not require much space, this chest expander by EAST MOUNT has the potential to give you an amazing chest workout at home.
It’s pretty simple and easy to use, all you have to do is set the resistance level you want and squeeze the handles in. The squeezing motion simulates somewhat of a chest fly exercise, working the entire pectoralis minor and major muscles while placing the main focus on your inner chest. The resistance is hydrophilic pressure, and it ranges from 22 to 440 lbs, which is more than enough. It has a safe micro-rebound feature that will prevent you from hurting yourself, and since it is pretty small and light you can bring it just about anywhere and store it easily.
Whether you’re just getting started with strength training or competing for Mr. Olympia, push-ups are one of the most effective chest exercises you can do. This push-up board by NOAOVO will undoubtedly take your push-up game to the next level. Before we go further into describing this product, it’s good to mention that NOAOVO offers a full refund within 30 days if you are not happy with it for any reason. One cool feature of the board is that you can fold it up and carry it by one of the handles, so you can take it with you on vacation or to the park for a nice outdoor chest pump.
The holes in the board are color coded so you can easily match each side and switch back and forth. It has just about every different type of push-up position you can think of, from wide to narrow, from inner to outer, and so on. Also, the color coding helps you know which positions work more of your back, triceps, and shoulders too. If you’re wondering if you can use this on hardwood floor surfaces, you can, because it has anti-skid points on the bottom which also help it avoid scratching the floor.
If you have the space for it, then we highly recommend considering a nice piece of chest equipment like this bench press machine from Valor Fitness. Valor is one of the biggest names in the space, and the workout equipment they make can stand up next to Hammer Strength and the best of them. One of the coolest parts about this bench press machine is that it’s adjustable, which means you can do incline bench press in addition to a flat bench. The resistance is plate loaded, which means you will need to buy weight plates.
The entire machine (without weights loaded on) weighs about 83lbs, so it is easily moveable in case your space is somewhat limited. Each arm operates separately, which is good because that means you can do alternating reps one arm at a time. There are 9 adjustable height positions, so it has the ability to fit people of all sizes. Feeling like your abs need a little work? Well, this bench press machine doubles as an ab crunch board, fully equipped with ankle padding by the head of the bench so you can support your body during crunches. Are you a big strong person worried about weight load? Worry no more, because each arm can hold 125lbs, which should be more than enough to rep out some good sets.
We have seen just about every workout gadget there is, but this one is new to us so we had to list it. This bench press band from INNSTAR gives you the opportunity to do chest resistance training from anywhere at any time. The design is pretty genius actually, all you need to do is put the band under your body while you lay down, and then you grab it like you would a barbell and start doing bench press reps. It even comes with a clip so you can keep it in place and not have to go searching and grabbing for it. The bands are made from 100% Malaysian natural latex, and are super soft and grip well. It comes with a total of 6 bands, which range from very light to very heavy resistance levels.
Not sold yet? Well, what if we told you this product doesn’t just workout your chest, but you can also set it up to easily do exercises like seated row, bicep curls, tricep extensions, shoulder press, and more. Not to mention, beyond traditional bench press movements. you can also do flies and standing incline press for even more chest pump action. With a maximum tension of 200lbs, it will be a while before you outgrow this machine.
If you are looking for a more traditional solution for your home chest workout goals, then look no further than this multi-functional adjustable weight bench by FINER FORM. The most important thing to mention here is that this product is a solid workout bench you can use for chest exercises, and it even declines. The decline option is important because it can actually be fairly difficult to get in a good lower chest workout at home. It even has a small weight rack on the bottom so you can keep a set or two of dumbbells off the floor. It can support up to 660lbs and is made from heavy duty steel. The cushion is thick and comfy, and there are 3 back pad positions and 8 support pad positions.
The only thing it’s missing for chest workouts is an incline option, but considering everything else it offers you might be willing to look past that. The 2nd headlining feature of this product is its Roman chair capabilities. With a couple adjustments, all of a sudden you have a fully functional Roman chair that you can use for lower back, glute, and hamstring exercises. If that isn’t enough, you can even use the bench combined with the Roman chair support rest to do crunches on the decline setting.
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