Did you know that building your chest muscles offers more benefits than simply looking good?
Your chest muscles are used throughout the day for a multitude of functions. If you open a door or wash your hair or any number of daily tasks you are going to be using them. Therefore it is incredibly important that you take time to give them a good workout.
So let’s get to it. Read on to learn how to build muscle mass in your chest while in the comfort of your own home. [toc]
What Will You Need?
To perform this killer chest workout you will need a pair of dumbbells and a bench (read more).
A barbell is something that most gyms would recommend for working your chest muscles, but since this is a home workout and space may be at a premium I would suggest using dumbbells instead.
There are benefits to be gained from using a dumbbell over a barbell too:
- Dumbbells allow a greater range of motion
- They put less stress onto your joints
- Using dumbbells will give you balanced strength and muscle development
- Research has found that dumbbells work the pecs harder than a barbell
Killer Chest Workouts At Home
There are plenty of chest exercises you can choose from. I would suggest choosing ones that target your chest from a number of different angles.
The following are suggested exercises to perform to give your chest a killer workout:
The chest press or bench press is a compound exercise that works multiple muscles, including your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
It is one of the most common exercises for building mass in your chest. The bigger your bench, the more mass in your chest.
To perform a chest press you will need to lie on a bench with your eyes under the bar.
Next, grab the barbell (or pair of dumbbells) using a medium grip-width, your thumbs should be around the bar.
You should then unpack the barbell by straightening your arms, before lowering the weight to your chest.
To complete a rep you should push the barbell back up until your arms are straight.
A common issue when performing a chest press is that people tend to flare their elbows. You should try to avoid this as it can cause impingement in your shoulders.
You may feel that bodyweight exercises like the push-up won’t be that effective, but let me tell you from experience that a push-up can be an effective way to add muscle mass to your chest.
As for the correct form, I find that thinking about the push-up like a moving plank is helpful.
For a regular push-up, you should position your hands shoulder-width apart, or perhaps slightly wider.
As you lower your body towards the floor by bending your elbows you should try to keep your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body.
It is ok for your elbows to be slightly wider or closer to your body, as your shoulder mobility and strength will impact on what you find most comfortable when performing this exercise.
Once your chest touches the floor you can push back up to the starting position.
You should keep your core engaged throughout this exercise, and to keep your back flat so that your body is one straight line from head to heels.
An incline push-up is a natural progression from a standard push-up. It can also place more emphasis on your chest, as it takes some pressure off your shoulders and wrists.
The incline push-up is performed in a similar fashion as a standard push-up, however, your upper body will be elevated using a bench or box.
As with a regular push-up, you should try to keep your body in a straight line. A common mistake people make with the incline push-up is that they set up too close to the box, which can cause your back to arch.
A tricep push-up is similar to both the regular and incline versions of the push-up, however, you will be placing your hands slightly closer together and will be moving your elbows closer to your body too.
This change in position puts more emphasis on your triceps, which are a much smaller muscle group than your chest.
You may find that the tricep push-up will be much harder to perform than the other mentioned types.
Incline Dumbbell Flyes
The incline dumbbell fly is an exercise that targets your upper chest. It also works your anterior deltoids, biceps, and triceps.
To perform this exercise you should lie on a bench with your feet flat to the floor.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand outstretched directly above your chest, with your palms facing each other.
Next, lower the weight in an arc out to the sides as far as you can, or as far as it is comfortable to do so.
You will be using your pectoral muscles to reverse the movement back to the starting position.
I would recommend having a slight bend in your elbows throughout the exercise, and to avoid arching your back. As with most exercises, an engaged core is recommended.
Conclusion: Complete Chest Workout Routine
I would recommend performing the above exercises 2-3 times a week, but you must ensure you are not performing them on consecutive days.
It is important that you allow yourself time to recover between workouts so that your muscles are able to repair, and therefore get bigger and stronger.
I would suggest a rep range of between 8-12. Performing 3 sets of each exercise.
You should start off with a weight that is not too taxing, I would suggest choosing one that you can lift while performing each exercise with perfect form.
Lifting too heavy a weight with poor form can lead to injury, which will derail your muscle-building efforts.
With each workout, you should be trying to increase the weight lifted. After 4-6 weeks you will be amazed at how much stronger you will become.
Good luck with your efforts! If you stick to the tips provided above you will soon see some good results.