Effective Chest Building Routine at Home

Iron Arnie still remains a role model in terms of chest muscle developmentIron Arnie still remains a role model in terms of chest muscle development


Chest Muscle Structure

The stereotype of the athletes being “dumb jocks” is no longer valid. There have been a large number of studies on the sports subject, and a lot of coaches devote all their life to finding the most perfect and effective ways of weight gain and increase in strength indicators. Knowledge of the muscle structure and location can significantly increase the effectiveness of the training process.

The chest muscle group consists of three main parts:

  • Pectoralis major muscle. It makes up the majority of the chest muscle mass. It originates at the clavicle, rectus abdominis, and front part of the thorax. Its primary job is to raise and move the arm toward the body. It has the greatest growth potential during working out;
  • Pectoralis minor muscle. It is located underneath the pectoralis major and shaped like a triangle. It attaches the shoulder blade and provides its movement;
  • Serratus anterior. It is found on the lateral side of our rib cage. It is responsible for moving the scapula forward and upward. This muscle plays a significant role in improving of the athlete’s appearance and his physical indicators.

The pectoral muscles, or the pecs, are a big muscular group, and it means that the basic exercises are essential for its growth. However, it’s not that easy. These muscles have a unique structure, and the muscle fibers are arranged in various directions in them. Therefore, if you want to build a massive and powerful chest, you should definitely include the Incline Bench Press into your workout plan.

Working at different angles allows you to hit the entire muscle group. You need to learn the proper technique of each exercise and then carefully follow it – only this way the workout causes micro tears in the fibers of certain parts of the chest. Try different options of the exercise performance and various training schemes to find the most effective approach for you. Also, it helps avoid adaptation of the muscles to the load. You should constantly keep the muscles under stress, because new loads will greatly accelerate the process of growth.

Thus, to achieve the desired effect from training, you need to know the structure of the muscles in general and the composition of the muscle fibers specifically in your body. Take the time to learn these matters and create the program suitable for you, and you will save yourself a lot of time further and make progress even when others stop.

Do not hope just for your genetics at the initial stage and do not think that muscles will always grow almost effortlessly, and do not despair if something does not work well.

Is It Real to Get the Result Outside the Gym?

Each man who, once in a while, thinks of his physical appearance, dreams to have wide and bulky chest muscles, because they give the body a really masculine look. Besides, any girl just melts at the sight of such a handsome male body. It is impossible to build the enviable width and size of the pectoral muscles without hard training.

Many reasonably believe that such results can be achieved only at the gym. Actually, it is impossible to build up massive pecs bulging through a T-shirt at home without any special equipment.

However, at home it is quite possible to sculpt the chest muscles and change their shape. Moreover, you can strengthen your pecs and make them more attractive due to a special set of exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own apartment. It is quite possible to change your chest by using a suitable set of exercises. Setting a clear goal is the first step to your future success. If you have resolved to get in shape, this article is right for you.

Workout Regime

The workout regime is an important point. Beginners who dream to have a beautiful body usually start to exhaust themselves daily with intense complex workouts.

They believe that the more they train, the better the result would be. This is a wrong opinion. You have to remember that during exercise your muscles get hundreds of thousands of micro injuries. After each training session they need the corresponding rest and time to recover.

Otherwise, they would not repair properly, and no exercise would yield the desirable result. However, you should not have too long rest periods between your workouts, because this can be unproductive for the muscle building process, and your muscles can start to degrade.

The rest between training sessions of the same muscle group should last, on average, 5 days. If this time is not enough for your muscles to recover, you can wait two more days. At the same time, you should pay attention to your diet – the lack of protein may delay the muscle recovery.

Effective Workout Program

Here are the most effective exercises designed to pump up the chest muscles fast. If you perform them properly, you will feel the result in a couple of weeks of regular training. If you have any injuries, you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Start With Push-Ups

If you work out at home, but you have no time to perform other exercises, you can do push-ups only. They do not require a lot of time, and you will feel the effect in a week. However, for the constant progress, you should train regularly (3–4 workouts a week). Besides, the use of extra weights will help you not only sculpt your muscles and develop your endurance, but also increase the muscle size.

There are several variations of push-ups (article about the kinds of push-ups). If you place your hands wide apart while performing the exercise, you will shift greater emphasis to the middle part of your chest. If you place your hands close together beneath your chest, you will target your upper chest, the front part of the shoulder, and triceps.

To make the exercise more difficult, you can do Jumping or Clapping Push-Ups. These variations significantly increase the load on the pectoral muscles. Despite the high efficiency and simplicity of push-ups, they cannot replace the full set of exercises that should be performed both with special equipment and without it.

Some people do not get the desired effect from the exercises, because they do not know the proper technique of its performance and the best time to do it. Due to that, all the efforts often fall apart.

Stool Push-Ups

Keep your back straight and avoid lifting your glutesKeep your back straight and avoid lifting your glutes

Place a pair of stools on the width of your arms extended sideways with your elbows bent. If you use chairs or armchairs, note that they should not be soft, in order not to injure your wrists in case of rocking effect.

Place your feet on a couch or chair. You should perform four sets of 10–20 push-ups. Keep your body in a straight line and focus on performing the exercise correctly.

During each push-up, try to go as low as possible below the level of stools. Once you feel that you cope with it without any problems, do not be quick to increase the number of push-ups. For the better effect, you should begin to perform push-ups with extra weights.

The number of sets is 4, and the number of reps is 10–20. Take 2–3 minute breaks between the sets if you need.

Chest Dips

Try to slightly round your back and flare your elbows out to shift the stress from your triceps to your chestTry to slightly round your back and flare your elbows out to shift the stress from your triceps to your chest

Such version is even more effective than the previous two in terms of the development of thorax muscles and building a muscular chest.

To target these muscles, you should flare your elbows out to the sides as you lower your body into the dip.

At the same time, you should feel the chest muscles work. You can slightly round your back.

To emphasize the chest, use the wide dip bars, because narrow grip dips mostly target the triceps.

Complete 4 sets of 10–20 repetitions. Take 2 or 3 minutes of rest in between the sets.

Dumbbell Flyes

If you have a special bench, it will be much easier to perform Dumbbell FlyesIf you have a special bench, it will be much easier to perform Dumbbell Flyes

For this exercise you need two stools and a pair of dumbbells (if you don’t have dumbbells, you can use bottles filled with sand).

Place the stools so that they did not cause any discomfort as you lie on them on your back. Once you come into lying position, place your feet on the floor.

Take the dumbbells and bring them together over your head. While performing this exercise, your elbows should be fixed in the slightly bent position, and the palms of your hands clenched in fists should be facing each other.

Begin to lower the dumbbells to the sides as wide and low as you can and bring them together. As well as in the previous exercises, complete four sets of 10–20 reps, resting 2-3 minutes between the sets.

Lying Dumbbell Press

The exercise is performed almost in the same manner as Dumbbell Flyes, with the only difference in the position of hands. Bring your hands with the dumbbells together over your head as if you are holding a bar. Once you fix your hands in such position, begin to lower and press both hands up simultaneously.

The number of sets is the same as in the previous exercises.

Control the motion trajectory of your armsControl the motion trajectory of your arms

The set of exercises described above is enough for building the chest muscles, but if you want to vary your workout routine, you can add the set shown in the video below.

Rules for Progress

Before you start working out, remember some ground rules that will help you build a powerful chest:

  • Wide grip provides the maximum tension to your chest muscles. And the wider it is, the more your outer chest is involved. Beginners should use a closer grip. However, do not take a too narrow grip, because it will shift the emphasis to your triceps and not your pectoral muscles.
  • The higher you lift your hands over your head during bench press exercise, and the more you push yourself up from the floor during push-ups, the more your upper chest is involved.
  • Dumbbell press should be done at a relatively fast pace, and dumbbell flyes – at a slower pace.
  • Decline push-ups with your feet elevated above your head are the most effective.
  • Proper breathing is a very important part of any workout. Remember to keep breathing during each exercise. Exhale at exertion and inhale at relaxation.
  • If it is difficult for you to complete 10 reps in each set of any exercise, reduce the number of repetitions and then gradually increase it. If you do 15–20 reps easily, begin to perform the exercise with extra weights.
  • Do not forget about the rest. During intensive training our muscles get a lot of micro tears and they cannot repair within one day. Therefore, work out every other day or two days. You should not be afraid of muscle soreness. If you train regularly, you will not even notice it.
  • While exercising, you should not forget about safety measures and possibility of physical overexertion. Working the chest muscles is actually easier than it seems. The main thing is the focused and systematic approach to training.

Training Diary

Do not forget to write down your results regularly to track your own progress in muscle building. We suggest you to make a few prints of the following table with a set of chest exercises and make notes in it at each training session:

Exercise 1st set 2nd set 3rd set 4th set
Wide Grip Dips, 4*12        
Decline Push-Ups (feet on couch), 4*15–20        
Dumbbell Flyes 3*10        
Shesternenko Alexander
Fitness trainer, group instructor, dietitian
  • Counsels and educates on proper nutrition principles, body weight correction, and adjustment of individual diets and diets during pregnancy;
  • Develops meal plans that meet nutrition goals and dietary needs for obese and underweight people;
  • Specializes in modern functional testing techniques in sports, athletic recovery, sports supplementation, pharmacological support, and actual women's problems in sports;
  • On the website, provides analysis of different dietary schemes, reviews modern training techniques and effective exercises.


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