How to build chest with Calisthenics
I don’t know a single guy who wouldn’t want to have big, developed chest muscles. They are, along with nice shredded abs, one of the mostly sought after physical characteristics. You might have heard that it is very hard to build chest without weights or exercises such as bench press. BUT THIS COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. Continue reading to find how CALISTHENICS can BUILD CHEST muscles.
TARGET CHEST SPECIFICALLY
There are reasons why some people think it is much harder to build chest with bodyweight exercises. Calisthenics involve compound movements which involve more muscles during each exercise. That means you can’t really isolate some muscles as easily as you could in the gym. Is it something bad then? Not at all. You can still build your chest if you do it the right way. Push-ups and dips not only engage your chest muscles but they also activate your triceps and front deltoids. So it’s important to keep in mind that by working on your chest you will be developing them as well.
What do I mean by this? Think about push ups, you can do wide, regular and diamond ones. You can do it with hands elevated as well as with your feet elevated. You can do slow ones and explosive ones. How does it work then?
The wider your hands are the more you activate your chest.
The higher your feet are, the more you activate your upper chest.
The higher your hands are, the more you activate your lower chest.
With so many exercises engaging chest it might be difficult to choose the best ones, that’s why we did it for you.
3 BEST CALISTHENICS EXERCISES THAT WILL BUILD YOUR CHEST
Just before we dig right into the exercises, there are two very important things I need to mention.
1. WARM-UP – never, ever, start workout without proper warm-up to prevent the risk of an injury.
2. PERFECT FORM – the number of reps doesn’t matter. What does matter is the quality of them. Remember, quality over quantity. It’s so much better to do less reps but with perfect form in a controlled movement than more reps with bad form.
Okay, let’s move on to the exercises. 3 Calisthenics exercises to build chest that I think are the best are Chest Dips, Wide Push-ups and Incline & Decline Push-ups. Remember – perfect form, full range of motion and controlled movement!
1. CHEST DIP
You might be familiar with this one but, actually, dips are tricky ones. Depending on how you position your body you can be either engaging your chest or your triceps more (or even shoulder sometimes!). How do you go about building chest with dips? 3 main rules to follow:
Bent forward more than usually with your torso and legs.
Elbows close to your body.
Head position neutral.
This is my personal favourite as few exercises can activate your chest as much as this one.
2. WIDE PUSH-UPS
Push-ups are compound exercise and by doing them with your hands widely set apart – you target your chest more. They aren’t as complicated as dips, although they are very effective! Start off by placing your hands in wider-than-shoulder distance, position your body in the straight line and squeeze your core.
3. INCLINE & DECLINE PUSH-UPS
Okay so it is actually four exercises, as here I cover both, incline and decline push ups. Decline push ups will generally be harder and they will target more your upper chest whereas incline push ups might be a bit easier than normal push ups and will engage your lower chest more. How to do them? Simply put your feet higher than your hands (decline) or put your hands higher than your feet (incline). You can use a bench, a chair or anything you would like. Remember to keep your body straight and squeeze your core as well!
Definitely there are many ways to activate your chest and different parts of it. I explained 3 best calisthenics exercises that are the best ones for building chest in my opinion, but there are many more and I encourage you to try and play with other exercises as well. Definitely let me know in comments which ones you like the best! Always remember about the warm-up and proper form when doing them.
WANT TO TAKE YOUR BODY AND STRENGTH TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
If you really think about going level up with your training and achieving the body of your dreams in little time – take a look at my program. It covers 20 (!) levels of training with different difficulties and with all workout days recorded. Everything is structured and explained so the only thing that you need to get yourself is MOTVIATION. You will also find skill guides for exercises such as Muscle Up or Front Lever (and many more), as well as nutrition guide together with diet plans. Shredded abs or building mass? Everything is covered.
Let me know in comments what you think and what would you like the next article to be about.