They may take our gyms, but they’ll never take our gainz! It’s Monday. We all know what that means. International chest day.
Whatever reason you might have for not going to the gym, I’ll respect. Times are weird. But that does NOT excuse you from building up your chest. I guess there might be an excuse if, say, there wasn’t any information on how to workout from home. Since this is the Age of Information and I’m here providing that information, then…no excuse for you!
All right, enough of that. Let’s build some boobs. In this article, I’ll provide you with a workout you can do in the comfort of your living room. While wearing a bathrobe or really, anything.
Notes To Remember:
Formatting: Before every exercise, you’ll see:
- Sets and reps (e.g. 4 x 8-12)
- Rest time (e.g. 45-60 seconds)
- Tempo: The tempo is how slow or quick to perform each portion of the movement. Each portion will be separated by a colon. For example, if it’s advised to do a two-second positive (way up), a two-second contraction, four-second negative, and two-second pause at the bottom, it would look like — 2:2:4:2.
- Mechanical Drop Set: A mechanical drop set is a way to decrease the difficulty of an exercise to push past failure and continue working the muscle. Instead of lowering weights like in a traditional drop set, the difference with these is that you’re altering the mechanics of the exercise. Hence the name.
- Subset: I’ll guess you can deduce what subset means, but so we’re clear, it means a set within the overall set.
- AMRAP: As many reps as possible. Until absolute muscle failure.
Chest Workout — La Rēsistance
Band High to Low Fly-Press
- 5 x 12-20
- Rest Time: 30-45 seconds
- Tempo: 4:2:4:0
This one took me some fanangling to figure out, not going to lie. Experimentation is one of my specialties, though, and once you try this exercise out. Well, I think you’ll agree.
- Place a few inches of the resistance’s band length over the top of a door, and close the door — the door should be closed all the way. Make sure the band is secure.
- Standing inside the resistance band’s ‘loop,’ face away from the door. Grab hold of the band so at shoulder width using an overhand grip. Raise the band to the middle of the chest with your arms out in front of you and walk forward until you feel a good amount of tension.
- Bring your arms back until your elbows are at 110° and you feel a stretch in your pecs. Most bands won’t provide much of a stretch on their own in this position. To solve this, what I do is focus on pulling the resistance band as far apart as possible.
- Slowly bring your arms closer together like you would in a cable crossover. Halfway through the movement, think about pressing. Instead of locking out, turn your palms in toward each other and think about pulling the band together. Hold that.
- Perform negative portion of the movement, again thinking about creating as much space between arms as possible.
Decline Push-Ups: Feet On Wall Mechanical Drop Set
- 4 x AMRAP (per subset)
- Rest Time: 60-90 seconds
- Tempo: 2:0:3:0
These are called decline push-ups more often than not, which kind of baffles me since the angle works the upper chest. I’d think we would want to make exercise terms universal, but oh well. That’s fitness for you. They are a stellar way to work your upper chest (and secondarily, delts and triceps). Especially when using the mechanical drop set technique.
- Start in a push-up position with your feet on the floor and up against the wall. When in a push-up position, the core should be tight and the back should be straight. Raise your feet up the wall until they’re about three feet off the ground. You’ll have to walk your hands back accordingly.
- Keeping your core tight, slowly perform the negative portion of the movement. The bottom of the repetition will be when your elbows are at about a seventy-degree angle. This will provide a little deeper stretch than the usual ninety degrees without putting you in a compromised position.
- Push-up to the starting position. Do not lockout or pause at the top of the movement. That’s one rep.
- Upon hitting failure at this angle, lower your feet down the wall and get as many reps as you can at this angle. Once you’ve hit failure again, lower the feet a little more to a point where they’re about six inches from the floor. Push to failure. That’s one set.
Kitchen Counter Dips
- 5 sets AMRAP
- Rest Time: 45-60 seconds
- Tempo: 2:0:4:2
Nothing is more effective than parallel bar dips for hitting the lower chest effectively, but counters provide a nice switch to the typical angles. You might find you actually like this variation more.
- Position yourself so that you’re facing the corner of your kitchen counter. Place your hands a little wider than shoulder-width.
- Get into the starting position by pushing yourself off the ground. You might need to bend your knees so you don’t touch the floor at the bottom of the rep. Without rolling your shoulders forward, lean forward slightly.
- Slowly perform the negative portion of the dip. Your elbows will drift behind you. That’s good. Stop once your elbows are at an eighty-degree angle. If you have the flexibility, you can go a little deeper into the stretch. Pause for 1-2 seconds in the stretched position
- Explode up. Do not lockout or pause at the top of the movement. Go until failure.
- Dip negatives: These are similar to the aforementioned exercise. The only difference is that when you perform the positive portion of the exercise, use your feet to push off the ground for assistance. Then focus on the negative portion of the exercise, going as slow as possible — anywhere from 6-10 seconds. Then repeat.
- Incline pushups: Again…basically a decline push up. Whatever. Grab two chairs of even height and place them just past shoulder width. Keeping core tight, perform a push-up. This will also target the lower pecs.
- 5 sets AMRAP (yes, even if that means 100 push-ups per set)
- Rest Time: 45-60 seconds
- Tempo: 2:0:2:0
The OG of chest exercises. You know what they do, and you know how to do them.
Band Single Arm Chest Fly
- 4 x 12-20
- Rest Time: 30-45 seconds
- Tempo: 2:4:4:0 (extra-long hold on the contraction)
Time to finish off the pecs! For this, we’ll do a little detail work and go single arm. This exercise is a way to dial in that mind-muscle connection, help build some cleavage-level inner pecs as well as get a nice stretch at the bottom of the rep.
- Find a door and open it. On the opposite side of where you’ll be standing, wrap the band either around the doorknob/handle or put some length over the top of the door. Close the door so that the band is securely fastened.
- Gripping the end of the resistance band’s loop with one hand, step forward until you feel the tension. There should be tension even at the bottom part of the exercise.
- Raise your arm so that it’s parallel to the floor. Pulling with your chest, slowly bring your working hand in toward the middle of your chest. Then a little further just to get a real nice contraction. Hold the contraction for four seconds.
- Slowly perform the negative. Don’t pause at the bottom. Do the opposite on the other side.
I already have a glorious chest, how do I hit legs from home? That’s a fantastic question! Check this out.
My arms are puny. With all this gym uncertainty going around, how can I build them up? You’ll need some resistance bands, but once you have those, you’re gold. We got you covered with a home workout arms day.