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The 4 Push-up Exercises You Need for a Full Chest

If you don’t have access to a gym or simply prefer working out in the comfort of your own home, then I have the perfect solution for you.

Push-up exercises are not only convenient and accessible but also incredibly effective when it comes to building a strong and well-defined chest.

In addition to working your chest, push-ups also engage your shoulders, triceps, and core, making them a compound exercise that delivers maximum benefits in minimal time.

When it comes to building muscle, you don’t need all the different fancy, unique, and strange-looking push-up variations that seem to be coming out every day, all you need are the basics.

And in this article, I’m going to share with you the only 4 push-up exercises I used to build a bigger chest at home.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, these exercises can be adapted to suit your fitness level and goals.

I will provide step-by-step instructions, proper form tips, and variations to challenge yourself as you progress.

What Muscle Group Make Up the Full Chest?

The chest muscle is made up of two parts, The Pectoralis major (Upper chest) and the Pectoralis minor (Lower chest).

Both play a vital role in upper body strength and aesthetics.

By incorporating the right push-up variations into your workout routine, you can effectively target these muscles and achieve impressive results.

Can You Build a Full Chest at Home?

Building a full chest at home is entirely possible with the right exercises and techniques.

While many people associate chest development with gym workouts, using heavy weights and machines, with the right set-up and push up variations, you can target and grow the different parts leading to a round and swole-looking chest.

The 3 Workout Commandments for Growth

In order to grow any muscle, whether it’s through lifting weights in the gym or bodyweight exercises, certain criteria must be followed such as:

Progressive Overload

To stimulate muscle growth, it’s essential you progressively increase the challenge and intensity of your workouts.

This can be achieved by adding resistance through weights, resistance bands, changing variations, and increasing reps.

Proper Form

Pay close attention to your form and technique during each exercise.

Maintaining proper alignment and execution ensures that you are effectively targeting the chest muscles and minimizing the risk of injury.

Focus on maintaining a strong core, keeping your shoulders in place, and engaging your chest throughout the entire range of motion.


Consistency is key when it comes to building muscle.

Depending on genetics, people build muscle at different rates, so focus on yourself, do the right thing long enough and you will see results.

Aim for regular workouts that challenge your muscles and allow for adequate recovery. As you progress, gradually increase the intensity and number of repetitions.

Workout Routine

These are the recommended rep ranges and sets for an effective push-up workout.

Based on your level, feel free to tweak and adjust to what you can handle. 

  • Perform between 8-20 Reps.
  • Perform 3 sets for each variation.
  • Do the workout 4 times a week.

Stretch your arms, tighten your abs, and let’s get on the list.

1. Standard Push-up

Target– Entire chest (Lower and Upper)

Surprised? I would be too nowadays.

People have been led to believe that in order to build a good-looking chest, they need to do a new and trending movement.

But that’s far from the truth, the standard push-up became a fundamental chest exercise because it works.

How-to Perform

  1. Get on the ground with your hands and knees.
  2. Extend and stretch your legs fully backward.
  3. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, this is your starting position.
  4. Lower your chest till your nose nearly touches the ground.
  5. Push your body back up to the starting stance.

Pro Tip 

Ensure you keep your core, butt, and legs tightened during the movement, and ensure your arms are placed a bit wider than shoulder-width to maintain the emphasis on your chest. 

2. Decline Push-up

Target – Upper Chest

Decline push-up is a challenging variation of the standard push-up exercise that primarily targets the chest muscles, particularly the upper portion of the pectoralis major.

In addition to working the chest, decline push-ups also engage the shoulders, triceps, and core muscles, making it a compound exercise that provides a comprehensive upper body workout.

How-to Perform

  1. Place your feet closed on an elevated surface such as a table, chair, or ledge, with your hands shoulder-width apart on the ground.
  2. You should form a slanted position; this is your starting pose.
  3. Now lower your arms down till your face nearly touches the ground.
  4. Explode back up and return to the starting position.

Pro Tip

Engage your core muscles and maintain a neutral spine throughout the exercise. This will help stabilize your body and prevent any excessive arching or sagging.

3. Diamond Push-up

Target – Upper chest

The Diamond push-up is so good it should be included in every chest workout.

It is an effective compound exercise for targeting your upper chest muscles, triceps muscles, and shoulders.

So, if you want huge gains in your chest while also building your tricep muscles and toning up your arms, I suggest you add it to your workout routine.

How-to Perform

  1. Start in a plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders.
  2. Bring your hands very close together to form a diamond shape.
  3. This is your starting pose, tighten your core and legs.
  4. Now bend your elbows and lower your body till your nose nearly touches the ground.
  5. Explode back to the starting position and repeat.

Pro Tip

When you lower your body down, squeeze your pecs muscles together till you feel the emphasis in the middle.

It’s important to note that diamond push-ups can be more challenging than standard push-ups.

If you’re new to it, it’s recommended to start with modified versions such as performing the exercise on your knees or against an elevated surface.

4. Pike Push-ups

Target – Whole chest and Shoulders

The Pike push-up is a harder variation of the standard push-up exercise that primarily targets the shoulders, upper chest, and triceps.

They are particularly effective for building strength and stability in the shoulder muscles, making them a great addition to someone who wants to grow their shoulders and to any upper body workout routine.

How-to Perform

  1. Start in a standard push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Walk your hands backward and bring your hips up towards the ceiling, maintaining an inverted “V” position. Your body should resemble an upside-down letter “V” at this point.
  3. Align your head with your arms and lower your upper body towards the ground by bending your elbows. Keep your elbows in place.
  4. Aim to bring the top of your head towards the floor.
  5. Push back up to the starting position and repeat.

Pro Tip

The pike push-up form can be hard to attain, but as long as you’re feeling the emphasis on your shoulders, then you’re doing it right, and with some practice, you will perfect your form.

It’s important to note that pike push-ups can be pretty challenging, especially for beginners or individuals with limited shoulder mobility.

If you’re new to pike push-ups or have any shoulder issues, it’s recommended to start with modified versions such as performing the exercise with your hands elevated on an elevated surface, like a bench or step, or performing them with your knees on the ground.

How to Advance

In order to continue to build muscle and strength, you need to progressively overload.

For more advanced people, this means you need to add some resistance, to build an even stronger chest.

A few ways you can add resistance to bodyweight exercises include:

Using Resistance Bands

The resistance band is a great tool for adding intensity to your workouts and building strength in your chest.

You can use it for push-ups by picking your desired resistance level, wrapping it behind your back, and grabbing the ends with your hands in front.

Weighted Vest

A weighted vest is the best choice for bodyweight exercises but not many people have access to it.

It’s easy and straightforward, strap on your vest with your desired weight and get to work.

Backpack filled with books

This is a creative option for those who don’t have access to either a resistance band or weight vest.

It doesn’t have to be books, but any object with enough weight that can fit into your bag.

Fill the bag with weight, weigh it on a scale to know how much weight you’re lifting, then continue to progress from there.

Faysal Tahir
Faysal Tahir
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