There’s no replacement for barbell bench presses when it comes to bolstering pectoral muscles and increasing upper body strength. However, you can still perform some barbell exercises without a workout bench to train your pecs at home.
In this article, I’ll share the five best barbell chest exercises that target upper, lower, and middle pecs from different angles and can stimulate muscle growth and improve your muscular definition.
To perform the barbell chest workout without a bench, you’ll need help from your friend, who can lift the weight off the floor and assist you in performing chest presses effectively.
You can also do it yourself by sitting on the floor and keeping the bar on your hips. However, it will be challenging, and you won’t be able to lift heavier.
5 Best Barbell Chest Exercises to Build Muscle Without Bench
- Barbell Floor Press
- Reverse Grip Barbell Floor Press
- Standing Landmine Press
- Barbell Rolling Chest Fly
- Barbell Floor Squeeze Press
These exercises will be exciting and challenging and, at the same time, help you increase your strength, mass, and balance over time.
Let’s see how to do each exercise with a step-by-step guide.
1. Barbell Floor Press
The floor press is a compound exercise1Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy – National Institute of Health that works simultaneously on your chest and triceps.
It is one of the basic but functional barbell exercises that will help you build a sturdy chest at home.
Steps to do a barbell floor press:
- Insert the appropriate weight into the bar and sit on the floor in front of it.
- Hold the barbell over your hips and lie on the floor with your face up.
- Thrust your hips up to grab the bar over your chest. Keep your legs straight or bend in front of you.
- Hold the bar firmly, and press it up until your arms are straight and directly over your chest.
- Squeezing your pecs, pause at the top for a couple of seconds, and then slowly lower the bar to complete your first repetition.
- Do three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps with 1-2 minutes rest between each set.
You can also do a dumbbell floor press to hit your pecs more specifically.
2. Reverse Grip Barbell Floor Press
The reverse grip barbell floor press works on the lower chest and helps you build muscular pecs at home without a bench.
To perform the reverse grip barbell floor press, grab the bar with an underhand grip with your palms facing in. And follow the same steps as mentioned for doing a standard floor press.
You can also perform dumbbell exercises to strengthen your lower chest at home. I’ve shared as many as six exercises that you can integrate into your home workout routine to build defined pecs.
3. Standing Landmine Press
The landmine press is a standing barbell chest exercise.
It works on multiple muscles at once, including the front deltoids, triceps, and chest’, and helps you grow strength and mass.
If you want to develop an upper chest and build a muscular upper body without a bench, you can incorporate the landmine chest press into your barbell home workout routine.
Steps to do it:
- Place one end of the bar in the corner of the wall and put the desired weight into another.
- Grab the second end of the bar firmly with your hands (with a neutral grip) and stand in a shoulder-width stance.
- Take a step back and slightly lean forward but maintain a neutral spine position. That’s the starting point.
- Now, press upward until your arms are entirely straight.
- Focus on your pecs and pause for two seconds at the top of the press.
- Bring the bar back to the start by bending your elbows. There’s your one rep.
- Aim for three to four sets of 10 to 12 reps.
4. Barbell Rolling Chest Fly
The rolling barbell chest fly is an advanced exercise that requires good balance, strength, and grip to do it effectively.
It provides decent stretches to your pectoral muscles and highly activates them when you roll the bars toward each other.
Steps to do a barbell rolling chest fly:
- Grip the bar (instead of placing your palms on the floor) and get into the “up” position of a standard push-up.
- Roll the barbells out to your sides until your arms are pecs are stretched out.
- Now, roll the bars toward each other until they are together underneath your chest.
- Do as many times as you can.
- Focus on your pecs when you bring the barbells to each other.
You can also do it by sitting on your knees if you feel it is difficult to do it on your toes.
5. Barbell Floor Squeeze Press
The squeeze press is an isolation exercise that helps you target your chest specifically and adds some strength and definition to your upper body muscles.
Here’s how you can do it step-by-step:
- Place one side (first end) of the bar in the corner of the wall and put the desired weight into another (second end).
- Lie on the floor and grab the second end of the bar with a neutral grip to lift it off.
- The first end of the bar will lie between your legs while you hold the second end just over your chest.
- Squeezing your pecs, press the bar over your chest until your arms are straight.
- Lower the weight to the starting position and repeat the desired number of times.
30-Minute Barbell Chest Workout at Home (No Bench)
|Barbell Floor Press||10-12 x 3||1-2 min|
|Reverse Grip Floor Press||8-10 x 3||2-3 min|
|Landmine Press||10-12 x 3||1-2 min|
|Barbell Rolling Chest Fly||6-8 x 3||2-3 min|
|Floor Squeeze Press||8-10 x 2||1-2 min|
You can adjust this order depending on your need.
You can also combine the dumbbell, resistance band, and bodyweight exercises to bolster your pecs from every angle and build a firm and sculpted chest at home.
Barbell exercises are excellent for growing chest muscles; however, working out without a bench will be tough.
Performing barbell chest exercises on a bench allows a better range of motion, highly stimulates chest muscles, and grows more strength and mass than doing them without a bench.
However, if you don’t have a workout bench at home, the floor press, landmine press, barbell rolling chest fly, and squeeze press will be helpful and can help sculpt your chest over time.
Related Chest Exercises:
- 17 Dumbbell Chest Exercises to do at home without a Bench
- 10 Best Resistance Band Chest Exercises
- Bodyweight Chest Exercises
Related Barbell Exercise:
- Top 10 Barbell Shoulder Exercises
- 10 Best Barbell Exercises for Biceps
- Top 6 Barbell Exercises For Triceps
- 20 Best Barbell Leg Exercises
- 6 Best Barbell Lat Exercises
- 1Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy – National Institute of Health