Calisthenics Chest Workout (12 Best Exercises)

You don’t always need barbells and machines to build a muscular chest. All it requires is your body weight. The bodyweight calisthenics chest workout can help you develop solid and defined pecs at home with little to no equipment.

Here’s a list of the best calisthenic chest workouts you can integrate into your workout training.

Upper ChestMiddle ChestLower Chest
Decline Push-upStandard PushupPsuedo Pushup
Diving Push-upArcher PushupIncline Push-up
Decline Diamond PushupBand Floor PressBridge Press
Parallel Bar DipNegative PushupsIncline Triangle Pushup

Upper Chest Calisthenics Workout

1. Decline Push-up

Calistehnics pushup for upepr chest
Decline Push-up

The decline pushup helps target the upper pecs and improve chest muscle definition. It also targets the anterior deltoid, engages core muscles, and develops upper body strength.

This push-up is also called feet elevated push-up.

How to perform step by step:

  • Place your feet on an elevated surface, such as a bench.
  • Position your hands on the ground with your arms straight and shoulders over your wrists. Your body will be in a downward position.
  • Brace your core, legs, and glutes, and lower your torso until your chest is close to the floor.
  • Pause for a moment and then press back to return to the start. This is your one rep.
  • Maintain a neutral spine throughout the movement.

Do as many reps and sets as possible, depending on your fitness level and goal.

2. Diving Push-up

The dive bomber pushup is a bodyweight compound exercise that improves strength, balance, and flexibility. It stretches out the entire pec muscles and helps build a sturdy chest.

It also bolsters other muscles at the same time, such as the triceps, shoulders, back, and core, and develops a stronger and more flexible torso over time.

How to perform step by step:

  • Start in a high plank position with your arms straight below your shoulders and your core tight.
  • Raising your hips up, pull your torso back until you’re in a downward-facing dog pose.
  • From that position, go into upward facing dog pose to complete one rep.
  • Return and repeat for the desired times.

3. Feet Elevated Diamond Pushup

The feet-elevated triangle pushup is a great exercise for developing the upper chest and arms. It squeezes your chest muscles and elicits the highest muscle contraction.

However, it requires decent arms strength and balance because it puts more stress on your arms and shoulders. So it’s best to know your strength before performing this pushup.

How to

  • Put your feet on the bench and place your hands on the floor, making a triangle shape below your chest.
  • Keep your body straight from top to bottom, and brace your abdominal muscles.
  • Bend your elbows and lower your trunk down until your chest is close to the floor.
  • Press back until your arms are straight. This is your one repetition.

4. Parallel Bar Dip

Bar Dips

The bar dip stimulates both Pectoralis Major and Minor and builds noticeable muscle. It also engages the triceps, front shoulders, and abdominal muscles and builds up the muscular trunk.

It is performed in almost every fitness program, from Calisthenics and Crossfit to Bodybuilding and Powerlifting.

This can be challenging for beginners. So it would be best to scale your strength through these at-home dip variations.

How to do it:

  • Grab the handles and hoist yourself off the floor.
  • Keep your arms straight, lean your trunk slightly forward, and maintain a tight core.
  • Bend your knees behind your buttock. This is your starting position.
  • Bending your elbows, lower your torso until you feel the contraction in your pecs.
  • Pause for a moment, then press back until your arms are straight.
  • That’s your first rep. Do as many as you like.

Middle Pecs Calisthenics Workouts

1. Standard Pushup

Push-up Workout

The standard pushup is one of the traditional push workouts to build sizeable and sturdy upper body muscles, especially the chest.

When I was a beginner, I used to do 50 push-ups (in three to four sets). And I feel my chest pumped and strong.

Several studies also suggested push-ups elicited higher activation in the pectoralis major, followed by arms, shoulders, and core.

Doing pushups is easy, but you also need to keep the following things in your mind:

  • Your core will be engaged, and your body will stay straight during the movement.
  • Hips will also move throughout the entire push-up.
  • Your arms will be below your shoulders.
  • If regular push-up on your toes feels hard, you can do them on your knees to make it easy.

2. Archer Pushup

The archer pushups provide a good stretch to your pectoral muscles and develop a sturdy chest.

It is a unilateral pushup that helps you train each side of your pec individually, allows you to focus more on the underdeveloped side, and corrects muscle imbalance.

How to do it step by step:

  1. Position your hands 1.5 times wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Lower your chest to your left side until your right arm is straight and after a brief pause, repeat on the opposite side.

Perform as many reps and sets as needed.

3. Resistance Band Floor Press

Resistance bands are a good alternative to weights and help promote similar muscular strength. Since bands are an essential piece of equipment in calisthenics training, you can include the floor press in your chest workout.

Banded floor press activates the entire chest muscle and improves muscle definition.

However, it doesn’t stretch out pecs to a higher level because of a limited range of motion.

How to do it step by step:

  1. Wrap the band around your back and grab the ends firmly with an underhand grip.
  2. Lie on the floor with your knees bent in front of you, brace your core, and hold your hands beside your chest.
  3. Contracting your pecs, press the band until your arms are straight.

4. Negative Slow-mo Pushups

Doing slow-motion strength exercises using body weight helps build muscle mass and strength, as shown in a study published by the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science.1Tsuzuku S, Kajioka T, Sakakibara H, Shimaoka K. Slow movement resistance training using body weight improves muscle mass in the elderly: A randomized controlled trial. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2018;28(4):1339-1344. doi:10.1111/sms.13039

So it would be excellent to do it to target pecs effectively and build a solid chest.

How to do it:

  • Start in a high plank position and lower your chest toward the floor in a slow and controlled fashion until your chest touches the floor.
  • Land your knees on the floor and go back in a high plank position, and repeat.

Calisthenics Exercises for Lower Chest

1. Pseudo Pushup

The pseudo pushup is an advanced calisthenic exercise for arms and chest muscle development. It also improves balance and muscle coordination.

The position of this pushup puts more stress on the lower pecs and helps develop a well-built chest.

How to do it:

  • Place your hands underneath your stomach with your fingers facing forward.
  • Get into the up position and maintain a flat back. That is the start.
  • Perform as many pushups as possible and make sure your arms are not flaring out.

2. Incline Push-up

The incline push-ups can help you build the lower chest.

It is easy to execute and increase your strength to perform other difficult pushup variations.

How to do it:

  • Place your hands on the elevated object (30-degree incline).
  • Lower your chest toward the bench and then press back until your arms are straight. This is your one rep.

3. Bridge Resistance Band Press

The bridge press is an isolation exercise and helps you target your lower pecs specifically. It also activates abdominal muscles, glutes, and lower back.

How to do it:

  1. Wrap the band around your back and grab the ends firmly with an underhand grip.
  2. Lie supine and lift your hips off the ground until your knee and chest are aligned.
  3. Contracting your pecs, press the band until your arms are straight.

4. Incline Triangle Pushup

The incline triangle pushup squeezes your pecs beautifully, elicits maximum muscle contraction, and helps build a sculpted chest. It also bolsters the triceps and strengthens the arms.

How to do it:

  • Place your hands on the bench and position them in a way that they form a triangle shape.
  • Keep your core tight and maintain a neutral spine position. This is your starting point.
  • Focusing on your pecs, perform as many pushups as needed.

30-Minute Calisthenics Chest Workout Routine

For Beginners

  • Incline Pushup – 10 reps x 2 sets, 1-minute rest
  • Diving Push-up – 10 reps x 2 sets, 2-minute rest
  • Banded Floor Press – 10 reps x 2 sets, 2 min rest
  • Support Chest Dips – 5 reps x 3 sets, 2 min rest
  • Standard Pushups – 10 reps x 2 sets, 2 min rest
  • Negative Slow Motion Push-up – 5 reps x 2 set

For Intermediates

  • Incline Pushup – 10 reps x 2 sets, 1-minute rest
  • Diving Push-up – 10 reps x 2 sets, 2-minute rest
  • Parallel Bar Dip – 10 reps x 2 sets, 2 min rest
  • Archer Pushup – 5 reps/side x 3 sets, 2 min rest
  • Pseudo Pushup – 10 reps x 2 sets, 2 min rest
  • Incline Triangle Pushup – 10 reps x 2 sets, 2 min rest
  • Negative Slow Motion Push-up – 5 reps x 2 set

Do Calisthenics Workouts Build Chest?

Bodyweight calisthenics exercises help develop strength2Kotarsky CJ, Christensen BK, Miller JS, Hackney KJ. Effect of Progressive Calisthenic Push-up Training on Muscle Strength and Thickness. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Mar;32(3):651-659. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002345. PMID: 29466268, flexibility, balance, build lean mass, and progress your fitness to the next level.

They will help you build a strong, defined, and athletic chest.

Dips, push-ups, and floor presses are some of the best examples of calisthenics chest workouts.

Barring exercises, feeding your muscles the proper amount of nutrients such as protein, carbs, and fats speeds up muscular growth.

Please note: Calisthenics are not as effective as weight training when it comes to growing muscles like bodybuilders. So those who want a bigger chest should join the gym.

Related Calisthenics Workout:


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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.

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