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How to push your way to a perfect chest

Updated on November 18, 2013
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Pushups are a great way to develop you a chest muscle with no equipment required. By modifying your pushups you can target your inner, outer, upper, and lower pectorals. You can modify your pushups by simply adjusting your hands and feet. This can help you strengthen the major and minor pectoral muscles.

Inner chest

A well develop inner chest will add the finishing touches to an overall develop chest. Here are a few pushups that will focus on the inner chest.

Clap pushups

Begin in the standard pushup position (your hands underneath your shoulders and your torso 2 to 3 inches off the ground). Explosively push up so that your body lifts completely off the ground. While in mid-air, quickly clap your hands and return back to the starting position.

Diamond pushup

This pushup is pretty much like a standard pushup except your hands are brought together until your thumbs and index fingers meet make the shape of a diamond. This pushup will increase the load of your inner chest and triceps muscles than a regular pushup.

Elevated pushup

This will give a chest a much tougher workout. First find something to elevate your hands six inches off the ground (a stack a phone books, or a small stepping stool). You’re in the pushup position, but your hands are six inches off the ground. You go all the way down until your head is between your shoulder and you lifting up until your arms are straight.

Outer pushup

The outside of your chest will add definition to the overall look. The length of the hands is a key factor when engaging the outside of your chest. Your hands should be position a few inches wider than the shoulders.

Wide pushup

This pushups is basically a standard pushup, the only difference is that your hands are wider than your shoulders. This move isolates the lateral part of the major chest muscle, which will add shape and size.

Side to side pushup

You begin in the standard pushup position, then your right arm and leg move to the right at the same time and go down. You return your arm and leg to the starting position and preform the same move on the left side. It’s important how far you step out to really engage the outer chest muscle.

Upper chest

If you want that big chest look then you have to work your upper chest. This part of the chest is often neglected. To work this chest area it’s all about the angle.

Decline push up

In order to perform this move you will need something to elevate your feet off the ground like a chair, a small chest, bench, or your bed. You in standard pushup position with your legs elevated. Lower your body as if you were doing the standard pushup, then pushes back up in the starting position. When doing this exercise always keep your back straight. The higher you position your leg the more resistance you add to the exercise.

Pike pushups

Start in a standard push up position, and then take a few steps to your hands. You should look like an inverted “V” shape. Next drop your head towards the ground and explode up back into the starting position.

Lower chest

The lower is a little difficult to target, because it can be hard to engage this area. It’s kind of like the upper chest, meaning it’s all about angle.

Incline pushup

The decline pushup is pretty much like the incline push up, just this time your hands will be elevated instead of your feet.

Dumbbell pushup

In this move you are going to need a set of dumbbells, or pushup bars will do the trick. Position yourself in the standard pushup position. Go all the way down until your chest touches the floor.

Intensifying the standard pushup

This compare exercise is a great way to build and maintain strength, but you can intensify this exercise to build even more strength.

Slow pushups

Start in the standard pushup position and slowly begin to descend down in a 4 to 5 second count. Come back up at the same speed. You will begin to feel the burn with the move.

Weighted pushups

You can purchase a weighted vest or you can use a weighted backpack. This will add more resistance to your standard normal pushup.

If you really want to develop a chest though pushups then it would be a great idea to incorporate all these moves in a routine.

Push-up table

Upper
Inner
Outter
Lower
Pike push-up
Clap push-up
Wide push up
Dumbbell push-up
Decline push-up
Diamond push-up
Side to side
Incline push-up
Standard push-up
Inclined push-up
Standard push-up
Standard push-up
 
 
 
 

Key Factors

If you don't see the result you desire put these factors into consideration:

  • Size- The weight of your body is enough to get you nice pecs. You can take a step further by adding weight or resistance, which will increase work output to your muscle.
  • Form- Terrible form can cause injury
  • Core- A weak core can ruin your form starting from the starting position.
  • Timing- You won't see any results if you have an occasional workout routine. For each workout try doing 10 to 14 reps and 4 to 5 sets. Be sure to switch between so you won't peak.

There are several other pushups out there will help target your whole chest area; by switching up different pushups you won't peak and will continue to build a strong chest.

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    • BWD316 profile image

      Brian Dooling 2 years ago from Connecticut

      Great breakdown of the various pushups, I'm definitely going to incorporate these into my workout! Voted up and useful!

    • profile image

      Jimmy k 2 years ago

      Great info thanks.

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