Contrary to popular belief, you can indeed gain muscle through the use of body weight rather than external weights. One you may not be aware of is that by using your body weight, especially in the beginning, you actually are developing control of your muscle and keeping your joints in a healthier state. 

Bodyweight vs. Weights

While external weights can aid with several areas, using body weight to do things like bodyweight chest exercises can also help you when it comes to flexibility and coordination that doesn’t often come easily to the novice lifter. Not only that, you literally don’t need any equipment meaning that if you wanted to workout in your garage or home gym you could.

Joints and Bodyweight Exercises

Now, as said before, bodyweight exercises can help with flexibility and coordination. However, it can also develop joint mobility. This is through the ability to focus on things like finite movements. In doing so, you’ll be able to better understand the movements necessary to complete exercises like push ups and squats more effectively. 

Don’t Count Weights Out!

While bodyweight chest exercises are great, weights are also an effective way to increase your muscle gain ability. This is because you are exerting more on the muscles than just your body weight. For example, if you were to do regular pull ups with your own body weight you would eventually hit a “dead zone” so to speak where you’re not experiencing any resistance. Therefore, your body is used to your weight. However, if you hit that point and add on say 10 to 20 pounds of weight then you’re creating more resistance and in the process increasing muscle mass.

Combining Bodyweight Exercises and Weights

While starting out with bodyweight exercises, there is nothing that says once you have the hang of it that you can’t combine the two. In fact, it’s actually incredibly useful to combine the use of bodyweight exercises and external weights. There are two factors to think about when deciding if you’re going to do one or the other or combine them.

When you do only bodyweight exercises you’re more than likely only addressing your relative strength. The term relative strength refers to your ability to do things purely based on body weight. Whereas when you lift, you also have absolute strength to consider. This is essentially where you can gauge how much you can externally lift. Whether through squats, push ups or other forms of exercises. 

Bodyweight Chest Exercises for the Beginner

As a beginner it can be relatively hard to decide what exercises to try when first starting to lift. That’s why we’re here to help you out with the top three bodyweight chest exercises. 

Chest Dips

Not to be confused with tricep dips, chest dips tend to take on a similar approach. The main differences come in the overall posture. For example, when completing tricep dips, you would typically flex your elbows and be in a more upright position with your feet relaxed below the body. However, when doing chest dips, the goal is to bend at the knees keeping your feet “behind” you while leaning more forward. This then creates the differences needed to work your chest rather than triceps. Now, you’re probably wondering how you could possibly do this at home rather than the gym.

It’s true, this bodyweight chest exercise is best done using two parallel bars at the gym. However, it’s also possible to complete this particular exercise at home. Don’t freak out, you actually don’t need expensive equipment. All you really need are two sturdy chairs with high enough backs on them. Then you would essentially do the same movements you would if you were at the gym.

Push-Ups

There are actually several variations of the push-up exercise that you can do as a bodyweight chest exercise. The most used is the traditional bodyweight push-up. This is the basic, where you literally line your elbows, shoulders, and wrists up and push off the ground. 

However, another fun and effective variation of this particular exercise is the atlas push-up. The only difference being that you’re on a slight incline instead of being parallel to the ground. This can be done with parallel bars on the ground or with blocks or other items you can find around the house to raise your push-up up slightly more than a traditional style.

But it doesn’t stop there. The diamond push-up is one of the harder push-up variations to master and requires a great deal more focus. How is it done you ask? Essentially you place your palms on the floor in front of you connecting the pointer and thumb. This creates the “diamond” shape where the push-up got its name from. You’d essentially complete the same motions as a traditional push-up at this point.

Sliding Chest Flys

Of all the exercises, sliding chest flys are most beneficial to your chest development. This is because they stretch and help the chest muscles contract. What does that mean? Chest stretching and contraction often leads to chest muscle growth. 

But how can you do this exercise at home? It’s actually not as complicated as it sounds. Two things you’d need is a smooth “slippery” surface which could be a wood floor or even a vinyl tiled floor. Then all you’ll need is rags or another form of cloth to help you glide. The general form is that of a push-up. However, the movement is a bit different.

Rather than go down with your movements. You’re actually going to extend your arms out to the left and right of your body. The goal is to lower to the point where your chest is just above the floor. Then you’d lift back up and continue the movements in the same fashion. 

Gaining Muscle with SARMs

Of course, if you’re experiencing a plateau effect from the use of bodyweight chest exercises on their own, you may want to try SARMs. SARMs are essentially selective androgen receptor modulators. These compounds are not anabolic androgenic steroids. However, you get the similar effects when it comes to muscle. If that’s not clear enough, you’ll grow muscle without all of the nasty side effects to go with it. Where can you get them from? Paradigm Peptides is a great source for peptides, SARMs, and other research chemicals. You can click here to learn more about their SARMs.