If you're looking to make your pecs pop, you probably think you need a barbell or, at least, some heavy dumbbells. But that's just not the case. There are plenty of great moves you can do without any equipment at all—and some that can be done using your own bodyweight and a TRX or band. While these exercises are great for attacking your chest—the pectorals major and minor—they'll also help get your deltoids, triceps, abs, and more muscles in on the action.
In other words, the following moves, courtesy of Andia Winslow, professional athlete, sports performance coach, and founder of Winslow Way Conditioning, will help you get that chest you'll want to show off on the beach this summer—and carve the rest of your body. Combine them for the ultimate Chest Day bodyweight workout. Or, sprinkle a few in to your total body routine.
To avoid being that guy with the bad pushup form, make certain to keep your body in alignment from head to toe, and think about leading with your sternum as to avoid a craned neck and sloppy body position.
Just as in yoga, merge your breath and body to get the most out of the dive bomber. Inhale in downward dog to start and exhale as you transition into cobra. From downward dog, you'll "dive" your chest down so that it comes close to—but doesn't touch—the ground momentarily before finishing in a slightly arched position at the top of the move. Return to start by pushing in the opposite direction. Make the move more difficult by slowing your lowering pace in both directions.
"These are sleeper moves that can be performed after weight-bearing moves, during rest, or on their own," says Winslow. "Isometric exercises can generate force without motion, and are a great way to experiment with body control and generate static strength."
If you don't have a roll out ladder, don't worry—all you really need is a line on the ground: basketball court, soccer field, extended shadow in your yard. Make certain to really push through the ground and keep shoulders stacked over hands as your body moves laterally through the ladder or across the line, stopping to do pushups as you go.
"Isometric moves are a great way to inventory and develop strength throughout the body, and airplanes are made all the more difficult while suspended," says Winslow.
Position body in (TRX) chest press position and slowly extend one arm at a time out to the side, then back to starting position. The key is to maintain tension throughout your entire body to allow for smooth transitions "out" and "in." To make things more difficult, try doubles (both arms at the same time).
"You'll be pushing from a narrower base (your fingers should be touching and form a diamond shape) and taxing different areas of your chest than with normal pushups," says Winslow.