Chest Exercises Without a Bench & Other Variations

If you’re trying to develop an impressive chest but you don’t have an exercise bench available or access to a gym, there are still some chest exercises you can do. We put together a list of the best chest exercises without a bench that you can do, which will be perfect for at home workouts.

Some of these exercises will require equipment while others can be done without any equipment at all. We’re giving you a variety of different chest exercises without a bench that you can do so that you have some options.

Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench

The Dip

You will need to utilize a dip station at the gym through this exercise. It’s a fairly simple exercise but it’s extremely effective at building up your chest and it can also be quite challenging.

Grab the dip equipment with both hands and tilt your body down. This will help get your chest muscles engaged, and you’ll feel the heat on your pectorals from a few different angles as you do this exercise.


What are the best chest exercises without a bench that you can do? Your standard pushup is a great place to start. The traditional pushup requires you to rest with your toes and the balls of your feet on the floor as well as your palms. Your elbows should be bent and your palms facing the ground. Your palms should be resting just to the right of your shoulders.

Then, lower yourself slowly to the ground until your nose and chin are just above the ground. You can come straight back up or hold a pose close to the ground. Starting off with pushups is always a great way to get your heart pumping at work on your chest.

Once you can get up to 30 or 50 pushups in a single workout session, you’ll be making great gains on your chest. Don’t overdo it first, though, as you could strain your shoulders and muscles, making it difficult to work out the next day.

Chest exercises for men without a bench press like push-ups can be done in a few different ways to make them more challenging or easier. If you find regular pushups too difficult, you can rest on your knees instead of your toes.

If you want to make it more challenging, you can do an inclined pushup where you rest your feet on an elevated surface like a stair or chair.

Another way to make the exercise more challenging is to put your hands closer to you as you do the push up motion. If you have a lot of upper body strength, you can try one arm pushups for a great challenge.

You can also increase the speed of your pushups or hold your push up pose for longer. These are just a few ways you can modify the push up and get more out of it.

Svend Press

This is an exercise you can do using a weighted plate, but you won’t need a barbell for it. Start by holding the plate up to your chest (about 45 pounds will work great). Using both hands, push the weight outward and squeeze your pectoral muscles. Then, return the weight back to your chest slowly and repeat. This chest press is a great way to work the inner sides of the pectoral muscles and it can build up your shoulders as well.

Floor Press

One of the better free weight exercises for chest without a bench is the floor press. This is a great option if you don’t have access to a bench press or you have used the bench press quite a bit but your muscle development has plateaued.

Doing a floor press can help you get past the muscle development plateaus and keep working on building your chest muscles in different ways. While the motion is almost identical to the bench press, it’s not exactly the same, and the effect on your muscles isn’t exactly the same either.

Try to use a weight that will challenge you and give you a decent workout but also not strain your muscles too much. If you can hit that happy medium, you’ll be able to keep doing this exercise for a long time without causing muscle injury.

Chest Exercises With Dumbbells Without a Bench

Dumbbell Pullover

This is one of the most effective chest exercises for workout at home without a bench. All you need is an exercise ball and a set of dumbbells. While you don’t need a bench for this one, you do need some sort of elevation in order to make the exercise effective.

Lay with your back on the exercise ball and hold a dumbbell in each hand. You can also use a sofa or chair. You want your shoulder blades to be resting squarely on the surface.

Use both hands to dumbbells and extend them over your chest and lower them over your head. You should feel some strain in your muscles. Bring the dumbbells back to your chest again, which is the starting position for this exercise.

The dumbbells are supposed to stay perpendicular the entire exercise. It’s good to start out low and slow, doing about 8 to 10 reps twice. As you notice your muscles develop and your strength increase, you should also have more flexibility in areas of the body used for this exercise. As that happens, you can add more repetitions and then move to adding more weight as well.

If you don’t have the proper starting position for this exercise, you can end up with lower back pain or soreness in your neck. Make sure that as you do the exercise, your palms are facing toward each other. Try to move both of your arms at the same time across the same space. You should keep your hands relaxed but your wrist strong while you do this movement.

Best Chest Exercises With No Weights or Bench


One of the best ways to strengthen your chest without using weights or bench is to swim. If you’re looking for how to do chest exercises without a bench, this is a good option.

Swimming works the whole body, but it’s particularly great for the chest and upper arms. That’s where a lot of your force of motion is coming from while you swim. Focus on swimming maneuvers that really work the upper body and strengthen your chest like swimming laps. Just about any kind of stroke you do will be excellent for your chest strength, but the breaststroke is probably the most effective one.

Closing Thoughts

You should try some variations on some of the exercises we have suggested. Many of them can be done at a faster pace or with more weight involved. Some can be done at an incline to increase the force of gravity on your body and to make you work harder and get more out of the exercise.

For pushups, presses, and swimming exercises, there’s so many variations and modifications you can do. You can keep these exercises very interesting and not have to do the same movements over and over again.

You don’t have to hold off on the chest exercises just because you don’t have a bench available. There’s plenty of ways to build up your chest without using a bench at all. Even if you have a bench accessible to you, it’s a good idea to do some exercises you don’t normally do. This can help you move past plateaus and work on different sides of your pectorals.

You’ll get a more complete chest workout by using varied exercises, and you will improve your overall chest strength.