How To Make Your Chest Muscles Stand Out With Calisthenics Workouts
One of the beautiful things about calisthenics is the use of the whole body cohesively as opposed to isolating parts of the body. Let’s be honest, 100 percent isolation of any body part is impossible. It takes more than a strong arm to pull off a dozen one-arm pull ups effortlessly, and by making use of the tension and strength of your entire body, calisthenics exercises can be channeled to increase chests muscle mass.
With calisthenics, finding the perfect workout routine depends on your strength-to-weight ratio just as much as it hinges on your dedication. If you are looking to amplify your chest muscles, here are some exercises to guide you along the way.
Calisthenics: The Regular Pushup
Good old pushups are an excellent way to increase your muscle mass; and as a bonus, your shoulders and triceps benefit from the exercise as well. This training is ideal for those beginning their calisthenics workout but can also come in handy for those in advanced stages. With your hands on the ground and at shoulder width, stretch your legs and ensure that only your toes are touching the floor. Your body should be straight after you cave in your abs, but be sure to do it right so as to avoid back injury.
Pick a spot in front of you and focus your gaze on it then bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle as you inhale so that your chest almost touches the ground. As you exhale, straighten your arms and push your body up. 12-15 reps for three sets should be enough every day to get you started. You can increase the reps 20 after two weeks but be sure to balance them with other workout routines so as to avoid excessive damage to your muscles.
Diamond pushups are also a great exercise for your chest seeing that their concentration is on a narrower base. The advantage they have over regular pushups is their ability to tax various areas of your chest. The only other exercise that involves a great number of muscles is rowing. Machines such as the Maxi Climber Vertical Climber can replicate this.
Using a maxi climber machine at least two or three days a week can also increase your endurance and help you lose some weight while carving out your muscles. For best results, inhale strongly as you lower your body and exhale just as sturdily when pushing it back up.
To perform a diamond push-up, position your arms like you did with regular pushups but do it on your knees. Create a diamond shape with your index fingers and thumbs by bringing your arms to the center then take up the pushup position. As usual, contract your abs and stretch your back before bending your elbows until your chest touches your diamond-shaped fingers as you inhale. As you exhale, push your body upward and return it to normal position.
If you encounter any problems keeping your back straight, practice regular pushups more to increase your strength. For starters, 6-10 reps for three sets each day is enough. However, those in intermediate and advanced levels can handle 15-20 reps for three sets each day with ease. Frequent breathing influences this exercise. For the best results, inhale strongly as you lower your body and exhale just as sturdily when pushing it back up.
This exercise requires parallel bars. It increases your strength and shapes your chest muscles. To get started, hold your body above the bars at arm’s length and bend your knees so as to suspend in the air. Lean your torso forward then lower your body slowly until a small stretch is felt in the chest. Your elbows should be slightly flared out and the leaning angle should be around 30 degrees for effective dips.
While you lower the body, remember to inhale deeply, and while exhaling, use your chest to push your body back into position. Squeezing the chest after reaching the top stretches the muscles further and gets you ready for the next dip. 15 reps for three sets are enough every day with results guaranteed to surface after the first three weeks.
If you have tried and realized you need more strength to perform this exercise, you can consider using a dip assist machine. You will be doing it on your own within a short time. Also, if you are having trouble suspending your legs, get a spotter to help hold them in place. For those in advanced calisthenics, use a weight belt to add weighted plates and increase the stretch created by this routine in your chest.
Inverted rows are a fantastic calisthenics exercise that not only trains your chest muscles but arms and upper back muscles as well. In fact, they are the perfect calisthenics exercise to progress to after regular pushups. For this exercise, you need something that will support your whole body weight and is easy to grip onto such as a solid bar or a solid surface.
To get into the starting position, place your hands shoulder-width apart, grab the fixed bar in front of you and relax your arms. Pull your body upwards towards the bar and with your elbows tucked in from your armpits at a 45-degree angle, keep lifting your body until your breastbone hits the bar. Exhale as you gently lower your body until your arms are extended fully again before repeating the process.
15-20 reps for three sets are enough for those in the intermediate and advanced levels but as a beginner 6-10 reps are a good start. While performing this exercise, don’t let your elbows swing around or forget to keep your shoulders and ankles in line. You can increase the intensity as you delve deeper into calisthenics workout.
Hand Clap Pushup
The handclap pushup is simple and can be done anywhere as long as the ground can support your body weight. The starting position for this exercise is the same one you use for the regular pushup. In fact, the only difference between this exercise and the regular pushup is the clapping involved. After positioning yourself, lower your chest as you inhale then exhale and push your body upwards as high as you can so that your hands no longer touch the ground then clap.
Be sure to push yourself hard enough to allow room for clapping, or you will find yourself hitting the ground before your palms meet. For beginners, ten reps for three steps is enough to get you started. Intermediate and advanced levels can handle 10-18 reps for three sets with ease.
Calisthenics is the best way to work out if you hardly get time to hit the gym. These exercises can all be done comfortably at home and will not take up much of your time. Most people rely on weights to increase their chest muscle mass and end up looking animated. With the calisthenics above, it’s not only your chest muscles that will reap the benefits but the whole body as well.