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A full chest and tricep workout without weights or equipment

You can do this chest and tricep workout without any weights or gym equipment whatsoever.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 2nd May 2022
A man performing a chest and tricep workout without weights or gym equipment

If you’re searching for a chest and tricep workout without weights that will help you to pack on muscle mass, then I’ve got just the routine for you. 

You can do this no weight chest and tricep workout virtually anywhere, and there are plenty of ways to make it more challenging, which I’ll discuss as I walk you through the workout.

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A full chest and tricep workout without weights

This 5-exercise chest and tris workout without weights will, at the very minimum, maintain your current levels of muscle mass. Unless you’re a seasoned bodybuilder, this workout will likely also lead to new muscle growth if you attack the exercises with enough intensity and perform the routine consistently.

Rest 1-2 minutes between sets or until you feel properly recovered. 

This no equipment chest and tricep workout is designed to work every area and function of your chest and tris. However, if there’s a particular exercise that you don’t like, then you can definitely switch it out for a close variation and still get the same results.

Exercise 1: Decline push-ups

A man performing decline push ups

If you’re wondering how on earth you can work your upper chest without gym equipment, then the deceptively named decline push-up is your answer.

Although the exercise is called a decline push-up, your torso angle, especially in relation to your shoulders, actually mimics an incline press, meaning that the movement puts plenty of tension on your upper chest.

You can easily do this muscle-building movement by elevating your feet on a stable surface like a sofa, bed, or chair. Just make sure to keep your back straight (don’t let those hips sag!) so that you can protect your shoulders and really keep the focus of the exercise on your chest.

  1. Elevate your feet on a stable surface, and then place your hands on the floor in front of you.
  2. Tighten your core, tuck your elbows in at a 45-degree angle, and make sure that your back is flat.
  3. Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor. Keep going until you feel a deep stretch in your chest and shoulders.
  4. Press your hands into the floor to push yourself back up. Keep going until your elbows are locked out.
  5. Repeat for 3-5 sets of 8-20 reps.

Exercise 2: Wide-grip push-ups

A man doing wide grip push ups

Wide-grip push-ups are an underrated exercise that makes a great addition to any no equipment chest and tricep workout. By widening your push-up grip, you’ll be able to get a really deep stretch and a truly massive contraction in your pecs.

The key to getting the best possible pump with a wide-grip push-up is to mentally focus on stretching and squeezing your chest as you come up and down—as if you were using a chest fly machine.

To make the movement harder, you can slow down your reps in order to challenge your chest with more hypertrophy-inducing time under tension.

Additionally, you can extend the set to take your pecs beyond failure by doing wide-grip push-ups on your knees after you reach failure on the standard variation.

  1. Place your hands on the floor a bit outside shoulder width.
  2. Extend your legs back and tighten your core.
  3. Tuck your elbows in slightly and then lower your body toward the ground. Imagine your pecs being stretched as you do this.
  4. Descend until your chest touches the floor, then press yourself back up while mentally thinking about squeezing your chest.
  5. Perform 3-5 sets of 8-30 reps in total.

Exercise 3: Towel chest fly

A man doing a towel chest fly

As if your chest wasn’t already pumped up enough after doing both decline and wide-grip push-ups, it’s time to finish off your pecs with towel chest flys.

As you’ll soon learn, this exercise is all about the peak contraction, so make sure to squeeze your chest muscles as hard as you possibly can on every rep that you perform.

You’ll need a large towel for this exercise, and you can always do it in a superset fashion with push-ups if you want to shorten your workout while making it more intense.

  1. Wrap a large towel around your back and grab either end.
  2. Bring your upper arms across your body in a fly motion and squeeze your pecs as hard as you can.
  3. Hold the peak contraction for 1-3 seconds.
  4. Release the contraction in a controlled manner, then perform your next rep.
  5. Do 3-5 sets of 20-50 reps in total.

Exercise 4: Water bottle tricep extension

A man doing a water bottle overhead extension

Time for the triceps portion of this no equipment chest and tris workout. And our first stop is the long head of the triceps because it’s the single biggest upper arm muscle (it’s bigger than the lateral and medial heads combined).

For this exercise, you’ll need 1-2 large water bottles or milk jugs, which you can easily get at the store.

If you don’t have a big heavy water bottle, then you can fill up a backpack with heavy household objects—books, groceries, etc.—and still get the same results.

If your bottles have handles like mine do, then they’re your best bet because they’ll feel like dumbbells, which is the whole point.

See Also: How to work your triceps without weights

  1. Grab the water bottle handles with an overhand grip.
  2. Press the bottles over your head so that your arms are completely straight.
  3. Tuck your elbows in slightly, and then bend your elbows to lower the bottles behind your head.
  4. Descend until you feel a deep stretch in your triceps.
  5. Flex your triceps to lift the bottles back up. Keep going until your elbows are locked out.
  6. Repeat for 3-5 sets of 10-30 reps.

Exercise 5: Tricep dips

A man doing chair dips for his triceps

Tricep dips are a very obvious exercise, but their accessibility and commonness doesn’t reduce their effectiveness.

You can do dips on a chair, bench, sofa, or bed—any low, stable surface that you can put your hands on is suitable for tricep dips.

To make the movement harder, you can either elevate your feet on a chair and/or pair the movement with the bottle tricep extension that you saw above.

  1. Sit facing away from a chair, and then place your hands on the edge of the seat.
  2. Push yourself up so that your arms are straight.
  3. Bend your elbows to lower your body toward the ground.
  4. Keep going until you feel a strong stretch in your triceps (avoiding going too low, as it could put stress on your rotator cuffs).
  5. Press your hands into the seat to push yourself back up. Keep going until your elbows are locked out.
  6. Repeat for 3-5 sets of 20-50 reps.

Conclusion: Can you get a good chest and tricep workout without equipment?

A man doing a chest and triceps workout without weights or equipment of any kind

You can definitely get a good chest and tricep workout without weights or equipment if you utilize an intelligent exercise selection. Specifically, you want to pick movements that work each major part and function of your chest and tris.

In practice, this means doing exercises that emphasize your upper chest, lower/mid-chest, and also a fly exercise to really work that adduction.

For the triceps, you need to do some kind of overhead extension or lying extension to train the long head of the triceps, which you can do by using big bottles or heavy milk jugs as weights.

The lateral and medial heads of the triceps get plenty of work during push-ups, but you can also do bench dips to give them some extra stimulation.

James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
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