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Many of us have busy schedules and are unable to go to the gym. Sometimes you will need to travel or might be busy with your work. This makes it difficult to get yourself in the gym every day.
But that doesn’t mean that you need to skip your workout. There are many effective exercises you can do at home and you won’t need any bug equipment for it. Just a basic pair of dumbbells or barbells is enough.
As a personal trainer, many people asked me that we train our mid-chest without a bench? This question sounds silly for many as there are many options out there. But many people don’t know how to train their mid-chest at home without a bench.
So here in this article, I will share with you some of the best at-home chest exercises to target the mid part of your chest. Some exercises are bodyweight and will not require any equipment. Some exercises require just basic home gym equipment and that’s it.
How to Target the Mid Chest
There are two major muscles of the chest namely the pectoralis major and minor. To target the mid-chest, your arm should be parallel or in line with the mid-chest.
For example, when you do chest press on a flat bench, your mid-chest is activated the most because your arms are parallel or are just under the mid-chest when you press.
Another way to remember which part to train is by following the muscle fibers. Your upper chest muscle fibers move slightly upward whereas the lower chest muscles fibers move downward. However, the mid-chest muscle fibers run straight to the sides.
So you can select the exercises according to the muscle fibers. So to train the mid-chest, you need to select exercises where both arms are moving parallel to the mid part of the chest. However, to train the upper chest, your hand should go slightly up as the muscle fibers are running upward.
So when you do a flat bench press, you are targeting the mid-chest but when you do an incline bench press, the upper chest is activated the most. So by now, I guess you are clear with how to target different parts of the chest.
So now let me share with you some of the best mid-chest exercises which you can do at home at any time.
1. Push Ups
Push-ups are one of the most popular upper body exercises which not only train your chest but also increase the strength of your arms, shoulder, and back. You must do push-ups if you want a perfect upper body structure.
The regular push-up targets the mid-chest more. So if you are stuck at home and can’t go to a gym, then get down on the floor and start doing some pushups.
How to do
1. Get down on the ground and place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Your toes should be in contact with the floor or ground.
2. Straighten your arms and legs. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders.
3. Lower your body down until your chest is close to the floor. Don’t bend or round your lower back. Make sure to squeeze your abs and tight your back.
4. Pause, and then push yourself up back to the starting position.
Beginners can place their knees on the floor and perform the same movement. Always remember to start the movement with shoulders rolled back. Your elbow should be in rather than pointing out.
2. Archer Push-Ups
It’s a little advanced pushup exercise. Here, you can create constant tension on your muscles and individually focus on each side of the chest. So if you find that your one pec is less developed than the other, then do this exercise. You will get an amazing pump to your mid-chest.
How to do
1. Set up just like a normal push-up position. Your grip should be wider than the normal push-up grip.
2. Lower your body towards one side with the help of one hand. The other hand will be placed on the other side of the ground for balance. You can rotate the wrist of the other hand for safety.
3. Come back up by pushing with your arms and then repeat the same movement with the other hand.
Try to keep your elbows in and at about 60° angle as you decent. Also, remember to focus on your chest during the movement instead of engaging your shoulders and triceps more. Your concentration is important during the exercise.
3. Sliding Pushup
Another great alternative option for you. This is a bodyweight exercise you can do at home without any equipment. This also activates your core muscles to a great extent which makes them functional and athletic.
Sliding pushups will target the mid-chest and will help you in building an amazing shape. You can do this also with socks if you don’t have pads.
How to do
1. Grab two pairs of hand pads or socks and place both hands on the floor.
2. Keep both hands close to each other and get yourself in a push-up position by keeping your legs and arms straight. The chest should be under the hand.
3. Start the exercise by pushing both hands to the sides for a slide while keeping your back straight.
4. Pause at the bottom when your chest is almost touching the floor and then slide back to the starting position.
Remember to breathe in on the way down and breathe out on the way up. Also, do this exercise slowly. If the exercise is difficult for you then do it with your knees down.
4. Dumbbell Floor Press
The floor press is a great exercise to hit the mid part of the chest. It is much safer and is a good exercise for those who already have shoulder pain. The floor does not allow you to move your arms further down. This creates less range of motion but is good for your shoulders especially for those who already have an injury.
How to do
1. Lay down on the floor while holding both dumbbells and push the weights up with the help of your legs as shown in the video.
2. Bring the dumbbells up and keep your arms extended. The shoulder should be pinched back. This will be your starting position.
3. Start the exercise by bringing your arms down and bringing the dumbbell just beside your mid-chest. Keep your elbows at a 45° angle as you move downward.
4. Now push the dumbbell up with your hands and bring your arms back to the starting position.
While doing floor presses, your shoulder never gets into an overstretched position at the bottom. But when you do chest press on the bench, you can hurt your shoulder as you can take your arms further down at the bottom and can put extra tension on the shoulder. That’s why the dumbbell floor press is much safer than the dumbbell bench press.
5. TRX Chest fly
Talking about TRX, it is a great tool that you should have with you. You can do many exercises with the TRX at home or anywhere.
You can also do a chest press with TRX suspension, or mix both chest flys and presses as shown in the above video. Add these variations if you can do chest press or flys easily.
How to do
1. Attach a TRX suspension at the top where you can fix the strap. You can find how to attach TRX here.
2. Grab each end of the bands and stand forward with your body leaning forward and keeping your arms straight forward. This is the starting position.
3. Slowly bring your body forward and move your arms sideways by pointing your elbows to the side. Control on the way down.
4. Pause at the bottom when your wrist comes slightly above your lower chest. Then Slowly push back to the starting position.
Your shoulders should be pinched back before performing the exercise. Always keep your chest up as you go down as this puts constant tension on your chest without involving your shoulder.
Also, remember that your arm should be in line with the mid-chest to target the mid part of the pec.
6. Home Chest Flys
You just need a water bottle to do this exercise. You can use large bottles to increase the intensity. This can also do done with the dumbbells if you have any. This exercise will completely isolate your mid-chest and will help you in making your chest look more defined.
Floor dumbbell fly is much safer as compared to the dumbbell fly because your shoulder will not be in an overstretched position. So you can do this even at the gym.
How to do
1. Lay down on a flat surface. Hold two water bottles and raise them. Your wrist should be in line with your middle chest.
2. Now start moving your hands down with a slight bend in the elbow. Your shoulder should be down and back. Make sure that your hands are moving straight down to the side.
3. Pause at the bottom when your elbow touches the floor. Then come back up slowly.
As you move your arms down, the angle of your elbow should always be more than 90° otherwise this will become a pressing movement. The movement should be such that you are giving a hug to someone.
Advanced lifters can do it with their hands completely straight. If you are just a beginner, then you can try this exercise but it’s better to focus on other push-up exercises.
7. Clapping Push Up
If you are looking to increase the upper body power, then do clapping pushups. This exercise will work the entire chest, specifically the mid-chest.
If you are an athlete then this is a good exercise to improve your explosive power. If your sport has any throwing motion, pushing, or requires good upper body power, then you must do this ply push-up.
How to do
1. Place both hands on the floor with both arms at about shoulder-width apart. Keep your legs straight with both feet on the floor.
2. Position your body in such a way that your arm is in line with the shoulder. This will be your starting position.
3. Start the exercise by descending, while keeping your core tight and bringing your chest down towards the floor.
4. Stop until your chest is almost touching the floor. Then powerfully push the floor with your arms with a maximum force so that your arms are above the floor.
5. Clap on the way up and then place your arms back to the starting position.
This is an advanced exercise that is not recommended for beginners. If you can’t do normal pushups easily then this exercise will be very challenging for you. So try to first improve your regular pushups and then try clapping push-ups.
So here we are at the end of this article. So these were some of the best chest exercises to target the mid-chest. All of these exercises can be done at home with some basic equipment.
So now you must not have an excuse of being unable to hit the gym. You can do your workout even at home and it’s not that difficult. You can also find some more chest exercises along with this on my other blog. You can check that out here
If you found this article helpful, then do share it with your friends or family. If you want me to cover more topics like these then do mention them in the comment section below. Your comments are always appreciated and helpful for us to improve our blogs.
Roshan Pillai is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer with more than 6 years of experience in lifting weights and guiding people to get fit. He has worked as a personal trainer in gyms and is the owner and editor of fitnessproworkout.com. He is passionate about fitness and helping people to get in shape.