10 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench

What are the best chest exercises without a bench? Let’s have a  look.

Undeniably, a bench press is the best equipment to do chest exercises. But if you don’t have the money to buy an expensive bench press but want rock hard pecs all the same, there are other ways to do chest exercises. 

There are plenty of options available, and you can opt for any one that suits your style. From dumbbells to pull-up bars, the possibilities are endless. It’s important that you should know what works best for you. 

If you are not sure how you can do chest exercises without a bench press, we have listed some of the best chest exercises without a bench here. 

Every activity uses unique equipment that will help you do chest exercises efficiently but with good results. Let’s check them one by one.

#1 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: Using Dumbbell

If you don’t want to spend on a bench press, you can use a dumbbells to do chest exercises. There are a variety of exercises that you can do using a dumbbell. These exercises are simple, easy to perform, yet very effective.

How To Do The Exercise

You can start by doing a standing chest press exercise. Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell between the palms in a horizontal position. Squeeze the dumbbell from both the ends with your palms to activate through the chest. Now release the pressure and come back to the starting position. 

Standing Chest Press David Kimmerle


Performing a press in a standing position targets your pectoral muscles in a unique way, which creates new muscle growth and stimulation.

Watch Out For

Make sure when you fatigue, you don’t drop your arms. Your hands need to stay in line with the chest while fully extended. Secondly, ensure you keep your core engaged to avoid lower back stress as you push the weight away from you.

#2 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: Using Kettlebell

If you want diversity in your chest training, you can also start with a kettlebell. One of the main advantages of kettlebell training is that the exercises are dynamic and flow from one movement to the next.

How To Do The Exercise

You can try the kettlebell floor press exercise, which involves lying on the floor and pressing the kettlebell overhead. Keep the elbow close to the body. It enables the kettlebell to be lowered to the shoulder and is the best option for beginners because it puts less strain on the shoulder joint. 

The Kettlebell Floor Press



This exercise is ideal for the chest and for people who have laxity in the shoulder joint and need to reduce sloppiness. It strengthens the shoulder joint. 

Do More

You can press through your heels into a full bridge position to increase the movement range and increase the activation in the glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles.

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#3 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: Using Resistance Bands

If you can’t hit the gym regularly to train for the chest, you can opt for resistance bands. You can try plenty of variations with a resistance band, but we will tell you the simplest one, which is more effective and result-oriented.

How To Do The Exercise

Start by looping a band to a bench close. Lie down with the back on the floor with your head towards the loop so that you can almost touch the anchor with your arms extended over your head. Hold the band with both hands. Keep your arms straight, rotate at your shoulders, and bring your hands in front of your head in-line with your chest. Pull the band as low as you can before returning your arms to the starting position. 

Pullover with a Resistance Band



This simple exercise will not only work your chest, but it will hit your lats and even your triceps as you use them to stabilize yourself through this movement.

Do More

To make it more challenging, keep your hands close together or use multiple bands.

#4 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: Using A Medicine Ball

Medicine ball is ideal equipment for strength and resistance training. It is a weighted ball with a diameter of the shoulder. This equipment is also used in warm-up sessions to improve speed and accuracy. It is even used by physiotherapists to train people after an injury. This is a versatile ball that is useful for doing a variety of exercises to keep yourself fit. You can buy a medicine ball to improve your strength while working out and having lots of fun.

How To Do The Exercise

Go for doing unilateral floor press by lying on the floor with both the hands half-raised in a bending position. The elbow must touch the ground. Bend the knees as well. Hold the ball in a hand, and by raising that hand shift the ball to the other hand. Try doing 3 sets of ten each and then increase to 5 sets of 20 each.

How To Do: Medicine Ball Floor Press | Chest Workout Exercise


For Beginners

If you are a beginner, start training with a weight that suits you and your physical activity level. Gradually increase the weight as you start building strength.

#5 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: With a Stability Ball

A stability ball, also known as a yoga ball, is a large ball made with vinyl material to do various exercise forms. It is ideal for stretch exercises and to strengthen your muscle.

How To Do The Exercise

Try out the ball bear hug exercise using a stability ball. Sit on a chair or a bench with your back straight. Hold the ball against your chest as if you are hugging the ball. Now squeeze the ball towards your chest and then allow the ball to squeeze out. Breathe out while stretching your hands out. Feel the pressure on your arms and shoulders.

Bear Hugs - Fitness Ball



This exercise helps to strengthen your balance and flexibility of movement. Try doing 3 sets of 10, then increase up to 5 and feel the change.

Do More

This versatile, dynamic tool is a must-have for those who are fitness enthusiasts. But, balancing on a stability ball can be tricky. Do not try and stand on them. It can be dangerous as you can hurt yourself.

#6 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: Using Yoga Mat

You do not need expensive gym equipment to workout at home. A yoga mat is a dynamic piece of equipment that is perfect for a full-body exercise. Increase your strength, stability, and core using this equipment.

How To Do The Exercise

Try out pushups on a yoga mat as it is an engaging workout that helps tone the shoulders and the chest. When you have mastered basic pushups, try doing decline pushups, clap pushups and even plank pushups on the yoga mat. Even one arm pushups are one of the best exercises you can do on a yoga mat.

Chest Building Yoga Push Up! (It's Not As Easy As You Think)


For Beginners

Doing push-ups is significant for your shoulders and your chest muscles. Being a beginner, you can go for pushups. To increase the difficulty levels, try different forms of pushups. Start from 20 sets, then increase to 50.

#7 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: With Wobble Board

Another fitness gear that improves balance, stability, mental focus, and strength is the wobble board. Balancing on a flat surface with a ball is not easy. But as a beginner or a fitness enthusiast, you need to have the ability to sense the environment and adjust accordingly.

How To Do The Exercise

Try doing pushups with a wobble board to strengthen your chest muscles. Position yourself in a pushup position. Place both the hands on the edge of the board. See to it that the back is straight, and the chest is away from the board. Start doing pushups and feel the pressure on your chest, muscles, arms, and back. Repeat the exercise in the set of 2, 10 times each. This exercise helps make the chest muscles strong and also builds stability.

Exercise of the Week: Wobble board push up

For Beginners

Do not use a balance board without support. Secondly, never look down but look forward when you stand on a balance board.

#8 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: With Weight Plates

Weight plates another ultimate gear that helps to build up muscles and makes them strong. Earlier it was used in combination with barbells and dumbbells to make the exercise intense and effective. But today, you can do different exercises using the plates alone.

How To Do The Exercise

For doing the Chest squeeze press hold and squeeze two weight plates together between your hands and in front of the chest. The shoulders should be kept down. Now stretch your hands holding the plates. Extend elbows as much as you can go, with the plates going away from the body at the same height as your chest. Go back to the starting position. Do 2-3 sets of 10 each. This helps to build up chest muscles and make them strong. You can also strengthen your arms with this exercise.

Build a Bigger Chest with the Plate Pinch/Svend Press | Mark Bell


Holding the weight plate and doing various exercises with it helps to improve grip strength. Holding it firmly in front of your chest helps strengthen the core stability, posture, boosting metabolism and bone mass density.

#9 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: Using Pull-Up Bars

Do you want to strengthen your upper body? If yes, use a pull-up bar.

Tips for using a pull-up bar

Always keep your chin up while using the pull-up bar. While exercising with this gear, your chin must come over the top of the bar, called a chin up. Do you want to build your chest and try using this gear nicely? It can do wonders.

How To Do The Exercise

The best pull up bar variations that can tone your chest in the best possible way is, instead of the overhead chest press with a pull-up bar, use an under head position by keeping your chin up. While pulling yourself up, instead of keeping your arms wide apart, try keeping your hands in a narrow position. Instead of putting your elbows at the back of your hand, try putting them in front of your body.

Beginner - Chin ups


Benefits of Pull Up Bars

For all those who need a toned and muscular chest, try out the above variations and see the difference in your body.


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#10 Best Chest Exercises Without a Bench: With A Squat Rack

The squat rack or the power rack helps to do exercises using weights. It is an ideal equipment for those who are into weight training. If you are a beginner but want to train yourself in weight lifting, then do not get confused about whether you must buy a squat rack or not? You must buy one. This will help you learn the right position for weight lifting and will also allow you to gain strength and functionality.

How To Do The Exercise

Doing overhead press targets your upper body and makes the chest muscle and arm work simultaneously. Keep your entire body still. Hold the barbell and raise both the hands overhead in-line with your ears. Repeat 3 sets of 10 each to get a toned chest. To increase the intensity of the workout, increase the weight as you go up. But as a beginner, use smaller weights and then go for higher weights to lift for repeating the sets.

HOW TO Overhead (Military) Press: Best Exercise For Building Shoulders + Strength

Benefits of Squat Rack

It is an essential equipment to do weight and power training. It works on the whole body that is your midsection, lower body, and upper body. What else can you ask for? You can do deadlifts, squats, overhead press, chin-ups, and much more.

You might also like to read: Best Squat Rack With Pull Up Bar


Exercising every day is essential, but those who cannot continue daily due to their tough working schedules should try to work out at least three days a week. Do not neglect any muscle of your body to improve your overall health. 

The chest muscles are significant, and they can handle different weights, allowing you to burn more calories. Furthermore, when you are toning your chest, it is not only the chest muscle involved. But other muscles also work along with the chest like the shoulder and the arms. 

The back and triceps are also involved. Starting your training session with a chest workout will help you burn more calories and tone your upper body. Working out your chest also helps to improve your posture and enables you to breathe correctly. 

All the above-listed home and gym equipment are helpful towards getting a nice toned and good looking body.

You might also like to read: Best Weight Bench Under 100


[1] https://www.rehab.research.va.gov/mono/lowerlimb/chest.pdf

About Gaurav Dhir

Gaurav Dhir, B. Tech, PGDCM is an engineer and MBA by training. A fitness aficionado, Gaurav follows a strict diet and exercise regimen to keep himself vigorously active. He loves playing sports and being outdoors. Gaurav is responsible for the health and wellness of 4 generations including his son, elderly parents and very elderly grandparents.