Grow your chest and arms muscles at home with these 3 push up variations

The push-up variations I use to maximise pecs and arms gain

Athletic person doing push ups in his living room on an exercise mat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If I was told that I have to pick one exercise that I have to do for the rest of my life without being able to do any other workouts, I'd probably pick push-ups (maybe pull-ups, depending on my mood at the time). That's because 1) the push-up is one of the best compound exercises 2) I'm a guy so, of course, I want big pecs and arms as big as Chris Hemsworth's.

A third reason is that there are so many different push-up variations, I'm sure if I looked hard enough I'd find one that works my legs as well as my arms. Just a few examples of different push-ups: hand-release push-upsRussian push-ups, fingertip push-ups... the list goes on. The three push variations I use right now to bomb my pecs in order to grow them can be found below.

Maybe they will help you grow Schwarzenegger-sized chest muscles, too.

Top 3 push-up varietions for wider pecs and bigger arms

1. Wide push-ups

Why should you try it: If you haven't got any dumbbells at hand, wide push-ups are the next best thing to help widen the pecs. Arnold Schwarzenegger preferred pecs flys but you should try wide push-ups instead.

How to do it: Get in a high plank position, arms fully extended and core engaged. Then, slide your hands farther apart from each other, one at the time, until they are about double shoulder-width apart. Be extra careful with this, you don't want to lose grip and fall on your face.

Perform press-ups in this position until the set is done. Having your hands further apart puts more of the emphasis on your pecs rather than your arms or shoulders - perfect for overloading the muscle!

2. TRX push-ups

Why should you try it: Another good exercise for bombing the chest and the arms, but this one allows for even more control. You can adjust the angle, intensity and depth of your push-ups using suspension trainers.

How to do it: Hand the suspension trainer up and make sure it's secure to use. Then, adjust the strap to the desired length. Beginners want to be more upright while pros can go into a decline pose if they wish.

Grab the handles and perform TRX push-ups until your set is up. Your eccentric movements (when you lower your body) should be slow and your concentric explosive. Wear long sleeve tops to reduce chafing from the trainer.

3. Weighted vest push-ups

Why should you try it: Wearing a weighted vest adds an extra layer of resistance to your push-ups and makes your pecs and arms grow faster. You can wear vests for running and even walking, too, to build resilience and stamina.

How to do it: You do weighted vest push-ups exactly the same way as you do standard push-ups but with the vest on. Don't let your elbows flare out and keep your core engaged throughout the movement. Remember: weighted vest push-ups put more load on the joints so make sure you allow enough rest for your body after the workout.

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Matt Kollat
Matt Kollat

Matt is T3's Fitness Editor and covers everything from smart fitness tech to running and workout shoes, home gym equipment, exercise how-tos, nutrition, cycling, and more. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and he collaborated with other fitness content creators such as Garage Gym reviews.