No bench? No problem. You can still get a solid pec pump using just your bodyweight and dumbbells. Try one of these workouts on your next chest day.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Single Muscle Group
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration6 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout20-40 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Bodyweight, Dumbbells
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

Everybody that takes training seriously likes training chest. That’s why chest workouts on M&S are so popular. Many people are training at home either by choice or because they don’t have access to a gym. Because of this, training chest at home can be compromised. This is especially true if the lifter doesn’t have access to a bench.

If that sounds like you, don’t be discouraged. There are ways to pump the pecs at the house, and we have four exercises here that can help you make the most out of International Chest Day. We also have some workouts that you can add to your personal plan.

A Word About This Workout

Before you go all in, keep in mind that these exercises are options that allow you to train. They will not be as effective as traditional chest movements. So, you should make it a goal of getting your hands on a basic bench or even an adjustable one so you can maximize your pec potential.

This workout will only need two dumbbells and your body to complete. If you have access to other tools such as bands or pushup handles, then by all means use them so you have even more options to work with.

Related: Pump-Tacular Pecs: 3 Week Workout to Pump Up Your Chest

Overall Chest - Flat Dumbbell Press

This movement is the exact same as the bench version, except you’ll be doing it on the floor. That means your upper arms will hit the floor during the negative. The range of motion won’t be the same, but this is still a very effective exercise.

Set the weights on your knees and maintain a hold of them. Then, roll onto the floor with the weights in your hands. They should be beside your chest with your upper arms on the floor. Press up to a lockout, then lower back to the starting position.

If you want to focus on power and explosiveness, pause the movement when the upper arms touch the floor, then press up as quickly as possible. If you want to get a great pump, then perform every rep in constant motion without stopping. When you’re reaching the point of failure, hold the last rep and squeeze the pecs as hard as you can before lowering the weight. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Upper Chest – Push Up with Feet Elevated

You will need a chair or step for this one. Get into a pushup position, but place your feet up on the chair or step. This shifts the focus of the exercise onto the upper pecs, whereas the traditional position keeps the emphasis on the overall chest. Make sure the chair or step you use is solid so that it won’t move while you’re performing the exercise.

When you lower yourself down to the floor, your elbows should be next to your sides. Don’t let them flare out because this will shift the focus to the delts. Once your pecs feel a stretch, pause the movement. Then, push yourself up until your triceps take over the movement. If you want to focus on functional fitness, then lock out completely. If your goal is chest development only, stop before the pecs lose tension. Pause at the top before lowering yourself back down.

Bonus tip: do a drop set. Perform as many reps as you can with the feet elevated. Once you reach failure, take ten to fifteen seconds to take your feet off of the chair or step and reposition them on the floor in a traditional pushup stance. Once you’re set, perform normal pushups to failure. This is a great way to pump more blood into the pecs. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Close up of man looking at his phone and doing a dumbbell workout at home.

Outer Portion of the Chest - Floor Dumbbell Fly

This is the second exercise that can be performed on the floor. Instead of lowering the weights in a press-like motion, you lower the dumbbells out to the sides with the elbows slightly bent. You won’t feel the same stretch as you would on a bench, but it will still target the outer pecs. If you really want to maximize the range of motion, fold a blanket longways and place it on the floor to lie on as you would a bench. This will add a couple of inches to the movement.

Don’t be too concerned about strength on this exercise. Instead, maximize the time on tension by lowering the weights in five seconds. Count to five as the weights go down. When the arms touch the floor, go back up. Don’t let the weights touch at the top. That will take the contraction off of the pecs. Stop a couple of inches short at the top and squeeze the pecs. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Overall Chest - Close Grip Dumbbell Press

This is a different movement, but it can still be very effective. Lie on the floor with the weights, but place them in your hands together so the weights are touching over your chest. Squeeze the dumbbells together as hard as you can. When you press the weight up, focus on working the chest only. You should press until the arms are almost locked out, but don’t straighten the elbows. Lower the weights back down while keeping them together, Stop lowering before the dumbbells touch the chest. Keep that tension on the pecs. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Workout 1: 400 Rep Pec Pump

The goal of this workout is to perform all four exercises for 100 reps each. Take breaks when needed, but pick up the rep count where you leave off when you stop. If you stop at 31 reps, start with 32 after you rest. Think of it as a very long rest-pause set. Once you complete 100 reps with one movement, move on to the second. Once you perform all 400 reps, you’re done. Mark the time that it took for you to complete the workout, then try to beat it the next time. The challenge of trying to beat your previous time will be all the motivation you need.

Exercise Sets Reps
Push Up with Feet Elevated or Feet on Wall Push Up 1 100
Dumbbell Floor Press 1 100
Close Grip Dumbbell Press on the Floor 1 100
Floor Dumbbell Flys 1 100

Athletic female doing elevated pushups outside

Workout 2: Pause for Power

Every exercise in this workout should be performed with a pause at the bottom. You then push the weight or your body up as fast as you can until your chest is completely contracted. Hold that position for three seconds and squeeze the pecs hard before performing the next rep. Rest for one minute between each set. This is a great method for improving strength and density of the pecs.

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Floor Press 4 15
Push Up with Feet Elevated or Feet on Wall Push Up 4 15
Close Grip Dumbbell Press on the Floor 4 15
Floor Dumbbell Flys 4 15

Workout 3: Circuits for Endurance

This one can be considered a giant set or a circuit. Your job is to perform all four exercises in order without rest. Once the fourth movement is completed, you take a two-minute break. Start over when your rest period is over and do it again. Three giant sets will be equal to 12 individual sets in less than 20 minutes. You can add variety by changing the exercise order if you like. 

Exercise Sets Reps
1a) Dumbbell Floor Press 3 20
1b) Floor Dumbbell Flys 3 20
1c) Close Grip Dumbbell Press on the Floor 3 20
1d) Push Up with Feet Elevated or Feet on Wall Push Up 3 20