Weekend Bodyweight Workout for Pecs & Arms

Zero equipment – maximum gains. This bodyweight-only session can be done inside or outside. Just get it done.

No weights? No problem. You can still stack on muscle to your chest and arms with this circuit of press-up drop sets, designed by bodyweight training maestro, Bradley Simmonds.

Do 10 reps of each, moving as quickly between each movement as possible. Then take 30-90 seconds rest, depending on your level of experience, before starting the circuit again. Reduce the reps of each movement by two each round. For the final circuit, you should be performing just two reps of each move.

Dropping the reps like this means you can keep working as you start to tire, ensuring no muscle-fibre is left unworked, sending extra blood to your chest and arms for a bonafide pump. And not a barbell or dumbbell in sight. Unprecedented times indeed.

1) Press-Up, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps

Begin your strength crucible with the holy grail of bodyweight moves. With your weight supported on your toes, and hands beneath your shoulders (A), keep your body straight as you lower (B). When your chest touches the floor, explode up. Do your set of reps then move on with minimal rest.

2) Pike press-up, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps

From a regular press-up position, lift your hips
so your body forms an upside down V (A) – this shifts more weight onto your shoulders, giving your chest a welcome break. Bend your elbows until the top of your head nearly touches the floor (B). Hold for a count before pushing back up.

3) Diamond press-up, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps

Working with your hands closer together builds strength in your triceps. With your back straight, and index fingers and thumbs forming a diamond (A), lower until your chest touches your hands on the floor (B). Push back up to the start position. Avoid burning out by keeping your pace steady.

4) Typewriter press-up, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps

For the ‘typewriter’, a wide base will serve you well, so start by spreading your hands apart, with your arms extended and hands turned out (A). Lower your body to the floor by bending one arm, as you lean to the side (B). As you extend the bent arm, bend the other arm to shift your weight.

5) Clap press-up, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 reps

Finish your first round with a move that requires real press-up prowess. From a standard press-up position (A), lower your chest toward the floor. As you push back up, clap your hands in mid air (B). Cushion your landing and sink straight into the next rep. Done? Return to the start for the next circuit.


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