The Best Pushup for Chest Mass

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We all know that pushups are one of the best chest exercises. Sure, you can use equipment like a chest press or dumbbells, but the humble push-up will still give you a great chest pump.

In this article, we’ll look at the best push-ups you can do to grow your chest.

What is the Best Pushup For Chest Mass

If you really want to grow your chest with pushups, you should start doing the hand-release pushup. Basically, in between reps, you lift your hands off the floor, giving a full range of motion and taking away any use of momentum to lift yourself.

These have probably been around for a while, but they’ve become far more popular with the rise of CrossFit. 

While you’re looking at growing your chest, check out the best dumbbells that you can use to hit some flyes and presses.

How To Do a Hand Release Pushup?

Here we’ll go over the process of completing a hand-release pushup.

  1. Lie face down on the floor with your head aligned with the spine. This is similar to a regular pushup position. Contract or create tension in your abs, glutes, and quads.
  2. While everything is tensed, take your hands off the floor, and pull your shoulders back. This is like completing a row at the gym.
  3. With everything still tight, bring your hands back down to the floor and push yourself up.
  4. Push until your arms are fully extended and locked. Your body should be at a downward angle but you’ll need to keep that straight line with the head, shoulders, hips, knees, and feet. If you really want to grow your chest, at the top, bring both hands inward, and squeeze your chest for a second or two.
  5. Lower yourself back down to the starting position.


Using a correct-form hand release push-up will deliver a much more powerful pectoral contraction than a normal push-up you’re used to doing.

There are a bunch of reasons that a hand-release pushup is better for you than a regular pushup, some of which are:

  • You start from a “dead” position: When you start from a dead position your body is completely still and your muscles aren’t contracted. This means that you’ll require extra effort to lift yourself.
  • You get 10% more range of motion: The extra movement of lifting your arms gives you that extra piece of movement that you wouldn’t get with a regular pushup.
  • You open your chest every rep: When completing a regular chest-press, you close your chest over every rep. However, when you raise your hands in the hand-release pushup, you almost go back into a row position and open up your chest.
  • You use your pecs and not arms to lift yourself: Sure, you’ll use your arms a bit but with a hand-release pushup you are forced to primarily use your pecs to lift yourself up – this works on building chest mass.
  • It can be used for every pushup style: You can use the hand-release method for every pushup routine.

How to Modify the Hand Release Pushup

After a while, the hand-release pushup style may become too easy – or, you might be looking for a new way to train and keep your body guessing.

Regardless, it’s important to try a few modifiers when working out to keep training challenging and engaging.

  • Slow your reps down to put more pressure on your muscles
  • Elevate your feet to put more emphasis on your front-delts
  • Mix up the rep-range

You can also use a range of different pushup techniques. For example, you can try close-grip pushups, wide pushups knuckle pushups or diamond pushups to focus on your triceps. Men’s Health has a handy little article on this regarding Tom Hardy’s workout for getting his body ready for playing Bane in the Batman film.

Or, you can combine any of the tips above. For example, slow reps with elevated feet.


Can you Grow your Chest With Push-Ups?

Yes, you can build chest muscles by doing pushups. However, make sure that you’re keeping sets similar to what you’d do in the regular gym – remember, it’s a strength exercise and not a cardio exercise, so pumping out as many reps as possible as quickly as possible probably isn’t the best idea. Like any bodyweight exercise, when doing pushups you should look for progressive overload. 

How Many Pushups Should I do a Day to Get a Big Chest?

If you want to grow your chest then you should look to do push ups at a rate of around 3 sets of 15 reps per day. From there, you can increase as you get stronger and build stamina. You can do a range of different styles of pushup to build all of the various chest muscles.

Once you’ve established a base, you can work up to around 150 pushups a day to get a bigger chest.  You don’t want to over-do the volume though, while you may be able to crank out pushups, doing the raised hand pushups discussed in this article will male it a lot harder – 150 repetitions of those is a lot of volume.

Instead, look to use some of the modifiers we’ve discussed to make the pushups you’re doing harder. Remember, more does not necessarily mean better…. better means better.

Will my Arms Get Bigger if I Do Push-Ups?

Yes, pushups can get you bigger arms. While pushups are mostly looked at as a chest exercise, they also target your triceps, getting them bigger and stronger.

Of course, you can do close-gripped or diamond pushups which specifically target triceps, but a regular pushup with help grow your arms too.

As with any compound exercise, more than one muscle is targetted with a movement.

Can I do Push-Ups Every Day?

Doing pushups every day can be useful if you’re looking for a regular exercise habit to create. You will likely see some gains in upper body strength if you do pushups daily.

Just make sure you’re getting enough rest to give your muscles enough time to grow. Otherwise, you’ll do a lot of work for a limited amount of growth.

Final Thoughts

Pushups can help your chest, but if you really want to grow your chest and add mass, look to do raised-hands pushups as they give you a greater range of motion and a full movement from a dead position every rep.

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