T Nation

Suspended Push-Up Variation

I have relatively poor chest development. Even though my pressing strength is relatively good for my body type (long arms, etc.) I feel most of it come from my triceps and shoulders. As such, I have tried using exercises, such as flyes, etc that put more emphasis on my chest, but these are pretty boring and do not feel productive. Most of the time would rather just work on benching more.

CT and maybe a few other authors here have coined pressing variations the add emphasis to the chest. I am think of:

  1. “Squeeze presses”
  2. DB presses holding cables from a wide postion.
  3. Slide push-ups

I have found all three of these to have flaws for me, for several reasons. One new exercise variation I thought of was to do chain suspended push-ups with the chains spaced wider than shoulder with where they are mounted.

Whether performed in a converging/diverging motion or keeping the hands at shoulder width, this would place more more emphasis on the chest, I think, right? And the more do the wide the chain/strap position.

Has anyone tried this and does this sound like a good idea? I have never done chain suspended pushups so I do not know how difficult it would be.

I may be wrong, but my intuition is that those won’t give you a significantly greater focus on the chest than, say, just doing regular pushups with a wide hand spacing. The chains will force you to recruit muscles for stabilization, but I don’t imagine they’ll necessarily be chest muscles.

I’d recommend doing extra-wide barbell presses, bringing the bar to your neck instead of your chest. I’ve also found heavy dumbbell squeeze presses to be one of the best chest exercises, so you might want to consider giving them another shot.

Let me clarify. I am not talking about push-ups with a wide grip. They would done with a regular grip but top the chains would be attached wider than shoulder with.

Because they want to hand plum (straight down) you will have to constantly force your hands to stay at shoulder width. The chains (and your body weight) will want to swing back out. The wider the chains are mounted, the more difficult it will be. It should be difficult to even hold the arms at should width, pressing element aside.

I have not tried this but physics tells me that it should place more stress on the chest.

Any thoughts on this?

I do these a lot because I work out by myself and don’t feel comfortable benching alone. They really do a LOT for chest development, especailly in the deeper range of motion. I put my feet on a small chair and set the handles (which I hang off of a power rack) even with the chair so that I can go as deep as I can comfortably.

This also allows me to use a standard dip/chin belt to add weight. It’s all I do specifically for chest and I think I have at least decent pecs.