The chest is composed of a layer of muscles that start in your décolletage and extend under your breasts. This large muscle group is made up of the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. This is why you may have heard people refer to their chests as their “pecs.”
Working your chest muscles is a great way to give yourself a natural breast lift if you have an aesthetic-based goal. Some women worry that doing chest exercises will make their chest smaller by turning their breast tissue into muscle—this is not the case. If a reduction in your breast size occurs, it’s due to the weight loss that you’re experiencing as a result of general weightlifting. The same effect could happen if you lost weight doing only cardio. Everyone has different genetics, which means you can’t control where and when your body will lose weight. You can’t spot train, meaning you can’t work a particular muscle group hoping to lose fat in that specific area. I hope that this helps ease any reservations that you may have about training your chest. The benefits of building strength outweigh the risk of dropping a cup size due to general weight loss. As a side note, if you’ve had a breast augmentation, then you may need to take special precautions when working your chest. You may need to use lighter weights and/or reduce your range of motion. This is because of the scar tissue that you may have as a result of the augmentation. It’s also so that the appearance of your breasts is not affected due to the implants shifting. Consult your surgeon on recommendations and best practices.
Before You Lift:
Remember to keep your core engaged while executing the movements in this article. You can also perform each of these movements in front of a mirror, or record yourself, to double-check your form.
Scaptions are a great way to get your shoulder blades moving better. The muscles that surround your shoulder blades play an essential role in pushing and pulling exercises—specifically in relationship to chest movements—so you want to make sure they are sufficiently warmed.
- Begin with your arms extended, in a push-up position, with your wrists stacked under your shoulders and toes on the floor hip-width apart. Create one long line from your head to your heels.
- With your elbows locked and arms straight, pull your shoulder blades toward your spine (retraction).
- In the same position, push your shoulder blades away from each other, away from your spine and closer to your shoulders (protraction). Repeat the retracting and protracting movements; practice pushing your shoulders toward and then away from each other.
- Try to get as much movement as possible with your shoulder blades without moving your neck. You may also perform this movement standing up, with your hands against a wall.
DUMBBELL FLOOR PRESS
ADDITIONAL MUSCLES WORKED: Triceps
This is a fundamental pushing movement. It uses both of your pectoral muscles, and by using the dumbbells as opposed to a barbell, you can work on building strength in each arm independently. This movement is also recommended over a traditional bench press (on a flat bench with a barbell) if you’ve had a breast augmentation.
- Lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground hip-width apart. Have the dumbbells by your sides near your hands so that you can reach them easily.
- With your arms straight and elbows locked, lift the weights above you so that they are directly above your chest. You want your thumbs to be facing each other so that your palms are facing out and the dumbbells are horizontal to each other.
- Lower the dumbbells down to your chest simultaneously by bending your elbows to 90 degrees, taking them wide and away from each other. Stop once your elbows touch the ground.
- Press the weights back up by bringing your elbows in toward each other to return to the starting position.
Lift Safely: Keep your lower back flat against the floor, rib cage down, as you perform this exercise. Avoid arching your back—this will help keep your core activated. Don’t lock your elbows at the top of the movement.
Make It Harder: You can make this exercise a little harder by lifting both feet into the air so that you’re in an upside-down tabletop position with your knees over your hips and your calves parallel to the ground. This will require more core stability. You can also only press one dumbbell at a time. This will require more stabilization to counteract the rotational force produced by having an imbalance in weight distribution.
Home Workout Hack: If you are looking to strengthen your chest without the use of weights, then do push-ups. You can make push-ups easier by doing them on your knees or by putting your hands on an elevated surface like a bench or counter top.
DUMBBELL CHEST FLY
ADDITIONAL MUSCLES WORKED: Triceps
This exercise works the chest slightly different from the Dumbbell Floor Press. It will strengthen the areas in your chest that can help your breasts appear closer together. Building strength is the focus of this exercise, but the extra aesthetic benefits are nice to note. It’s also worth noting that this will be a more friendly chest exercise than the Barbell Floor Press if you’ve had breast augmentation.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. The dumbbells should be at your sides and close to your hands so that you can easily pick them up.
- Pick up the weights with arms extended, and bring them above your chest, palms facing each other with your thumbs pointing toward your face.
- Open your arms, with elbows slightly bent, as if you were getting ready to hug a tree or grab a giant beach ball.
- Lower the weights toward the floor and stop when your elbows are at chest height. This will be just a few inches above the ground. Do not let the weights rest on the ground.
- Return your arms to the starting position by squeezing your elbows toward each other.
Lift Safely: Keep your lower back flat against the floor as you perform this exercise. Don’t arch your back—this will help keep your core activated. Don’t overextend your arms on the way down. Stop when you feel a comfortable stretch in your chest. Keep the weights just in front of your chest as you perform this movement. They shouldn’t be up by your neck/head, and they shouldn’t be down by your belly button.
Make It Harder: Perform the exercise with your feet off the ground, knees over hips and calves parallel to the floor, to require more core engagement. You can also use only one dumbbell to make it harder or alternate sides instead of moving the weights at the same time.
WIDE-GRIP BARBELL CHEST PRESS
ADDITIONAL MUSCLES WORKED: Triceps
The use of a wide grip in this press will target a different part of the chest muscles than the other chest exercises mentioned in this article. It will help keep your muscles balanced and at an optimal strength level for pressing.
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart. You should have your barbell in your hands as you lie down.
- Grip the barbell directly above your chest with hands wide; think about bringing your pinkies as close to the weighted ends of the barbell as you can.
- Lower the bar down toward your chest, keeping it centered above the middle of your chest. Stop once your elbows touch the floor.
- Press the bar back up by squeezing your elbows in toward each other.
Lift Safely: Keep your lower back flat against the ground as you press the weight. Don’t arch your back. Keep your wrists straight and rib cage down as you press. Once you’ve finished the exercise, sit up carefully with the bar by engaging your core and rolling up to a seated position facing forward. Don’t attempt to push the bar off behind you or to the side of you. If you have a spotter around to assist in taking the barbell away from you, that would be ideal. You may need to use lighter weight or avoid this movement if you’ve had breast augmentation.
Make It Harder: Perform the exercise with your feet off the ground, knees over hips and calves parallel to the floor, to require more core engagement.
Home Workout Hack: If you don’t have a barbell, then perform push-ups with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Your hands should be placed 2 inches outside of the shoulder joint. You can also do an elevated wide push-up by putting your hands on a bench or counter top. This is also a great alternative if you’re looking to build strength in your chest and you’ve had breast augmentation.
The chest muscles tend to be very tight from daily activities like driving, typing, and texting. Exercising this muscle group leads to even more tightness, so it’s very important to stretch post-workout to help return the muscle to its original length. It’s also a good idea to perform this Wall Stretch after a long period of sitting at a computer or behind the wheel of your car. A tight chest can lead to shoulder impingements and lack of shoulder mobility.
- Stand in a doorway with the doorframe on your right side. Place your left foot slightly in front of you and your right foot slightly behind.
- Place your right hand on the doorframe so that your elbow is at a 90-degree angle directly in line with your shoulder.
- Press your body forward while you simultaneously press your arm into the doorframe, until you feel a stretch in your chest. Avoid arching your back as you do this.
- Repeat on the opposite side.
Do You Have to Take Supplements with Chest Exercises?
Some people might use natural fat burners as part of a healthy diet and lifestyle to increase metabolism or decrease appetite. When combined with a healthy diet, it will further increase the loss of excess body fat – and may also have other beneficial effects.
Resurge is of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.
While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews because the supplement industry is rife with scams.
Besides, it should be noted that supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity. Pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet and regular exercise.
In any case, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are taking medications or have any health concerns.