Last Updated: 5th October 2016
For many women, the bust is the one body part that they wish they could change. Whether they desire a larger or firmer chest, the breasts certainly seem to be an area that is a source of unhappiness for many women and results in them feeling self-conscious about their physical appearance.
Although only forking out for plastic surgery or gaining weight will increase the size of your breasts, there are some things you can do to improve the overall appearance of your chest without stuffing your bra with tissue paper.
Breasts are made up of two separate muscles named the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor, in addition to a few other, smaller muscles, and these are located beneath the breast tissue. Performing exercises that specifically target these muscles can help your breasts to appear firmer and slightly lifted due to the strengthening of the muscles that support them.
Completing the following exercises 2-3 times per week is enough to give your chest a natural boost and leave you feeling happier with your physical appearance without resorting to measures as drastic as going under the knife.
The combination of these exercises will hit the pectorals from a variety of different angles resulting in a complete chest workout that targets the upper, middle and lower chest muscles in addition to the arms, back and shoulders resulting in a firmer bust and more toned upper body.
Things To Remember Before You Get Started
You should ensure that you drink plenty of fluids during and after your workout to avoid becoming dehydrated.
You should always complete a few warm up sets using light weights before performing any exercise. Jumping straight into an exercise program and training cold muscles is the main cause of the majority of fitness related injuries, all of which could have been easily avoided if individuals had taken just a few minutes to warm up.
Once you have correctly warmed up, you should ensure that the dumbbells you choose to use to perform your exercises are heavy enough for you. At the end of a set of 10 repetitions, you should feel as though you are able to perform another 2 but no more than this. Many women make the mistake of sticking to light weights because they fear to lift anything heavier will make them look bulky. However, this is not the case. Remember, if it isn’t challenging you, then it isn’t changing you.
When taking up a training program to work the chest muscles, you should also aim to incorporate some exercises that target the upper back into your routine. If the chest muscles become overtrained in comparison to the back muscles,it could result in an unflattering hunched over look and problems with your posture.
Exercise 1 – Bench Press
The bench press is one of the best exercises to train your chest muscles and strengthen the pectorals. As weak chest muscles are a common cause of sagging breasts, incorporating the bench press into your training routine will prevent this and will help to improve the overall look of your breasts, shoulders and triceps.
To perform the bench press, lie down on your back so you are looking up toward the ceiling. Take a dumbbell in each hand and push your arms out straight, before lowering them back down until they are close to the sides of your chest, and your arms form right angles. Slowly push the weights back up again to the starting position and repeat this movement until you have completed 10 repetitions. Rest your arms for 45 seconds before performing another set of this exercise. You should aim to complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
As the name suggests, this exercise is usually performed while laid on a bench using either dumbbells or a barbell as the weight. However, the bench press works equally as well carried out with your back resting on a stability ball, which will also work your core, or even while laid on the floor.
Exercise 2 – Pushup
Push ups are a really great exercise for firming the muscles in your chest and, as they are a compound exercise, they will also work wonders for the muscles in your arms, shoulders, back and core resulting in a sculpted-looking upper body.
As push ups are a body weight exercise, they do not require any equipment and can, therefore, be performed in the comfort of your own home or while traveling and not just in the gym, unlike many exercises that target the chest area.
To perform a push-up, lay on your stomach with your hands next to your armpits, palms facing downwards and fingers spread apart.Push yourself off the ground so that your arms are slightly bent and bend your legs so that your knees are resting on the floor. Lift your feet off the ground and cross them at the ankle. Ensure that your stomach is tensed, and your back is straight before lowering yourself down until your chest almost reaches the floor, and your arms are at a 45-degree angle to your torso.Push yourself back up to your starting position and perform this movement 10 times before resting for 45 seconds and then repeating until you have completed 3 sets.
If you easily complete a set of 10 repetitions, you may need to alter this exercise to make it more challenging and achieve the best results you can. Why not try to perform the ‘full’ version of this exercise by completing push-ups with your feet on the floor instead of your knees? For this, you would perform the same movement only your body would be in a straight line, similar to the plank position, with only the palms of your hands and toes on the floor.
Once you have mastered these, there are even more ways to progress this exercise to make it more challenging and leave your chest looking its best. You could try performing this exercise with your feet raised by resting them on a block or stability ball or, alternatively, you could take it in turns to rest each hand on a block so that you are performing push-ups on an uneven surface to work your pectoral muscles harder than usual.
Exercise 3 – Triceps Dips
Tricep dips are another incredibly versatile exercise that can be performed anywhere at any time and not just in your local gym. Although this exercise focuses primarily on the triceps, it is great for toning the chest muscles resulting in the appearance of firmer breasts, and it works particularly well when it comes to diminishing the appearance of armpit fat.
The easiest way to perform a triceps dip is to sit on a secure bench or chair and position your hands on either side of you, shoulder width apart,before sliding off the bench with your legs extended in front of you so that only the palms of your hands remain on it. Dip your body down keeping your elbows tucked as closely behind you as possible before pushing back up by straightening your arms, keeping a slight bend in your elbows.
Perform 10 triceps dips before resting for 45 seconds and repeating until you have completed 3 sets. If you find that these are not challenging enough for you, try using another bench or chair to rest your feet on and dip your body in the gap between the two. To make this exercise really challenging, rest weight on your knee while performing the triceps dips or, alternatively, you could try to perform bodyweight triceps dips on a frame.
Exercise 4 – Dumbbell Fly
Flyes are a great exercise to train the muscles in the chest and result in a firmer looking bust because, unlike many exercises that work the chest, flyes are an isolated movement. This means that the muscles in your chest are doing all the work and are not being supported by any other body part, resulting in an effective workout for the pectoral muscles.
In order to perform this exercise, lie down on a flat bench facing the ceiling as though you were going to perform the bench press. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, take a dumbbell in each hand with your knuckles facing outwards and hold the weights above your shoulders ensuring that your elbows are slightly bent. Keeping the bend in your elbows, lower the weights down with your arms open wide until your elbows are in line with your chest, before pressing the weights back up. Perform this exercise 10 times before resting for 45 seconds and repeating the process until you have completed 3 sets of 10.
If you find this exercise uncomfortable or wish to keep your training routine varied, you could try performing the standing chest fly instead of completing the exercise while lying down. This version of the dumbbell fly will provide both your chest and shoulder muscles with an excellent workout resulting in a more toned bust and décolletage. Get your dumbbell set at best price here.
To perform the standing version of this exercise, simply stand upright holding your stomach muscles in tight. Take a dumbbell in each hand and raise your arms out to the sides with your elbows bent slightly. Bring your arms in, keeping the bend in your elbows, so that they meet in front of your chest and hold for 2 seconds before releasing and returning to your starting position. Perform this movement 10 times before resting for 45 seconds and repeating until you have completed 3 sets.
This exercise can also be completed while seated, and many gyms have the specific equipment, such as pec deck machines, designed to enable individuals to perform this exercise without using dumbbells.
Exercise 5 – Chest Squeeze
The chest squeeze is a great low-intensity exercise that works your pectoral muscles and creates a firmer bust. This exercise is a great way to warm up before other, more intense, exercises or can be performed towards the end of a training session when your muscles are fatigued to ensure really your pectorals are worked hard.
To perform this exercise, sit upright with your back resting against a chair with your stomach tensed. Hold a medicine ball in front of your chest using both hands, ensuring your elbows are flared outwards. Push your palms together and squeeze the ball tightly until you feel your chest muscles contract before slowly straightening your arms so that you are holding the ball straight out in front of you. Ensure that you continue to squeeze the ball while you perform this movement and while you bring the ball back towards your chest. Perform this exercise 10 times before resting for 45 seconds and repeating until 3 sets have been completed.
Exercise 6 – Burpees
Burpees are a brilliant all over body exercise that targets the shoulders, arms, legs and the chest. This exercise targets the chest muscles in particular as the push-up motion that is required to complete this exercise directly works the pectorals.
Performing this exercise is a fantastic way to end a training session as burpees are a high-intensity exercise so will really help to ensure you have trained your chest to its full potential while providing you with a cardio boost to leave your chest, and the rest of your body, feeling fatigued.
To perform a burpee you need to do a push-up and, once completed, bring your legs forward in one quick motion while keeping both of your hands on the floor. Then remove both hands from the ground and in another quick movement jump up into the air before quickly bending back down and returning to the push-up position. Perform this exercise 15 times before resting for 30 seconds and repeating until you have completed 3 sets. On your last set of this exercise try to perform Burpees until failure to ensure a really good chest workout that will leave your bust feeling and look fuller and firmer.
A Reminder For After Training – Stretching
It is important to remember to stretch your muscles out once you have finished training to prevent lactic acid build up and injury. You should aim to hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds and once completed, relax for 30 seconds before repeating until you have performed each stretch 3-4 times.
Remember that doing these exercises won’t only make you look better physically. It will also make you feel good about yourself. Keep in mind that you should do it not only to look good but also to improve your health and wellness.