Chest Exercise

We all know a chest exercise or two. Chest muscles need to be strong, but they need to be strengthened the correct way. Each of the exercises below are safe and effective for building a strong and balanced chest.

Typically women don’t want to work these muscles because we think it will make our chest appear larger. FALSE! In fact, working the muscle correctly will result in a natural lift! How lovely :)

As we grow older, our muscles generally grow weaker. Gravity takes over and things start to droop. This is not the way it has to be! Sprinkle each chest exercise into your program and watch the magic happen! Chest muscles are also called pecs (or pectorialis major if we wanna get real technical!).

What’s Your Fav Chest Exercise?

Incline Press

Start- Begin by laying on an incline bench. Place your feet and knees so that you are most comfortable. Allow your head to lay back on the bench. This will support your spine and neck. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Palms facing away from you.

Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows. Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to start.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights to the sky. Inhale as you lower back to the start of this chest exercise.

– Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.

– Try to keep your lower back pressed against the bench.

– This chest exercise can be done on a stability ball as well. Lay so that your upper back is on the top of the ball. Separate your knees until they are hip width apart. Place your feet directly under your knees. Now allow your hips to drop close to the floor. You upper body should be in an incline position. Follow the instructions above the complete the incline press on the stability ball.

Decline Chest Press

Start- Being by laying on a decline bench. Place your feet and knees so that you are most comfortable. Allow your head to lay back on the bench. This will support your spine and neck. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Palms facing away from you.

Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows. Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to the start of the chest exercise.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights to the sky. Inhale as you lower back to start.

– Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.

– Try to keep your lower back pressed against the bench.

– This chest exercise can be done on a stability ball as well. Lay so that your upper back is on the top of the ball. Separate your knees until they are hip width apart. Place your feet directly under your knees. Now roll slightly back until you are in a slight decline position. Follow the instructions above the complete the decline press on the stability ball.

Incline Chest Fly

Start- Being by laying on an incline bench. Place your feet and knees so that you are most comfortable. Allow your head to lay back on the bench. This will support your spine and neck. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Palms are facing each other.

Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows. Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to start.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights to the sky. Inhale as you lower back to the start of this chest exercise.

– Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.

– Try to keep your lower back pressed against the bench.

– This chest exercise can be done on a stability ball as well. Lay so that your upper back is on the top of the ball. Separate your knees until they are hip width apart. Place your feet directly under your knees. Know allow your hips to drop close to the floor. You upper body should be in an incline position. Follow the instructions above the complete the incline fly on the stability ball.

Decline Chest Fly

Start- Begin by laying on a decline bench. Place your feet and knees so that you are most comfortable. Allow your head to lay back on the bench. This will support your spine and neck. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Palms are facing each other.

Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows. Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to the start of the chest exercise.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights to the sky. Inhale as you lower back to the start of the chest exercise.

– Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.

– Try to keep your lower back pressed against the bench throughout this chest exercise.

Push Up

Start- Begin in the upper push up position. Your feet are together and your hands are directly under your shoulders. Your back is flat and you are looking at the ground.

Go For It- Slowly begin lowering yourself to the ground. Allow your elbows to bend, but keep your back flat and strong. Pause just above the ground and then begin lifting yourself back to start.

Tips and Techniques-

– Inhale as your lower your body weight to the floor. Exhale as your lift back up to start.

– Be sure to keep your back flat at all times.

– If your wrists hurt, move them more forward. It increases the angle of the wrist.

– This chest exercise can be done on a stability ball too. Put a stability ball in front of you. Roll out until the ball is under your thighs, knees, shins or ankles. The closer it is to your ankles, the more difficult. From this starting push up position, allow your elbows to bend and lower your upper body towards the ground. Follow the above tips and techniques.

Knee Push Ups

Start- Begin on all fours. Your knees should be directly under your hips and your hands directly under your shoulders. You should be looking at the floor.

Go For It- Slowly lower your upper body towards the ground. Try to touch your nose to the floor. Pause for one second and lift back to start.

Tips and Techniques-

– Inhale as you lower your body weight. Exhale as your lift your body back to the start of the chest exercise.

– If your wrists bother you, move them more forward.

– Keep your back flat at all times.

Pull Overs

Start- Lay down on a stability ball. Your upper body is supported by the ball. Knees are separated hip width apart and your feet are directly under your knees. Hold a dumbbell between your thumb and forefinger. Extend your arms straight above your face.

Go For It- Keeping your arms straight, allow the dumbbell to lower behind your head. Pause for one second and bring the free weight back above your face (starting position).

Tips and Techniques-

– Inhale as you lower the weight behind the head. Exhale as you lift it above your face.

– Keep your lower back relaxed and try to focus on using only your chest muscles.

Ball Chest Press

Start- Begin by sitting on a stability ball. Gently roll down until you can relax your head on the ball. Place your ankles directly under your knees, and lift your hips up to the sky. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.

Go For It- Lift the dumbbells up to the sky by extending your arms up. Don’t lock your elbows. Pause here for one second and slowly lower the weight back to the start of this chest exercise.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights up. Inhale as you lower back to start.

– Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.

– Try to keep your hips lifted throughout the chest exercise.

Ball Chest Fly

Start- Begin by sitting on a stability ball. Gently roll down until you can relax your head on the ball. Place your ankles directly under your knees, and lift your hips up to the sky. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other.

Go For It- Begin to lift the dumbbells up over the ribcage, palms facing each other. Pause for a second, lower back to start.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights up. Inhale as you lower back to start.

– Use only your chest and arm muscles to lift the weight. No momentum.

– Try to keep your hips lifted throughout the chest exercise.

– Think of this as giving someone a big bear hug. As you lift from the start position, it’s almost like a semi-circle motion.


Remember that our arm muscles all work when we perform a chest exercise. That’s why it is so important to focus on a proper strength training program and use each chest exercise when appropriate.

Do each chest exercise regularly and switch your chest exercise every 4-6 weeks. .

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Comments

  1. Lisa Falardo says:

    This site is awesome. I am going to do this I hope it works for 40 plus and triple D.

  2. i have extremely big breast hopefully i can do these work out to lose couple of breast size.

    • Hi, Lisa and Kalia. It will help, but keep in mind that in order to lose fat from any one area (even the breasts) we must reduce overall body fat. And to do that, we need to do a full-body strength training routine mixed with great cardio and great nutrition :)

      • Prathyu Ammu says:

        Hi Lunn ,

        Good posts, but a question I am 26 yr old, 5’5′height and had a heavy breasts. I lost overall body fat about 2 yrs ago as I got thyorid and later realised that it made my breasts a bit saggy and very soft.
        So if I gain back a bit of weight will I regain my brests lift and firmness?
        another question is will this exercises help me gain the firmness, can you also suggest any specific food?

        • Hi, Prathyu.

          Good question… gaining a bit of weight does not mean your body will decide to store that additional weight in your breasts. It’s kind of like when we want to lose weight from our hips… we don’t get a say. The body does what it does. Same thing for gaining weight… the body will store it where it wants. It could store it in the hips, the belly, or the breasts.

          Doing chest exercises will firm up the muscle that sits under the breast tissue. It’s not really possible to “plump” up larger, softer, or even saggy breasts as it’s mostly made of soft, fatty (and essential!) tissue.

  3. Hi does this help remove drooping of breasts?i’ll b glad if this helps.

    • Hi, Priya.

      It can help if the breasts are drooping because of additional fat. But if they’re droppy from the aging process… well not much can be done there :)

  4. Sherrie says:

    Hi Lynn,

    I just read something that has kind of ‘floored’ me – I believe that it was that if breasts are drooping due to aging, that nothing is going to ‘lift’ them. I am 52 years old…was in the best shape of my life about 4 1/2 years ago…before my hysterectomy. I lost my momentum with workouts and I have just been ‘on’ and ‘off’ again since. It seemed like I would get back into a fitness routine and I would either get sick, or whatever else. Anyway, my breasts were in awesome shape. I was able to get lift in them back then. Now, even after doing some intense exercise…none really chest specific, but lots of pushups, renegade rows, t-stabilizations, etc., it seems like the ‘lift’ is just not there. I am about 5′ 3/4″ tall and not sure about my weight…let’s say (I’m guessing here…116…I was probably up to 120 or so and in March, I started a somewhat intense exercise program…so I am now on week 10 of 6 days of workouts per week – 3 days HIIT cardio and 3 days strength training – usually 30 minutes or so sessions). Back when I was fit, I was right around 112 pounds. Anyway, I wonder if I will ever get any lift back…I am hoping so with these chest specific exercises…I was doing a lot of these way back then. Do you have any opinion on this…do you think aging breasts will just sag…or does it depend on the size of the breasts…or does that have no bearing at all on the matter? Sorry to go on so long, but I have been kind of worried about what the answer is actually going to be for me. I don’t like what I’m seeing. I’m hoping that I’m not seeing what I want because I haven’t been concentrating on this area as these exercises do.

    • HI, Sherrie.

      It does depend on the size of the breast. Most breasts are made of fat. So the heavier we are, the larger our breasts tend to be. That leads to drooping especially if you’ve lived a lifetime of heavy breasts.

      Any lift that does occur will be seen in 1 of 2 ways…

      1) The reduction of fat from the breasts will make the breast appear smaller and lifted.

      2) The strengthening of the chest muscle will provide a natural lift – noticeable mostly by those with already lean breasts.

      So I cannot say for sure what your result will be. Age does have an impact on breasts, but the smaller your breasts are the more likely chest exercises will produce a lift. For those with heavier breasts, reducing overall body fat is still your best tool to reduce breast fat and strengthening the chest muscle will give you the same lift – just won’t be as noticeable.

  5. margary says:

    hi, i like these exercises but i’m a little concerned if these exercises will make my breast flatter. I’m twenty six now but ten years ago a very well endowed aunt of mine told me not to do push ups because it won’t make my breast grow, it will only make me more flat cheseted, is this true??? I’m small breasted so i’m trying to hold on to as much breast tissue i can, now… I’m thinking what she told me back them has some truth to it because when you do push ups you’re increasing muscle and reducing body fat, breast are made of fat, therefore the less body fat you have the less breast you have, the more push ups you do the less body fat…you know the rest, is this true???

    • Hi, Margary…. more than anything your genes will determine what type of breasts you have. A fast second though is how much body fat you have. Now I should say that there are definitely cases of skinny women with bigger breasts. However when you have lower body fat, you tend to have smaller breasts because there simply isn’t as much fatty tissue there.

  6. I stumble onto this site… I really like what I’ve read so far. No false hopes just good advice. I was wondering why is it no matter what site I look at they give you the steps to do but never the amount of reps you should do. So what is to little or to much.

    • Hi, Deanie.

      Great question :) My answer is because the amount of sets and reps depend entirely on individual things. So for person A, the best routine would be 3 sets of 12 reps. For person B, the best routine would be 1RM. For person C, the best routine would be super-setting, etc.

      There are many ways to strength train and many different strength training methods.

      If you’re a beginner, start with 3 sets of 12 :)

  7. Anil Kadam98 says:

    hi

  8. Surajbaliyan143 says:

    I stumble onto this site… I really like what I’ve read so far. No false hopes just good advice. I was wondering why is it no matter what site I look at they give you the steps to do but never the amount of reps you should do.

    • Hi, because the amount of reps depends on what type of routine you’re doing and what your goals are. If you’re just getting started then I would stick with the basic 3 sets of 12 reps for each muscle group :)

  9. Daruthenga Majhisahi says:

    dear sir/madam,
    I am 20 years gal can you please advise me how to reduce chest size (here i am not talking about breast)

    many thanks
    Arpita

  10. Daruthenga Majhisahi says:

    Hi,
    Can someone tell me how to reduce the chest size(not talking about breast size here)
    my age is 20 years
    thanks
    Arpita

    • Hi, Arpita.

      I’m not clear on what you’re asking? Are your chest muscles too large? Not sure what else you would be referring to?

      • Daruthenga Majhisahi says:

        Hi Lynn,
        Thanks for replying to my query, what i mean to say is – my chest is bit wide though i have manageable breast size, so i want to reduce my chest size from 34 to less, but in same time i want to increase my breast size..please help me

        many thanks
        Arpita

        • Ah I see. Well you cannot reduce the size of your rib cage and that is what most of our “circumference” is made up of. The only thing you can reduce is your over-all body fat percentage.

          Doing this will reduce body fat from where your body is most willing to shed the fat. For some women, it’s the breasts, for others its the hips or the belly.

          So the answer to shedding fat or inches is the same… reduce over all body fat by eating enough calories, eating good quality food, and getting active.

  11. I’ve noticed a loss of ‘meat’ across my upper chest, so that I can see (more of) the upper ribs just above the bust line. Are there any exercises that would target the area between the collarbone and the breast area, and give me a bit of substance? I’m 58 and do a mixed fixed/free weight workout 3x a week for bone strength.

    • Hi, Sooz.

      I have no idea why I didn’t see your comment before. My apologies!

      The area you’re referring to responds well to chest fly exercises (both on a bench and ball – see above for actual exercises).

  12. Elaines concerns says:

    So an someone help me? My breasts are too large and i want to know if there are any excersises that can help decrease the size?

    • Hi, Elaines.

      Breasts are largely made up of fat. So to reduce their size the best thing you can do is reduce your overall body fat percentage.

      That is done through good ‘ol nutrition and working out.

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