Get Strong and Get a Natural Boob Lift With These Chest Exercises
There are many benefits to having strong pecs ranging from totally practical, like increased shoulder stabilization, to looking good — defined pecs can give your breasts some extra lift. Strengthen your chest with these 10 effective exercises that include a mix of bodyweight and dumbbell moves with some fitness props, like a BOSU, added into the mix to advance some basic calisthenics.
Lying Chest Fly
Working with your feet off the ground in a tabletop position means your abs are working too. If holding your legs up hurts your lower back, bring your feet down to the mat.
- Lie on your back with your hips and knees both at 90-degree angles. Using your low abs, press your lower back into the mat. Raise your arms toward the ceiling, palms facing each other, keeping the elbow joint slightly bent.
- Keeping your torso stable, open your arms out to the sides until your elbows are about two inches from the floor.
- Raise your arms back to the ceiling, bringing the weights together over your chest. This counts as one rep.
Bridge With Chest Press
We love this multitasking move! Holding the bridge works your butt and hamstrings while the chest press strengthens the pecs. If you're a beginner, feel free to skip the bridge and keep your back flat on the mat.
- Start on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart, holding weights by your chest.
- Squeeze your glutes as you push your pelvis toward the ceiling, coming into a bridge. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis.
- Holding the bridge, press the weights to the ceiling directly above your shoulders for a total of 10 to 12 reps to complete one full set.
Single-Arm Chest Press
Working the arms independently makes the core work to stabilize your torso while you work your chest.
- Lie on your back with your heels about a foot away from your butt. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand, and bring both hands to the ceiling.
- Bend your left elbow, lowering your upper arm to the floor. Exhale and straighten your elbow, pressing the weight back to the ceiling to complete a rep.
- Make sure to perform the same amount of reps on each side.
To work your pecs even more, place your hands wider than your shoulders, flaring your elbows out to the sides.
- Start in a plank position with your arms and legs straight, shoulders above your wrists.
- Take a breath in, and as you exhale, bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your chest toward the ground. Stop as soon as your shoulders are in line with your elbows. Inhale to straighten the arms. This counts as one rep.
- You can always modify this move and do this exercise with your knees on the floor.
The asymmetrical push-up forces you to work one side of your upper body more — chest included. This variation is great for increasing the work on the pecs one at a time.
- Begin in a plank, then lower your left elbow to the ground, with your forearm crossing under your chest. From this position, bend your right elbow, lowering your body to the mat. Use your abs to keep your torso in one piece as you come to the floor.
- Exhale as you straighten your right elbow to return to the starting position. This completes one rep. Be sure to do the same number of reps on each side.
Lateral Plank Walk
- Begin in plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders and your body in one straight line.
- Simultaneously cross your right hand toward the left as you step your left foot out to the left. Then simultaneously step your left hand and right foot to the left, returning to the plank position. Your hands move together as your feet step apart. Take two more steps in this direction, keeping your abs pulled toward your spine and your pelvis level. This completes one rep.
- Reverse directions, taking three steps the right for your second rep.
Moving between plank and elbow plank keeps the pecs under constant tension, making this move effective for toning and strengthening your chest.
- Begin in a full plank. Lower your right elbow to the mat and then your left, coming into an elbow plank.
- Put your right hand on the mat, and straighten your right elbow. Do the same on the left to return to a full plank.
One-Arm Med-Ball Push-Up
Setting the arms at different levels means you can deepen your push-up one arm at a time to work the pecs even more.
- Start in a plank position with your left hand on a medicine ball.
- Keeping your torso square to the floor, perform a push-up by bending and straightening both arms. If a traditional push-up is too challenging, lower your knees to the floor.
- Start with five reps on the first side, then move the med ball to the other hand.
Side-to-Side BOSU Push-Ups
The BOSU adds an element of instability, which always increases the difficulty of an exercise, and moving laterally over the BOSU works the pecs and shoulders nicely.
- Place a BOSU on the floor, flat side down. Come into plank position with both hands on top of the BOSU.
- Step the left hand onto the floor and lower into a push-up. As you straighten your arms, bring your left hand back onto the BOSU.
- Repeat on the other side placing the right hand onto the floor as you lower into a push-up; return the right hand onto BOSU while straightening your arms.
- This counts as one rep. Complete two sets of 10.
Kneeling Chest Stretch
Don't forget to stretch! Whenever you work your pecs, make sure to lengthen them with this simple stretch.
- Begin sitting on your heels. Lean back and place your palms flat on the floor about eight to 10 inches behind you so your fingertips are pointing away.
- Press your hands firmly into the ground to lift the chest high, arching your back. To increase the stretch, lower your head behind you, stretching through your throat and the front of your chest even more.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat.