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Many women shy away from chest exercises because they think their breasts will decrease in size. However, just like abs, glutes, delts and every other muscle group, training the chest builds and tones muscle, the development of which adds to your overall physique. The pecs, when worked, serve to cover the upper ribs, and the general consensus is that the chest area becomes more athletic-looking and attractive.
Training the chest should be part of every woman’s exercise routine. Do these three chest moves once per week (twice if you have time). Two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, and you’ll have perky pecs in no time!
Flat-Bench Pullover (upper chest)
This exercise isn’t universally recognized as a chest exercise, but it is in fact a very workable movement for building and defining the upper pectoral area. Do not use heavy weights. In fact, you can use a bare bar or a dumbbell (a 10-pound weight is ideal to start with).
Start: Begin with your arms in a vertical position.
Action: Lower the weight as far back (toward the floor) as you can.
Tip: Contract your pecs as you lift the weight.
Flat-Bench Flye (outer chest)
Start: Lie on a flat bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground. Begin with the dumbbells in an arms-vertical position, palms facing each other.
Action: Keep the elbows slightly unlocked, then lower the dumbbells out to the sides.
Tip: Arches belong on bridges! Keep your back as flat against the bench as you can.
Incline Press (upper, inner chest)
This exercise can be done with either a barbell or a pair of dumbbells.
Start: Set the bench to 40 degrees. Extend your arms straight overhead.
Action: Keeping the elbows out, lower the weight(s). Press upward to return to the start and repeat.
Tip: Your body needs oxygen! Exhale up and inhale down.