Best chest exercises for women
Strengthening chest muscles is not only the domain of men, although definitely more often we see them at the gym, pressing heavy weights. This does not mean that ladies can not do push-ups or squeeze barbells. On the contrary, if they want to maintain the balance of the whole body, and exercise regularly, they should also remember about training the upper parts. Unfortunately these ranges are often skipped by women because they are afraid that they will gain male shape. This is of course a myth, but more on that later.What chest exercises should women do and why should they implement them into their training plan?
- 1 Structure of woman’s chest
- 2 Women’s chest training – facts and myths
- 3 Women’s chest training – at home or at the gym?
- 4 The most popular chest exercises for women
- 5 Why should women train their chest? Advantages of training
- 6 Women’s chest training – summary
Structure of woman’s chest
Wanting to know how to properly exercise the muscles of the chest, we should first lick a little anatomy. The so-called chest is divided into deep muscles, forming the actual chest wall, and superficial muscles with attachments near the shoulders and arms.
Deep muscles – intercostal muscles, subcostal muscles, transverse chest muscle.
Superficial muscles – pectoralis major muscle, pectoralis minor muscle, subclavian muscle, anterior cervical muscle
Muscle functions define the movements we can perform thanks to them. They allow us to perform all kinds of supports, push-ups, as well as adduction. What is more, the chest muscles support breathing. In women they are less developed than in men, but also it is worth to strengthen them systematically.
Women’s chest training – facts and myths
Women’s reluctance to exercise their chest muscles is associated with two myths, which we will dispel in this article.
Myth #1 – Chest exercises will make you look masculine
This is the most common reason women give for avoiding not only chest exercises, but weight bearing exercises in general. Ladies are horrified by images of female bodybuilders, whose body is more sculpted than many a male figure. Dear girls, you have nothing to worry about. Even if you regularly exercise your chest muscles with weights and follow a proper diet, you will not become “manly”. Photos of female bodybuilders are taken at the moment when they are before the competition, after using appropriate supplements and diet for mass, often also hormones that affect excessive muscle growth.
It is true that the female body does not have as much natural ability to develop muscle tissue as the male body. By strengthening our chest muscles, we can tone them up if we have very little body fat, but again, we would have to work really hard for it.
Myth No. 2 – Chest exercises cause the bust to droop
Some ladies think that if they exercise their chest often, their breasts will become hard and droop. Nothing could be further from the truth. Proper workouts for a given muscle part can have just the opposite effect and ensure that the bust will be lifted up. Remember that the exercises also affect the firmness of tissues, and thus breasts will become more prominent and better visible.
Women’s chest training – at home or at the gym?
The chest, just like any other muscle part, can be trained both at home and at the gym. If we do not have any sports equipment, we can easily train on our own body weight. Kalisthenics is a training method that works great for ladies, providing excellent weight loss results while strengthening muscles.
As I mentioned earlier, there is no obstacle for a woman to exercise her chest with a weight. For this, she will need a barbell or dumbbells plus a weight. If you exercise with a barbell, you will also need a bench, if you exercise only with dumbbells, it is not necessary.
Women are also recommended to train their chest on machines. It is mainly because of safety reasons. Training machines have special safety devices which protect muscles and tissues from injuries and from using too heavy weights.
Read! cardio workouts – HIIT or TABATA – comparison
The most popular chest exercises for women
In the previous paragraph, I pointed out that women can train both at home and in the gym. So let’s start with exercises on your own weight.
Chest exercises for women – calisthenics
The exercises presented below are performed on the basis of your own body weight. We do not need any professional equipment for them.
This is the most popular chest exercise on your own weight for both men and women. Beginning ladies can start with supported push-ups, so called ladies‘ push-ups. With time, however, they should move on to standard ones.
Push-ups on handrails
Version of push-ups for advanced people, also good for women. To perform these push-ups, we need special handrails, which can be found at the gym. Slightly easier are push-ups on handles – small and inexpensive equipment that every lady can afford.
Chest exercises for women – with weight
When performing such exercises, we need the right equipment. These are most often:
- barbell or dumbbells;
- pulleys with weights;
- a bench.
Barbell or dumbbell pressing
The bench press is the most popular weight-bearing chest exercise. It involves pushing a barbell up in a straight position or on an incline bench. Beginners can start with pressing dumbbells of small weight or just barbell without load. This is an exercise that should be performed with a person assisting you.
Spreads are performed with dumbbells. Position yourself in a lying position, pull the dumbbells up in front of you, keeping an open angle of the elbow joints. Lower your arms down sideways without changing the position of your elbows.
Good to know: Although the dumbbell stretches are usually performed on a bench, it’s better to do them lying flat on the floor to increase safety. This reduces the risk of joint damage if the load is too heavy or if you perform too many repetitions.
See also: Exercises with dumbbells – a great way to have a shapely figure
Why should women train their chest? Advantages of training
Systematic strengthening of chest muscles brings many benefits:
- muscle strengthening – chest training will help strengthen not only the pectoral muscles, but also the shoulders and arms, which promotes proper body balance;
- improving metabolism – and therefore burning fat faster. Exercises for chest are counted among those that most turn up the metabolism;
- improving the appearance of the bust – the strengthened muscles work to lift the breasts, making the bust stand out more clearly.
- See: Best tricks to speed up metabolism
Women’s chest training – summary
Women who decide to systematically train should not focus on just one muscle area. Strengthening the chest is as important as strengthening the legs or back. Exercises for this part of muscles will not make us gain masculine features, on the contrary – they will help us to get more prominent feminine shapes and nicely model our silhouette.
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