Body Sculpting For Women: 5 Key Exercises For A Complete Chest Workout

How to work your chest muscles, for women, with exercise instructions.

Many women avoid working out their chest area for fear they will develop that flat-chested overly muscular look made infamous by female body builders. What most women don't understand is that these female body builders have to work very long and hard to develop those specific chest muscles to look the way they do. However, some women think that if they work out their chest muscles in any way shape or form, the next day they will wake up without any breasts. This could not be further from the truth. This often overlooked muscle set is vital for maintaining good posture as well as for any activity that requires pushing. In addition, working out the chest area will actually help lift breasts that have begun to sag. Imagine perkier breasts without a visit to the plastic surgeon!

Do not forget that before working out any muscle group, stretching is key. It is easy to remember to stretch out the legs and arms before a workout, but many women figure there is no way to stretch out the chest area. In fact there is. Stand straight and let your arms hang to your sides with your palms facing behind you. Push them back slowly until you can feel a stretch along your chest muscles. You should look like a ballerina or a bird at this point. For the following exercises, start off with one to two sets and slowly work your way up to three sets. You will want to start off with 8 repetitions and make your way up to 12 to 15 repetitions, adding weight as needed.

The Push-Up

There is a reason why the military still makes their troops do push ups. It is THE perfect exercise for developing the chest and arm muscles. When you are still beginning, you will want to do an incline push-up. On a workout bench or table, put your hands slightly more than shoulder width apart and keep your toes on the floor, leaving your legs slightly spread. Slowly lower yourself down to the bench so that your chest is about six inches from the bench itself. Slowly raise yourself up to the start position. Make sure that you back and legs form one straight line. Do not lift your butt or let your neck hang. Keep your abdominal muscles taut and do not allow your arms to get completely straight and locked. After a few weeks, start doing floor push-ups.

Bench Press

Lie down flat on a bench press and with a dumbbell in each hand, hold them at 90 degree angles to your sides with your palms facing forward. Slowly move the dumbbells up and in and make sure not to lock your elbows. Slowly bring them down to the start position. This exercise works your lower pecs.

Incline Bench Press

To work your upper pecs, perform the bench press exercise but on an incline (45 degree angle).

Incline Dumbbell Fly

With the bench in the same position as the incline bench press, get in the same position as you would the bench press, but face your palms towards each other. Slowly lift your arms together towards each other as if you were making the shape of a half circle, but do not let your hands touch. Slowly lower them down to the start position.

Cable Fly

If you have access to a machine with weighted cables on it, stand in the center between the two cables. With one cable in each hand and palms pointed downward, keep your arms at a forty five degree angle. Bring both arms down in the shape of a half circle crossing your wrists. Hold this position for a few seconds and then slowly lower them up to the start position. This exercise works the lower and inner pectoral muscles.

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