As women we tend to focus on what’s staring us in the face, the butt, hips, thighs, stomach or even flabby arms. We seem to forget about the chest or simply don’t want to know about. Let’s be honest, why would we want a bulky, muscly chest right???
Well let’s think about this… Firstly the goal of weight training is to have muscular balance in your body. This means there is a symmetry to your muscles, creating correct posture and an overall pleasing shape. So if you work your biceps, you work your triceps, quads and hamstrings, back and chest! Not paying your chest the attention it deserves can lead to postural imbalances in the body and leave you at greater risk of injury.
The chest may be the primary muscle being worked, but the triceps, shoulders and back, all play an assisting role in most chest exercises. As such, working the chest will also help tighten the upper body, giving you shape and helping to develop overall strength.
Many women think that if they work their chest, they will loose their breasts… Not true! Building the chest muscles will actually help to lift your breasts, possibly making them look bigger. Adding muscle to the chest can help elevate the breasts, it does not remove breast tissue.
We use our chest muscles continuously during the day and as such many of our daily activities would benefit from increased strength in our chest. Activities such as lifting the shopping bags, vacuuming, gardening, playing sport and lifting heavy objects.
How to incorporate chest exercises
Chest should be trained once a week, by incorporating 3-4 exercises, which I generally team up with triceps. An example of would be:
-Incline DB press
-Cable triceps pushdown
A few chest exercises to get you started:
1. Pushups: Start by doing these on your knees, but try doing a couple on your toes at the start of the set. If you never try you will never know…
2. Dumbbell chest press: Lie on a flat bench and place your feet firmly on the ground. Start with light dumbbells and only bring your arms down until the elbows makes a 90 degree angle.
3. Standing cable flies: Select a light weight, just 1 plate to start with. Ensure your body remains still and only the shoulder joint is moving. You should feel a tightening in the pecs.
Chest is not to be ignored… Try incorporating a few exercises in your next workout.