This article was originally published on December 5, 2016.
Gravity and imbalanced body training can emphasize a sagging chest and bad posture. Women tend to shy away from training their chest to avoid a bulky look, but developing the muscles under and around the breasts naturally adds a lift to the bust. Heavy weight lifting isolating the pectoral muscles is what can give you that beefcake look. I prefer to do functional bodyweight exercises that will not only tone and strengthen the chest but also create an entire support system of tighter, firmer muscles. Do these 4 exercises for an all-natural way to a firmer bust.
1. Chest Squeeze– This isometric exercise will target your chest muscles and can be done anywhere at any time. Stand or sit up tall with your abs engaged. Straighten your arms out in front of your chest slightly lower than shoulder height. Place the palms of your hands together with the fingers pointing away from you. Keep your elbows soft. Contract the chest muscles to push the palm of your hands together. Hold for 10 seconds then slowly release the tension without separating your hands. Repeat 5 times.
2. Plank Rotations– We cannot strengthen and lift the chest muscles without the help of the surrounding muscles. Everything is connected. These plank rotations will not only strengthen the chest and shoulders, but they will also engage your core and lats, which support the upper body. Get into a plank position with your arms shoulder width apart and your feet a little wider than hip-distance apart. Rotate your torso to one side, lifting the top arm off the ground and straight up to the ceiling. Allow your feet to lay on their sides, and do not let your hips dip down. Your body should be in one straight line as you keep your core tight. Look up towards the arm that is lifted. Be careful not to let the arm that is up go behind your body. Your arms should make a “T” shape. Slowly untwist your torso back to center bringing your hand back down and your feet back to their original position. Repeat on the other side. Do 3-5 to each side.
3. Wide Push Ups– Nothing beats a good ol’ pushup for toning and strengthening the chest muscles. With a wide hand stance, this pushup relies more on the chest muscles over the arms. Get into a plank position with your arms wider than your shoulders. The goal is to be able to lower your body down while maintaining a straight line from your wrists to your elbows. Your feet may be together, slightly apart, or, for the most basic version, you can kneel. No matter which version you do, make sure your hips are in line with your torso. Lower your body down by bending the elbows. Keep your core tight and press yourself back up using your pecs to straighten the arms again. Repeat 10-15 reps.
4. Dips– While commonly done to strengthen the triceps, dips can be done to incorporate more of the pectoralis muscle by widening our hand grip. You can do this exercise off of a hard, stable surface like a bench or chair. Grip the ledge with your arms wide and fingers towards your body. Straighten your arms, holding yourself up by pressing into the palms of your hands. For a more basic version, bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor. For a more advanced version, straighten your legs, digging your heels into the floor hip distance apart. In both versions, you want to keep your butt close to the edge of your surface. Lower your body down to the ground by bending your elbows and keeping your forearms straight up and down. Once you feel a slight stretch in your chest and front of the shoulders, press into the palms of your hands to straighten your arms and lift your body back up. Keep your chest lifted at the top so you do not sink into your shoulders. Repeat 10-15 reps.
Do this workout at least 3 times a week for 6 weeks to start to see results.
Have you tried these genius exercises for a firmer bust? Let us know in the comments below 🙂
Also by Crystal: This Pilates Ab Challenge Will Tighten Your Core in 10 Days
Related: 5 Poses to Build Core Strength
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Video: Crystal Chin; Music: “Why Is It” by Møme