Do Planks Work Out Your Pectorals?

A plank done with extended arms.

A plank done with extended arms.

As time passes and mother nature works on your body, your breasts lose their perkiness and natural lift. Building up the pectoral muscles beneath your breasts can give your girls a healthy boost and combat common physical changes from aging. The plank exercise can be used in your fitness program, but you'll need more chest isolating exercises to really see a change in your bust.

Executing a Plank

The basic plank can be done on your forearms or with your arms fully extended. Work on an exercise mat to prevent any pain from being on the ground. Start flat on your stomach with your hands under your shoulders. Save your spine and keep your stomach muscles tight with your back flat during the entire exercise. Press up onto either your hands or forearms and your toes. Don't forget to breathe and hold this pose for as long as you can. You might be shaky, but you'll get stronger over time with regular practice. Slowly lower yourself back down to the mat and repeat three to five times.

Muscles Worked

The plank primarily is an abdominal exercise, targeting the rectus abdominis muscles. This group of muscle runs along the front of your stomach and in the lower pooch area most women dread developing. It also uses your legs, back, chest, sides and shoulders as stabilizers, meaning they help to hold your body in the plank position. Although there is some benefit to incorporating these muscle groups, you won't see huge results with the plank.

Variations

You can make the plank much harder and more of a chest workout by using equipment or body movements. Try adding a pushup in between each plank pose you hold. You can also do decline planks by putting your feet on raised objects, like a stair or exercise ball. This puts more of a demand on your chest and upper-body muscles for better results. Fitness Republic recommends a pushup and rotation plank. Start in the plank position, do a pushup, rotate all of your weight onto your left hand, open your chest, roll into a side plank position and lift your right hand toward the ceiling. Pause for two seconds, place your hand on the ground and repeat on the opposite side.

Pectoral Exercises

Incorporate a variety of chest exercises into your fitness program to thoroughly train your pectoral muscles. Exercises such as pushups and inchworms can be done without weights. To do an inchworm, bend over and place your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Walk your hands out slowly until you're in a pushup position, do one pushup, walk your feet in to your hands and repeat until you have walked 10 to 15 yards. Using dumbbells or barbells you can do the chest press, chest flyes and pullovers.

 

About the Author

Ashley Farley has been a certified personal trainer since 2008. She is also a writer specializing in healthy living, fitness and nutrition topics. Farley has an Associate of Science in mental health services from the Community College of the Air Force and is pursuing her B.A. in English at Wright State University.

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