The push-up is an exercise requiring no special equipment and which can provide a relatively fast and easy way to help develop the tone, strength and endurance of the muscles in your arms, shoulders and chest. Under normal conditions, and without any major dietary changes, the push-up will have minimal impact, if any, on the size of your breasts.
The push-up is a form of calisthenic exercise which relies only on the resistance of your own body weight. To perform a proper push-up, begin in the straight arm plank position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart, arms extended and palms flat on the floor. Keeping you body tensed and straight, gradually lower your body down to the floor by bending your elbows. Extend your arms raising yourself back to the starting plank position to compete one repetition.
Composition of the Breasts
Your breasts are composed of glandular tissue, glandular ducts, connective tissue and fat but contain no skeletal muscle. The glandular tissue is responsible for milk production and the glandular ducts for delivering milk to the nipples. The connective tissue helps support your breasts and contribute to breast shape. Breast size is most directly related to the amount of fat, or adipose tissue, present beneath the skin. The pectoral muscles of your chest. which lie under your breast tissues, do not contribute to breast size.
Muscles of the Chest Wall
Your anterior, or front chest wall, is made up of the ribs and sternum bones along with the intercostal muscles that lie between your ribs. Outside the chest wall, but underneath your breasts, are muscles involved in moving your shoulders and arms and include the pectoralis major and minor muscles and the serratus anterior muscles. Located toward the sides of your chest are the latissimus dorsi muscles.
Effect of Push-Ups on Breast Size
Performing push-up exercises will help to both strengthen and improve the endurance of several muscles in your arms, shoulders and chest. Small but noticeable increases in the size of these muscles will occur as they develop with regular push-up exercise. The breasts sit on top of and external to the muscles of the chest wall and will not themselves change in cup size because of the exercise. You may notice very small increases in chest diameter as muscle size increases. If you include diet and aerobic activities in your exercise program, breast size may decrease as your body fat content declines, but that won't be as a direct result of push-ups.
A professor of allied health science and member of the American College of Sports Medicine, Warren Rosenberg has been writing since 1979 on topics including health and fitness. His works include the college textbooks "Exercise Science" and "Integrated Science." As a professional photographer, he provides photographs to textbook publishers, magazines and websites. He holds a Ph.D. from New York University.