Front, side or back, the muscles surrounding the breasts can be a tough place to tone. Even though you really can't spot reduce, you can slim down your upper body with the right fitness and nutrition routine. By combining cardiovascular exercise with a clean diet and a high-repetition, lower-weight upper-body routine, you can banish the flab and tone the muscles that surround your chest.
Planks and Pushups
Using your own body weight to perform a variety of plank and pushup presses and holds are simple and effective ways to tone your upper body. To target the underarm area, hold a forearm plank as you rotate the hips side to side eight to 10 times. You can also tap both knees down to the floor and back up, or walk the feet in and out toward your arms. Pushups on a bench, ball or even coffee table create an angle that can tone the underarm area as well.
Exercises such as one-arm rows, straight-arm pullovers, reverse flyes and chest press all target the area surrounding the breasts. Try combining these movements into a circuit workout using a variety of free weights and machines. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions of each exercise, transitioning through them with minimal rest. As you get stronger and the workout becomes easier, increase the weight or number of repetitions to continue to muscle fatigue.
Hit the pool to get a total-body workout while toning the upper body. Swimming is an amazing low-impact, high-intensity cardiovascular and strength workout. For breast area toning, choose the backstroke and butterfly strokes, alternating between the two during lap swimming. Take your time as you swim, especially if you are a beginner, and rest after laps when needed. Aim for 15 to 20 minutes in the pool to start, adding time as you improve.
Because boxing is another combination cardiovascular and toning workout, you will see quick results when it comes to toning the flabby sides of the breasts. Work with a trainer or boxing instructor to learn the correct form of the various punches, or join a kickboxing class at your local gym. Combinations of jabs, punches and hooks will sculpt the entire upper body, burn tons of calories, and even relieve some stress.
Vicki Vara has been a fitness professional for more than 15 years, working in health clubs, studios and schools. She is certified as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, holistic nutrition consultant and Pilates instructor. Vara holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science from the University of Delaware.