While working out your chest won't magically increase your cup size, toning the pectorals will help boost your bust line by toning the muscles. Strengthening the chest muscles can also improve your performance in sports such as tennis or swimming. By taking a few minutes three or four times a week to perform chest exercises, you can add strength to your upper body and keep your chest looking terrific.
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Push-ups can be varied in many ways depending on your fitness level. For beginners, stand facing a wall. Place your hands flat against the wall and step both legs back about 3 feet. Using only your upper body, push against the wall until your arms are straight but not locked. Hold for a count of two and then slowly bend the arms until your face is about 1 inch from the wall. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
As you gain strength, you can make this more challenging by doing the push-ups on the floor. If doing the exercise on the floor with straight legs is too difficult at first, bend your legs at the knee and rest your shins against the floor. For a real challenge, do the push-up with the tops of your feet balanced on top of a stability ball. While doing any variation of the push-up, keep your back straight, your head in a neutral position, and your abs tight, and don't allow your shoulders to sag.
Chest flies sound like something you need to swat away, but they are actually an excellent pectoral exercise. Lie on the floor with your face up. Keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. While holding a 3- to 8-pound free weight in each hand, extend your arms straight out to the sides. This is the start position. Slowly bring your arms up until your hands meet directly above your chest. Slowly lower the weights back down to the start position. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Throughout this exercise, keep a slight bend in your elbows to avoid strain. When you are lifting the weights, be very careful you don't drop them on yourself. You could also do this exercise while lying on a weight bench.
This exercise resembles an upside-down push-up. Lie on the floor. You should be on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Hold a 3- to 8-pound free weight in each hand. Position your arms so your elbows are pointing to the walls and your lower arms are perpendicular to the floor. Your knuckles should point up to the ceiling. This is the start position. Extend your arms upward until they are straight. Hold for a count of two and then lower the arms back to the start position. Repeat 10 to 15 times. In this exercise, lift and lower slowly to get the most benefit, never lock your elbows, and be careful not to drop the weights when they are lifted. You could also do this exercise while lying on a weight bench.
This exercise also provides a nice stretch in the shoulder area. Lie on the floor face up. Your knees should be bent and your feet kept flat on the floor. While holding a 3- to 8-pound free weight in each hand, extend your arms so they are over your head and on the floor. Your hands should be as close together as possible. This is the start position. Slowly bring the weights up until the weights are directly above your chest. Your arms should still be extended. Hold for a count of two and then slowly lower the weights back to the start position. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Throughout this exercise, keep your arms slightly bent at the elbow. and don't let your elbows stick out to the side. You could also do this exercise while lying on a weight bench.
Based in Portland, Ore., Tammie Painter has been writing garden, fitness, science and travel articles since 2008. Her articles have appeared in magazines such as "Herb Companion" and "Northwest Travel" and she is the author of six books. Painter earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Portland State University.