If your chest is getting in the way of your workout, you don’t have to give in to a life of bouncing and flopping. There are ways to tone up your chest and achieve a more comfortable workout, but it involves a little understanding and a lot of work. If you want to increase your muscle tone and shed a few inches from your upper half, learning the basic anatomy and best exercises can help you reach your goal and even enjoy the process.
First Things First
Before you start doing any exercises for your chest, you have to know how the whole tone-up process works. First, you need to understand that you can’t spot-reduce. If you want to lose inches from your chest, you’re going to have to lose weight all over. Period. There’s no way to tell your body where you want to shed the inches. It’s simply a matter of burning more calories than you consume and letting the pounds come off from head to toe.
As a woman, your chest includes both muscle and fatty tissue. Your actual breasts have no muscle tissue but do rest on top of your pectoral muscles, which help you move your arms and upper body. Because you don’t have any muscle to build in your breasts, you won’t be able to reduce their size or increase their strength by lifting weights. At least not directly. The only way strength training affects your actual breast size is by burning calories and increasing your lean muscle mass, which elevates your metabolism and helps you burn body fat.
Toning up your large chest can be done through a healthy diet and regular exercise, including cardio. Because cardio workouts can burn a high number of calories, you can help yourself create a calorie deficit that leads to faster weight loss than if you were only to diet or change your eating habits. To shed 1 pound of fat per week, you should consume 3,500 fewer calories than you expend. Focus on finding a cardio workout you enjoy and will do regularly to create the deficit. With a large chest, you’ll find that cycling, walking and swimming are more comfortable than high-impact activities. However, you can still get in a good run with the help of a quality sports bra.
As you lose weight and inches from your chest by creating that calorie deficit, you’ll want to develop the muscles underneath so that you can show them off as the fat melts away. Some of the most comfortable strength moves for you as a large-chested woman will include those on the machines at your gym such as the seated chest press and the seated pec fly machines. These machines offer back support and isolated movements that can help you target the area without using awkward stances or positions. If you don’t have a gym membership, try moves such as wall pushups to work your pecs without any equipment. Also, check with your doctor before beginning your chest workout routine as she may have other helpful tips and suggestions to help you along the way.
After graduating from the University of Kansas with a bachelor's degree in sports information, Jill Lee served for 10 years as a magazine editor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). Also a published author, Lee now works as a professional writer and editor focusing on fitness, sports and careers.