You’d be hard pressed to find a woman who doesn’t want a sculpted upper body. Without the fear of bulking up, women can enhance their figure and perk up their pecs by performing specific exercises -- in particular, the chest fly. This exercise primarily works the pectoralis major, a muscle located under each breast. Strengthening your pecs helps support your breasts, keeping them lifted. You’ve no excuse for not trying chest flies. There’s more than one way to do them, and you can even perform chest flies at home with a few inexpensive training aids.
Resistance Band Chest Fly
Wrap a resistance band around the back of your shoulders, just below your armpits. Grab one end of the band in each hand. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. If you prefer, you can also do this exercise while seated.
Extend your arms straight out to your sides to form the letter T with your upper body. Turn your hands so your palms are facing forward. This is the starting position.
Bend your elbows slightly, exhale and bring your hands together in front of your chest. Concentrate on keeping your arms in a curved position throughout the exercise. Think about hugging a large tree trunk when you bring your hands together. Pause when your hands meet.
Inhale, separate your hands and open your arms. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Flat Bench Chest Fly
Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Straddle and sit on a workout bench. Lie back onto the bench, and position your body so your head is toward one end and your legs are hanging off the opposite end. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, and put your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
Extend your arms upward, and hold the dumbbells, side by side, directly over your chest. Your palms should be facing each other. This is the starting position.
Breathe in, tighten your core muscles and slowly separate the weights. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows, and lower the dumbbells out to your sides with an arc movement. Pause when the weights become even with your shoulders.
Exhale, bring the weights back together above your chest with your arms extended, and repeat. Avoid arching your back during the exercise.
Stability Ball Chest Fly
Perform chest flies on a stability ball if you're looking for a challenge. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on your ball. Take several small steps forward and slowly roll back down onto the ball. Stop when your shoulders are centered over the top of the ball.
Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, and put your feet flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Lift your butt until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
Extend your arms directly over your chest with the dumbbells together and your palms facing each other. Bend your elbows slightly and tighten your core muscles. Using the same technique used in the flat bench exercise, lower and raise the weights.
Items you will need
- Resistance band
- Workout bench
- 3-pound dumbbells
- Stability ball
- Resistance bands are colored-coded according to their resistance level. Use a band appropriate to your strength level. In general, light-colored bands have less resistance.
- Perform three sets of 10 reps with each exercise.
- If you haven't exercised in a long time, get clearance from your doctor before beginning.
- Chris Clinton/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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