Men aren't the only ones who want big pecs. Women can benefit from bigger, stronger pectoral muscles, too. The good news is that when combined with a healthy diet, regular exercise can help you lose fat. The bad news is you could end up with smaller breasts. Chest exercises, as part of your overall weight-loss plan, can help you lose fat. Exercise won't make your breasts larger, but it can help lift your breasts by strengthening the underlying muscle.
No matter how convincing an advertisement for the latest spot-reduction fad may be, you simply cannot burn fat from only one part of your body. Burning fat is a whole-body process. Everyone burns fat differently. Some may burn fat from their thighs first, while others burn fat from the belly or butt first. Often, the first place you gain weight is the last place your body burns fat. Combine a healthy diet with aerobic and resistance exercises to burn fat and lose weight all over your body.
Cardio for Fat Loss
Cardiovascular, or aerobic, exercise is important to burning fat and losing weight, even in your chest area. Cardio exercise is any activity that elevates your heart rate, increases your breathing and makes you sweat. Involve your chest muscles in your cardio workout for fat loss by doing fat-blasting exercises, such as swimming, cable machine pulls and arm ergometry exercises on a hand-crank exercise machine. Arm ergometry works like a stationary bicycle, except you turn the crank with your arms. This machine will give you a good chest and arm workout for firm, toned muscles.
Chest and Upper-Body Exercises
Row, row, row your way to fat loss by exercising on a rowing machine. A rowing machine helps to develop strong, firm pectoral muscles and develops your arms and upper back, too. A vigorous session on a rowing machine that makes you sweat will burn fat while you tone your chest. Swimming is a full-body cardio exercise that can help you burn fat and firm your body. You can focus on your upper-body and chest muscles with different strokes as you swim. Use the handles on exercise machines, such as a stationary bike, elliptical machine and a stair stepper.
Build up your pecs as you burn fat from your chest by adding a strength-training element to your workout routine. Strength training should be done at least two days each week on nonconsecutive days. You'll not only build up your chest muscles, but you'll also enjoy numerous other health benefits from strength training. Strength exercises also improve how your body uses blood glucose, reduce your blood pressure, increase bone density and improve overall body composition by increasing lean muscle mass. Some strength-training exercises for your chest to help burn fat and build muscle include body-weight exercises, such as pushups and pullups. Use dumbbells to do chest fly exercises and bench presses.
- Fitness: How Can I Lose Weight Without Losing My Bust?
- American Council on Exercise: Why Is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- Shape: 10 Things You're Not Doing at the Gym (but Should Be)
- 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet: 7 Upper Body Cardio Workouts
- American College of Sports Medicine: ACSM Strength Training Guidelines: Role in Body Composition and Health Enhancement
- Women Fitness: Top 10 Chest (Pectoral) Developing Exercises
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.