Last week I told you how to tone your back for a better fitting bra. Today I am going to tell you how to take care of the front! As a personal trainer I see a lot of women skipping chest exercises when it comes to lifting weights. And I am here to tell you that lifting weights for the chest is one of the most underrated exercises for women. Chest day helps build supportive muscle for the breast, keeps breast tissue healthy, improves posture and helps fight gravity as we age.
Wearing a good sports bra is important for exercise as well. I am modeling the Anita Active Extreme Control in black and gray.
To prevent injury I urge anyone who is new at exercising or doing chest exercises for the first time to start out with little to no weights. Below are a number of exercises you can do in the safety of your home.
You can do this exercise with two small dumbbells, a stretchy band or no weights. Lie on your back on the floor or any flat surface, have a yoga mat if you are on a hard surface, feet flat on the floor with knees bent. Have a dumbbell in each hand or if you are using a stretchy band have it wrapped around your back and wrap the ends around your hands; make sure there is enough resistance. Hold dumbbells straight up as seen above then bend the elbows to a 90 degree angle. Push weight straight up without locking your elbows and bring down again. Repeat 8 to 10 times. Then rest for about a minute. Repeat two more times.
While still lying on your back hold dumbbells straight above with a slight bend in the elbows, slowly move arms straight out to the side, then slowly bring them in while keeping the elbows slightly bent. Weights should meet at the top and slowly release the position back out to the side. Repeat 8-10 times, rest one minute between each set. Repeat three times.
Push-ups can be done in a variety of ways. Traditionally push-ups are done on the floor but if you are new at them I recommend doing this exercise off the wall or on the edge of any countertop.
Start by placing hands shoulder width apart, bend at the elbows and lower body closer to the wall, counter or floor. Above is a regular push up, below is a modified push up placing knees on the floor.
Another variety of push ups is a staggered push up. Whether you are up against a wall, counter top or floor place hands shoulder width apart, then take one hand and place about six inches higher so hands are staggered. See images below. This move targets the upper pectoral muscle or the upper part of the chest. Lower body like a regular push up and repeat 8 to 12 times on each side. Repeat on both sides of body.