Many women tend to neglect their upper-body strength in favor of working on their lower bodies. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s important to remember that neglecting your upper-body can lead to muscle imbalances and, over time, posture problems.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 10 chest exercises for women that you can add to your upper-body workout routine. These exercises will help you build strong, toned muscles in your chest, shoulders, and arms.
The Chest Muscles—Explained
The chest is made up of two main muscles: the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor.
The pectoralis major is the larger of the two muscles and it’s responsible for most of the chest’s mass. This muscle attaches at the sternum (the breastbone) and extends out to the humerus (the upper arm bone). Its primary function is to bring the arm across the body (as in a cross-body punch).
The pectoralis minor is a smaller muscle that sits underneath the pectoralis major. It attaches at the ribs and also inserts into the humerus. Its primary function is to stabilize the shoulder joint and help with breathing.
What is The Best Chest Exercises for Women?
Here are the 10 best chest exercises for women:
Push-ups are a great all-around exercise for strengthening your upper body. They work your chest, shoulders, and arms all at once. If you’re new to push-ups, start with knee push-ups. Once you get stronger, you can move on to regular push-ups.
You can also perform variations of push-ups, such as decline push-ups or close-grip push-ups, to target different muscles.
2. Chest Press.
The chest press is a weight-lifting exercise that targets your chest muscles. You can do this exercise with dumbbells, barbells, or a machine. If you’re using dumbbells, start with 5-10 pound weights. Once you get stronger, you can increase the weight.
Flyes are a great exercise for targeting your inner chest muscles. You can do this exercise with dumbbells or a machine. If you’re using dumbbells, start with 5-10 pound weights. Once you get stronger, you can increase the weight.
If you’re looking for an exercise that will really test your upper body strength, look no further than the pull-up. This move requires you to lift your entire body weight up to the bar, so it’s no wonder it’s often considered one of the most challenging upper body exercises out there.
Despite how difficult they may seem, pull-ups are actually a great exercise for women to add to their upper-body routines. They work the muscles in your back, shoulders, and arms all at once, making them a great way to build strength in those areas.
Chin-ups are a great exercise for targeting your biceps. If you’re new to chin-ups, start with assisted chin-ups. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on a chin-up bar, and jump up so that your chin is over the bar.
From there, slowly lower yourself down until your arms are fully extended. Then, pull yourself back up until your chin is back over the bar.
If you’re struggling to do chin-ups with good form, don’t be afraid to use a resistance band to help you out.
6. Diamond Push-Ups.
Diamond push-ups are a great exercise for targeting your triceps. To do diamond push-ups, start in a standard push-up position.
Then, place your hands close together so that your index fingers and thumbs form a diamond shape. Lower yourself down until your chest touches the ground, and then push yourself back up to the starting position.
7. Bench Press.
The bench press is a classic exercise for targeting your chest muscles. To do a bench press, lie down on a weight bench with a barbell in your hands.
Start with the barbell at shoulder level, and then lower it down to your chest. Push the barbell back up to the starting position.
If you’re new to lifting, it’s a good idea to have a spotter help you with this exercise.
8. Bent-Over Row.
The bent-over row is another great exercise for targeting your upper-body muscles. To do this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
Bend at the waist so that your upper body is parallel to the ground, and then row the dumbbells up to your chest. Lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
9. Shoulder Press.
The shoulder press is a great exercise for targeting your shoulders. To do this exercise, start by sitting on a weight bench with a barbell in your hands.
Start with the barbell at shoulder level, and then press it up above your head. Lower the barbell back down to the starting position.
10. Front Raise.
The front raise is a great exercise for targeting your anterior deltoids (the front part of your shoulders). To do this exercise, start by standing with a dumbbell in each hand.
Raise one dumbbell up in front of you until it’s at shoulder level, and then lower it back down to the starting position. Repeat with the other arm.
Start with lighter weights and higher reps, and then gradually increase the weight as you get stronger.
Pro Tips For Working Your Chest
When working your chest muscles, it’s important to use good form. This will help prevent injuries and ensure that you’re getting the most out of the exercise.
Here are a few pro tips to keep in mind:
Keep your back flat.
When doing any chest exercises, it’s important to keep your back flat. This will help prevent injuries and ensure that you’re targeting your chest muscles properly. Also, make sure to keep your shoulders down and your core engaged.
Use a full range of motion.
When doing any chest exercises, it’s important to use a full range of motion. This means lowering the weight all the way down to your chest and then pressing it back up until your arms are fully extended. Using a full range of motion will help ensure that you’re getting the most out of the exercise.
Don’t lock your elbows.
When doing any chest exercises, be sure not to lock your elbows. This can put unnecessary stress on your joints and increase your risk of injury.
Use a weight that challenges you.
When doing any chest exercises, it’s important to use a weight that challenges you. If the weight is too light, you won’t get much benefit from the exercise. On the other hand, if the weight is too heavy, you may sacrifice form and increase your risk of injury.
To keep things challenging, try using a weight that allows you to complete 8-12 reps with good form.
Take breaks as needed.
When working your chest muscles, it’s important to take breaks as needed. This will help prevent overtraining and ensure that you’re giving your muscles time to recover.
If you’re just starting out, you may need to take more breaks than someone who is more experienced. As you get stronger, you’ll be able to work your chest muscles more frequently.
These are just a few of the many great exercises that you can do to target your upper-body muscles.
For best results, be sure to vary your routine and include a variety of different exercises. And, as always, consult with a doctor or certified personal trainer before beginning any new workout routine.