Add these five chest exercises for women to your weekly workout routine! Chest exercises, often skipped by women, are important for supporting good posture and building upper body strength. This 25-minute chest workout at home uses a set of dumbbells to tone the arms and build chest muscles.
Shoulder, bicep, tricep and back muscles likely have a regular place in your upper body fitness routine. But women specifically tend to overlook and under-train THE CHEST MUSCLES.
There’s a misconception that since women have breasts they don’t need to train the chest muscles or pectoralis muscles. This is NOT true. Chest workouts are just as important for women as they are for men.
So I’ve rounded up five of THE BEST dumbbell chest exercises for women in today’s post. No need for tons fancy gym equipment — all you need is a set of free weights.
The chest is one of the largest muscle groups in the upper body and is actually made up of four different muscles:
So why is strengthening the chest muscles so important for women? There are so many benefits that impact your everyday activities — and can help you see definition in your entire upper body.
Chest exercises make everyday activities easier because the chest muscles mimic daily activities. Most upper body movements actually involve the pectoral muscles. The primary functions of your chest muscles are to: flex your upper arm (raise), adduct your upper arm (bring back) and medially rotate your upper arm (turn inward). You use your chest muscles every time you pick something up, hold something, or push something. If your pec muscles are weak from disuse, the simple act of carrying and loading grocery bags into your house can feel like a challenge (Shape) and could lead to injury.
YES! Chest muscles play an important role in maintaining good posture and upright stability. Your pecs support your shoulder blades (scapula muscles). And if your pec muscles are shortened (super common if you’re slouching over at a computer all day), they’ll pull down on the shoulder muscles creating bad posture. If you have good posture, your chest remains upright and open which makes it easier to take deep breaths.
Chest workouts are a great way to build defined, toned arms. These five dumbbell chest exercises focus on the pecs, but they also work other major muscle groups in your upper body — including the triceps, small stabilizing muscles in the shoulders, and back. Building the chest muscles can push breast tissue up and forward, so chest workouts for women might even perk up your breasts or tighten your chest skin.
Sculpt your upper body and build strong, toned arms with these five chest exercises for women.
This 25-minute chest workout for women specifically targets the pecs, but also engages the shoulders, triceps and back muscles.
Add this chest workout at home to your upper body workout routine 2-3 times a month.
Medium to heavy set of dumbbells. I recommend between 8-25 lb dumbbells. I’m using 12 lb and 15 lb dumbbells in this workout video.
Follow along with the guided Chest Workout on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren.
Your Workout Looks Like This:
Targets: Chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs and core muscles.
Benefits of Push Ups for Women: Push ups are hands-down one of the best bodyweight exercises and most effective ways to build upper body strength for women.
Modification: Substitute incline push-ups by placing your hands on a chair or bench; or drop to your knees for modified push ups.
Targets: Chest (pecs), shoulders (deltoids) and triceps.
Benefits of Dumbbell Chest Press for Women: The dumbbell chest press or bench press is a great way to isolate the chest muscles or pectoralis major. When done with heavy weights, chest presses will build chest strength fast.
Targets: Chest (pectorals), shoulders and triceps.
Benefits of Narrow Chest Press for Women: Using a narrow grip increases upper body pushing strength. The narrow grip effectively activates your chest as you squeeze the pectorals while pressing the dumbbells overhead.
Targets: Chest muscles, both the larger pectoralis major and the smaller pectoralis minor.
Benefits of Dumbbell Chest Fly for Women: Opens the chest muscles. This exercise is great for posture and can help reduce upper back pain, increase range of motion, and reduce tightness in the upper body.
Targets: Full body; primarily the abs, core, lower back, shoulder, chest, triceps and quads.
Benefits of Army Crawl for Women: This exercise engages your entire body, focusing on strengthening the ab and arm muscles at the same time. A great bodyweight chest exercise you can do at home if you don’t have access to dumbbells.
Modification: Substitute incline army crawl by placing your hands on a chair or bench; or drop to your knees for modified army crawl.
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