Chest Exercises for Men and Women
When the muscles in your chest are not strong, you are at a higher risk of developing bad posture habits, a weak back, shoulder injuries, and neck strain. In order to maintain the strength in your chest it is important to include chest exercises in your daily exercise routine. Many women are discouraged from doing chest exercises because they are afraid they will lose their femininity or start to look like a man; in fact, the opposite is true. Chest exercises will tone and boost the areas around the chest, can actually prevent the breasts from sagging, and can enhance the appearance of your breasts. Men are genetically predisposed to developing large chest muscles, and so chest exercises will result in a different look on men than on women. Here are a few simple chest exercises that you can do at home to strengthen and tone your chest. Remember that no exercises should cause you pain or discomfort, if you experience any of these symptoms while exercising, discontinue them immediately.
Stretch Your Chest First
Before you begin any chest exercises, it is important to gently stretch the muscles around your chest first. These exercises will also help tone your chest muscles. Begin by standing up straight in a good posture stance. Raise your arms and interlace your hands behind your head with your elbows bent. Without moving any other part of your body, stretch your elbows backward as far as they can go and hold the position for at least 5 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times. Next, maintaining your good posture stance, lower your arms and interlace your hands behind your buttocks. Then gently stretch your shoulders back and lift your interlaced hands up, keeping your arms straight, as far up as you can. Hold the position for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat 5-10 times.
Push-ups are one of the best exercises you can do to strengthen your chest. Push-ups can be quite daunting for people who have not exercised in a long time and do not have much upper body strength. A modified half push-up is the perfect chest strengthening exercise for beginners. Instead of keeping your legs straight during the push-up, get down on your hands and knees. Cross your ankles and slowly stretch yourself out so that you are in a push-up position, except you will be on your knees. Do as many half-push ups as you can; do not become discouraged if you can only perform a few push-ups to begin with. Stick with it, everyday, and overtime you will progress to a full push-up.