When was the last time you did a chest exercise? If you’re having difficulty answering this question, you’re definitely not the only one. Despite all the benefits that strength training offers—reduced fat, improved heart health, controlled blood sugar levels, boosted flexibility and mobility—it doesn’t seem to be enough to get most women interested in doing regular chest exercises. Maybe the sweaty group of men surrounding those machines at the gym has something to do with it?
More likely, it’s because many women don’t know the many benefits that chest exercises offer (besides the obvious: muscle strength).
With that in mind, here are 4 benefits of working out your pectoralis major and minor:
- Improved Posture: As one of the largest muscles in your upper body, the pecs play a major role in maintaining good posture. In addition to your back and shoulder muscles, your pecs help to stabilize the shoulder joint.
- Better Breathing: In addition to improving your posture, strengthening and lengthening chest muscles helps to support deeper breathing. That’s because the pecs are attached to your ribs, which expand with every breath.
- Breast Support: Contrary to the popular belief that doing chest exercises will make breasts smaller, doing pectoral exercises will actually do the exact opposite. By building muscle around breast tissue, this helps to provide more lift and support.
- Everyday Perks: Even if you don’t realize it, you use your pecs an awful lot during daily activities. Anything that involves lifting, holding, squeezing or pushing calls on your pecs; so it doesn’t hurt to have a little extra strength in that muscle group.
Asking for a friend, how does one go about working out pecs?
Some of the most popular pec strength-training exercises, include:
- Barbell bench press
- Pec dec machine
- Bent-forward cable crossover
- Chest press machine
- Inclined dumbbell flys
But according to a recent study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, there are a few moves that really stand out above the rest. To develop muscle size, the barbell bench press is at the very top of the list, followed closely by the pec deck machine and the bent-forward cable crossover.
Strengthening Your Health
Because not everyone has the same fitness level or exercise goals, we believe in providing resources and care that are personalized to suit each individual.
With customized training sessions at Gwinnett Medical Center’s Fitness and Performance Center, our specialists will cater to your unique needs to ensure that you get the most out of your exercise routine.