PUSH-UPS CORRECT: Kneel with your hands in front of you on the floor, keeping your hands a bit wider than shoulder width. Support yourself on your hands and straighten your legs. Rest your body weight on your toes. Straighten your back, with abs tight and head in neutral position and with shoulders in line with your wrists (plank position). Slowly bend elbows and lower chest toward floor. Straighten your arms to return to plank position. Perform 10 times, repeating twice.
Photo: Louie Favorite/AJC
Photo: Louie Favorite/AJC

Try these 5 workouts for a better bust line

Are you a woman with woefully underdeveloped chest muscles? You’re not alone. 

But don't worry. There are easy, at-home workouts that can build those pectorals up and get you one step closer to a better bust line.

Bodybuilding is the key.

BodyBuilding.com recommends a combination of bench presses, incline bench presses, cable or dumbbell flyes and push-ups, with no more than two to three sets of each exercise.

Rest one minute between sets when doing the bench press (which they suggest you do at the beginning of your workouts). Between sets of flyes, decrease your rest period to 45 seconds and reduce to 30 seconds after push-ups. Keep repetitions within the 8-10 range for bench presses and incline bench presses and 10-12 for flyes. T

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The site’s experts also recommend heavy lifting and a high-calorie diet to gain muscle mass. Of course, before beginning any strenuous exercises regime, check with your doctor.

Push-ups are among the best ways to strengthen chest muscles.
Photo: AJC file

Classic push-up

Too weak to do push-ups from the floor?

Start with doing push-ups against a wall. Then work your way down levels of incline (going from kitchen counter to ottoman to stair step) until you're parallel to the floor. Push-ups are great for toning your triceps (do you like to wear sleeveless shirts and dresses?), and for strengthining your core for a stronger back and better posture.

Incline push-up (beginner)

  • Lie face down with hands on a secure bench, chair or desk.
  • Place hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with feet hip-width apart and toes on floor.
  • Lower your body so that your chest is four to eight inches from the bench.
  • Return to the starting position by extending at the elbows and pushing the body up.

Bench press with dumbbells or bottles of water

  • Lie back on a flat bench with a weight in each hand.
  • Bring the weights to your shoulders.
  • Press the weights up directly above your chest with palms facing forward.
  • Lower the weights slowly, keeping your elbows pointed out.
  • Let your upper arm go parallel to the ground before returning to the starting position.
  • To end the exercise, place the weights at your sides.
Another way to strengthen chest muscles is to use a stable stool for resistance that may be easier than push-ups but also effective.
Photo: AJC file
  • Lift your hips to form a bridge from your shoulders to your knees and raise the weights above your chest.
  • Bend your elbows to bring the heads of the weights just outside your chest, having your elbows make a 45-degree angle with your torso.
  • Keep your hips lifted and extend your elbows to press the weights back up.
  • Turn your palms to face one another and soften your elbows.
  • For flyes, open your arms with your elbows aiming to the floor until you feel a stretch in your chest.
  • Squeeze your arms back together.
  • One press and one fly equals one repetition. Alternate between the presses and the flyes 8-12 times. Work up to three sets with a 30-second break between them.

Resistance band presses

  • Stretch these long tubes of latex like a rubber band as another substitute for dumbbells.
  • Hook the resistance band around a door jam or other stable anchor.
  • Turn your back to the anchor point and hold a handle in each hand.
  • Walk away from the anchor point until you feel slight tension.
  • Bring the handles or ends of the resistance band close to your shoulders.
  • Keep your elbows in line with your shoulders.

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