Ladies, you probably own at least one fantastic pushup bra that gives you extra “oomph” in a low-cut dress. But when the bra comes off at the end of the day, it’s impossible to fake what you don’t have.
Your breasts might not be the shape you want them to be. But luckily, there are exercises you can do at home to help perk them up. Breast tissue itself, which is made up of fat and other nonmuscular tissues, cannot technically be toned, but the muscles that support the breast can be toned and it may help with appearance.
Strength training your chest is crucial for proper posture. It can also help reduce fat and increase your upper body strength.
These five exercises are part of a workout plan that’s designed to help perk up your chest. It can also help strengthen your shoulders and back muscles. By strengthening these muscles, you can show off your front curves as well as your back curves.
Work up to four sets of each exercise.
1. Pushup on Ball
Doing pushups on an uneven surface like a ball helps increase your balance and improves core stability.
Equipment Needed: Any type of stable ball. A soccer ball, volleyball, or basketball would work well.
- Start off in a pushup position on the floor. Keep your palms, elbows, and shoulders in one straight line. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart from each other. Keep your hips level and your back flat while engaging your core throughout the entire exercise.
- Place one palm on the ball, while your other hand remains on the floor. Keep your feet spread fairly wide to help with stability. This is your starting position.
- Keeping your body straight, bend your elbows and descend toward the ground, allowing your chest to approach the floor. Complete your pushup when your chest is about 2 inches away from the floor.
- Exhale and push yourself back up to your starting position. Roll the ball over to your opposite hand, and perform the same pushup exercise. Try to keep your palms shoulder-width apart the whole time.
- Keep rolling the ball back and forth until you’ve reached 8 pushups on each side.
Equipment Needed: A set of light dumbbells or a stable ball.
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells down in front of your pelvis with your arms extending fully. Keep your palms facing in toward each other. Make sure you draw your shoulders down and back.
- Exhale and engage your core while lifting the dumbbells above you and extending your arms into a “Y” position. End when your arms are straight and your biceps are level with your ears. Hold this position for 1 count.
- Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back to your starting position.
- Repeat 12 times.
This pullover exercise will help isolate your chest muscles without help from other major muscle groups.
Equipment Needed: Bench or chair, light set of dumbbells.
- Lie down perpendicular to a bench or chair, forming a “T” with your torso, facing up. Slide down off the bench so only your shoulders and neck are supported by it. Your feet should be only 3 to 4 inches apart with your glutes and hips squeezed up into a bridge position.
- Grasp two light dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing toward each other. Hold them straight above you over your chest. Make sure your neck is relaxed. You don’t want your neck to lift off the bench for this exercise because you could risk straining it.
- Exhale and slowly lower the dumbbells in an arc behind your head until you feel a stretch in your chest. You should only go as far back as your shoulder joint will let you. Hold this position for 1 count. Make sure one dumbbell doesn’t go lower than the other. The goal is to lower the dumbbells simultaneously together at the same time and at the same height.
- Inhale, squeeze your chest, and pull the dumbbells back up to your starting position. Try to keep your shoulder blades down and back and the back straight and in a neutral position the whole time while performing this movement. The goal is to trigger just your shoulders and chest in this pullover exercise.
- Perform for 15 repetitions.
Caution: If you’re new to this movement, have a spotter help you on lowering the dumbbells and bringing them back up to your starting position.
4. 3-2-1 Pushup
A pushup is a great compound exercise that works your chest, shoulders, back, and core.
Equipment Needed: None
- Start off in a pushup position with your wrists, elbows, and shoulders in one straight line. Your core should be engaged the whole time so your back and hips don’t sink.
- Bend your elbows and slowly lower yourself down to the floor. Start like you’re going to perform a pushup, but only lower yourself down to the halfway mark. Hold this position for 1 count.
- Keep breathing and now lower yourself completely into a full pushup, ending when your chest is about 2 inches away from the floor. Again, hold this position for 1 count.
- Engage your core, and lift yourself back up to the halfway position. Hold for 1 count.
- Keep squeezing your core and return all the way back up to your starting position. That’s 1 rep.
- Perform 12 times.
Modify if this move is too tricky and you can’t perform the exercise without taking a break. You’ll perform the same exercise, just in a modified pushup position. To try it, simply drop your knees to the floor and crisscross your feet together.
6. Isometric Chest Squeeze on Ball
Equipment Needed: Stable ball
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle.
- Hold the same ball you used in the previous exercises. The ball should be in line with your chest and your fingers should be facing forward and spread apart.
- Push both hands against the ball as you contract your chest muscles. Begin slowly and increase tension gradually. Keep breathing normally as you execute this contraction.
- Hold this position for 30 seconds.
It’s important to strength train your chest to improve posture, cut fat, and improve overall upper body strength. These exercises can help you lift and tone your breast area and reduce the look of sagginess.