Why Women Shouldn’t Skip Chest Day
By Sj McShane
There’s a quote floating around that caught my eye – it reads
“My dream is to see the weight room filled with women.”
Throughout history women were hardly ever seen in the weight room, but fortunately, times are changing as more women recognize the benefits that lifting weights has on the female physique. Victory aside, when it comes to lifting weights, the chest (or pectorals) remains an often neglected area regimented by women. This muscle group seems to take a back seat to the much desired set of rock hard glutes or toned abs-but more profoundly, the pecs have been at the forefront of some of the biggest fitness myths out there! Myths ranging from of getting super bulky to the fear of going flat; these fears have deterred women for years from building a strong chest. Pushing those myths aside, let’s look at why training your chest is as needed as any other muscle group on the human body.
Women are Unique
Not all chest muscles are trained equal. Woman’s chest muscles are very different from a man; the muscles are a bit smaller, only attaching about 1/3 the distance down the sternum/chest bone; a man’s muscle attaches all the way down the sternum. This unique female anatomy allows us to build a sleek, figure shaping upper chest, without losing our feminine appeal. In fact, developing our chest muscles will only serve to improve our figure and can add perkiness.
Build Your Armor
Neglecting chest training can create bad posture and leave your ligaments and tendons open for injuries due to their under development. If your workout routine consists of training all other muscles while omitting chest, this off-balance training routine could end up creating muscular imbalances in your body, further leading to the inability to perform other exercises correctly, even daily tasks. Another important reason to strengthen the pecs is to protect vital organs such as the heart and lungs. Think of it like your building a protective wall against accidents and injuries, this is something that everyone can benefit from.
The Practical Chest
Movements that involve chest engagement aren’t just used on the bench press -as these muscles are used frequently. Whether it's pushing a lawn mower, baby carriage, or grocery cart; a strong chests help us perform tasks like these. Your chest muscles are used in so many ways you may not realize; getting up off the floor, closing a sliding door, even giving a hug with a squeeze of love! You will be surprised how chest training will make life easier.
So now that you’re convinced, let’s talk about building a strong chest. Although there are many benefits to using a bench you don’t have to start there, you can utilize a physio ball and still reap the same benefits. Not to mention being in the comfort of your own home. For beginners, start with a weight you can get 15 reps with and work your way to a heavier weight, then go for 10-12 reps. Remember; when I say 15 reps, that means your 15th rep is within 3 to 5 reps of all you could do. With that said, give this chest workout below a try!
What you need:
Dumbbells or a Kettlebell and a Physio Ball. Choose a weight that is challenging but does not compromise proper form.
What is worked:
Chest, triceps and core
*Perform 3 sets of 10 reps with 1 minute rest in between. I recommend at minimum a 5 minute warm up that includes active stretching of the chest and rotator cuffs.
1- Alternating chest press on ball (10 reps per arm)
2- Chest pullover
3- Elevated ball push-ups