T Nation

Chest Exercises for Women, Benefits?


#1

Hello :wave:
It may sounds silly, but I’d be happy if someone can explain the benefits of chest training, I mean in a regural basis, for a woman and her overall physique.
I mean of course I engage in my workouts 3-4 chest exercises for chest but only for one day a week, while I focus on legs, shoulders, back and bi-tri, I feel that chest takes the less time in my workouts and I want to learn if I’m doing something wrong, train it one time a week, should I change it, am I neglecting something important here not giving it the right amount on time ?
Also, chest training will actually have results quicker for a man than a woman, maybe this is one factor I chose not to give so much attention, so I’d really love to hear about your thoughs on this issue!


#2

Hi there Eve.

It depends on your goals.

If you want functional strength, then you want to train your upper body, including your chest. Most beginners need to just develop a base level of strength so they can begin to move heavy enough weight to build something. For sure if you want functional strength for self-defense. Of course, people who want to compete in PLing need to specifically train the Barbell Bench Press.

If you’re goals are mostly aesthetic, then that also depends on what look you like and what your build is. If you have a naturally fuller bust, then building muscle thickness under existing breast tissue may not do much to give you a more hourglass figure, so you may not want to spend a lot of time isolating chest. For smaller busted women, sometimes more muscle thickness beneath the breast makes someone look curvier. It depends. Not everyone wants to see muscle, through their upper chest, instead of softness.

You’ve probably noticed that most women who lean out for competitions in figure and bikini have implants, because it’s very difficult, next to impossible for most women, to get that lean, while maintaining fat stores in only the pretty places. I had a training partner who did not train chest after she had implants, mostly because her surgeon cautioned against doing anything that would move them, but also because there wasn’t much point.

Personally, I’m a proportionately small hourglass, without implants, and I enjoy training for strength, so that’s fine with me. I sometimes prioritize aesthetic goals, so I’ll train glutes and delts more often than other body parts, because those two body parts are going to give me the illusion of more curves. I might double up and train delts and glutes approximately twice for every time I train my back and bis, or chest and tris. Of course, most compound movements activate these muscle groups, but I’m talking about focusing on isolation movements.

Hopefully that helps.

I hear there are wildfires near Athens. I hope that’s not effecting you or your family.

Puff


#3

Hello dear @anon71262119 :heart:
Thanks so much for asking, no thanks God my family and I are not in danger, but so many people actually got burned… I can’t describe it to you with words, what happened, I mean, people got actually killed, only one hour from the capital’s center. Now we send help in every mean we can, thank you for asking I hope you are great you and your family too, always health and prosperity.

Thank you, you took the time and answering me, I actually clarified a lot!! I was thinking it a lot lately that I neglect my chest specifically, not my upper body as a whole, I mean, as you mentioned, for aesthetic reasons I focus on delts, arms, tri/bi and of course back, which I think is a must for us women who want to create the illusion of a small waist :wink:
Yeah yeah, can I ask you how is your current exercise week routine ?
What works for you best as far as we talk about glutes, isolation or compound ?

Personally, I have nor full nor small bust, something between, but I have a big back which I train hard so to be honest I’m afraid that if my chest with hard training too, gets wider then I don’t actually know how my figure will look…


#4

I guess it depend a lot.I don’t have much chest to start with, unless I get fat.

I use to have a job that gave me a strong back and I hate seeing ribs on my chest so I do work it . It may be the only way I get some shape. I am also build with not much waist or hip. So curs won’t happen and I like strong way more then cute bikini look.


#5

@ The fires in Greece. Wow. So sorry to hear it. It’s front page news here, Eve with horrifying pictures of the flames in the national newspapers. I understand over 75 deaths, and over 100 injuries, people loosing their homes, burned resort towns and forests with people fleeing to the beaches. I’m in coastal Southern California, and we’ve had some terrible brush fires here. My area has been evacuated before, but we’ve been fortunate. Very similar climate. Glad you’re safe, but I’m sorry to hear about all the devastation.


#6

You’re welcome. And yes, building a wider back and delts can make your waist look smaller. I don’t have much width to my back. Someone like @Spock81, makes me look like I don’t even lift. Jenn, I saw recent pics in your log. I believe you said you have a 38 inch bra band? You’ve got 6 inches on me now! Going all Dana Linn Bailey on us!

Sure, but what I’m doing now isn’t recommended for someone trying to build strength or who wants more muscle.

In the past, I’ve done full body training, Upper/Lower splits, strength cycles where I trained in lower rep ranges, and lots of 4-way splits like this.
Back and Bis
Chest and Tris
Legs and Glutes
Delts and Abs
Active Rest Day/ Low Impact Cardio Walking/ Ballet

Right now, I’m happy with my level of muscle and strength. I’m not doing anything exciting, and I’m mostly just training for health and fitness and aesthetics. I recently loaned my belt to a friend, since I’m not doing any heavy DLs or Squats right now. I’m doing a lot of yoga and ballet barre and walking. So, I wouldn’t recommend this for a beginner. I’m not training legs at all right now, except in very high rep ranges. I often train high rep front squats or thrusters with just the bar in between sets just to keep my heart rate up, more of an endurance thing.

Back and Bis/ Chest and Tris
Glutes
Delts
Yoga/ Active Cardio/ Ballet Barre
Glutes
Delts
Rest Day/ Yoga/ Walk at Beach

Sometimes I’ll feel like doing a light full body workout and train some light OLY lifts. I’ll split Back and Bis and Chest and Tris into separate days. Sometimes I’ll train Glutes and Delts together.

Both. Find the exercises that give you the best Mind Muscle Connection (MCC), and do those. For glutes, moving heavy weight encourages me to recruit other muscles. I can feel glutes more in a 95 lb RDL (set up in a rack just below my knees), than when I’m training a 225 DL.

Favorite Glute Exercises
Romanian DLs (RDL) with a lighter BB so I can isolate glutes.
Hypers holding a plate
BB Glute Bridges, I use a Smith Machine because it’s easier to get under the Bar and move the plates on and off the BB)
Wide Stance Walking Lunges
Bulgarian Split Squats
Cable Kickbacks
Bosu Frogs for activation
Hip Abductor Machine, but seated forward like this, and working high reps, heavy partials.

@ Pic above. It’s from a youtube video I like. I won’t link here since it’s from another site, but search for Amanda Latona Shows How She Gets Those Glutes!


#7

THAT IS THE BEST COMPLIMENT I HAVE EVER RECEIVED.
She is my hero .
:sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart::sparkling_heart:


#8

You’re so sweet and you really gonna make me cry, the situation is terrible here, kids got burned fuck how could that happen in 2018 in europe huh? No planning, not a single notification for people to evacuate the place, I was always more than dissaponted with our government but now simply don’t have words to add.
Rest in peace to the victims and I hope that everyone who is responsible for it pay.
Sorry to hear you had incidents too, here in Greece almost every summer we have arsonist insidents (that one was too) they simply burn forests.
What I can’t bear is that I easily actually in this area a week ago as the Hellenic Air Force has summer facilities for the employees and I actually imagined having my kid one day playing around cause so many kids where running here and there happy and free…
I can’t stop thinking about it, can you imagine how much pain?
Thank you for asking dear really appreciate it, hope you’ll always be safe there and protect yourself anyway!


#9

Wow you really have done a lot of styles of training!
Apart from taekwondo, running, biking and now weights, I can say that I haven’t experienced any other style!
Can you please give me an example of an active rest day after a very heavy leg/glute workout?
What can I do to recover and get those muscles ready ti hit again next morning ?
Sorry if I ask too much!

One more, for the most glutes growth, heavy weights and low reps or high reps with medium weight?


#10

@anon71262119
Also want to ask, a photo that I saw with a baby boy in a blue bodysuit taking an one hand push up it is actually a real baby from @The_Mighty_Stu you mentioned or just for fun you posted it ?!?!?!?!?
Can that baby really exist?
If yes wow SO undescribably adorable :heart:


#11

@ Greece. My heart goes out to your country today. Just heartbreaking. I’ve been following the coverage. It sounds like even private people in boats were rescuing people off the beaches. These things tend to make people pull together.

By active rest day, I mean being active walking, doing an exercise class, swimming, yoga, mobility work. Keeping some blood moving through sore muscles, and burning some calories, but it’s a recovery day from lifting weights.

When you’re building a base for strength, I think it’s good to get heavy, maybe in the 5x5 rep range for at least one of your lifts. You don’t need to train heavy singles, unless you’re a PLer.

For hypertrophy on glutes, I like the 10-12 rep range. If you watch Amanda Latona, she’ll do a set of 10, but then pulse or hold the peak contraction for 5 heavy partials. I think that’s a good way to increase time under tension. I consider Hypers or Cable Kickbacks as accessories, so I’ll perform sets in higher rep ranges on those at the end of my training. Hypers, I’ll hold a 45 pound plate, and do 3 sets of 20 of those at the end of the session.

Nah, that’s just a cute picture from the web. Not Stu’s son, although he does have a cute little guy IRL.


#12

@anon71262119
Thanks again,be blessed dear,
yeah but its tragic the fact that a tragedy bring people together, why can’t we be like that everyday?
Every need for food, medicine etc its true that its has been covered immediately for the victims, volunteers were numerous for blood, reconstrucitons, yeah everyone acted quickly but the dead people aren’t coming back :’(

Oh so active rest day isn’t focus on exercise again the area you trained the previous day? that’s what I was thinking it about, like doing legs heavy and next day do legs again but only 1&2 exercises just to recover…

I’ll check Amanda, I’m curious how I haven’t heard of her before, as I’m already following every “self called glute expert” on insta… Something new, and thanks!!

Shiiiiiit that’s the sweetest thing I’ve seen for a long time, I literally felt in love haha :heart_eyes:


#13

@anon71262119
Please excuse my english, I haven’t practiced it for a long time, since high school, actually there was a time that I was a fluent speaker, now I laught at myself too😂


#14

No, but I don’t see any problem with doing something light the next day to help with blood flow, healing. A lot of athletes or dancers are training everyday, but usually at body weight. I think that’s fine. You just want to give your body a chance to rest and recover. You grow when you rest.

Eve, I was going to tell you. I saw you get into it a bit with usmc in one of the threads. I think you might have read him wrong somehow. He’s a really nice guy. I’ve never had an argument with him. I know you were mixing it up with pfury and loppar over politics. Things get more heated in that forum sometimes. If there’s going to be a fight, it will be about politics or religion. Lol.

Really, all of the regular posters here have been very nice to me over the years. Usually when I’ve gotten mad, it’s my own fault for being sensitive or misunderstanding someone. Assume good will. They’re a good bunch, and surprisingly usually nice to the women here, considering it’s a bit of a men’s locker room. Lol. Mostly men talking to other men about lifting.

That’s awesome that you’re self taught. You’re doing great! I’m so impressed!


#15

Lol - for the record, my little man was a tad over 10 lbs at birth and a bit under 40 lbs now (lean) at 3 1/2, so I’m expecting a heavyweight competitor one day :wink:

S


#16

That’s a big baby! What a chunk!! And Cat is so petite. I thought my son at 8.5 pounds was big. @ future competitor. He’s got some good genetics, Stu, but if you have my luck, your kids won’t want anything to do with your hobbies. Lol. I saw Christian talking about gymnastics in his forum, talking about the best thing for MMC in little ones. I think that’s a good way to go, in developing athletic ability, MMC and coordination.


#17

We’ve already been through the “he’s definitely not playing ______” game. With the beatings my 2 brothers, my brother in law, and myself have put our bodies through, I don’t want my son to suffer even a hangnail -lol

S


#18

A lot of people do end up with injuries from gymnastics. That part would give me some pause.

When they’re little, you just throw them in things. They don’t know what they like, since they haven’t tried anything. Later, they start to tell you they’re done, not interested.

The hard part is knowing when to let them quit, and when to push them. Everything that’s worth doing gets hard eventually, requires work. I’m thinking of kids practicing musical instruments. It’s sometimes hard to know when to push them to keep working, not let them quit.


#19

My mom will tell you about a temper tantrum for a ballet class. I was 3 and no f**cking I was wearing a PINK tutu. Same happen for figure skating. Karate was ok, baseball fine too and cross country skiing was a solid winner, then came the horses.


#20

The strong will likely serves you well in life!

Sometimes kids seem to have a passion, definite likes and dislikes so early. I think we have far less to do with their personalities than we think. Sometimes they seem to come into this world, already with such strong interests. When that happens, as adults it’s probably best to just go with it and help them with what they love as best we can.

And a lifetime love that never got old.