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i've been known to joke about my happy hour at the bar...at the gym. whether it's the squat rack, smith machine, or bench pressing, i love the bar!!!! in fact, i love it so much that, when my trainer asked if there were new things i wanted to incorporate or work on, i told him that i really want to work on developing a lot of upper body strength, in particular, training my chest. i wanna bench!
whether a woman is intimidated by the bench press or by the guys pressing heavy loads, there really is nothing to fear. truth be told, you really don't want to ignore training your chest and i'm going to provide you with the reasons why you shouldn't ignore your chest as well as some great exercises to incorporate into your training.
avoid injury and balance out upper-body strength
let's say you decide to forgo chest training entirely, but you still train your back, arms, core, and legs. such an off-balance training routine could end up developing muscular imbalances in your body. this could lead to bad posture, a stringy or bony looking chest, and inability to perform other exercised correctly. you might even seriously injure yourself one day trying to do an exercise that involves some chest muscles that you can pull--or in this case, push--their own weight.
i'm not arguing for benching near your max every time you hit the gym. in fact, i prefer a chest workout that is tailored for females--basically it's going to be closer to full-body training or using compound movements that hit the chest, shoulders and triceps.
whether you want to be strong enough to move into your new apartment on your own, develop athletic skills for a specific sport, or sculpt a cover-model physique--your chest muscles will play a part in your training schedule.
in fact, if you've ever coveted beautiful, round shoulders on other women or kick-butt triceps, you might be surprised to find out that chest workouts really help develop those body parts! often you can lift a lot more weight when doing chest exercises than when doing triceps or shoulder isolation moves alone.
plus, there's a bonus calorie burn! since the chest is such a large muscle area, training it will burn more calories than training smaller muscle groups. chest exercises lead to a better rate of burning fat! now, how is that not convincing?
the 3 classic chest exercises
the exercises that every woman should incorporate for chest training are:
the pec-tacular chest workout