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Pectoral Exercises for Women at Home

by Sarah Thompson

About Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson has been a writer since 2006. She has contributed to Ohio-based publications such as "CityScene" and "Dublin Life" magazines, as well as Columbus' top alternative weekly, "The Other Paper." Thompson has also written for several online outlets, including Smashing Magazine and Web Designer Depot. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, sexuality studies and visual communication design from Ohio State University.


Your breasts are comprised of fatty adipose tissue and milk glands, not muscle. Therefore you can’t firm and tone them. Building the pectoral muscles located underneath the breast is the only way to make them appear larger. These muscles, when targeted via exercises, are built and strengthened, thereby providing the appearance of larger, lifted breasts. While many pectoral exercises are done in the gym using equipment, you can tone these muscles at home.

Exercise Ball Inclined Pushup

If you use an exercise ball for other at-home exercises, use it to firm your chest muscles as well. Securely position your hands directly on the exercise ball. Place the rest of your body in pushup position: Extend your arms directly out from your shoulders and come up on your toes, placing them hip-width apart on the floor. Bring your chest down toward the ball until you are a few inches from its surface. Gently lift yourself into the starting position. Repeat as often as desired. Keep your back straight and your chest tense throughout the exercise.

Chest Flyes

This exercise uses small weights to work the pectoral muscles. You can purchase an inexpensive set of 3- or 5-pound weights if you don’t have a set already. Lie on the floor with your knees bent. Stretch your arms out to your sides with a weight securely positioned in each hand. Gently bring your hands together as if you were hugging a large tree. In peak position, your weights should be almost touching and your palms should be facing each other. Pause a few seconds before returning to the starting position. Perform three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Standing Pushups

Door push ups work the pecs from a vertical standpoint. You can also use the wall if your doorways are too wide. Stand two feet from an open doorway, and place your hands at shoulder height level on the door trim. Your arms will be fully extended. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Bend your arms at your elbows and use your toes to lean forward toward the doorway until your chest is in or right in front of the doorway’s opening. Push yourself into the starting position. Initially, repeat the exercise five to 10 times. Increase this number as you build tolerance, aiming for three sets of 10 to 25 reps.

Dips With Chairs

The chair dip is much like the dip you would do at the gym using a set of dip bars. The chair dip is one of the more difficult chest exercises, so be cautious when executing it, as it can lead to serious injury if done improperly. Place two chairs back to back. Put some sturdy, heavy objects on the chairs if necessary so as to avoid their movement during the exercise. Stand in between the chairs, adjusting them so that they have a distance that is slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Grasp onto the back of both chairs and straighten your arms. Tuck your feet behind you by bending your knees. Slowly lower yourself down toward the floor until your arms are slightly past parallel to the ground. Gently lift yourself back to the starting position. For balance, pick an object directly in front of you but near the floor and focus on it. Throughout the exercise, keep your chest up, back straight, shoulders back and your core contracted.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.