Chest Tightening Exercises

FitnessVigil Staff Nov 25, 2018
Here's some information on chest tightening exercises that you should be following in order to get the desired results.

Did You Know?

All the muscle fibers in a human body are already present ever since our birth. Once the muscles are damaged, it cannot be replaced.
A firm and tighter chest muscles projects confidence and healthier lifestyle. While you perform exercises that specifically target the chest muscles, you are not only strengthening it, but are also improving your posture, opening your lungs and rib cage. Including these, your arms, back, and shoulder muscles too are getting a good workout that it needs. 
As you go through the following exercises, keep in mind that the actual weights used for each workout will vary from person to person. We advice you to speak to an experienced and professional fitness trainer to help you guide through the workouts.

Exercises to Sculpt Your Chest

The chest has two major muscles, the pectoralis major (the bigger muscle out of the two), it covers most of the chest area; it helps you in bringing your arms inward, forward, and down. The pectoralis minor is underneath the pectoralis major; it aids in pulling the shoulder blade down. The following exercises concentrates on working out both these muscles.

Stability Ball Flat Dumbbell Flyes

It is an isolation exercise that primarily targets your outer chest muscles; with shoulders being the secondary muscles.
With the use of the stability ball, you will be required to engage your legs (quads) and abdominal muscles as well. Apart from using the stability ball, you can perform the routine over a flat bench as well.
  • Place the stability ball in front of you, pick the dumbbells, and lie flat on the ball.
  • Make sure your shoulders touch the ball, don't arch your back, and place your feet are firmly on the floor.
  • Extend your arms above your head, palms facing each other and elbows slightly bent.
  • Inhale, and slowly open and lower your arms till the point you can feel your chest stretch.
  • Hold this position for a second, exhale, and bring your arms back to the starting position. Again hold this position for a second, and repeat the movement.
  • Perform 8―10 repetitions per set. You may increase the reps and dumbbell weights as your workout progresses.

Push-ups

Without using a barbell or dumbbell, you can develop a strong, muscular chest by doing push-ups.
However, performing the same routine can become boring very quickly. Which is why, there are a ton of variations you can try to strengthen your chest muscles. Starting with traditional push-ups, you can use a medicine ball, stability ball, or a kettlebell, do incline and decline push-ups, or even perform wall push-ups.
  • For basic push-ups, place an exercise mat on the floor and kneel with your knees and palms of your hands on it.
  • Place your hands forward, shoulder-width apart, until you feel the upper body weight on the arms.
  • Keep your back straight, and your feet pointed downward on the floor.
  • Inhale, bend from your elbows, and come down as close to the floor as possible.
  • Hold this position for a second, exhale, and come back to the starting position.
  • Do at least 10 repetitions in each set.

Incline Barbell Bench Press

This is a compound exercise, which means you won't have to spend a lot of time on the workout in order to increase your power and endurance.
Due to the inclined angle of the press, it works out your upper pectoral muscles really well. Apart from using a barbell, you can perform incline dumbbell presses as well.
  • Keep the incline bench at a 30° angle and lie on the bench.
  • Place your hands on the barbell, beyond shoulder width, and remove it off the rack.
  • Bend your elbows and slowly bring the barbell closer to the chest.
  • Inhale, and while exhaling, raise the barbell upward; make sure you keep the elbow slightly bend and are not locking it.
  • Holding this position for a second, inhale, and bring the barbell down to your chest.
  • Repeat the movement and perform at least 10―12 repetitions.

Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

This exercise is similar to the barbell press, however, here the bench is flat rather than inclined, and we will be using dumbbells instead of a barbell.
  • Sit on the bench with the dumbbells in your hands.
  • Bring the weights closer to the shoulders and lie back on the bench.
  • Keep your arms bent and place the dumbbells on either side of your chest.
  • Inhale, and while exhaling, raise both dumbbells upward and hold this position for a second.
  • Inhale, and bring the dumbbells down to the starting position. Make sure you keep your arms steady all through the workout.
  • Repeat the movement and perform at least 10―12 repetitions. 

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

It is essential to include a variety of exercises and workout options to get the desired results; yoga is one of them.
Among other benefits, the triangle pose, or Trikonasana, not only strengthens and opens your chest muscles, but is also good for your legs, knees, ankles, and arms.
  • Place an exercise mat on the floor, and stand straight with your feet wide apart.
  • Place your right foot out at 90° angle, and the left foot in at 15° angle.
  • Extend your arms on either side, keep the soles of your feet firm on the floor, and inhale deeply.
  • As you exhale, bend from your hips to the right side bringing your right hand down to the floor and the left hand pointed upward.
  • Relax your head, and look at the left arm as it stretches toward the ceiling.
  • Hold the position for 15―20 seconds as you take deep breaths.
  • Inhale, and come back up to the starting position.
  • Bring your hands to your sides, straighten your feet, and take a break for a few seconds.
  • Now repeat the steps on the other side. 

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

The bow pose, Dhanurasana, helps open the chest muscles and strengthens the muscles in the back. This asana stretches your entire front of the body, and is excellent to perform for both men and women.
Among other benefits, the bow pose is especially beneficial for those who work in front of a laptop/computer all day.
  • Place an exercise mat on the floor, and lie on your stomach with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Bend your knees and use both your hands to hold the ankles properly.
  • Inhale deeply and lift your chest off the ground. At the same time, pull both your legs upward from your ankles.
  • Arch your back, look straight ahead, and hold this position for 15―20 seconds as you breathe deeply.
  • Exhale and slowly bring your legs and chest back on the floor. Release the hold on your ankles and rest on your stomach for a few seconds before you repeat the pose.

Cardiovascular Exercises

In order to burn fat and tone muscles, weight training is essential. On the other hand, cardiovascular exercises help elevate your heart rate, burns fats, and works your muscles, all at the same time.
One of the key things to keep in mind while performing cardio exercises is that you need to reach your target heart rate. In order to calculate the low and high end of your personal target heart rate, perform a simple task.
  • For low target heart rate, subtract your age from 220, and multiply the result by .7.
  • For high target heart rate, subtract your age from 220, and multiply the result by .8.
Once you have your personal heart rate, it is essential that you stay on target for at least 20 minutes during the workout. But make sure you're not going overboard and working out too hard. This will only force your heart and lungs to work over time, which in fact is not a good idea.
Engage in fun and enjoyable cardio exercises such as cycling, running/jogging, swimming, aerobic dance, kickboxing, rowing, etc.
In order to continue on the path of getting tighter chest muscles, it is necessary to have a balanced diet. Include more meats, chicken, fish, and fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet. Drink adequate amount of water and sleep for at least 8 hours. Cut down or stop having junk food, alcohol, smoking, and aerated beverages for some time.
When you combine a healthy, nutritious diet with regular workouts, you are bound to see results in a short amount of time. Consult your physician and a professional fitness trainer before you start any diet program and workout routine, respectively.
Disclaimer: Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.