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10 Best Chest Exercises for Women for a Toned Upper Body

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Ladies, are you looking to achieve a sculpted and defined chest that will make heads turn? Well, look no further! The perfect combination of compound and isolation exercises is the key to unlocking your dream chest. Compound exercises like bench presses and push-ups engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, leading to overall strength development. Meanwhile, isolation exercises like a chest fly directly target the chest muscles, promoting muscle definition and toning. 

But wait, there’s more! Did you know that chest exercises can also play a crucial role in supporting breast health for women? By strengthening the muscles surrounding your breasts, particularly the pectoralis major, you can provide added support and stability to your breast tissue, potentially reducing the risk of sagging over time. So, let’s dive into these effective chest workouts and start building some serious strength. 

10 Best Chest Exercises for Women


Push-ups are a classic bodyweight exercise that primarily targets the pectoral major muscles (chest), deltoids (shoulders), and triceps (back of upper arms). This compound movement also engages the core muscles for stability and support and improves overall cardiovascular fitness.

Push-Ups for women


  1. Start off in a high plank position. Imagine you’re about to do a push-up. Your hands should be a bit wider than your shoulders, your arms fully stretched out, and your whole body forming a straight line from your head down to your heels.
  2. Now, let’s ease into it. Bend your elbows and lower your body down. Keep those elbows close to your sides as you go down. Go as low as you comfortably can, aiming to get your chest close to the ground.
  3. Once you’ve given your chest a brief hover, it’s time to push through your palms. Extend your arms fully to get back to that starting plank position. Feel that power in your arms as you straighten those elbows.
  4. Now, you’ve got the hang of it! Go ahead and repeat these steps for however many reps you’re aiming for.
Muscle Groups TargetedAdvice
Primary: Pectoral muscles, deltoids, triceps Secondary: Core muscles Focus on maintaining a neutral spine throughout the movement by engaging your core muscles.

Also Read:

Plank Shoulder Tap

The plank shoulder tap is a core-strengthening exercise that also engages the shoulders and triceps. This exercise challenges stability and balance while targeting the core muscles, making it an invaluable addition to your fitness routine.

women doing a Plank Shoulder Tap


  1. Start by getting into a plank position. Your hands should be right under your shoulders, and your body should form a nice straight line from your head down to your heels. 
  2. While you’re holding that plank, focus on keeping your hips nice and steady. Try not to let them sway or twist too much.
  3. Lift one hand off the ground and tap the opposite shoulder. It’s like giving yourself a little pat on the back but with some extra effort.
  4. Bring that hand back down to the starting position and do the same thing on the other side. Easy, right?
  5. Now, you’ve got the rhythm! Alternate sides, tapping those shoulders and keeping that plank position.
Muscle Groups TargetedAdvice
Primary: Core muscles (abdominal, obliques) Secondary: Shoulders, tricepsMaintain a strong plank position to target the shoulders and prevent excessive strain on the lower back.

Inclined Bench Press

The inclined bench press is a variation of the traditional bench press that targets the upper chest. By adjusting the bench to an incline, this exercise emphasises the clavicular head of the pectoral muscles more, leading to a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing chest appearance.

Inclined Bench Press


  1. First things first, set up your workout bench at an incline of about 30 to 45 degrees. This angle is going to give your chest muscles a real challenge.
  2. Now, lie back on a bench. Make sure your feet are planted firmly on the floor. Grab that barbell or dumbbell in your hands with a grip that’s a bit wider than your shoulders and your palms facing away from you.
  3. Lower that barbell dumbbell down towards the upper part of your chest. Keep your elbows at a comfortable 45-degree angle from your body. Feel that stretch in your chest as you bring it down.
  4. Now, it’s time to push that barbell or dumbbell back up. Straighten those arms and press that weight until you return to the starting position.
Muscle Groups Targeted:Advice:
Primary: Upper chest (clavicular head of the pectorals), shoulders, tricepsEnsure proper shoulder positioning and avoid arching your back for optimal results.

Also Read: 8 Best Incline Bench Press Alternatives

Ready to build a stronger, more confident you? Our team of professional trainers at PTSPOT is here to help you master the best chest exercises, providing expert guidance every step of the way. Contact us today.

Dumbbell Floor Press

The dumbbell floor press is a chest exercise that eliminates the leg drive often used in traditional bench presses, focusing solely on upper body strength and stability. This is particularly beneficial for individuals looking to strengthen the shoulder girdle.

women doing Dumbbell Floor Press


  1. Begin by lying flat on your back on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet firmly on the ground. This is your starting position.
  2. Pick up a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your elbows at a right angle so they’re resting on the floor beside you. Your palms should be facing forward.
  3. Time to get those arms moving! Press the dumbbells up towards the ceiling until your arms are fully straightened, but don’t lock out your elbows.
  4. Bring the dumbbells back down to the starting position, keeping your elbows bent at that 90-degree angle. 
  5. Control the movement as you lower the weights back towards the floor.
Muscle Groups Targeted:Advice:
Primary: Pectoral major, tricepsKeep your shoulder blades retracted and pressed into the floor throughout the exercise to stabilise the shoulders and prevent excessive strain.

Cross-body Bicep Curl

The cross-body bicep curl is a body workout that targets the biceps while also engaging the chest and shoulders. Crossing the arms over the body during the curling motion not only targets the biceps but also increases muscle activation, leading to greater strength and definition in the biceps.

Cross-body Bicep Curl


  1. Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, grab a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang down by your sides, keeping your palms facing forward.
  2. Pick one dumbbell; it doesn’t matter which one to start with. Curl it up and across your body towards the opposite shoulder. As you lift, give your palm a little twist. 
  3. ow, don’t drop it down! Lower the dumbbell back down to where you started. Do it with some control, feeling those muscles working on the way down.
  4. Now, switch to the opposite arm and curl it across towards the opposite shoulder. Keep that rhythm going.
Muscle Groups Targeted:Advice:
Primary: Biceps Secondary: Chest, shouldersKeep your elbows close to your body and focus on squeezing the biceps as you curl the weights across your body.

Downward Dog

Downward dog is a yoga pose that combines full-body stretch and strength-building elements. It involves lifting the hips towards the ceiling, forming an inverted V shape, and elongating the spine. It also promotes spinal alignment and improves posture.

Downward Dog


  1. Start off on your hands and knees, like a tabletop. Make sure your wrists are right under your shoulders and your knees are positioned under your hips.
  2. Lift your hips toward the sky, straightening your arms and legs. Your body should end up forming a cool, inverted V shape.
  3. While you’re in this V shape, press your chest toward your thighs. Let your head hang freely between your arms.
  4. Keep those heels reaching down towards the ground. At the same time, let your shoulders relax away from your ears.
  5. Hang out in this position for a bit – aim for around 30 seconds to a minute. Breathe deeply and focus on stretching and lengthening your spine.
Muscle Groups Targeted:Advice:
Primary: Chest, shoulders, arms, back Secondary: HamstringsPress your palms firmly into the ground and actively push your hips towards the ceiling to deepen the stretch.

Chest Press

The chest press, commonly performed on a machine or with a set of dumbbells, targets the upper chest, shoulders, and back of the arms. It mimics the motion of pushing, making it an effective exercise for upper body strength and muscle development.

chest press for women


  1. Find a comfy spot – either sitting or lying down – on a bench or machine. Plant your feet firmly on the ground for stability.
  2. Grab the handles or dumbbells with your palms facing away from you. Bend those elbows to a right angle, forming a classic 90-degree look.
  3. Press those handles or dumbbells forward, stretching your arms until they’re completely straight. But there’s no need to lock out that elbow.
  4. Don’t rush it! Bring those handles or dumbbells back to where you started while maintaining that cool control.
  5. You’ve got the rhythm now. Repeat this whole process.
Muscle Groups Targeted:Advice:
Primary: Pectoral major, deltoids, tricepsKeep your shoulder blades retracted and stabilise your core throughout the exercise.

Lying Chest Fly

The lying chest fly is a quintessential isolation exercise that targets the chest while also engaging the deltoids and biceps. It involves a controlled motion of opening and closing the arms, mimicking the movement of hugging a large barrel.

Lying Chest Fly


  1. Start by lying flat on an exercise bench. Plant your feet flat on the floor and grab a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Hold those dumbbells directly above your chest, with your palms facing each other. Make sure there’s a slight bend in your elbows to avoid any strain.
  3. Now, slowly lower the dumbbells out to the sides in a wide arc. Keep that slight bend in your elbows as you go.
  4. Don’t rush it! Keep the movement nice and controlled as you lower the dumbbells. Stop when your elbows are in line with your shoulders or just a tad below.
  5. Press them up to the starting position, focusing on squeezing your chest muscles together at the top.
Muscle Groups Targeted:Advice:
Primary: Pectoral major muscles Secondary: Shoulders, bicepsFocus on a slow and controlled movement, emphasising the stretch in your chest muscles as you lower the dumbbells out to the sides.

Cable Crossover

The cable crossover is a chest exercise performed using a cable machine that targets the pectorals while also engaging the shoulder, chest, and arms. It involves crossing the hands over the body in a hugging motion to create resistance. It helps correct muscle imbalances and enhances overall chest symmetry, contributing to a more aesthetic physique.

women performing a cable crossover


  1. First, stand right in the middle of a cable machine, where there’s a pulley on each side, and make sure those pulleys are set up high.
  2. Reach out and grab the handles, ensuring your palms are facing down. Take a step forward to feel a bit of that good tension in the cables.
  3. Now, with a little bend in those elbows, start bringing your hands together. Feel that squeeze in your muscles.
  4. Keep your chest up, and don’t forget to engage your core.
  5. Time to ease back into the starting position. Let your arms open up, returning to where you began.
Muscle Groups Targeted:Advice:
Primary: Pectoral major muscles Secondary: Shoulders, armsFocus on squeezing your chest at the midpoint of the exercise for maximum contraction.

Boost your metabolism and burn more calories with chest exercises designed for women! Contact PTSPOT and start your transformation today.

Chest Squeeze

The chest squeeze exercise targets the inner chest muscle using a resistance band. It involves bringing the hands together in front of the body against resistance, effectively engaging the chest muscles. It aids women to build strength in the muscles surrounding the breasts, enhancing their firmness and overall health.


  1. Initially, stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hold a resistance band or handles attached to a chest press machine in the middle of your chest.
  2. Now, with a slight bend in your elbows, bring your hands together in front of you.
  3. Pause for a moment at the peak of your squeeze. Focus on really contracting those chest muscles.
  4. Slowly release that tension and return to your initial position.
  5. Repeat these steps for as much reps as you’d like. 
Muscle Groups Targeted:Advice:
Primary: Pectoral major and shoulders (deltoids)Squeeze your chest muscles together forcefully as you bring your hands closer, focusing on the mind-muscle connection.

Benefits of Chest Workouts for Women

Chest workouts offer numerous benefits for women of all ages and fitness levels beyond just aesthetics. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Stronger Upper Body: Chest workouts are fantastic for building up and toning the chest muscles, which are key for pushing motions. Strengthening these muscles improves overall upper body strength, making everyday activities easier and enhancing performance in other exercises and sports.
  2. Better Posture: If your shoulders are slouching forward from sitting too long, chest exercises can help fix that. They work on the muscles in your chest, upper back, and shoulders, pulling everything back into alignment. It’s like giving your posture a friendly reminder to stand tall and proud.
  3. Breast Support: While chest exercises won’t magically change your breast size, they support the surrounding tissue. Strengthening your chest muscles can give your breasts a perkier look and feel, which is always a plus!
  4. Balanced Muscles: It’s all about symmetry! Ignoring your chest muscles can lead to imbalances, throwing off your overall body shape and posture. Giving your chest some love ensures your upper body stays in harmony with the rest.
  5. Faster Metabolism: Who doesn’t want a metabolism boost? Chest workouts, along with other strength training, help build muscle. Since muscles burn more calories than fat, having more muscle means your body constantly works harder, even when you’re just chilling out. It’s like turning up the heat on your body’s calorie-burning furnace!
  6. Confidence Booster: There’s something incredibly empowering about feeling strong and capable. Progress in your strength and muscle tone can boost your confidence and how you feel about your body. So, not only do chest workouts make you physically stronger, but they also make you feel like a total boss!

Common Misconceptions about Chest Exercises for Women

Many misconceptions surround chest exercises for women, often leading to them being avoided altogether. Here are some of the most common myths and the reality behind them:

  1. Worrying About Getting Too Muscular: You might have heard that doing chest exercises will make you bulky, but that’s not entirely true for most women. Our bodies don’t produce as much testosterone as men do, so it’s much harder for us to bulk up like they do. Instead, these exercises help shape and tone your chest muscles, giving you a more defined look without adding a ton of mass.
  2. Thinking Chest Workouts Shrink Breasts: It’s a common myth that doing chest exercises will make your breasts smaller or saggy. But these workouts can support the tissue around your breasts, making them look perkier. Your breast size is mostly determined by genetics and overall body composition, so don’t worry about losing volume from chest exercises.
  3. Feeling Less Feminine: Some women worry that having a strong chest will make them look less feminine. A toned chest enhances your overall appearance, giving you a more balanced and confident look. Feeling strong and empowered is definitely feminine!
  4. Believing Cardio is the Only Fat Loss Solution: While cardio is great for burning calories and improving cardiovascular health, it’s not the only solution for fat loss. Strength training, like chest exercises, is crucial for building muscle, which boosts your metabolism and helps you burn fat even when you’re not working out. 

From improved posture and enhanced confidence, the benefits of chest workouts for women extend far beyond aesthetics. Remember, progress is a journey that demands time and precise form. At PTSPOT, our trainers are committed to crafting a tailored workout plan, specifically addressing your chest areas and adjusting to your fitness level. With us, you’ll receive ongoing support, accountability, and expertise to help you maximise your chest workout results and achieve your fitness aspirations.

Prioritise your health and well-being! Contact us today to begin your journey into chest exercises – a perfect opportunity to invest in yourself.


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