Informal Pectoral Gathering

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When most of us take part in a new exercise program, we often have a list of priorities in which muscles we spend the most time on or what muscles we always work first.  Along with falling into “comfort zones” by slowly becoming complacent and losing sight of our original goals, we often overlook key body parts which inhibit our ability to make the most out of our time in the gym.   One muscle group which humors me on both sides of the “male/female” fence is the utilization of our pectoral muscles; Pectoralis major and minor, or upper and lower chest. 

With my male clients, working the chest is normally a large part of their weekly routine.  Men are often trying to avoid the “feminine” look as their chest grows with body fat so working the chest muscles help to tighten and tone these areas.  Also, it’s known, universally, that a man’s strength is judged by how much he bench presses!  Silly as that sounds, it’s true! 

My female clients, on the other hand, often avoid working their chest for fear of gaining muscle and reducing the obvious area they wish to keep.  Although they often ask me "how do I get rid of this here?"  “This” being that little bit of fat that builds up in the armpit.  While spot reduction is impossible, (targeting an area for fat loss), strengthening and building lean muscle in this area is not.  We now can create more lean and shapely muscle.  Keep in mind that the way I would train a client is dependent on the goal.  If one’s goal were to increase size and strength in the chest, this would greatly differ from that of a client whose goal was to maintain muscle while using that muscle to firm and support the surrounding area.  Ahead, the workouts specified, will be designed to challenge existing muscle tissue, making our chest stronger but denser.  Increased density means a smaller but more powerful muscle, not bigger and bulkier.  Just like a broken record spitting out the same jargon, the larger the muscle worked, the more calories you burn using it!  Not to mention the residual calories you will burn while the muscle heals.  Remember my role.  I’m here, as your personal trainer, to get you to your goals in the shortest amount of time!

Not to leave out my guys for they too can a great workout with what’s ahead, but our focus at this time will be designed for attaining a feminine attractive chest that defies gravity! 

Elevated Standard Push-Up (Level 1)                                                                                       
• Start with feet together and hands just outside shoulder width
• With hands on back of couch or coffee table for added resistance, complete standard push up
• Complete push-ups for time, starting with 30 seconds up to 2 minutes
• Complete 3 to 5 sets

Standard Push-Up (Level 2)
• At floor level, start with feet together and hands just outside shoulder width
• Keeping your back straight and starting with elbows slightly bent, lower body till arms are at 90 degrees
• Complete push-ups for time, starting with 30 seconds up to 2 minutes
• Complete 3 to 5 sets

Balance Ball Push-up (Level 3)
• Start with feet together although to assess balance, begin with feet apart as necessary
• Keep hands in neutral position on either side of balance ball
• With a straight back, complete 6 to 14 repetitions
• Complete 3 to 5 sets

Alternating Medicine Ball Push-up (Level 4)
• Start with feet together although to assess balance, begin with feet apart as necessary
• With one hand on the ground and one hand on medicine ball, complete standard push-up
• Roll medicine ball to opposite hand and repeat
• Complete 6 to 14 repetitions
• Complete 3 to 5 sets
*Come up to a side plank with hand on medicine ball for an added challenge!*