Reviewed by Louise Chang on January 16, 2012
Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH
© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Hi, I'm Dr. Pam Peeke. Got a bad case of chubby chest? Here are some terrific ways to strengthen and tone your upper body.
You'll need elastic tubing, hand weights, and a floor mat.
Make sure you have plenty of space to stretch your arms. Speaking of arms, how about a pec fly? Grab your tubing.
You're going to take both handles in one hand and the rest of the tubing in the other and give it a good stretch. Oh boy, that feels fantastic!
I feel it across my pec, how about you? Your goal is to do three sets of 10 repetitions. Now you can also do this with weights.
And it's easy. You simply pick up your weights, bring them up to shoulder level, and give someone a good hug. You've got bent elbows and you're giving it a good stretch.
And then back again. You got it. Let's try a pec press. Hold on to these weights and let's lie down on your exercise mat. Lay down on your back.
And now what we're going to be doing is putting our elbows to each side. Holding on to our weights, we're going to be pushing and pressing to the ceiling.
You want those palms facing away from you, and up we go. Now, as you reach the top, give those pecs a huge squeeze and then come down again. And when you do, don't touch the floor.
You want to maintain that tension all the time. And obviously, for people who are more trained, you want to take a heavier weight.
Your goal is three sets of 10 repetitions. Now I get to show you something that's way too much fun. It's working six muscles at one time.
It's called a push-up. Don't run away from me. It's not that hard. You can do it. I'll give you the beginner way and the advanced.
The first one involves bent knee push-ups. Now, put both hands to each side, about shoulder width, and keep your bent knees on the mat and your feet as well,
unless you want to lift them up and cross them. Either way is perfectly fine. Then you're simply going to take your entire body in a nice, straight line.
Watch out what's going on with your behind, here. Really, really contract those muscles. The gluteus, the abs -- you're engaging core at the same time --
your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and your pecs. And face down and come straight on up. If you could do only one of those, I'm so proud of you!
Because over time, you're going to work your way up to 10. If you're more advanced, well, you could do a straight-leg push-up, too.
How about we keep a nice, straight line all over again and take her down and up again.
Again, you're engaging all six muscles. Doesn't that feel good? If you could do one, I'm so proud of you. You're going to work your way up to 10 repetitions.
See, you can tone your chest. Right here in the comfort of your own home.
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