Looking for a way to firm, lift and tighten your natural assets without surgery? Perk up, ladies. Where there’s a workout will, there’s a way. It turns out there are plenty of exercises that target specific muscle groups responsible for supporting the bust — train these and you’re bound for a noticeable boost where it counts most.
The key is not only to choose the appropriate moves but to also challenge yourself with enough resistance or counterweight to make an actual impact. Don’t be too concerned with overly “bulking up.” Instead, aim for enough reps to build muscle, and not simply breeze through the routines.
How to Make Breasts Perkier
Exercises for breast tightening can definitely be achieved using standard equipment or simply leveraging your own body weight — making them perfect for gym rats and homebodies alike. Breasts will appear perkier because by strengthening specific core muscles, you’ll be naturally refining and enhancing your upper body’s shape.
To maximize results, try various combinations of our eight favorite breast-tightening exercises at least twice a week:
1. Push Ups for Breast Lift
Tried-and-true is the ever-popular pushup. This workout expressly builds the pectorals, in addition to other muscle groups, and is definitely a challenge. Start out by doing them on your knees, then work your way into a proper plank position. With time (and some serious hustle) you can even try them single-handedly.
Start by lowering yourself into a plank position with hands spread apart slightly wider than your shoulders. Bend your elbows as you slowly lower your chest as close to the ground as possible, remembering to keep elbows tucked close to the body. Extend arms back up to starting position and repeat. The goal? Three sets of as many reps as you can handle.
2. Dumbbell Chest Press
A dumbbell chest press is an enhanced-impact workout that relies on an increased range of motion. Use a moderate weight of between 10-15 lbs. in each hand to start off; increase your difficulty level by performing these presses on a 15- to 30-degree incline. Sounds steep, but obviously there is a payoff — and it lies in a perkier bust over time.
Begin by sitting down on the edge of a bench while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Lower your back until you’re lying flat, keeping knees locked and your feet on the floor. As you lift the weights, go from arms bent at the elbows to to straight up and fully extended, pause, then slowly reset to your starting position. Aim for three sets of 10 to 12 reps each.
3. Dumbbell Chest Fly
Considering it’s pectoral muscles we’re most set on strengthening, the dumbbell chest fly ranks high on this fitness list. Once you’ve mastered the motion, try it on a stability ball, which will also engage the core for maximum impact.
Lie down faceup on either a bench or a ball with your feet flat on the ground. With a dumbbell in each hand and a slight bend in the elbows, raise arms up above your shoulders, then lower the weights in an arc out to the sides until elbows are level with your chest. Press back up again to return to your starting position. You’ll want to perform around three sets of these, at a frequency of 10 to 12 reps each.
4. Cable Crossover
A bonus for your bustline, cable crossover exercises engage every chest muscle by strength-training them all at once and with equal resistance. Cables can be found at most gyms, plus they’re a relatively inexpensive purchase for at-home use.
Get into the starting position by standing with the pulleys to either side of you, then step forward while extending arms up to grab and pull the handles down in front of you. Slowly and with focused control, raise arms up and out to the sides with a slight bend in the elbows. Pause once arms are completely outstretched, then repeat for three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
5. Dumbbell Pullover
To activate smaller chest muscles — some you didn’t even know you had — up your workout ante with dumbbell pulldowns, which can be done on a bench or a stability ball.
Start with a dumbbell in each hand or consolidate the heft into one single weight, depending on your preference. Lie back on a bench or a ball with knees at a 90-degree angle and arms straightened up above your chest. Keeping your core tightly engaged, lower outstretched arms behind your head, then pause when arms are parallel to your body. Return to the starting position and repeat for three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
6. Dumbbell Rows
Certainly, firming the chest will result in a lifted look, but keep in mind that strengthening the upper back can be just as effective. By bettering overall posture, allowing you to stand up straighter, you’ll achieve the bust enhancement you seek — and the dumbbell row is a great way to reach this goal.
With knees slightly bent, lower your torso until almost parallel with the ground. Using an overhand grip, hold a pair of dumbbells with arms down and full extended. Next, lift the dumbbells up to your chest with elbows bent, engaging back and shoulder muscles rather than the biceps, then slowly lower down. Repeat this routine for three sets of 10 to 12 reps each.
Give thanks to the plank — after all, this static exercise is among the most challenging and conquering it builds both upper body and core strength. You can always try variations on the theme, such as traveling and reach-under planks, which add dynamic movement to the mix for even more impact.
For a standard plank hold, assume a push-up position with hands extended to support shoulders and a stable head and neck. Tighten core muscles to create a level lower back. Engage one side of your body at a time by “traveling,” which simply means stepping a hand and foot outward repeatedly in the same direction. A “reach-under” involves lifting one hand off the ground and tapping it against your opposite knee, before reengaging in the static plank. For each exercise, aim for three sets of 10 to 12 reps per side.
8. Russian Twists
Finally, target the obliques to strengthen the spine, build balance and shape the midsection with a Russian twist — considered the ultimate “total core exercise.”