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Bust Exercises

Matt Danielsson
Woman doing cable crossover flyes

Many women ask about good bust exercises, hoping to either renew or improve what is currently there. While the bust itself is hard to address, you can do a lot with the underlying muscle tissue. This, in turn, can provide a noticeable effect in a relatively short time.

What To Expect

Women on the small side and those who have had babies or are feeling certain loss of firmness in this area due to age are prime candidates for this type of training. However, it is important that you set your expectations in the realm of reality. Again, you're working on the foundation propping up what you already have, not plastic surgery sans scalpels.

One area to focus on in particular is the lower portion of the pectoralis major muscle. That's the main chest muscle that feels like a large triangle from your shoulder to center chest when you are pushing against something. You can train different sections of this muscle by simply choosing effective, angled exercises, such as those outlined below. By making the lower portion larger (which you most likely can't even see), you effectively angle up and out anything covering it, creating an illusion of greater size and firmness.

Bust Exercises

So, without further ado, let's look at a few exercises that target this area.


If you're not an experienced weight lifter, I recommend using an assisted dip machine (with a little pad where you can place your knees and get an extra boost) or a seated dip machine (stationary seat with handles on the sides). Adjust the handles to about shoulder width and assume the starting position by hoisting yourself up so that you support your bodyweight on your hands (handles in bottom position in the seated dip machine).

To exercise, lean forward slightly and slowly bend your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Make a distinct turn and push yourself back up to the starting position. Avoid any swaying or jerking motions, and be careful not to overstretch your shoulders at the bottom; there's little benefit and a lot more risk for your shoulder joints once you pass the turning point outlined above.

Decline Dumbbell Presses

Choose a workout bench with adjustable back and flip it down 10-20 degrees, so your head is lower than your hips. These benches often have padded rolls for the back of your knees; use them, as you'll be more stable this way. Grab two dumbbells and hold them straight up, just like you would do normal dumbbell presses.To exercise, lower the dumbbells to the bottom of your ribcage, get a good stretch and push up to the starting position. Keep your elbows towards your body rather than way out to the sides and focus on pushing with the lower part of the chest.

Cable Crossover Flyes

Attach handles to the upper pulleys in a cable cross machine and hold one handle in each hand in the middle. Take a step forward with one leg a little in front of the other (alternate between sets). Posture is important; keep your back straight and your abs tense the whole time. To exercise, bring your hands together down in front of you (about 45 degree angle) and a little beyond, so that your arms cross each other a little. No swaying or jerking motions. Slow and controlled motions with light to moderate weights tend to work best; focus on getting a good burn in the lower chest.

Stair Push ups

Finally, a low-tech but effective exercise: Stand at the bottom of a straight staircase and lean forward with your palms against a step (body at 45 degree angle, hands at about bottom of your ribcage in the bottom position). Keeping your body straight and your abs tense, simply do push ups like you normally would except keep your mental focus on lower chest and purposefully keep your elbows a little closer to the body than you normally would.

In Closing

There are plenty more good bust exercises out there, but these are among the easiest to learn while being quite effective. All of the exercises above assume that you're warmed up and have a good idea of how to perform the exercises; ask a personal trainer for help if you're uncertain or feel uncomfortable doing them. Good luck!

Bust Exercises