Pectoral workouts are very common in a man’s workout routine but it seems like a lot of females ignore strengthening this muscle. “‘There is a bit of a misconception that, since we have breasts, we don’t need to train pecs,’ says Kourtney Thomas, C.S.C.S. But don’t be fooled. Training the pecs is just as important for you as it is for your male counterpart. So if you’ve been neglecting those muscles, it’s time to give them some love. Here, experts explain why they’re worthy of your attention.”
Working out your pecs have tremendous benefits for women. Not only do most chest workouts build your pecs but they also bring a bunch of the surrounding muscles into action—like the shoulders, back, and triceps—which makes any chest exercise a wonderful all-over upper-body movement. Many choose not to workout their pecs because they are worried it will make their breast smaller. However, it actually has the opposite effect! Chest exercises are almost like a non-surgical method of breast augmentation. You are pushing the breast tissue up and forward more. This gives the illusion that your breasts are bigger. Also, adding muscle to your chest helps elevate your breasts like how a push-up bra would. So, in turn, adding muscle beneath the actual breast tissue doesn’t take away from the breast tissue itself.
A very important benefit to doing arm workouts is it can improve your posture! As we get older, many of us get lazy and begin to slump. Especially while sitting in front of our computers and television screens. The pecs play an important role in maintaining posture and upright stability, namely by supporting the scapula and the shoulder joint itself. “Every muscle that surrounds the scapula and shoulder is going to be important for stabilizing those joints,” says Joel Seedman, Ph.D., exercise physiologist and owner of Advanced Human Performance. “If one gets weaker, then you will have offset tension across the joints.” If one muscle becomes overly shortened or lengthened, the pecs will not be able to do their job properly. The biggest culprit of shortening is that pesky computer. When you slouch over it all day, you simultaneously shorten your chest muscle fibers and lengthen your back ones. Yikes! But there is hope! The step you can take to help counteract that is by trying to perform a basic chest exercise two times per week for three sets of six to ten repetitions. Another benefit, when you fix your posture you are also opening up your chest. This makes it easier to take deep, quality breaths. The pectoral minor is especially helpful, as the smaller, triangular muscle attaches at the middle of your third, fourth, and fifth ribs. Any time you breath in, the pectoral minor actually stretches, allowing your rib cage to expand. Seedman says, “If the pec muscles are overly shortened, then breathing will be significantly impaired because you’re not going to be able to open up the diaphragm. But if you’re lengthening those chest fibers, breathing and the ability to improve oxygenation to all your muscles is going to be greatly improved.”
Pecs are important to build not only to look good but also great just to do daily activities such as loading grocery bags into the house, pushing open a heavy door, or lugging a suitcase around an airport. Pretty much any upper-body activity or motion that we do involves the pectoral muscles to a significant degree.From a functional standpoint, you’ll make your day-to-day way easier if you regularly train these chest muscles.