Pectoral training for women. Is it possible? Is it really necessary? The answer is yes. Hidden by the chest, the pectoral muscles are often neglected, feared as impossible to maintain. And yet, the musculation of the pectoral muscles has many virtues.
WHAT ARE THE PECTORAL MUSCLES USED FOR?
The pectoral muscles are located at the level of the thorax. Two muscles form the pectorals: the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. They allow adduction, flexion of the arms and antepulsion in particular. To perform most arm movements, the pectorals act in relation with other muscles of the upper body such as the deltoids, the subclavian or the triceps.
The pectorals are solicited daily by all types of actions and all types of movements that we perform: putting away groceries, carrying children, playing sports, opening a door, etc. There is no difference, therefore, between men and women, both genders need pectorals to perform these movements.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES FOR WOMEN TO BUILD UP THEIR PECTORAL MUSCLES?
We notice that women have a pronounced appetite and motivation to work the lower body (legs, buttocks, abdominal muscles) and the abdominal belt. This is to the detriment of the rest of the body, under the pretext that an upper body figure is not in harmony with the image that a woman should give. If you don’t want to gain mass, we still suggest that you work on your pectorals in depth.
Maintaining your pecs will help you gain balance and posture. With muscular pecs, your back will be more toned. The scapular belt will be better fixed. Thus, no more back problems or shoulder contractures.
Moreover, muscular pectorals will also give a more shapely appearance to your chest, since the pectorals support them. There is no risk of looking like a man by building up your pectoral muscles: it is impossible to gain as much muscle mass as a man because the physiology of men and women is different.
A LITTLE PRACTICE: 3 EFFECTIVE AND QUICK EXERCISES TO DO EVERY DAY
It’s not just about doing push-ups, but varying the exercises to work all the muscle fibers.
INCLINED BENCH PRESS
A typical upper body exercise, the incline bench press will allow you to work the upper part of your pectoral muscles and thus solicit every muscle. If you are a beginner in this exercise, start with 5 sets of 5 reps, then keep the 5 sets by increasing the number of reps per set as you go along. If you are at a more advanced level, opt for 8 sets of 10 reps with 4kg dumbbells.
Push-ups are easy to do anywhere. With push-ups, you will be able to build up your pectoral muscles in their entirety. Start with 3 sets of 5 repetitions or 3 sets of 10 repetitions depending on your level, to be performed with your knees on the ground or in the classic way on the tip of your feet, with your hands still anchored in the ground. With this exercise, you will have to keep a sheathed posture to the maximum in order to avoid digging your back and thus, avoid an injury. You can vary the position of the hands: directed towards the inside, towards the outside. You can also vary the distance between the hands: close together, far apart, etc.
More complex but complementary to the two previous exercises, butterflies (which you can perform with the machine of the same name) will make you work the central and upper part of the pectorals and thus gain more mass. Opt for 5 series of 15 repetitions with dumbbells of 3 kg minimum.