Firm Chest, Beautiful Breasts

"We must, we must, we must increase our bust!" Remember that middle-school mantra, and the ridiculous "exercise" that accompanied it—elbows bent like chicken wings, pumping back and forth, back and forth? Lot of good that did any of our 13-year-old chests: We all got what Mother Nature intended, whether it was a perky petite pair or a full buxom set.

That's because, of course, there's not one iota of muscle tissue in human breasts. They're made up of fat, milk ducts and lobules, connective tissue, lymph nodes, and blood vessels—none of which respond to being "trained." The only ways to make your breasts bigger are to get pregnant (most women go up at least a cup size when they're expecting, and even more if they nurse their babies), a fix that's temporary; or to get implants, a solution that can be permanent but is fraught with potential problems.

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I don't mean to deflate your hopes of enhancing your chest. Even though you can't increase the size of your breasts themselves, you can make them more attractive. For starters, you can develop the muscles that lie behind your ladies—your pectoralis major and minor—with pressing exercises. There's just one caveat: "You have to balance the presses with rowing exercises that strengthen your mid-back. If you don't, you'll develop a forward posture that will make your boobs look droopy," explains Look Better Naked workout designer Rachel Cosgrove.

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For that reason, the primary goal of this workout has less to do with what's up front than what's in back: "When you stand up straight and pull your shoulders back, your breasts immediately perk up," says Cosgrove. So here you'll find moves that will strengthen your back and shoulder muscles, as well as your core. If your torso is strong, solid, and erect, your breasts will have a nice "shelf " to sit atop. In addition to the muscle-building moves, there's a stretch for your chest muscles that will allow them to work through a full range of motion.

Before we get to work, let's go over an important fringe benefit of this routine—namely, the improvement it will make to your posture.

Maybe your stance isn't a priority when you hit the gym—good posture, like the instructions that came with your cell phone, usually gets filed away in a bottom drawer somewhere. But it's something worth thinking about, whether you're standing in a line, sitting on a couch, or, worst of all, working at a desk. Why is that last one so problematic? The average human head weighs 8 pounds. If your chin drifts forward just 3 inches—as it tends to when you stare at a computer—the muscles of your neck, shoulders, and upper back must support the equivalent of 11 pounds. That's a weight-bearing increase of 38 percent, often for hours at a time, and your body compensates by letting you slouch forward and round your shoulders. If you're not careful, that becomes a permanent adjustment.

Not only does good posture make you look taller and slimmer, it also improves your energy and digestion. "When you slouch, less oxygen makes it to your muscles, and the blood flow to your gut is impaired, causing indigestion. You also get headaches from cramped neck muscles and, frankly, look lousy," says chiropractor Drew DeMann of Manhattan Spine and Sports Medicine. The spine is your body's shock absorber; let ting it slump causes imbalances, forcing the muscles and ligaments in your neck, shoulders, back, and legs to compensate. Hunching can also affect your health: A 2007 study done at the University of Leeds in England found a link between muscles in the neck and a part of the brain stem that regulates blood pressure and heart rate. There's more: Rounding your back presses the rib cage and internal organs against your lungs, keeping them from expanding efficiently. The result: Less oxygen gets to your muscles. None of which, of course, will help your boobs look better. Whether your goal is to prive your pair or to look and feel better all over, here's a 3-week plan that will help you achieve your goals.

Check out 6 more ways to polish your posture.

Push Up-Position Row
1. Get into a pushup position, with a dumbbell in each hand. (Hexagonal dumbbells work best, as their sides provide a sturdy bas)

Firm Chest, Beautiful Breasts

Movement
1. Keep your body in a straight line while you lower yourself toward the floor to do a pushup.
2. As you return to the starting position, pull the dumbbell in your right hand from the floor in a rowing motion until it reaches your torso.
3. Return the weight to the floor, do another pushup, and then do a row with your left arm. Continue to alternate arms for the designated number of reps.

Alternating Incline Dumbbell Chest Press

1. Lie on a Swiss ball with your hips unsupported, which will force you to contract your butt and leg muscles.
2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand alongside your breasts. Push them straight up, keeping your core flexed as you do so.

Firm Chest, Beautiful Breasts

Movement
1. Lower the right dumbbell until it's even with your breast.
2. Perform a chest press to bring it back alongside the other dumbbell, and then switch and repeat with your left arm.

Firm Chest, Beautiful Breasts

Split Stance Single-Arm Row
1. Face a high cable pulley with a handle attached. Stand in a split stance with your left foot in front of your right. Grasp the handle with your right hand. Position your body so that your arm is fully extended at shoulder height and the desired weight is barely separated from the rest of the stack.

Firm Chest, Beautiful Breasts

Movement
1. Keeping your elbow close to your body and your shoulders down, pull the cable to the right side of your right breast, use your back muscles to squeeze your shoulder blades together.
2. Pause, and then slowly extend your arm to the starting position, resisting the load along the way. Repeat for the designated repetitions and then switch arms.

Firm Chest, Beautiful Breasts

Chest Stretch Position

Firm Chest, Beautiful Breasts

1. With your right palm and forearm firmly against a wall or doorway and your elbow at a 90-degree angle, walk or lean your torso forward to stretch your chest. Repeat on the opposite side.

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