Boost your bust in 6 moves

Put your best chest forward with this bust-boosting, posture-improving routine.
© MSN Healthy Living // © MSN Health

By Martica Heaner, M.A., M.Ed., for MSN Healthy Living

You don’t need pricey plastic surgery to create a better-looking bust. You can get an au naturel lift with our six easy exercises. As well as targeting chest muscles that surround and support your breasts, you’ll hone in on postural muscles in your back and shoulders.The secret to making your breasts pop is to improve your posture by strengthening muscles like the deltoids in the back of your shoulders, and the rhomboids and lats in your upper back.

You’ll need weights, a stability ball and a resistance band. Choose a weight that is heavy enough to challenge your target muscles, but not so heavy that your joints feel strained. Start with 5- to 8-pound dumbbells and gradually work up to using 6 to 20 pounds. Do this work-out two to three times a week, with a rest day in between. Perform one set of eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise, and work up to doing three sets of eight to 12 reps.

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Start: Roll up a small towel lengthwise and lie on top of it so that is fills up the space between the curve of your lower back and the floor. Bend your knees, feet flat, and hold a weight in each hand, palms facing in. Bend your elbows at 90-degree angles out to the sides, inline with your shoulders.
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Finish: Tighten your chest muscles to push the weights straight up, palms facing each other. Extend your arms completely so that they are vertical, hands above your ribcage, not your face. Bend your elbows out to the sides and repeat. 
Common Error: Locking the elbows
Fit Fix: Straighten your elbows as you push up without pushing to the end of the range of motion in the joint. Keep the elbows straight, but “soft.”
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START: Lie face down on a stability ball and position your hips and ribcage on top of the ball. Open your legs into a wide straddle and tuck your toes into the floor for support. Place your hands on the floor in front of your shoulders, and hold a light weight in your right hand, palm facing in. Straighten your back by lifting your ribs slightly.
Technique Tip: Look down, not forward, to prevent your neck from arching.
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FINISH: Balancing on your toes and left hand, open your right arm straight out to the side, lifting the weight to shoulder level, palm facing the floor. Feel your shoulder blade flatten to your back. Hold, then lower slowly and repeat. Then switch sides.
Safety Tip: Feel the back of your shoulder control this movement and keep the grip on your weight light.
Common Error: Head droop
Fit Fix: Tighten your butt and back muscles and tuck your chin into your neck without lowering your head to keep your spine straight.
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START: Lie on your stomach with your legs extended and prop yourself up on your forearms. Lower your shoulders. Pull your abs in away from the floor to engage the muscles in your entire torso, then raise your hips off the floor, then raise one knee at a time off the floor until you are in a raised plank position supported on your hands and toes. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe. Make sure that your hips don’t sag or pike up. Breathe normally. Hold, then rest and repeat.
Technique Tip: Open your legs wider apart if you feel unstable.
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FINISH: Without letting your torso tilt, raise one hand an inch off the floor. Then place it back flat. Then raise your other hand an inch off the floor. Continue alternating hand lifts, then drop your entire body down and rest.
Safety Tip: If your lower back hurts, build up to this exercise by first doing it resting on your knees with just your hips and torso raised.
Common Error: Struggling to lift the hand, then slamming it down when you switch sides
Fit Fix: Focus on keeping your core completely stable and begin moving your hands in a very small range of motion. Aim to lift each arm with minimum movement in the rest of your body.
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START: Lie face down on a stability ball with your chest, abdomen and hips on top of the ball. Open your legs into a wide straddle and tuck your toes under to grip the floor. Hold a weight in each hand, palms facing in, and open your arms about shoulder-width apart, weights resting on the floor in front of the ball. 
Technique Tip: Hold your chest up slightly to avoid slumping over the ball.
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FINISH: Look down without dropping your head below your shoulders. Pull your elbows up, just past your waist. Feel the shoulder blades move together and the muscles in the back of your waist tighten. Squeeze your butt to stay stable. Slowly lower the weights out in front of the ball and repeat.
Safety Tip: If your lower back feels strained, rest one hand on the floor and lift one arm at a time.
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Start: Lie back with your lower back positioned on top of a small towel rolled up lengthwise. If your back feels like it’s pushed up, make the towel-width smaller. Bend your knees, feet flat, and hold a weight in each hand straight above your ribcage, palms facing in. Extend your right leg straight out, away from your right hip, and tighten your abs to keep your body stable. 
Technique Tip: Raise your leg to a more vertical position, or bend your knee and bring your thigh closer to your chest, if you feel strain in your lower back.
10 of 14 Photo by Lynda Churilla for MSN Healthy Living