BREAST EXERCISE (Oct, 1965)
The troth about breast size and fraudulent claims to increase it.
by Jon Willand, M.A.
A number of sensational magazines carry advertisements promising increased bust size through the use of exercise courses or equipment. Increases in the size of the breasts, rib cage and pectoral (breast) muscles are often promised. These promises must be viewed with caution.
The breasts themselves are mammary (milk-producing) glands surrounded by fat. Since they contain no muscle tissue, they cannot be developed by exercise.
The rib cage also poses problems. Theoretically, through the use of stretching-type exercises, the rib cage will be stretched and growth will occur at the ends of the ribs where they join the breast bone.
The writer has known of a few physically mature men who attained significant long term increases in rib cage size. These cases aside, it is very seldom indeed that men or women can honestly report such rib cage gains as a result of exercise.
The most promising method is to raise the breasts to greater prominence by developing the underlying pectoral or breast muscles. The pectorals are used powerfully in push-ups, pull-ups, throwing, serving in tennis, certain swimming strokes, and movements in which the arms are drawn from the sides to a position in front of the chest. Progressive resistance exercise with dumbbells seems to bring the fastest results.
With a moderate amount of exercise, muscle tone will be increased, giving a slight improvement to the appearance of the breasts. (A general exercise program will also improve posture, and with it the bust. Women need not fear development of the rugged muscular appearance which is a secondary sexual characteristic of men.) Development of the pectoral muscles generally does not come quickly. Though there are a few “easy gainers,” so called because they add muscle quickly, most subjects do not make large gains and they are not quick enough or spectacular enough for those with high hopes. Though a general program for the whole body can be done in as little as three hour-long workouts per week, it takes months, even years, of regular exercise to develop the pectorals. Few women will make the effort.
Health studios often report impressive bust gains, particularly in their advertising. Aside from outright lies about the actual gains and the alleged time intervals between “before” and “after” photos, many errors are made in measurement. It is very common, for example, for slick operators to put more tension on the tape measure in the “before” measurement than in the “after.”
To control this, a special tape measure with a calibrated tension spring should be used and the subject to be measured should stand erect, take the deepest possible breath and hold it. Despite these precautions, the measurement may still be deceptive.
An easy way for health studios to guarantee an increased “bust” measurement is to develop the muscles of the back. Particularly concerned are the latissimus dorsi muscles that extend from below the shoulder blades to the side— these are involved when the arms pull downward from an overhead position, as in a chin-up. Taking these factors into consideration, a woman should select a reputable health studio.
In summary, a woman who seeks to develop her breasts through exercise cannot expect to change the glands themselves or do much with her rib cage. With a little work she can improve her posture and muscle tone, which will improve the appearance of her bust. With regular exercise she can make some gains in her pectoral muscles and display her breasts more prominently. If she seeks fast or effortless gains, she is doomed to disappointment.