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For men, the chest-to-waist ratio is a strong measure of attractiveness. Many believe that the opposite sex finds the most attractive dividend of these two numbers to be 1.618, the dividend of any two numbers in the Fibonacci sequence. This "golden number," popularized by Leonardo Fibonacci, is allegedly the ideal proportion used in da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" and Michelangelo's "David." A 2007 study in the "Archives of Sexual Behavior" found that women are most attracted to men whose upper bodies are 1.6 times the width of their waists. If you're not one of the genetically blessed men who have this ratio naturally, there are a couple of things you can do to get closer to the golden number.
The most obvious way to increase your chest-to-waist ratio is to incorporate exercises that build the pectoral muscles. Flat barbell bench, incline dumbbell presses and pec dec flyes will all help. Pushups will work your chest and have the added benefit of a tricep and shoulder workout. Try to vary your workouts by using a variety of free weights, machines and cables. In order to maximize muscle gain, stick with heavier weights and perform three to four sets of six to 12 reps per exercise.
Increase Width of Upper Back and Shoulders
Pullups, barbell rows and lat tower exercises will all help to add width to the upper back, thereby increasing the chest circumference. Straight-arm pulldowns are an excellent exercise to isolate the lats. While wider shoulders won't technically affect your chest-to-waist ratio, they do help give the appearance of a wider chest and smaller waist. Perform barbell shoulder presses, lateral dumbbell raises and cable laterals to build your delts.
Reduce Waist Circumference
Reducing your waist circumference is the easiest way to increase your chest-to-waist ratio. Whittle away at subcutaneous fat around your abdomen by reducing the number of calories you consume and eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables and lean proteins. Avoid processed carbohydrates, which are easily converted to fat and cause the body to retain water.
When All Else Fails
If working out isn't your thing, you may still be able to fake a good chest-to-waist ratio by creating an illusion with your clothes. Well-tailored blazers can make the shoulders look wider, and v-neck tops will help slim the torso. If your waist isn't as slim as you'd like, stick with shirts that don't fit too tightly.
Always consult a physician before beginning an exercise program. Remember to train with proper form and ask a fitness professional if you have any questions before performing an exercise.
- The Best Chest Exercises You've Never Heard Of; Build Your Best Chest Now; Nik Nilsson
- Effective Strength Training; Douglas Brooks