When to Start Basic Cardio Exercises After Breast Augmentation?

I'mplanning on having a breast augmentation soon, but I work out 6 days a week and will go crazy if I can't do any cardio exercises for longer than 2 weeks. I take a lot of spin classes, kickboxing, running, weight classes and other basic cardio like the eliptical. Approximately how soon after the procedure can I start doing these activities, specifically the spin classes (indoor cycling) and basic cardio? Any ideas?

Doctor Answers 37

Exercise and breast augmentation

Thank you for your question. You definitely want to follow your own surgeon's post-op activity instructions. This is a general guide I give to my patients:
1) No heavy lifting or strenous activity for 6 weeks.
2) Resume walking at a leisurely pace right after surgery (e.g. 2 mph)
3) At 2 weeks, you can walk 2 miles at 2mph
4) At 3 weeks, you can walk 3 miles at 3mph
5) At 4 weeks, you can walk 4 miles at 4mph
6) At 5 weeks, you can jog 5 miles at 5mph
7) At 6 weeks, you can resume all activities, but listen to your body and use discomfort or tightness as a guide so you don't over do it.

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 37 reviews


I provide all my patients with basic guidelines regarding when they can return various exercise activities.

- You can walk from day one post op.
- At 2 weeks you can sit on a stationary bike and do some cardio work to burn some calories and maintain some cardio conditioning. So a "light" spin class will be ok, but generally speaking you should remain seated on the bike to avoid too much pressure standing up and holding onto the the handle bars.
- You can slowly return to running at the four week mark. You must wear a bra or often two that helps prevent your breasts from bouncing up and down. If your breasts are bouncing up and down while you are running, then your wearing the wrong bras!
- For those who love the gym you can slowly return to that at the four week mark. However, as you would know four weeks is a long time away from the gym and you decondition a lot. Also, you've had chest surgery so will still have some discomfort from this. So when you do go back to the gym, start with very light short sessions and be guided by your body. Slowly and gradually build yourself up to normal training over the following weeks and months. However, unlike normal training pain where you "push through", experiencing pain in a post-surgical state means you need to pull back a little. It's your body saying it's not quite ready to be pushed that hard.
- Going to the gym prior to four weeks to do "just legs" is not allowed. Any leg work requires core and upper body for stabilization etc so it's still forbidden.
- For those crossfit junkies - you have no chance of doing this for at least two months after surgery. Go to the gym at 4 weeks post op, gradually build yourself up, and when you feel your crossfit ready (typically no sooner than two months post-op), then you can get back to it. The same goes for such sports like kickboxing.

Eddy Dona, MBBS, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

When is exercise safe after breast augmentation?

 As a general rule of thumb, I ask patients to refrain from any exercise that works the upper body for at least 4-6 weeks after surgery.  This will allow healing to occur and the implant position to be secure enough to withstand a strenuous work-out.  A light workout, that does not involve any upper body exertion is usually ok after 2-3 weeks.

Nirav Savalia, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Spinning after breast augmentation

As an avid "spinner" i can relate to your desire to keep it up and stick with your routine. Not knowing the details of your surgical plan i cannot give you specifics.

please check with your surgeon. I can tell you i have had patients that are back to vigorous cardio in 2-3 days after breast augmentation.

A majority of motivated patients could spin in 2-3 days after breast augmentation, probably avoiding position 3, where you may have some pressure on your chest.

Obviously let your surgeon know of your desires and explain the position and intensity of the exercise you want to do.

Good for you spinning is great cardio.

John E. Gross, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

When to Start Basic Cardio Exercises After Breast Augmentation?

Exercise after breast augmentation like cardio is something you should care about. For the early period of recovery, that means two - three weeks post op, light exercise like walking outdoors is the best. I usually permit moderate exercise, if done with big caution after 4 weeks. Heavy exercise should be completely avoided for 8 weeks following a breast augmentation.
I ask my patients to postpone all phisical activities at least until the pain and inflammation from surgery are fully resolved.
Even after two months post op it is best to focus on lower body workouts. Any exercise that focuses on the chest, rotates the chest, or involves in working the pectorial muscles, as push-ups and weight training, should be avoided for at least 8 weeks, as they can significantly interfire with healing.
I hope this helps, best of luck!

Ercan Karacaoglu, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Basic Cardio after Breast Augmentation

Consult with your surgeon about the types of activities that are acceptable post-surgery. It is important that you not engage in strenuous activities in the first three (2-3) weeks after surgery. My own personal recommendations to my patients are start walking as much as you want to, as soon as you want to. Then progress as desired tohigh-reps, low-resistance exercises. Slowly progress for6 weeks, after which time there are no restrictions. I advise my patients torefrain from strenuous physical activitysuch as heavy lifting with your arms or jogging for 6 weeks. Aerobic exercise will raise your blood pressure, which could cause late bleeding and harm your result. Once you begin exercising again, start gently and let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Don’t rush!! It is important that you follow your doctor's instructions so that you get the best aesthetic results.
#breastrevision #breastimplants

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

When to Start Basic Cardio Exercises After Breast Augmentation?

In my practice, I tell women that they can start basic cardio exercises after 2 weeks. This would include brisk walking, light treadmill, exercise bike or elliptical if you are not moving your arms, but only your legs. Heavy exercises with weights, weight machines, heavy cardio exercising like yoga or spin would require women to wait for 4-6 weeks. 

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Spin Class after Two Weeks is OK

Thank you for your question. You should follow the advice of your surgeon, because she/he knows the details of your case. What I recommend to my patients is to wait two weeks to give things a chance to heal. Then, I tell them that they can start gentle cardio in a supportive sports bra. I recommend activities that are not going to put a lot of stress on the breasts. I would put spin class into that "gentle cardio" category. Good luck with your surgery!

Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Cardio After Breast Augmentation

The concern that your surgeon has for you is that exercising too soon may cause bleeding.  

At two weeks, we allow patients begin getting back into light physical activity such as walking. Try to refrain from doing any intense exercises for the next four to six weeks. Heavy upper body workouts should also be avoided Of course, always follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions, as they may differ.

Best of luck!

David R. Broadway, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Exercising restrictions after Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question.  While I would strongly recommend that you adhere to your operating surgeon's post-op exercise and recovery protocol, please find mine below.

For the first four weeks after surgery I ask that my patients refrain from all exercise and heavy lifting.  Unfortunately, this includes cardio of any kind, yoga, pilates, weight training, etc...

Every surgeon has their own specific protocol and I would recommend following up with your operating surgeon as they are most familiar with your recovery.  I hope this helps!

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.