Advisable Breast Implants Placement for Weightlifters?

I'm an athlete, one who tends to have shoulder injuries, and worry about under the muscle Breast implants placement. It seems more commom than over the muscle placement. Will under the muscle Breast implants affect my weightlifting abilities or the way in which the pec attaches a tthe shoulder? What are the pros and cons of over the muscle implants?

Doctor Answers 14

Are you a competitive body builder or just an active athelete?

As you have read, there is a difference between the competitive body builder with minimal body fat, zero breast tissue etc and someone who is an active athletic type who happens to lift weights. In the former, the fake above the muscle look might be best but in the other type, I would suggest a submuscular augmentation and just lighten up a bit on the push ups, flys, and bench presses.

Go with small silicone implants over the muscle.


The only way to stay out of trouble with breast augmentation in weight lifters is to use small, round, smooth walled, moderate PLUS profile or high profile, cohesive silicone gel  implants.

One of the problems with under the muscle placement is that your breasts jump when you lift weights.


George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Consider subfascial implants for athletes and body builders

The previous replies summarize the problem: over the muscle looks fake, under has numerous problems in body builders and athletic women. This is the reason I became interested in subfascial placement several years ago. It is a reasonable compromise between the competing issues, given that there is no perfect solution. More info here: See also the "publications" list for an article I pulished on the technique.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Depend on your goals

In competitive bodybuilders, it is likely that an implant placed beneath the muscle will be very obvious and move with flexing the pec. Above the muscle placement is the most common approach in these situations. But there are downsides to both pockets-- above the muscle will not move with contraction of the pec, but it will look more fake and even show a lot of rippling of the implant depending on how thin you are. Behind the muscle will hide the implant more, but it will likely move with contraction.

Talk to your plastic surgeon about your goals so that he can help you pick the best operation for you. Good luck, Dr. S

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 137 reviews

Breast implants and weightlifters

This is a very unique situation, and I would recommend getting the implants over the muscle. If you get them underneath the muscle, the muscle is first detached about 90 degrees from the chest, and everytime you flex your pectoralis muscles you may see the implants "jump." Silicone implants over the muscle are great in this situation because they will look natural and won't move when you work-out your chest. I hope this helps!

Breast implants over the muscle

Subglandular placement of implants (i.e. ABOVE the muscle, but under the breast gland) are very appropriate in certain patient populations. These include very physically active people such as yourself, or those who do weightlifting regularly. Some physicians prefer to place the implants in this pocket for almost everybody, although this is probably not the best idea for several reasons.

One thing you need to realize if your implants will be placed over the muscle is that if you are thin, you may have higher incidence of visible "rippling" of the implant, especially if you receive saline implants; which do this more than silicone gel filled implants. If you have the right doctor, he or she will fully discuss all of this with you as well as different aspects regarding capsule formation and potential complications which may occur with implants placed into either space. Make sure they are board certified in plastic surgery!

Good luck

Brian S. Glatt, MD, FACS
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Under the muscle implant placement is my preference

I have successfully treated a number of professional body builders and the majority of them seem to prefer the under the muscle location.

You should however, also be aware that in certain poses, while flexing the pectoralis muscle, the breast area can move up when the implant is behind the muscle and that does not happen when it is in front.

Everything is a trade off in this World and you should discuss your concerns with your surgeon who can examine you and make recommendations based on your particular needs and build.

Darrick E. Antell, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Body Builders and implants

 If you are a professional athlete it may be better to place the implants under the gland. If you are an active person who is a "weekend warrior," you may be better off putting them below the muscle to offer better coverage.  It shouldn't impact your strength.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Do you want to please the judges or please yourself?

There is no perfect answer. Submuscular has trade-offs and submammary has tradeoffs.

A body builder usually has so little tissue that implants in front of the muscle look obviously, fake, round, and may even ripple, particuarly with saline.

The muscles are so thick that the implants can move with contraction of the pectoralis, can shift to the sides over time, and can hurt a bit more.

Face it: a steroid-taking weight lifting female wants to give herself a man's body in every way except her chest,where she wants to have lush, soft, and feminine breasts. That goal is simply unattainable. There is always going to be a trade-off.

There is no doubt that over time, being behind the muscle is better for your tissues. There is less stretch and thinning of your tissues. In the short term it will look more natural.

BUT - and this is a big BUT -weightlifting judges - in all of their sense of beauty and aesthetics - LOVE THE LOOK of obviously fake breasts. Just look at who wins many competitions. While in my opinion that have horribly fake looking breasts, that is the look these judges seem to favor. It's sad, but apparently true.

If you get conflicting advice, realize that it is because there is no clear answer. When an extremely thin woman with huge muscles wants a breast augmentation, she must understand that she is making a choice between two alternatives, each of which has substantial shortcomings for her body. The choice is not easy.

So to reiterate the key point, I believe that behind the muscle is more natural and better for a woman's tissues, and in front of the muscle is more the kind of look that judges like.

Steven Teitelbaum, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

There is less implant coverage with above the muscle implants

Placing implants partially under the muscle leands more upper and inner coverage of the implant leading to less chances for rippling. The tradeoff is that you need to allow at least 6 weeks of healing without working your chest muscles to avoid displacement of the implants lower. You should also know that flexing your muscles with implants under can cause an odd motion of the breasts. An alternative is sub-fascial placement but this doesn't lend that much more coverage. Make sure to pick an appropriate sized implant that fits you proportiaonately and doesn't overstretch your tissue. Discuss all of your options with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Best of luck.

Dr. Edwards

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.