Is It Safe to Exercise Chest Muscles After Breast Implants?

What happens to Breast Implants if I work out my pectoral muscles; ie, push ups? Are there different exercises I can do? Are pull ups ok?

Doctor Answers 23

Safe to exercise pectoral muscles after Breast implants

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Yes. After you are completely healed.

There is NO point in having a breast augmentation if it will change the way you live. Once the surgery is completely healed in a few months you should be able to resume all your previous activities.

A few years ago, Dr. Baker, a senior member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, from Florida, presented a memorable paper on the negligible effect of (subpectoral) breast augmentation in PROFESSIONAL female body builders. The ability of those women to lift large weights was studied on Cybex machines and was proven not to be significantly changed by the operation.

If they can do it - so can you.

Good Luck.

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Exercise after breast augmentation

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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 activties, but listen to your body and use discomfort or tightness as a guide so you don't over do it.

Pectoralis exercise after breast enlargement or augmentation

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To some degree, we immediately want you to perform pectoralis stretching exercises to minimize postoperative pain due to spasm (similar to a contracting hamstring pull).

However, I generally advise my patients to avoid pectoralis strengthening exercises: such as wide stance push ups or bench press.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

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After a sub muscular breast enlargement I allow the patient to resume full activity

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It would be awful to change the way you live in order to have breast implants. After the breast are fully healed I allow the patient to resume full activity including weight training. The breast will certainly look different when working out but when not flexing the muscles they will look quite normal. The only exception to this is if you are a body builder who plans to pose. In that case you will have distortion of your appearance when you flex. Quite honestly even if you are or are not a body builder I prefer to place silicone gel implants under the muscle through a peri areolar incision. This to me looks and feels more normal. It will also take away from any work out distortion.

Carl W. "Rick" Lentz III, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Usually safe to exercise pectoral muscles after breast implants

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Most active women exercise after they have breast implant surgery. Sometimes things change particularly in larger implant cases though. Each woman finds her own place here relative to what she can and cannot do. Unless you went really large on the implant size, you are usually able to do everything you were able to do before.

The bottom line: ask your surgeon.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon

No Exercise Limitations After Breast Augmentation Healing

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My instructions to my patients is that after 6 weeks they are able to do any exercises that they would normally do including intensive upper extremity exercises.

Exercise after breast augmentation

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After a subpectoral breast augmentation, a patient may resume exercise (push-ups, weight training) once the pectoral muscles have fully healed. This may take two to three months before the muscles have healed enough to perform strenuous activity. Patients may experience some discomfort and pain when they resume these types of activities, so I advise patients to proceed slowly at first with lighter weights. You may also notice that the implants will move as your pectoral muscles contract- this is normal.

Consult with your plastic surgeon prior to resuming a strenous exercise routine after breast augmentation.

Best wishes,

Dr. Bruno

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 407 reviews

Exercising and Weight Training after Breast Augmentation

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Thank you for your question.  

Many women resume normal physical activity, including exercising and heavy lifting, four to six weeks following a breast augmentation procedure.  I perform many breast augmentations on women who body build and weight train regularly, and I prefer to place the implants sub-pectorally to provide for the most natural look and feel.  It may take several weeks from the time you can begin exercising after a breast augmentation to get back to the shape and strength that you had prior to surgery, but once you have healed and you have received doctor approval you should be ready to hit the gym.

I always recommend that patients defer to their operating surgeon's specific post-operative protocols and advise, as they are most familiar with your specific case, so I would recommend scheduling a follow up with your surgeon to discuss your progress and any concerns that you might have.

I hope you find this helpful.

Is It Safe to Exercise Chest Muscles After Breast Implants?

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Exercise after breast augmentation like cardio or chest exercises is something you should care about and need to know 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 24 reviews

Returning to Exercise & Work following Breast Augmentation

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Recovery from breast augmentation surgery varies from patient to patient. We generally recommend that patients take a week off from work after this procedure. Occasionally, patients return to work even sooner, especially if they have a desk job. Patients are not allowed to return to strenuous activities for at least six to eight weeks. At that point they are allowed to resume all of their normal activities.

Each patient is unique and should be considered individually. The vast majority of patients should be able to resume activities that utilize their pectoralis muscles at six to eight weeks following surgery. This should include push-ups, pull ups, and heavy lifting. Patients should go slowly at first and listen to their bodies. It’s important to realize that contractions of the pectoralis muscle may cause distortion of the underlying breast implants. 

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.