Weight Lifting After Breast Augmentation

I am 12 weeks post op, BA. I have resumed my weight lifting routine on a much lighter side. When can I resume push ups, dips, pull ups and bench pressing? Can any of these exercises damage the position of my implants? And finally why do they "climb up" or push up when I lift heavy weights, is it dangerous? (I have been using my band when i am lifting to keep this from happening) Thank you!! Its so hard to find info on weightlifting and BAs.

Doctor Answers 23


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The short answer to your question is you can start any and all exercises "now". At 12 weeks post-op you are well and truly beyond the point where your physical actions could potentially compromise your results. So attempt whatever you want, and don't hold back.
Also, because your implants are under your muscle, it follows that every time you activate your pectoralis muscle the implants will move up and out in the same direction that the muscle pulls. This is perfectly fine and normal. It does of course feel a little strange in the beginning but once you get used to it you'll realise its no big deal.

When it comes to exercising I provide all my patients with these general guidelines:

- 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.
- 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.

Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Weight lifting after breast augmentation

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Some of the most frequently ask questions regarding breast augmentation are: " When can I return to normal activity? When can I lift my children and when can I return to exercizing? Each surgeon has his or her own opinion regarding return to these activities after a breast augmentation. In my opinion it is best to err on the side of caution to help ensure an optimal outcome. I normally tell patient's that they can resume most normal day-to-day activities such as driving their car within 3 or 4 days postoperatively. I advise them to refrain from lifting more than 10 pounds for 3 weeks postoperatively. Considering that many women who undergo this procedure have small children and lifting is required during this timeframe it is best to do it with limited arm and upper body movement. After 4 weeks the only restrictions recommended are to refrain from heavy pectoral workouts for an additional 4 weeks. It is very important to follow the directions of your surgeon to help ensure the best possible outcome for your procedure.

John J. Edney, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

Weightlifting after breast augmentation

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After 12 weeks, you should be able to resume all of your exercises and activities that you were doing before surgery, including weight lifting. You may want to start on machines and hold off on free weights until you feel comfortable with the motions. Check with your surgeon just to me sure.

It sounds like your implants are under the muscle so muscle contraction may push them up.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Lifting Weights After Breast Implant Surgery

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As a plastic surgeon in Los Angeles, the most common question patients ask is when can they return to exercising and lifting weights. I typically allow my patients to go back to chest exercises after 4 weeks. The reason why your implants move up when you lift heavy weights is because of "deformation activity." What is happening here is that you pectoralis muscles are contracting and literally pushing your implants upwards and sometimes outwards too.

I would clear your exercise routine with your surgeon, but at 3 months, it should be safe to resume exercises such as dips, pull/push ups  and bench press.

Hope that helps and good luck!

Dr. Babak Dadvand

Babak Dadvand, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Weight lifting after Breast Augmentation

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You are 12 weeks after your procedure.  I would clear you to resume activity as tolerated after 4 to 6 weeks. Talk to you plastic surgeon.   

Heavy Physical Activity after Breast Augmentation

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I generally recommend that my patients refrain from heavy lifting or physical activity for 6 weeks to prevent implant migration.   At this point, I encourage the patient to listen to their body and slowly progress activity over several weeks.   If you feel a pulling, tearing, or stretching sensation,  decrease your activity level.  If you are without problems, continue to slowly progress until you reach your full activity level.   

I wish you a safe and healthy recovery.


Paul S. Gill, M.D.

Gill Plastic Surgery

Houston Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Exercise after breast augmentation

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Every doctor is different regarding exercise after surgery.  I allow my patients after six weels to pretty much do whatever they want.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Weight lifting after breast augmentation

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I feel that after 12 weeks you have a capsule holding the implants in place but heavy weight lifting could still possibly move the implants out of position.  I encourage my patients to get back to pec exercises after 8 weeks but at a permanently lighter level.  Ask your doctor what they want you to do.

When can I lift weights after breast augmentation?

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Great question and one that I am always asked by my very active Colorado patients.  In my practice, I suggest that patients begin light exercise about a week after surgery and limit their more strenuous activities (e.g.: yoga, pilates, weight lifting) to around 5-6 weeks after surgery. 

Even after that, many patients will notice some elevation of the implants the day after but this is simply temporary spasm of the pectoralis muscle and will usually resolve with breast implant massage.

Surgical techniques for breast augmentation had dramatically improved over the last 10-15 years and, as a result, patients are getting back to normal activities very quickly with minimal downtime and much less discomfort.

I hope this helps!

Breast augmentation and weight lifting

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I tell my patients to wait 6 weeks after surgery before resuming any upper body exercises.  At this time, the implant should be well-settled in its new position.  As far as the implants moving during exercises, this is a common occurrence with implants placed under the muscle.  That motion is unlikely to change much with time.  Also, there is a low chance of harming the implants by lifting heavy weights.

Naveen Setty, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 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.