Upper Body Weights After Implants?

I had 375cc silicone unders 19 days ago. I am dying to get back to running & lifting. I've been walking w/ incline about 35 min a day & doing lower body weights. When is it safe to run & start doing upper body weights like tricep/bicep work. Not sure what weights to avoid to protect pecs and which are safe?

Doctor Answers 11

Chest excercises

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I typically recommend that patients do not workout their chest after sub-muscular breast augmentation- especially if the implants are large.  This is not a demand, but a strong suggestion because, in general, strenuous workout of your chest has little benefit in your case and potentially some downside.  Let me explain...

With implants under your muscle, the muscle only covers about the upper half to two-thirds of the implant.  What happens when you push down on only half of a balloon?  The other half bulges out.  The really strong contractions when working out your chest muscles will squeeze the implant hard.  The continuous bulging of the lower part of the implant that's not covered by muscle eventually stretches out the tissues of the lower breast making room for the implant to eventually move down a bit...changing your shape significantly.

With sub-muscular implants the chest muscles are no longer important cosmetically.  The pectoralis muscle is one of the most used muscles in your body so it gets plenty of exercise.  Working out your arms is fine, but try to isolate the muscles by locking your elbows against your side when working out.  Following these simple instructions will give you a longer lasting result.

If I can answer other questions please feel free to contact me.

...Dr Newman

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Returning to Exercise after Breast Augmentation?

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Given that your plastic surgeon knows your situation best and is ultimately responsible for your care, it is always best to address these types of questions/concerns with your plastic surgeon. Generally speaking, most of us ask patients to avoid “heavy lifting” for approximately 6 weeks after surgery. Personally, I think that it is best for patients to avoid bench press and push-ups ( directly activating the pectoralis major muscle) for the first year after surgery if at all possible.

 Again, please check specifics with your plastic surgeon.

 Best wishes.

Arm exercising 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 as to the recovery
Week 1) Discomfort level progressively decreases with each day. Swelling decreases a great deal after one week. Most people return to work in some capacity. Driving is feasible if you are not on narcotics.
Week 2) Unlikely to need any narcotic support except maybe at night. Swelling continues to improve compared to week 1. You can start breast massage and slowly increasing your range of motion.
Weeks 3-6) May need tylenol or ibuprofen for intermittent discomfort. Swelling completely resolved. You should steadily regain your range of motion. May need additional few months for implants to settle into their final position.

As far as activity, here is a safe guide:
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.

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Upper Body Weights After Implants?

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I would advise waiting at least 4-6 weeks before starting significant upper body workouts after subpectoral implants.  However, as has been noted, with subpectoral implants the lower portion of the implant is not actually covered by muscle and there is a risk that with repeated, forceful contractions, the implant could be displaced.  Though not normally permanent there have been cases described in which implants were pushed lower and repeated muscle contractions, particularly with weights, may have contributed to that.  Consequently, I urge patients not to overdo that portion of the exercise and workout routine.  If anything, do more reps with lighter weights and keep your arms toned, but without overly forced flexing of the pecs.

Since you asked!

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

Lifting weights after sub pectoral breast augmentation

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As different surgeons have different protocols for post operative recovery you should be guided by your operating surgeon.

Keep in mind that strong contractions of the pec major will put pressure on your implants and will tend to try to push the implants out to the sides, increasing the space between them.

The fibrous tissue around the implants will stabilize the position of the implants but it takes about 12 weeks to reach a level of reasonable strength.

Bench presses and push ups are classic exercises that require pectoral contraction but biceps curls also put the pecs under load as will triceps work.

Running is a high impact activity. Your breasts will tend to bounce unless they are supported with an effective bra plus (or minus) a crop top. Repeated bouncing will have the effect of moving the implants down with reference to your breast tissue and the same timing constraints apply. Running before the implants have fully settled in is usually uncomfortable or even painful.

I can understand your frustration at present but for the sake of a good long term result 'patience is a virtue'.


Douglas McManamny, MBBS, FRACS
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon

When is it safe for weight lifting after breast augmentation?

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Every surgeon has their own protocol for the resumption of activities after surgery. I personally think that 19 days after surgery is too early to engage in any type of weight training after breast surgery. My protocol may differ greatly for your surgeon's. It would be best to follow the recommendation of your surgeon with regard to weight lifting after your breast augmentation. Thank you for your question. Best wishes.

Gregory Park, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Upper Body Weights After Breast Implants

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Most plastic surgeons will recommend that you wait at least eight weeks before resuming any intense physical activity or heavy lifting, especially if it involves use of the pectoral muscle.

Suzanne M. Quardt, MD
Palm Springs Plastic Surgeon

Working out after breast augmentation?

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I usually have my patients wait 4-6 weeks before they start high impact exercise and weight lifting. Closer to 6 weeks than 4. When they resume weight lifting, I recommend they ease into it - so it's really 8 weeks before they are doing really strenuous workouts.

Remember....this is an emotional and financial commitment, and you really don't want to have complications.

I strongly recommend you ask your surgeon what he/she recommends.

Best of luck,

Jennifer Harrington MD

Upper Body Weights After Implants?

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It is really best to ask this of your surgeon. That is the person you will have to deal with if there are any problems. The issue with weight lifting this early is that the strong pectoral muscle can cause lateral displacement of the implants if done before the breast capsule has formed. I would have no issue with what you are currently doing. I would weight at least 8 weeks for vigorous upper body work outs, though your surgeon may ask for a longer waiting period. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Breast augmentation and exercise

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In general for my breast augmentation patients, I tell them to restrict aerobic activity for about 4 weeks and heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for 6-8 weeks.

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