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Will Breast Implants Interfere With My Usual Physical Activities?


Exercise is a big part of many people’s lives. For some, it’s the first thing they do when they get out of bed in the morning to start the day off right, while for others, it’s the first thing they do after work in the evenings to clear their mind and move their body.

You should talk to your surgeon about your lifestyle during your initial breast augmentation consultation. Let your surgeon know which sports you play and what your regular exercise routine includes. These can help determine which type of implant and placement is suitable. 

Will Breast Implants Get In The Way Of Exercise?

If the gym keeps you feeling happy, confident, and strong physically and mentally, we’re delighted to let you know that you don’t have to give up the weights, track, or treadmill when you get breast implants. You don’t have to discontinue any exercise after your breast augmentation once healed completely, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

For more active patients, breast implants are usually placed below the chest muscles (subpectoral) to avoid any significant changes in the appearance of the breasts from intense physical activity. With subglandular breast implant placement (over the muscle), the shape of the implants can be more visible and less natural-looking, shift, or become temporarily distorted when athletes contract their pectoralis muscles.

While contracting the pectoralis muscles with subglandular implant placement poses no risk to you, the change in appearance may cause your implants to be less desirable. When you visit your surgeon for a consultation, you can discuss your preferences and learn whether subpectoral or subglandular placement is better for you.

Lifting Weights With Breast Implants

You should be able to return to lifting weights about six weeks after your breast augmentation, but if you plan to do intense strength training that may cause a lot of strain on your body and blood pressure, we may recommend waiting longer just to be safe.

Some women enjoy doing chest exercises as part of their lifting routine to tighten up the “bra fat” beneath their armpits and improve the contour of their breasts. 

While chest exercises can help improve the appearance of your breasts without implants, some may be risky once you have implants. After breast augmentation, we recommend avoiding chest exercises such as bench presses, push-ups, and others that may apply pressure to your breasts.

Running With Breast Implants

Modern breast implants are made much more durable and safer than before. They can withstand trauma without rupturing, so there’s no reason to stop running once you get breast implants if it’s an integral part of your lifestyle. 

As runners often have minimal body fat or breast tissue, we recommend silicone over saline implants as they are softer, appear, and feel more natural. 

The larger the implants are, the heavier they are, and the more pain they may cause to your back and neck if you’re a runner. If breast implants are too heavy, they may be uncomfortable during physical activity and cause you to stop enjoying the lifestyle you once loved. Not only can heavy implants cause you discomfort while running, but they can also cause your skin to stretch and your implants to droop.

During your breast augmentation consultation, you and your surgeon can discuss which size is appropriate for your body shape and for keeping you comfortable during your favorite lifestyle activities.

Swimming With Breast Implants

While you should wait at least four weeks after breast augmentation before submerging in a swimming pool, you can safely swim with breast implants once your incisions have healed. Various arm movements associated with swimming, for example, reaching your arms above your head, can interrupt how your incisions heal and cause worse scars, so we recommend not going any further into the water than the waist down until you’ve completely healed.

To avoid causing any complications with your incisions after swimming within the first few months post-op, pat your incisions dry and change out of damp clothes as soon as possible after swimming.

Once your incisions have fully healed, you should be able to swim safely, just as you did before your surgery. Since breast implants are naturally buoyant, you shouldn’t notice a difference in comfortability between swimming before and after breast augmentation. We recommend avoiding jumping into bodies of water from high surfaces such as cliffs or diving boards, though, as the pressure of hitting the water may risk complications with your implants.

When Can I Exercise Again After Breast Augmentation?

Weight lifting and heavy cardio are entirely safe once fully healed from breast augmentation. During recovery, however, you’ll need to take a break from working out and take it easy on your body. 

Most patients can continue their active lifestyle six weeks after implant placement. But patients heal differently, so we recommend waiting until your surgeon gives you the go-ahead before restarting strenuous exercise. Ask your surgeon for approval before beginning any new activities after breast augmentation to be as safe as possible.

Doing too much too soon can lead to overexertion and cause your blood pressure to rise, and high blood pressure can make the swelling appear worse and last longer. Avoid strenuous weight lifting or intense cardio such as sprinting until your surgeon advises it is safe.

Even when completely healed, wear bras with plenty of support during exercise with implants. Ask your surgeon about the best supportive bras for the gym and regular daily activities during your consultation so you can order them ahead of time and are ready for post-augmentation life.

Will Losing Or Gaining Weight Affect My Breast Implants?

The size of your breast implants will not change after losing or gaining weight. While the implants themselves are left unaffected, you should understand that dramatic weight fluctuations of 50 pounds or more can affect the natural tissue around your implants, causing your skin to stretch and your implants to droop. 

We recommend being within 10-15 pounds of your goal weight, preferably a weight you can comfortably and confidently maintain in the long term, before getting your breast augmentation. While small fluctuations pose no risks to the appearance of your breast implants, gaining or losing significant amounts of weight causes your skin to stretch, become weaker, and sag, which can cause your implants to droop.

What Type Of Breast Implants Should Bodybuilders Get?

Many female bodybuilders consider breast augmentation because they want their breasts to complement the aesthetics of their sculpted bodies, as their strict diets and exercise routines can cause them to lose body fat in their breasts. Particularly in swimsuit competitions where large, perkier breasts help female bodybuilders maintain their femininity while reaching their goals with muscle tone and low body fat.

If bodybuilding is a fundamental part of your lifestyle, we recommend getting high-profile silicone implants. Smaller implants may be best for your lifestyle. Overly large implants could get in the way of your abilities in the gym and halt your progress. We typically recommend bodybuilders have their implants placed underneath their pectoral muscle for a few reasons:

  • They will have a more natural look and feel
  • There is less risk of complications such as capsular contracture or implant rupture
  • The implant has more support which puts less strain on your skin 
  • The risk of your implants rippling and becoming visible decreases

Ready To Achieve A Body You’ll Love While Doing What You Love?

If you’re considering breast augmentation, you’ll still be able to continue an active lifestyle. You may need to be extra cautious with exercises that increase pressure on your chest and wear special bras that provide additional support. Modern breast implants are durable devices developed to help you continue doing the activities you’re passionate about. Request a consultation with Dallas plastic surgeon Dr. David Liland, well-known for delivering breast augmentation results that look and feel natural and beautiful.