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Can You Tone Saggy Breasts with Exercise?

author image Jody Braverman
Jody Braverman is a professional writer and editor based in Atlanta. She studied creative writing at the American University of Paris and received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maryland. She also received personal trainer certification from NASM and her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from YogaWorks.
Saggy breast prevention includes staying healthy and fit.
Saggy breast prevention includes staying healthy and fit. Photo Credit Alliance/Adobe Stock

Breasts can recover – at least somewhat – from the ravages of time and gravity with proper diet and exercises.

Your breasts naturally become less perky as you age, when the skin covering them begins to lose elasticity and the breast tissue succumbs to gravity. Pregnancy, hormonal changes and fluctuations in body weight also affect the shape, size and perkiness of your breasts. While surgery is the only way to truly tighten and lift the breasts, lifestyle changes such as maintaining your weight through a healthy diet and exercise and targeting the muscles beneath the breasts with weight-bearing exercises can help improve the appearance of sagging breasts and prevent further drooping.

Anatomy of the Breasts

The breasts are composed mainly of fatty tissue, as well as glands and connective tissue. Ligaments and skin support the breasts, and over time, both of these support systems begin to stretch, resulting in drooping breasts and wrinkled, loose skin. Ligaments cannot be shortened once they have been stretched, and although it’s possible to repair some skin damage with creams and other topical treatments, it’s only temporary and not enough to actually lift the breasts.

Read more: How to Lose Weight in the Breasts & Back Area

Exercises for Saggy Breasts

While fat, glands, ligaments and skin can’t be toned or tightened through exercise, the muscles beneath your breasts, called the pectorals, can be strengthened. This will not affect the shape of your breasts, but it can result in a slightly lifted appearance. Push-ups, free-weight presses – flat, incline and decline – and flys are go-to exercises for building the chest muscles.

You also should balance your workout by exercising your back and shoulders with rows, overhead presses and front and lateral raises. Having a strong back and shoulders improves your posture, which can help prevent the rounded shoulders that can make breasts look even less perky.

Your daily diet should include plenty of water.
Your daily diet should include plenty of water. Photo Credit Tomwang112/iStock/Getty Images

Healthy Diet to Improve Breast Appearance

Controlling your weight can help you avoid further damage to breast tissue caused by losing and gaining pounds. If you’re underweight, eating nutrient- and calorie-rich foods, such as healthy fats from avocados and nuts, can help fill in loose skin and plump up the breasts. It will not undo damage to the ligaments, but it will fill out sagging skin and give your breasts a firmer appearance. The trick is to maintain this healthy weight for the long term.

If you are overweight, shedding pounds may make sagging breasts look worse because the skin has become stretched. While skin may regain some of its tautness, it depends on how overweight you were, how long you were overweight, your age and genetics. Fear of loose skin isn’t a good reason not to lose those extra pounds, however; reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is key to a healthy body and appearance.

Lastly, your daily diet should include plenty of water – 64 oz. or more each day – to promote elasticity in the skin.

Creams, Lotions and Other Topical Applications

Myriad products on the market promise to tone and tighten breast skin and lift the breasts. The only guarantee is that you will spend a lot of your hard-earned money and most likely be disappointed. Collagen and elastin creams contain molecules that are too large to penetrate the skin, so they are virtually useless, cosmetic surgeon Dr. Saul Lahijani told Huffington Post. He also says creams containing caffeine may appear to tighten skin, but the result is only temporary.

Read more: Chest Exercises at Home for Women

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