A common complaint many women have after weight loss is that their breasts have lost their perkiness. Weight loss in the breasts can make a woman feel less feminine, less confident and can even have an impact on her sex life. In these moments, however, it's essential to remember that the benefits of weight loss outweigh a little sag and that there are many exercises that can improve breast firmness.
To improve breast firmness after weight loss, do strength exercises targeting the pectoral muscles like the barbell bench press, free weight chest fly and push-ups.
Read more: Can Exercise Reduce Breast Size?
Weight Loss and Breasts
Under the fatty breast tissue lie the pectoral muscles, which can become quite strong and toned just like any other area of the body. Sometimes, women skip working their pecs because they're either prioritizing other areas of their bodies, or they fear that doing too many chest exercises will make their upper body too "bulky." Newsflash: That's completely false! In fact, doing targeted chest exercises, particularly with heavy weights, may give you that extra perk you desire.
Note that your breast tissue itself cannot be firmed up, but by doing targeted chest exercises, you can create extra perk by building the muscles underneath.
Read more: Heavy Weight Lifting vs. Light
Lift Heavy and Often
According to the Office of Women's Health, it's highly unlikely that a woman would become more muscular from lifting weights regularly because women's bodies are formulated to have more body fat and less muscle. And that's good knowledge to have because there are many benefits of lifting heavy weights including increasing your metabolism and reducing your biological age, too.
Put in the Effort
As with any other area of the body, if you want to keep it tight, you have to put in the effort. The same holds true for your breasts after weight loss.
1. Barbell Bench Press
- Sitting on the end a bench, grab hold of the barbell in both hands making sure your grip is centered and your hands are wider than shoulder distance apart.
- Carefully lay back and push the barbell up until your arms are straight and approximately over your nipple line. Turn your knuckles up so they are pointing toward the ceiling.
- Bending at the elbow, lower the barbell down until your arms are at a 90-degree bend or slightly further while still aligning the barbell over the center part of your chest.
- Press up in the same fashion and repeat eight to 12 reps.
2. Free Weight Chest Fly
Doing a chest fly with free weights is another effective exercise for perkier breasts. Bonus: it targets both the chest and the shoulders!
- Sitting on the end of a bench with two dumbbells, lay back carefully and lift the weights up until your arms are straight and the weights are above your nipple line. Do not lock or hyperextend your elbows.
- Rotate your wrists so that the palm side of your hands are facing one another.
- With your elbows softly bent, draw both of your arms out wide as you lower the weights down along your sides. Do not go beyond the height of your chest or the bench.
- Squeeze the arms back up to their original position, with elbows still softly bent, as though you are hugging a big exercise ball.
- Repeat eight to 12 reps.
Push-ups are an effective chest exercise that allows you to multitask, working your abdominals and arms, too.
- Starting in a proper plank position, position your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the floor. Modify by dropping to your knees while maintaining a straight spine.
- Bend your elbows out wide as you lower your entire body toward the floor. Make sure your body stays aligned in plank without sagging or lifting your hips.
- Drop down as far as you can without touching the ground and then press your bodyweight back up into your wide arm plank position. Don't get frustrated if you can only bend your arms slightly before pressing back up. Your range will improve as you build your chest strength.
- Repeat eight to 12 reps.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: “Anatomy, Thorax, Pectoralis Major Major”
- Women’s Office on Health: “How to be Active for Health”
- American Council on Exercise: “Why You Should Be Lifting Heavy”
- American Council on Exercise: “The Three Most Effective Chest Exercises”
- American Council on Exercise: "Lying Chest Fly"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "The rise of push-ups: A classic exercise that can help you get stronger"
- American Council on Exercise: "Chest Press"
- ShapeFit.com: Chest Exercise Guides