Cosmetic Surgery Tips

6 weeks post op breast augmentation exercise

6 Weeks Post-Op Breast Augmentation Exercise

You’ve done it! You’ve had a breast augmentation and now you’re ready to start exercising again. Now what?

Don’t worry, there are plenty of exercises you can do that will help you recover from surgery and get your body back in shape. This article will go over some of those exercises and how to do them safely.

In the first few weeks after surgery, your doctor may recommend that you avoid any vigorous workouts such as running or playing sports. However, after 4-6 weeks, most doctors will give their patients the okay to begin exercising again as long as they follow their doctor’s instructions carefully.

The first thing to remember is that your breasts will still be healing during this time period so it’s important not to exercise too vigorously during this time period—especially if there’s any pain or discomfort associated with exercise! If there is any pain or discomfort associated with exercise then stop doing it immediately and contact your doctor ASAP!

6 weeks post op breast augmentation exercise

Exercise is essential to overall health and wellness, but it can also play a key role in healing and recovery if introduced slowly and steadily after surgery. Although Breast Augmentation Surgery can give patients a major boost to their self-confidence, it’s important to not rush back to strenuous activity or the gym too early to celebrate your new body. Depending on your level of fitness and conditioning before your Breast Augmentation, your surgeon will advise you on when and how to integrate the activities you love back into your life.

“I am an avid runner, so I completely understand wanting to return to the gym and working out as soon as possible after surgery,” says Dr. Christine Stewart, a board-certified plastic surgeon with Edina Plastic Surgery. “However, if exercise is introduced too quickly after surgery, you may be doing more harm than good and could even jeopardize your results. You must follow the post-care instructions that outline your exercise and physical limitations after your Breast Augmentation for a healthy recovery and best results.”

Breast Augmentation and Exercise


“The main area of concern your surgeon has with exercising too early after Breast Augmentation Surgery is using the pectoral, or chest muscles, too intensely before healing is complete,” explains Dr. Stewart. “I can’t stress enough the importance of following your post-care guidelines on physical activity and movement restrictions,” she continues. “A lot of patients wish to know why we have these restrictions after surgery. With subpectoral breast augmentation, a portion of the pectoralis major muscle’s insertion is divided in order to get the implant up underneath the muscle. In most women, this will not affect them from a strength standpoint, but that muscle will contract in a slightly different vector, which can end up pushing the implant down and out, affecting the cosmetic result of your surgery. Because of this, it is important not to exert this muscle until there is a normally formed capsule around the implant, which will keep it in place. This normally forms around 4-6 weeks after surgery. Doing high exertion activities too soon after surgery can also cause bleeding or a fluid collection to form. This will require another surgery to wash out the blood or fluid and can increase your risk for capsular contracture, or hard scar tissue that can form around the implant, in the future.”


  • Pull or pushing heavy objects, including lifting children, and moving things around the house
  • Lifting anything more than 10 pounds 
  • Yoga, Pilates, and stretching movements that open your chest or involve pushing and pulling with your chest muscles
  • Strenuous use of arm attachments on popular gym equipment like elliptical trainers or rowing machines
  • Push-ups and pull-ups until your surgeon advises that they are ok
  • Bench press and upper body weight lifting until your surgeon advises that these are ok
  • Playing golf, tennis, or any sports with a heavy emphasis on upper body movement
avoid activities


“Your main focus the first week after your Breast Augmentation should be 100% on RESTING,” stresses Dr. Stewart. “It is still important to walk around your house to prevent blood clots, but strenuous activities should be avoided and you should not be the primary childcare provider for this first week. A breast augmentation is also an investment in time for yourself to heal, so make sure that prior to surgery you arrange the support you need so that you can give yourself that time.”


Most patients are ready to lace up their walking shoes after the first week and reintroduce some light walking for cardio. Low intensity cardio can also include stationary bicycling, but avoid high intensity spin classes. Plan your exercise for cooler times of the day, like the early morning or evening, to avoid sweating around your incisions and over-exertion.


“Weeks two to four can be a danger zone because patients feel over-confident with how well they feel and end up pushing their limits too much,” warns Dr. Stewart. “Remember that your recovery is the most important thing at this point to ensure the best outcome after surgery, so keep activities gentle and prioritize low impact aerobic exercise, no weight lifting, and keep your intensity at about half of your normal exertion.”


Around four weeks after Breast Augmentation Surgery, your surgeon will want to see you again for another checkup to observe your progress and decide if it is safe to add weight lifting back into your exercise regimen. She will most likely still advise you to avoid specific exercises like chest flies, bench press, shoulder press, and push-ups, all of which work the pectoral muscles. However, lower body weight training and arm workouts may be allowed.  Activities that involve running and jumping can be reintroduced at this time, as long as a supportive bra is being worn. Front zip sports bras work well for this. It is always important to ease back into any activities that you were doing to avoid injury.


“Six to eight weeks after Breast Augmentation Surgery tends to be that golden interval of time during which most patients feel good enough to return to normal exercise, and their surgeon feels confident enough about their recovery for them to do so,” says Dr. Stewart. “Athletes and patients who were at an advanced level of physical conditioning before surgery will tend to recover sooner, but they are also the demographic that may try to push their limits too early. Remember, everyone’s healing process and recovery will be different. Be patient and be kind to your body at this time.”

Breast Augmentation and Exercise


“It’s important to listen to your surgeon AND your body before assuming it is ready to safely do everything it did before your surgery, especially at the gym,” says Dr. Stewart. “A patient who was a competitive swimmer in college and is now a coach is going to heal differently than a patient with a minimally active lifestyle who works at a computer all day. You are unique, and your recovery after Breast Augmentation Surgery will be so as well. Your surgeon will be at your side every step of the way to make sure you are set up for success before and after your surgery to ensure beautiful outcomes!”

can i do leg workouts after breast augmentation


exercising after breast augmentation

For many women, breast augmentation is just one part of a journey toward a toned, well-contoured physique that’s been made possible by a commitment to physical fitness and healthy living. Patients with a steady exercise routine are understandably eager to get back to their workouts as quickly as possible. To maintain your results and avoid complications, here’s what you need to know about exercising after breast augmentation.


Some movement is beneficial for healing, but too much strenuous activity can have negative consequences. The tissue in your breasts needs time to heal, even if it appears your incisions have closed.

Exercises that put too much stress on the upper body can compromise your result and may increase the risk of displacement or malposition of the implant. Strenuous activity too soon after surgery may also increase the risk of postsurgical bleeding, which could warrant additional surgery.

To avoid issues, follow the advice of your doctor closely and take your return to exercise patiently and slowly. Listen to your body and be willing to make changes if something doesn’t feel right.


While everyone recovers at a unique pace, reviewing these general milestones can help you understand what to expect.

1-7 Days After Surgery:

Get plenty of rest and keep yourself hydrated. Understand that your body is burning calories just by healing, so allow yourself the downtime. Easy walking, even on day 1, is beneficial. This gentle movement improves blood circulation for quicker healing and can help prevent blood clots.

  • Get plenty of rest
  • Brief, gentle walks are ok

7-21 Days After Surgery:

As you recover from anesthesia and your swelling begins to subside, you can begin to extend the length of your walks or introduce other forms of lower body cardio. Light, lower body stretching is okay, but continue to avoid upper body exercises. Refrain from high impact activity to avoid bouncing in your chest.

  • Longer, gentle walks are ok
  • Low-impact lower-body cardio is ok
  • Avoid upper body strengthening or stretching
  • Avoid high-impact activity

3-4 Weeks After Surgery:

After 2 weeks of recovery, you might feel comfortable returning to the gym. It’s now ok to break a sweat with your lower body cardio. Lower body stretches can transition to lower body strength exercises. Abdominal exercises are OK as long as you are not excessively straining your chest. Continue to avoid high-impact exercises, and hold off on upper body work.

  • Lower body cardio and strength training is ok
  • Breaking a sweat is ok
  • Belly-up core work is ok (no planks)
  • Avoid high-impact cardio like running
  • Avoid upper body strengthening or stretches

4-6 Weeks After Surgery:

Now’s the time when you can finally return to upper body stretching and strength training. Still, consider limiting your upper body range of motion and avoid strenuous, heavy weight lifting until you’re at least two months post-surgery. As you add in high impact cardio, including running, keep your breasts well supported. Ask your doctor when it’s ok to switch from your post-surgery garments back to a sports bra.

  • Slowly build lower body cardio intensity
  • Slowly introduce running or other impact-exercises
  • Slowly introduce upper body strengthening
  • Consider avoiding over-head lifts and limiting range of motion


Leave a Comment