Burpees After Breast Augmentation

We know—burpees are a huge part of your life, and they seem like they’d be impossible after surgery. But don’t worry! Burpees can actually help you recover from breast augmentation!

-Burpees can help reduce swelling in your breasts and chest area, which can make it feel hard for you to breathe deeply. That’s why it’s important that you don’t do any exercise that increases your blood pressure or heart rate until at least six weeks post-op.

-If you want to start doing burpees, start with just one set of five reps and work up from there as long as your pain level remains low (i.e., no more than 3 on a scale of 1–10). You may also want to try doing them on an incline so that less weight is placed on your chest muscles. They will still be able to benefit from the exercise itself while minimizing any discomfort that the activity may cause.

In this article, we’ll examine alternatives to push ups after breast augmentation and exercises to avoid with breast implants.

Burpees After Breast Augmentation

When Is It Safe to Exercise After Breast Augmentation?

During consultations with patients seeking breast augmentations, one of the questions our Raleigh plastic surgeon is asked frequently is when they can exercise after breast augmentation. Many of our patients work out regularly and don’t want a procedure to stand in the way of staying fit and healthy. If you’re wondering what the downtime looks like after getting breast implants, we’re sharing some guidelines and best practices to help you stay fit while also staying safe.

The First Few Days After Breast Augmentation

The first five days or so after your surgery should be devoted to resting and healing. You should have prescription pain medication to help control pain and discomfort, but there will also be a bit of swelling and pressure. During this time, it’s important to rest, but that doesn’t mean you need to be on bed rest. In fact, your doctor will most likely recommend that you get up frequently throughout the day to walk around your home or do light tasks. This includes things like preparing a light meal, taking a shower and washing your hair, or checking the mail.

By getting up and about, you’ll regain your range of motion more quickly without straining the healing area. Also, getting blood flow throughout your body reduces the risk of deep vein thrombosis and improves healing by sending oxygenated blood through your body.

What you want to avoid are things like long walks or jogging or activities that strain your upper body, like push-ups or carrying heavy or bulky objects. This is especially important if you had implants placed under the muscle (sub-muscular or subpectoral placement, rather than sub-glandular). Not only are you likely to injure yourself, but muscle contractions can shift the implants, causing them to displace before they have settled into their permanent position.

One thing to remember is to go at your comfort level. This isn’t a race, so you don’t need to try and rush through recovery, and if an activity causes discomfort, talk to your physician during your follow-up appointments.

Exercise Timeline After Breast Augmentation

Exercising and Activity Two Weeks After Breast Augmentation

After the first two or three weeks, you will most likely be cleared for light activity, including going back to work. Because the breasts are still healing, it’s still important to abstain from more intensive exercising, especially anything that strains or stresses the upper body or results in excessive breast movement. Examples of what kind of exercise to avoid would include running, swimming, or high-intensity interval training that includes burpees or pushups.

Fitness and Working Out Six Weeks Post-Procedure

Generally, your surgeon will clear you between four and six weeks to resume most activity, including swimming and lifting weights. However, they may recommend you wait a bit longer to hit the gym if you plan on doing strenuous workouts or intensive strength training. During follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon, be sure to discuss your fitness goals and the activities you want to return to, and see if it’s safe to begin them.

Again, even if your doctor clears you, it’s important to listen to your body and go at your comfort level. If you feel pain or heaviness around your breasts, hold off or discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Exercise after breast augmentation

Many patients ask me when they can work out after breast augmentation surgery. Patients should start light walking immediately after surgery – nothing strenuous, just short walks around the room or home every other hour. This is good for the circulation and helps prevent blood clots. After two weeks, patients can start more intense cardio such as walking on a treadmill or walking uphill. At a month most patients can resume most exercise except heavy lifting. At six weeks, patients are generally completely healed and can resume all exercises.

After breast augmentation, especially with implants under the muscle, I recommend patients try to avoid strenuous chest exercise such as push ups. Since the implants sit under the muscle, contraction places downward and outward pressure on them which, over time can result in the implants dropping or becoming displaced over time. As a general rule, I also tell patients to listen to their bodies – if they do something that causes swelling or discomfort, stop doing it and give it a little more time.

Being someone who has implants and also in the fitness industry, I can tell you that implants shouldn’t impede you from having an active lifestyle. It will be important in your consultation with your surgeon to discuss what sports or exercise you do to help guide your decision when it comes to sizing or implant pocket placement. Definitely use a good supportive bra when exercising and wait until you are fully recovered and cleared by your surgeon before starting any activity.

Breast Augmentation and the Athlete

I know for a fact a lot of women out there – runners, kettlebell enthusiasts, CrossFitters, and others – are contemplating this surgery. I’ve even heard a certain exercise group referred to as a cult of “boob shrinkers,” so I know the phenomenon of losing body fat in less than ideal places was not unique to my personal fitness journey. And I know these women contemplating the surgery have questions – questions unique to athletic women.

Rather than imagine those women might happen upon my obscure little blog, I am sharing and updating my experience here again on Breaking Muscle. In particular I am going to address the two most common things I end up discussing with women – choosing a doctor and navigating recovery.

Alternatives To Push Ups After Breast Augmentation


Nearly all of the patients we see concerning breast augmentation or breast lifts come to us wanting to know how to make their results last as long as possible. After your procedure, though the breast appearance clock gets set back, it doesn’t stop ticking. Gravity and age still play a role in your breast appearance, and over time. they’ll naturally begin to sag and change. In many cases, patients can opt for a follow-up procedure to provide a renewed breast contour down the line.

But what can you do now to help maintain perkiness? There are some key steps to take, including maintaining a balanced diet and regular exercise. Whatever type of exercise you do will help overall muscle tone, but some specific exercises perfectly target the breasts and upper shoulder muscles. Below are a few of our favorites.


Though this exercise benefits from some equipment – a small Swiss ball or playground ball – if you don’t have either, you can go ahead and press your palms together. Up-down ball squeezes provide full-body engagement and particular attention to your pecs and breast muscles.

Point your toes about 45 degrees outward in a wide stance, keeping your ankles below your knees. Bend your knees to a 90-degree angle and bring the ball (or palms) to the center of your chest. From here, squeeze your palms together and engage those pectoral muscles.

Then, lifting the ball straight overhead, extend your arms, and bring your legs up about halfway. Squeeze the ball as you slowly bend your knees back to the 90-degree starting point and do a pulse up once the ball is back at chest height.


Dumbbell pullovers not only tone your breasts, they boost your upper back and tricep contours at the same time. All you need is a bench and a dumbbell. Start with grabbing a five- to ten-pound dumbbell by the stem. Next, recline on the floor or on a bench, making sure to keep your lower back straight, bending your knees and placing feet flat on the bench surface. Extend your arms forward above your chest, holding onto the dumbbell beneath the upper weight. Maintain soft, but straight, elbows. Then raise the dumbbell over your head until your forearms become almost perpendicular to the floor. Keeping your arms extended, bring the dumbbell back to the starting position.

Try out three sets consisting of 10 to 15 reps. As you increase muscle mass, slowly increase the dumbbell weight.


Planks pop up across fitness disciplines all over the world, thanks to their versatility and ease. You can plank anywhere and (almost) anytime. All you need is your body weight. Even adding a couple of planks to your exercise routine or sprinkled throughout the day can provide considerable benefits.

Though they primarily target the core, planks light up the upper body too, as you resist the pull of gravity. Firming up your core can also help increase muscle mass in the chest, naturally perking and filling your breast lift results.


Sit with your legs outstretched and toes pointed on the floor or a mat, with a playground ball or rolled-up towel behind your lower back for support. Place a dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms palm-up until they rest at shoulder height. Lean back to around 45 degrees, then open your right arm to the right side. Twist your waist until the weights are far apart as you can reach. Hold and engage your chest muscles as you slowly return the weight to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch sides (opening to the left).


Push-ups are another incredibly easy and efficient exercise for perkier breasts. With nearly infinite variations to try out, you’ll never get bored or run out of new challenges. If you’re new to push-ups and struggling, start on your knees for extra support. We recommend adding two to three sets of 10 to 20 push-ups throughout your day. Before you begin push-ups post-breast lift or breast augmentation, be sure to contact Dr. Armijo.

Exercises To Avoid With Breast Implants

Avoid chest and shoulder exercises, lifting weights or any other exercise that puts pressure on your chest or back.

In most cases, patients will be healed and able to resume all forms of exercise – including heavy cardio – within six weeks.

Choosing a Doctor

The biggest thing for an athletic woman to consider when choosing a doctor is her doctor’s feelings on exercise. There is a surprisingly huge range of opinions in the medical field when it comes to exercise post-surgery. It’s strangely similar to how doctors treat exercise and pregnancy, and for the same underlying reason – liability. Your doctor doesn’t want to be responsible for anything you might have go wrong, so the advice you get will be overly, and possibly unnecessarily, precautionary.

In particular there is a condition after breast augmentation that sometimes occurs, called “capsular contracture.” This is something all women are warned about before surgery and is essentially a condition where the scar tissue hardens around the implant. While, according to my doctor, there has been no proven link between exercise and the occurrence of capsular contracture, doctors don’t want to create any sort of connection between it and their advice on exercise either. In fact, in my searches I could find no studies that stated the cause of capsular contracture at all, rather they all stated the cause was unknown and most likely “multi-factorial.”

That being said – I am not a doctor and my opinion is not fact. I don’t know your situation and you should get good medical advice and not just listen to strangers, BUT you should also ask yourself and your doctor some pointed questions before you make decisions.

First and foremost, find a doctor who understands fitness is important to you. Don’t go to a doctor who told you in your consultation you shouldn’t work out for three months after surgery. If a doctor says that, go somewhere else. If he/she tells you you’ll never do push-ups again, go somewhere else.

You might think I’m kidding, but these were things either said to me or to women who have since shared their stories with me.

Likewise, if a doctor does not ask you about your fitness routine and you have to prompt the discussion of how to remain active through your recovery, that should give you pause, as well. It is imperative you and your doctor be on the same wavelength about your goals and your lifestyle.

Quick Tips for Finding a Good Doctor

  • Visit a variety of doctors – different offices have different energies and specialties.
  • Get referrals from friends.
  • Ask the doctor about his/her own fitness – my doctor ran and did yoga daily.

Training During Recovery

breast augmentation, breast implants, impants and athletes, athlete breasts

The doctor I ended up choosing made only two requests of me:

  1. He reminded me I was recovering from surgery, which is a major trauma to the body, and asked me to take more rest than normal for a while.
  2. He asked me not to do any upper-body exercises for two weeks.

That was it. Other than that he told me – if it feels funny, don’t do it; if it feels okay, don’t worry about it. I was exercising within a week, running within two weeks, and back to normal weight lifting within a month.


One thing I learned the hard way during my recovery was the importance of hydration. The post-surgery steroids caused a week-long calf cramp in my right leg that might have been alleviated had I been more tuned in to my extra need for water during that time period.

Again, this was MY experience. Don’t take my advice just because I said it, but do have a independent mind about your recovery and explore what feels comfortable in your healing process.

Breast augmentation surgery is no different than any other “injury.” If you injured your hand, or foot, or elbow, you would find ways to swap out exercises and keep yourself moving that felt right to you. Depending on the incision site some exercises may be quicker to get back to than others, but rather than being a hindrance to your recovery, being in good health is more likely to have you recover quicker. I am quite sure I would not have healed as well and as quickly were I not as active before AND after surgery.

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