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There is no shortage of information on the Internet claiming that specific exercises can help women improve the shape, size, and position of their breasts without having to undergo a surgical procedure. Unfortunately, a great number of these assertions are unsupported. While it’s certainly true that particular exercises and weight training techniques can help sculpt and tone the breasts to some degree, there are no workouts that can significantly lift the breasts by themselves.

As a whole, pushups, flyes, bench presses, and various other exercises that focus on the chest help to build muscle and decrease fat located beneath and/or around the breasts. While added muscle tone and a reduction of fatty tissue are definitely welcome results of working out, neither of these effects helps to elevate the position of the breasts on the chest wall. In contrast, a breast lift (mastopexy) is intended to remove redundant skin, reshape tissues, and lift the breasts for an enhanced overall contour and projection. Furthermore, proper nipple size and positioning can be restored during the procedure, which is an additional concern that generally remains resistant to exercise and other non-surgical alternatives.

In the end, this is not to say you shouldn’t work out and/or establish a regular exercise routine – you certainly should, as staying active is a vital part of living a healthy, well-balanced life. Just be aware of the fact that no matter how many pushups or chest exercises you do, surgery will usually be the most effective solution for addressing the excess skin and tissue laxity responsible for moderate to significant breast drooping.

Dr. Tiffany McCormack, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon