Another week and another popular question: “Do my boobs grow or shrink with exercise?” This is a common concern, and the reason why a lot of health and fitness magazines and websites have written about it. It often also involves the recommendation to do exercise to lift those boobs. Well, despite all this information out there, let me explain the effects of exercise on the breasts in a quick and easy read.
Breasts are mostly made of fat. There is also specialized tissue that produces milk. The milk drains into milk ducts which transport it to the nipple. The male breast has the same structure, but it lacks the milk producing structures (they’re called lobules).
The size of the breast is determined by the amount of fat. During pregnancy and when a woman is breastfeeding the breasts are larger too.
The breast does not contain muscle. The chest muscle (the pectoralis major) is underneath the breast. So if you do exercises that target the pecs, you won’t increase the size of your boobs, but they can appear perkier as they get “pushed out and up” by the underlying chest muscle. However, this also depends on the size and shape of your breasts. If they are small and firm the effect would be much stronger than if they were soft and big or sagging.
Exercises that would target the pecs are pushups and chest presses using heavy dumbbells or barbells.
However, boobs can shrink with exercise, as it’s possible to lose (some of) the fat in the breast. You may have seen pictures of professional female bodybuilders who have a very low body fat percentage and they basically don’t have breasts anymore. As you know, we cannot target where we lose the fat. This is determined by hormones and our genes. Women tend to lose fat on hips, thighs and bottom last.
Fat cells never disappear, they just shrink. I personally easily gain and lose fat in my breasts – and I have stretch marks to prove it too. Also, as you may have experienced yourself, when you lose fat in certain areas of your body, your skin might be loose and sagging. I find that especially true for breasts as there is no muscle in it that you could train to grow bigger to fill in the skin, like you can do for your arms by training biceps and triceps.
I hope this information helps you to understand the effects of exercise on your boobs. Whatever your goals are, just remember that exercise (especially weight bearing exercise) is important not just for looks, but for health. And having a strong body gives us better posture, balance and movement, which all helps to make us look better. Your breasts already seem so much better if you have a straight back, with the shoulders pulled back and down.