How Working Out Benefits Your Boobs
The power of a pair of dumbbells is mighty. Strength training builds muscle, helps develop firm curves, boosts your metabolic health, helps with fat loss, improves physical performance, movement control, walking speed, functional independence, cognitive abilities and self-esteem. It can also ward off type 2 diabetes, enhance cardiovascular health and increase bone mass.
But health benefits aside, many people lift weights for more aesthetic reasons—who doesn't want to feel confident and look good naked? Building muscle leads to a firm, curvy physique not obtained through any other type of exercise. It's no wonder people turn to dumbbells when trying to perk up any body part, including the breasts.
But will strength training—or any type of exercise—boost your boobs? We asked the experts.
Can barbells work out your breasts?
Unfortunately, exercise cannot directly affect your actual breast tissue. "Breasts are made up of fat, glands and connective tissues that cannot be exercised or strengthened, but they cover the commonly underdeveloped muscles of your chest, which can be developed to enhance the appearance of the breasts," explained Abbey Christie, a NASM-certified personal trainer.
Directly building your breasts is not possible with any type of exercise since breast tissue does not contain muscle. However, there are ways to increase the appearance of your chest by focusing on the underlying muscles. "Strengthening the chest muscles behind the breasts can give them a fuller appearance and support them, keeping your breasts perkier for longer," Christie said.
'Daily exercise can improve the appearance of breasts by creating better upper back posture, stronger shoulders, increased spine health, and improved muscle tone.'
Another aspect is poor posture. When you slouch, everything looks dragged down. Building the supporting muscles that encourage proper posture can help. "Daily exercise can improve the appearance of breasts by creating better upper back posture, stronger shoulders, increased spine health, and improved muscle tone," said Johnny Alexander, a sports-injury specialist and doctor of chiropractic.
On the other hand, a lack of physical activity, including strength training, can lead to less desirable outcomes for your girls. "Lack of exercise can create a state of inflammation throughout the entire body," said Alexander. Inflammation may cause your skin to lose its natural elasticity, causing signs of aging, like sagging and loose skin.
Exercises that can help
Christie recommends focusing on chest-building exercises women tend to ignore. "The best exercises to perk up your girls and give a little lift are exercises that target your upper chest and support good posture. At the gym, try an incline chest press or cable flyes for your chest muscles and seated rows or pull-downs to strengthen your posture. If you're at home, decline pushups and wall angels will do the trick," she suggested.
Alexander agreed and added the best strategy incorporates mid-back muscle-building activities like back rows and scapular retractions. "These train the upper back posture into a more natural position, which will indirectly give those tatas some perkiness," he said.
What else can help?
There are some options if you're still looking for more natural ways to help in the breast-building department. "A strong core and good posture are great ways to naturally improve the appearance of our breast area. Several posture-training bras and sleeves have been designed to give cues to those needing a little extra reminder," Alexander said. "Just be sure to pick one that fits your needs."
And, of course, you must provide your breasts with proper support during exercise and other activities. "If your breasts are not properly supported during a movement that causes them to bounce, the tissues can become stretched out more quickly," Christie said.
Remember, all bodies are different
There's no single way breasts should look. Everyone's musculature, breast size and density and skin elasticity are unique. As well, the effects of aging, pregnancy and hormonal changes can alter the shape and perkiness of your breasts.
It's essential to keep in mind what you see on the screen is rarely representative of typical bodies. Normalizing bodies through the entire life span and postpartum is crucial for self-esteem and self-expectations.
"Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, and we all catch ourselves admiring other women more often than we admire ourselves," Christie said. "The media exposes us to an unrealistic amount of (often faked) perfection, and most of us don't see a variety of exposed natural breasts regularly. This inconsistency can lead us to believe that there is something wrong with the way our bodies look."