9 Gentle Moves To Lift Your Breast After Breastfeeding (Doctor Approved)

Are you concerned about sagging breasts post-breastfeeding?

As an OBGYN and certified fitness trainer, new mothers often ask me how they can improve the look of their breasts.

In this post, you’ll discover nine strength exercises targeting the chest that may help lift your breast over time.

Key Takeaways / Quick Summary:

  • While exercise can’t directly lift breasts, targeted chest exercises can strengthen the pectoral muscles underneath the breast.
  • Combining these exercises into a regular upper body routine will build strength to lift and support breast tissue.
Chest exercises cover image

As an OBGYN physician, I have a clinical understanding of the anatomical changes that can impact breast shape and position.

Additionally, as a NASM certified trainer, I have worked with several postpartum women on safe postnatal exercise.

Combining medical expertise and fitness experience allows me to offer a unique perspective to new mothers seeking to reclaim control over their post-pregnancy bodies.

Can exercise help lift sagging breasts?

Exercise cannot directly lift sagging breasts

The breast is composed of fatty tissue, not muscle. Therefore, exercise won’t directly change your breast shape. However, exercising your chest muscles (underneath your breasts) can give the appearance of fuller, perkier breasts.

In addition, training your chest muscles will:

  • improve your upper body strength,
  • improve your overall muscle tone, and
  • improve your posture!

What are the best exercises to lift sagging breasts?

You can do the first four exercises at home without weights.

Breast Lift Exercises (No Equipment)

Wide To Close Push-Up

The first exercise is the wide-to-close push-up. The push-up is the best exercise for strengthening your chest and the connective tissue under your breast.

In my practice, I’ve found the push-up and its variations among the most effective moves for helping women improve their breast profile.

It will also strengthen your triceps, shoulders, and core muscles.

We are doing two different variations in one exercise.

Here’s how to do it:

brittany doing pushups with varying grip widths
  • Get into a push-up position with your hands directly underneath your elbows underneath your shoulders.
  •  You can do this with your legs straight or your knees on the floor.
  • Keep your core tight and your glutes engaged.
  • Begin the exercise by widening your hands on the floor. They should be wider than shoulder-width.
  • Perform a push-up by bending at the elbows until your breast gently grazes the floor.
  • Press back up to the starting position.
  • Next, bring your hands closer together (closer than shoulder-width) and perform another push-up.
  • Continue alternating between a wide-grip push-up and a close-grip push-up.

If this exercise is too challenging for you – you can perform it on an incline such as a table or a ledge.

Do 8-12 repetitions per set.

The Up and Down Plank

The up-and-down plank is a great exercise to strengthen your chest, triceps, and core muscles simultaneously.

That makes the up-and-down plank one of the best compound exercises before pregnancy or postpartum.

Here’s how to do it:

brittany performing a plank
  • Get into a forearm plank position with your legs extended behind you.
  • Make sure that your core is tight and your glutes are engaged.
  • Next, slowly transition into a straight-arm plank by extending one arm at a time.
  • Do this gradually to minimize any side-to-side swinging.
  • Do not let your hips sag or pike up into the air.
  • Continue alternating between a forearm plank and a straight-arm plank.

If this exercise is too challenging, you can do it from your knees or widen your feet.

Do 10-12 repetitions per set.

The Cobra

The next exercise is the cobra pose. You may be familiar with this movement if you’ve done yoga before.

It’s similar to the push-up, except you keep your legs flat on the floor while arching your back.

Yoga poses such as Cobra can help improve posture, which in turn can positively impact the appearance of sagging breasts.

Here’s what it looks like:

demonstrating cobra pose from yoga
  • Lie face down on the floor with your hands by your chest line, shoulder-width apart.
  •  Leave your legs straight out behind you, flat on the ground.
  •  Brace your core and squeeze your glutes.
  •  Next, lift your upper body off the ground by straightening your elbows.
  •  Keep your legs flat on the floor and arch your upper back.
  •  If you cannot lock your elbows out completely, that’s okay. If you can lock out your elbows and lift your upper thighs off the mat, this is an Upward Dog.
  •  Lower back down to the floor and repeat.

To make the Cobra pose easier, do it from your knees.

To increase difficulty, alternate between the Cobra and upward dog poses.”

Do 6-10 repetitions per set.

The Foot Assisted Dip

Next is the foot-assisted dip. This move is a great way to scale the dip, which can be challenging for many women.

Here’s how to do it:

doing dips with two chairs and feet on the floor
  • Position two chairs facing each other and stand between them.
  • Next, squat down and get on your tippy-toes.
  • Then, place one hand on each seat while keeping your chest proud.
  • Keep your elbows straight.
  • From here, begin bending your elbows – tucking them to about a 45-degree angle to your body.
  • Go down until your upper arm is parallel to the floor.
  • Press back up (using the assistance of your feet) until your elbows are straight.
  • Do your best to keep your shoulder blades retracted during the set.

Do 6-10 repetitions per set.

See The Video Of These Exercises Below!

Breast Lift Exercises With Weights

Next, we are transitioning to chest exercises you can do with weights.

Don’t worry, you don’t need anything heavy. Most of these exercises are suited for lighter dumbbells.

I love the Bowflex 552s, but they are a bit pricey. These are great because you can adjust the weight of each dumbbell.

Alternatively, you can pick up a pair of dumbbells,

Dumbbell Squeeze Press Outs:

This first exercise is the most straightforward- the dumbbell squeeze press out. It requires you to actively engage your chest muscles by squeezing a weight between your hands.

Here’s how to do this simple exercise:

squeezing a dumbbell and pressing it out
  • Clasp a dumbbell, kettlebell, or heavy book between your hands and hold it by your chest.
  •  Next, squeeze the item as hard as you can.
  •  You should feel your chest muscles activate.
  •  Next, press the dumbbell out before you by straightening your elbows.
  •  Do not stop squeezing your hands together to keep your chest activated.
  •  Bring the weight back to your chest and repeat.

Do 20 repetitions per set.

Banded Chest Flys:

The next chest exercise is the banded chest fly. You’ll need a closed-loop resistance band to do it.

I recommend this set from Amazon.

Here’s how it looks:

pressing a band forward wrapped around brittany's back
  • Place your hands inside both loops and wrap the band across your back.
  • Retract your scapulae, brace your core, and squeeze your glutes.
  • Next, press the band forward in front of you in a straight line.
  • As your elbows begin to lock out, begin adducting your arms together.
  • At the end range, make sure you feel the exercise in your chest.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

Dumbbell Chest Press:

Next up is the traditional dumbbell chest press. This movement will strengthen your chest, your triceps, and your shoulders.

You can do it on a bench or a stability ball (which you can get cheap on Amazon).

Otherwise, you can do it on the floor.

Use your heavier dumbbells for this exercise.

Here’s how to do it:

doing chest presses with dumbbells while lying on back
  • Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
  •  Next, grab the dumbbells and position your arms so that they are at a 45-degree angle from your body.
  •  Make sure to retract your scapula and keep them retracted throughout the set.
  •  The starting position is with your elbows and triceps completely flat on the ground with your forearms vertical.
  •  From here, press the dumbbells up until your elbows are locked out. There is no need to make the dumbbells touch.
  •  Next comes the critical part. I want you to slowly lower the dumbbells at least 3 seconds down until your elbows and triceps are on the floor again.
  •  Repeat.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

If you can access a bench press- this is also a great exercise to train the pectoral muscles.

Dumbbell Flys:

The next exercise is the dumbbell fly. This movement will train your chest muscles in shoulder adduction.

Use your lighter dumbbells for this exercise.

Here’s how it looks:

doing dumbbell flys while lying on the floor
  • Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
  •  Next, grab the dumbbells and bring them up above your chest with your elbows locked out and your palms facing each other.
  •  Make sure to retract your scapula and keep them retracted throughout the set.
  •  From here, you will begin dropping your hands out to your sides while maintaining a slight bend at the elbow.
  •  Keep going until your arms are flat and your palms face the ceiling.
  •  Next, adduct your arms and bring the dumbbells back together over your chest without bending your elbows.
  •  Repeat.

Do 12-15 repetitions per set.

Dumbbell Pullover:

Dumbbell pullovers are another great exercise that trains the chest and back muscles.

Here’s how to do it:

lying on floor pulling a dumbbell from overhead back to the chest
  • Grab a dumbbell and hold it up by your chest.
  •  Lie down on the floor and posteriorly tilt your pelvis (i.e. your low back flat on the ground)
  •  Straighten your elbows and hold the dumbbell up over your chest.
  •  Next, bring the dumbbell back over your head towards the floor while keeping your elbows straight.
  •  Do this slowly and controllably (at least 3 seconds).
  •  Once the dumbbell is behind your head, slowly reverse the movement.

Do 10-12 repetitions per set.

See The Video Of These Exercises Below!

So those are my top 9 exercises to lift breasts that you can do from home.

Choose 3-4 movements to build yourself a chest workout you can do two times per week.

A Simple Exercise Routine You Can Do At Home

The first workout uses just your body weight. Feel free to mix and match any of the above exercises.

Workout 1

Close-Grip Push-Up 38-10
Up & Down Plank310-12

Workout 2

The second workout focuses on using dumbbells or resistance bands.

Dumbbell Floor Press310-12
Dumbbell Flys312-15
Dumbbell Squeeze Press Outs320

To get the most out of these workouts, combine them with other targeted areas in your upper body, lower body, and core.

For example, a 32-year-old patient named Sarah came to me two months after stopping breastfeeding.

She had gained 30 pounds during her pregnancy and was struggling with the appearance of her breasts. She was also experiencing back pain and abdominal separation.

After following my program for postpartum recovery, she noticed a significant improvement in

  • her diastasis,
  • urinary incontinence,
  • and breast position in 3 months.

What causes saggy breasts?

To understand what causes saggy breasts (aka breast ptosis), you need to know the anatomy of the breast.

The breast comprises breast tissue, milk glands, ducts, and fat. This tissue sits on top of the pectoral muscles of the chest.

The breast lacks muscular support, so building the chest muscles underneath plays a key role.

Overtime, the ligaments that hold the breast in place can stretch from age, breastfeeding, and weight changes.

In other words, the breast loses the anchor points, keeping it lifted.

Additionally, estrogen loss leads to atrophy of the milk glands and duct tissue. Also, decreases in fat tissue reduce overall breast volume and fullness. (source)

Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent these things from happening.

Training the pectoral muscles helps by providing an underlying “shelf” to hoist breast tissue up from below. But muscle alone cannot reshape actual breast gland tissue.

It’s adding muscular support only.

Summary Of All The Things That Change The Shape of Your Breasts

  1. Hormonal Changes (Decrease in Estrogen): Estrogen is the primary female hormone. As a woman gets older, her estrogen levels decrease. Breast tissue is composed of estrogen-sensitive cells
  2. Changes in Breast Size: When you are pregnant, your breasts will grow as they begin to produce milk. After you stop breastfeeding, your breast will decrease in size as the milk ducts shrink. The fluctuations in size can stretch the ligaments supporting the tissue.
  3. Weight Loss: This is similar to changes in breast size. If you lose weight, your muscle and fat tissue will get smaller, but your skin can remain stretched. These weight fluctuations can give a saggy boob appearance.
  4. A Decrease in collagen: Lastly, collagen is a protein that provides structure to your skin, muscle, and bones. Collagen decreases as we age, which decreases skin elasticity.
  5. Stretching of Cooper’s Ligament: Cooper’s ligaments are connective tissue underneath the breast that helps maintain the shape and structure of the breast. These ligaments stretch and deform with weight gain and pregnancy.

Final Words On Breast Lifting Exercises

Based on my experience as an OBGYN and trainer, I have seen modest but noticeable improvements in breast lift with regular exercise.

While you may not be able to change the way your breasts look directly, training your chest muscles can change the way they “sit.”

In addition, these exercises will improve your lean muscle mass, bone health, and confidence.

Either way, you are beautiful – drooping breasts or not!

Now, let me turn it over to you.

Have you used exercise to change your breast appearance before?

Comment below and let me know!

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Brittany Robles, MD, MPH, CPT

Brittany Robles is a full-time OBGYN physician, a NASM certified trainer, and a prenatal and postnatal fitness specialist. She holds a Master of Public Health degree in maternal health with a special interest in exercise and nutrition. She is also the co-author of The White Coat Trainer. Learn more about her here.

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3 thoughts on “9 Gentle Moves To Lift Your Breast After Breastfeeding (Doctor Approved)”

  1. This is the most sincere information I’ve read on saggy breast. Thank you. I’ll just keep up with the exercises.

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