Sagging breast is not a condition that you should be afraid of, some people are naturally meant to have big breasts due to genetics while some notice changes due to the the following causes aging; as you age the cooper’s ligaments around the breast lose elasticity and stretch or droop, smoking, sunburn, weight gain, weight loss, gravitational pull, collagen and estrogen deficiency, multiple pregnancies, menopause and lack of proper support.
The medical term of breast sagging is breast ‘ptosis’ that is mostly treated my plastic surgeons.
Some myths about breastfeeding, not wearing a bra or wearing a bra as causes of sagging breast are not true. Sagging breast remedies include surgeries, diet and nutrition, posture, drinking a lot of water, avoiding smoking, proper breast support and exercise.
I will focus on the exercises that help to strengthen the muscles around the chest that help the breast to remain perky.
- Push ups
Push-ups are one of the well known exercises around the world. It works the chest muscles, shoulders, back of the arms, abdominals, core, the wing muscles directly under the armpits and legs.
How to do: – Get down on all fours (quadruped position), placing your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Straighten your arms and legs. Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, and then push yourself back up. Repeat.
There are over 14 variations of push-ups that can be done as shown here, some of them include;- Staggering push-ups, wide push -ups, wall push-ups.
- Triceps Dips
The triceps dips works the arms especially the triceps, shoulders, core strength and the upper-body. You can add extra weight by using dumbbell, chain and dip belt.
How to do it: – Start seated with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place hands behind you, directly under the shoulders, with finger facing your hips. Lift hips to a hover. Bend elbow straight back and use your triceps to press back up.
Avoid putting your shoulders too high, dipping too low and leaning forward. There are several variations of the triceps dips as shown in this link.
- Dumbbell flyes
Dumbbell flyes strengthens the upper body especially the chest, triceps shoulders, and the back muscles. It helps to reduce back pains and tightening of the upper body.
How to do: – Lie with your head and shoulders supported by the bench and your feet flat on the floor. Hold the dumbbells directly above your chest, palms facing each other, then lower the weights in an arc out to the sides as far as is comfortable. Use your pectoral muscles to reverse the movement back to the start. Keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout and don’t arch your back.
There are different variations of dumbbell flyes as shown here. It can be done using dumbbells, machines or cables, while lying flat, inclined, declined or standing. Using the machine it is known as chest butterfly exercise.
Use weights that are comfortable and try to have a steady speed to avoid injuries. Avoid lowering too low and overstretching.
This is a Full body exercise. It works your chest, arms, abs, thighs, buts shoulder and hamstrings. It incorporates pushups and jumping jacks. It is so hard but very effective as it targets the whole body.
How to do: – The classic burpee is a four-point move. From a standing position, drop into a squat with your hands on the ground just in front of your feet. Then kick your feet back behind you, keeping your arms extended so you are in a raised plank position. At this stage, the more adventurous can throw a press-up or push up into the mix, which really ramps up the difficulty.
Remember to complete the whole burpee steps, to breathe steadily and contract the core.
- Bench chest press
Bench presses are used to strengthen the upper body especially the chest, arms and shoulders. Depending on what variations of bench chest press you use, it works different parts of the upper body. It can either be flat, inclined or declined presses, narrow or wide grip on the bar and also range of motion can either be bottom-end or top- end. You can either use the barbell, cables, machines or dumbbells.
How to do: – Traditional bench press is done by firstly lying on your back on a flat bench. Grip a barbell/ dumbbell with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width. Press your feet firmly into the ground and keep your hips on the bench. Slowly lift bar off rack, if using, and lower the bar to the chest, allowing elbows to bend out to the side. Stop lowering when elbows are just below the bench. Press feet into the floor as you push the bar back up to return to starting position.
Remember to use weights that you are comfortable with, also ensure your grip is firm to avoid injuries.
- Overhead shoulder press
The overhead shoulder press works the chest, shoulders, arms upper back and the Abs. For this exercise you can use the dumbbell, barbell or Kettlebell. It can also be done while standing or seated.
How to do: – Stand with your body upright and core muscles braced, looking straight ahead. Hold the bar on your upper chest, gripping it with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Press the bar directly overhead. Don’t tilt your hips forward during the move.
There are several variations of overhead shoulder presses that are illustrated here.
Remember to slow down your speed, keeping shoulder blades down, firm grip and using comfortable weights to lift.
- Dumbbell pullover
Dumbbell pullover works the back muscles, Abs and stretches the chest.
How to do: – Holding a medium-to-heavy dumbbell, lay with your back flat on a bench or stability ball. With your feet planted on the ground and your core engaged, extend your arms to the sky, cupping the dumbbell with both hands above your chest. Keeping your low back pressed into the bench or stability ball, slowly lower your arms overhead until your biceps reach your ears. Slowly bring your arms back to above your chest and repeat.
Remember to choose weights that are comfortable, grip firmly the dumbbell, slow down, engage your core and keep the back straight, keep arms facing each other throughout and move both arms simultaneously.
- Elbow squeeze shoulder press
This exercise works the chest, shoulders, arms and upper back.
How to do: – stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, hold dumbbells in each hand and raise the dumbbells until your upper arms are parallel to the floor and your elbows directly under the wrists. Bring elbows and forearm toward the midline of the body and return to the starting position. Push the dumbbells up and fully extend your arms. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Remember to engage the core, back straight, open the chest, face front, bend arms at 90 degrees angle and breathe steadily.
- Around the world
Around the world works the chest and shoulders. Can be done while lying on the bench or standing.
How to do: – Lie down on a flat bench holding two dumbbells above your head with your arms fully extended, palms facing the ceiling. Keeping your elbows slightly bent and your arms parallel to the floor throughout, move the weights in a semi circle round to beside your thighs. Reverse the movement and repeat.
- Dumbbell standing Y raise
This exercise works the shoulders and the chest. It can be done while standing or when lying on the bench.
How to do: – start with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward and elbows slightly bent. Raise both dumbbells at the same time upward and outward until both arms resemble the letter Y.
Remember to keep your arms straight and breathe steadily and keep your body upright. Other variations include floor Y- raise and cable Y- raise.
There are variety of other exercises that are used for chest workout but this have proven to work for me since they are very effective and efficient, easy to do and learn. As always CONSISTENCY is the key.