7 Breast Lifting Exercises: Lift, Firm & Perk Them Up

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Published by Christiana Mikesch, CPT | Senior Coach
Last updated: July 19, 2024
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I’ve had countless clients come to me over the last decade wanting to solve specific body challenges. Many female clients seek lifted breasts without investing in expensive breast implants or surgery.

After a deep dive into the research done by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and many other studies, I learned that exercises for firm breasts have proven effective and safe when performed correctly.

These targeted workouts enhance the appearance of the chest area and improve overall posture and muscle balance.

Let’s begin.

Quick Summary

  • To lift and firm your breasts, incorporating exercises like the cobra pose, dumbbell chest press, and push-ups into your fitness routine is effective.
  • Regular chest workouts increase underlying muscle mass, leading to a more aesthetically pleasing chest area.
  • A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that breast cancer survivors who did weight lifting for 12 months had a lower incidence of physical function deterioration (8.1% vs. 16.3%).
  • In my personal opinion, combining these exercises with good posture and skin care can significantly enhance breast appearance and health.

Best Chest Exercises to Lift Breasts

A woman lifting her breasts

According to Mayo Clinics, there are no breast muscles but connective tissue, glands, and fatty tissue [1].

Yet, from my experience coaching women, I've observed that incorporating a chest workout regularly into your fitness routine not only increases underlying muscle mass but also leads to a more aesthetically pleasing chest.

This transformation has been a confidence booster for many of my clients.

On the other hand, if your goal is overall weight control, fat burner supplements formulated for women can significantly enhance your results by boosting metabolism, increasing energy levels, and promoting fat loss.

Cobra Pose

Warm up your upper-body workout with this stretch to activate chest muscles.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your stomach.
  • Extend your legs and place the tops of your feet on the floor.
  • Place hands directly under shoulders, elbows tucked in.
  • Lift the head and chest off the ground while holding the shoulders back and keeping the neck neutral.
  • Straighten your arms as much as is comfortable; hold the pose for 30 seconds.
  • Return to start; repeat three times.

Learn More: Cobra Back Workout Exercises

Dumbbell Chest Press

A person doing dumbbell chest press workouts at the gym

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on a bench with your knees bent.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Raise your arms above the chest with your palms away from the body.
  • Bend elbows to lower weights until reaching a 90-degree angle; keep back flat on the bench.
  • Press under control back to the starting position with arms extended.
  • Repeat.

Push-Up

Based on my coaching experience, the push-up is an excellent bodyweight exercise that I often recommend as a workout finisher to increase blood flow to the pectoral muscles, and my clients have seen remarkable improvements.

Try wall push-ups from a standing position with a similar movement pattern, or do medicine ball push-ups for a broader range of motion.

Here’s how to do the classic push-up:

  • Begin in a high plank position.
  • With your elbows slightly bent, engage your chest muscles.
  • Lower your body until it is close to the floor, maintaining a straight posture.
  • Push away from the ground, returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

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Wide Push-Up

A person doing wide push ups at the gym

Wide push-ups target your chest, upper arms, and shoulders.

They also work the serratus anterior better than traditional push-ups, according to the Journal of Physical Therapy Science study [2].

Here’s how to do them:

  • Begin in a traditional push-up position with hands wider than shoulders and fingers facing forward or slightly to the outside.
  • Slowly lower your body.
  • Pause when the chest is just below the elbows and engage the core as you return to the starting position.
  • Perform 1–3 sets of 8–15 repetitions.

“The serratus anterior muscle spans the upper eight or nine ribs. This muscle helps you rotate or move your scapula (shoulder blade) forward and up. Sometimes it’s referred to as the boxer’s muscle.”

- Jaime Herndon, MS, MPH, MFA

Dumbbell Fly

The dumbbell fly is a classic bodybuilding movement that isolates and builds the pec muscles to help lift drooping breasts.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand using a neutral grip.
  • Lay back on the bench and keep your weights close to your chest.
  • Take a deep breath, and press weights to lock out elbows at the top.
  • Retract shoulder blades, unlock elbows, and lower dumbbells laterally while keeping a slight bend to the elbows.
  • Reverse movement by squeezing pecs together and bringing dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Plank-to-Side-Plank

A person doing planks at a home gym

This plank variation targets the core muscles, front of the shoulders, and upper back rotation, opening up and activating chest muscles.

It can also improve upper-body stability and range of motion.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Start in a high plank position.
  • Keep your body in a straight line.
  • Hands should be shoulder-width apart.
  • The feet should be hip-width apart.
  • Stabilize yourself with your left hand.
  • Pull your right arm to the side and upward, pivoting your toes to the right as you rotate your core.
  • This movement will open up your upper body, with shoulders turned and arms straight and reaching toward the ceiling.
  • Slowly lower your arm while pivoting your toes back to the regular plank position, facing ground again.
  • Repeat on the opposite side or complete reps on one side before switching.

Read More: Does Planking Burn Fat: Everything You Should Know

Superman

Poor posture can cause the breasts to sag.

The Superman exercise can help restore proper posture and make the breasts appear perkier.

Once comfortable with the bodyweight version, progress to the medicine ball to strengthen muscles further.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Lie on your stomach with your legs straight.
  • Extend your arms in front of you and have your palms facing down.
  • Lift arms and legs 2–3 inches off the ground simultaneously.
  • Keep your head neutral; do not pull your neck back.
  • Hold for 5–10 seconds, then slowly lower your arms and legs to the floor.
  • Repeat.

“The superman exercise strengthens the erector spinae muscles and other surrounding muscles to support your spine, promote good posture, and reduce risk of injury.”

- Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, CPT

What Causes Sagging Breasts?

A person checking out her breasts

Throughout my coaching career, I've helped clients address various causes of sagging breasts, also known as breast ptosis.

These include aging, genetics, lack of exercise, poor posture, and more, as corroborated by research in the Scientific Reports journal [3].

By understanding the reasons, you can better prepare yourself to reduce or prevent sagging through simple changes like learning to strengthen your muscles, taking care of your skin, or even maintaining good posture.

How Often Should You Do These Exercises?

The frequency with which you should do these exercises depends on your fitness level and goals.

Maintaining balance in your workout regimen is crucial. If you haven’t been training, be mindful not to take on too much at once.

Start with 2–3 weekly workout days and increase as you become more consistent.

Aim for 2–3 sets of 10–15 repetitions of each exercise, gradually increasing the weight and focusing on feeling your muscles working harder each week.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that breast cancer survivors participating in slowly progressive weight lifting for 12 months were significantly less likely to experience deterioration in physical function compared to those who did not engage in such exercises (8.1% vs. 16.3% incidence rate) [4].

FAQs

Can Exercise Help Lift Sagging Breasts?

Exercise can help lift sagging breasts in the sense that chest exercise improves mass in the muscles beneath but not breast shape, creating an aesthetically pleasing look by giving the appearance of perkier breasts.

Will My Breasts Sag Less If I Lose Weight?

Your breasts may sag less if you lose weight because your body experiences reduced fat tissue, which can decrease breast size. However, the extent to which they will depend on various factors, including your age, genetics, skin elasticity, and amount of weight loss.


References:

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/womens-health/multimedia/breast-cancer-early-stage/sls-20076628?s=4
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4792988/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7846783/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4477788/
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About The Author

Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
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Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
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Dr. Harshi Dhingra, MBBS, MD is a published peer-reviewed author and renowned physician from India with over a decade of experience. With her MBBS from Bharati Vidyapeeth and an MD from Rajiv Gandhi University, she actively ensures the accuracy of online dietary supplement and medical information by reviewing and fact-checking health publications.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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