Physical Exercises After Breast Augmentation Surgery

Are you suffering from shoulder or chest tightness following your breast augmentation surgery? Do these discomforts prevent you from being productive at work or impair your daily activities? While they are normal and expected after a breast augmentation surgery, performing specific exercises can have a significant impact on your body function. The aim of exercising after breast reconstruction or breast implant surgery is to help restore your physical function and get you back to your activities as soon as possible. It may take some time to achieve a full recovery, but the right postoperative exercises will help you improve your range of motion.

Dr Mark Gittos is a breast surgery expert and Plastic Surgeon in New Zealand who has helped hundreds of patients achieve their aesthetic goals.

Download Dr Mark Gittos’ Guide to Cosmetic Breast Surgery

Guide Ultimate Breast Surgery

The Importance of Physical Exercises after Breast Augmentation Surgery

Evidence suggests that certain exercises such as breast massage and implant displacement techniques can help prevent the formation of capsular contracture, a complication of breast implant surgery characterised by the formation of scar tissue around the implant. Several studies reported that these exercises prevent capsular contracture through the following mechanisms:

  1. By flattening the breast implant and increasing its surface area
  2. By promoting anti-inflammatory displacement
  3. By displacing the breast

Safe Exercises After Breast Augmentation

It is important to keep in mind that the types of exercises you can perform after your breast augmentation surgery will be determined by Dr Gittos and will be based on your body anatomy, the extent of the surgical procedure, and your desired aesthetic goals.

In one study, researchers found that daily capsule expansion exercises involving 3 maneuvers performed twice daily following a breast augmentation were associated with a lower incidence of capsular contracture (28%). This suggests that exercises are beneficial in the postoperative period.

To prevent the development of stiffness and to improve the range of motion in your arm and shoulders, these exercises can help:

Arm Swings

  1. Place your arms on your side
  2. Rotate your arms in a circular motion while increasing the size of the circle
  3. Do 5 repetitions every 2-3 hours

Body Turns (Rotations)

  1. Cross your arms so that they are placed on your shoulders
  2. Turn your head slowly to the left
  3. Turn your head slowly to the right
  4. Do 5 repetitions every 2-3 hours

Shoulder Shrugs

  1. Relax your shoulders
  2. Lift your shoulders toward your ears
  3. Slowly relax your shoulders while bringing them down slowly
  4. Do 5 repetitions every hour

Shoulder Rolls

  1. Relax your shoulders
  2. Roll your shoulders forward
  3. Roll your shoulders backward
  4. Squeeze your shoulder blades together while taking a deep breath
  5. Do 5 repetitions every hour

Shoulder Raise

  1. Put your fingertips onto your shoulders
  2. Raise both elbows up to the side
  3. Move your elbows forward in a circular motion
  4. Aim to get your elbows at the level of your shoulder
  5. Do 5 repetitions every hour

Beach Pose

  1. Lie down on a flat surface
  2. Place your fingers on your ears
  3. Point your elbows toward the ceiling
  4. Slowly lower your elbows
  5. Do repetitions as desired

Chest Stretch

  1. Stand up straight
  2. Place your arms at your side
  3. Slowly place your arms at your front
  4. Aim to touch your hands together
  5. Do repetitions as desired

To keep the surgical pocket open so that the implant will drop into its ideal position and to prevent capsular contracture, these exercises can help:

 Upward Breast Implant Exercise

  1. Place your thumb and forefingers on the crease of the lower breast
  2. Firmly grip the breast implants with both hands
  3. Gently squeeze your forefingers and thumb to apply pressure on the implant and allow it to slide into the upper area of the surgical pocket
  4. Continue to push the implant upwards toward the collarbone
  5. Firmly press the top of the breast implants downward to return them to their original position

Downward Breast Implant Exercise

  1. Place your fingers above your nipples
  2. Firmly apply pressure to the breast implants with both hands using a downward motion
  3. Continue to press until the implants slide down fully into the lower area of the surgical pocket
  4. Firmly press the breast implants upward to return them to their original position

Medial Breast Implant Exercise

  1. Place a cupped hand over the breast implant
  2. Move the implant towards your midline
  3. Slide the implant outwards
  4. Return the breast implant to its original position
  5. Repeat on the opposite breast

When Is Not Safe to Do Physical Exercises After Breast Implants Surgery?

If you experience the following signs and symptoms, stop your breast augmentation exercises immediately and consult with Dr Gittos:

  • Breast numbness
  • Breast or nipple sensation changes
  • Breast pain
  • Breast swelling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Difficulty moving the arm
  • Difficulty performing the exercises
  • Fluid accumulation (seroma)
  • Increasing tightness around your shoulder
  • Leakage of the breast implants
  • Redness on the breasts or chest

Further Reading about Breast Augmentation

Medical References

Finding the Best Breast Augmentation Surgeon in Auckland

For many women in New Zealand, having a breast augmentation is a life-changing experience. There are many qualified doctors, but it is always best to find one who is experienced in breast augmentation procedures. Breast implants come in many different shapes and sizes, and there are various insertion techniques, so find a reputable practitioner who can give good advice on the right implants for you. Before considering breast implants, it is wise to find a surgeon who is also up to speed with new non-invasive techniques for boosting the breasts, so you can investigate all the options before deciding on permanent surgical implants. It is important to avoid choosing a cheaper overseas option that lacks the ongoing support that a New Zealand surgeon provides. Always look for an experienced surgeon that you feel comfortable with and get a second opinion.

About Dr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – New Zealand Plastic Surgeon 

Practice locations in Herne Bay Auckland, Northland and Bay of Plenty – Kerikeri, Whangarei, New Plymouth & Tauranga

Dr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in Herne Bay, Auckland and in the UK. The practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.

Dr Mark Gittos offers high quality, natural-looking cosmetic surgery results and is highly experienced in BreastBody and Face Surgery having performed over 4000 Surgeries in the last 26 years.  With worldwide expertise Dr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women. 

Naturally, before any treatment is begun, we will explain clearly the advantages and risk factors; so that you have the information you need to make an informed decision that is best for you. Visit the practice to find out more.


Please NOTE: Dr Gittos only performs surgery on non-smoker patients with a BMI less than 30. To check your BMI please visit the NZ Heart Foundation website. For help giving up smoking before surgery visit the Smoke Free website

Do your Research

What to Bring to your Plastic Surgeon Consultation

  • Bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices
  • Take lots of notes and read the documents provided thoroughly
  • Dress in simple clothes as you may need to undress for examination
  • Bring your medical referral and any relevant medical documents or test results

Book your Initial Surgery Consultation

  • A Referral from your GP or specialist is helpful but NOT essential – you can have a consultation without a GP Referral
  • Email us or Call on 09 529 5352 to arrange your surgeon consultation appointment.
  • Book a consultation with Dr Gittos by paying the Consultation Fee – $350 incl GST

Traveling for Surgery? – Consider post-surgery luxury recovery in a Hotel with LuxeCare

Please contact us to arrange to book a consultation with our Specialist Plastic Surgeon or to speak with our Patient Care Advisor.

Send an enquiry form today or phone  09 529 5352  during Clinic Hours