Happy New Year!!!
Many of our patients work out consistently and worry about setting themselves back after breast augmentation.
We do recommend not isolating the pectoralis muscle for 6 months to 1 year with exercises such as the pec fly, chest press, push ups, dips. Now, everyone is different-I have seen patients at the gym doing modified push-ups or going lighter on their weights when doing chest press. You have to listen to your body - if there is pain involved-do not continue, obviously.
What patients have to remember is that the implant will have to settle in the pocket after surgery-exercising the pec muscle will interfere with the settling process by keeping the pec muscle tight and the implant therefore high. The muscle has to relax (lenghthen) in order for the implant to settle. After the first week of surgery at your first post op visit, you will learn a massage technique to help you get the implant down-this will have to be done consistently and aggressively-there will definitely be discomfort-but it's necessary to help in settling the implant.
Here is what I suggest-start with light cardio after 7-10 days after surgery. Keep your heart rate down and time your work-out to 10-20 minutes and see how you do. Increase the time of your work-outs slowly after giving your body time to adjust. I was up to 30 min of cardio w/o breaking a sweat after 3 weeks out and kept that intensity for 2 more weeks after that and then increased intensity slowly after that. It is importanat that after your surgery, you do not break a sweat as that will cause increased swelling due to your elevated heart rate. Keep this schedule for a couple of consecutive workouts and then maybe start incorporating lighter weights, such as for arms, legs.
A lot of patients take body pump classes. Initially, you might just want to use the bar without weights and refrain from presses, dips , push ups-anything isolating the pec muscle.
Lighter weights for bicep curls - push-down triceps w/ straight bar is better than rope, you can do light leg workouts-stay with machines-that way you don't have to carry the weight plates around.
Altogether, remember-you will not lose muscle tone overnight-I was out for 2 weeks after my surgery and it took me 1 full week to get back to a semi-normal routine. Sometimes your body even welcomes the rest. I felt like I had no endurance at first-mainly due to all the pain pills that had to be flushed out of my system. I had also gained water( 5LBS) weight from the meds but the bloats went away after 1 weeks- no fun. But I went back slowly and my endurance level and strength slowly returned as well. I listen to my body and watch for changes!! You will get all the hints you need to modify your exercise routine to what you can and cannot do by taking it step by step and respecting what your body tells you.
So, no fears!