Breast augmentation is one of the most popular elective surgeries in the United States, with women of all athletic inclinations and abilities interested in making a change to their bustline.
In fact, some very athletic women may even find their hard work on the field is rewarded by shrinking breasts. Luckily, with the proper preparations and care, breast augmentation is a totally viable option for most athletic women, no matter their sport.

After the recovery period, there may be some initial adjustments to accommodate the increased breast volume, but ultimately, appropriately-sized implants can be a suitable addition to even the most athletic female body.

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Placement Of The Implant And Associated Risks

The biggest decision extreme athletes must make (besides choosing a surgeon) is whether to place the implants over or under the breast muscle. “Unders” are inherently more protected as they are placed below the breast tissue. With “unders,” your pectoral muscle function could be slightly compromised and mobility decreased, in addition to the risk of animation deformities, where the appearance of the breast is distorted due to muscle activity. “Overs,” however, have more cosmetic risks, such as rippling or simply not looking natural, especially on smaller or athletic frames.  

In either case, implants are built strong and will generally last 10-20 years no matter your activity level. Silicone is remarkably strong, and the shell of your implants will be very strong as well, though as the implants age they may weaken, or rupture due to extreme contact. Silicone gel implants (when kept to a reasonable, smaller size) are typically the best for most athletic women, as they are sturdier and lighter than saline implants.

Tae-Bo? More Like Tae-No

Some activities are contraindicated for the athlete with implants. After making sure you are completely healed, pectoral weight lifting could displace the implant, make the breasts overly firm or even cause leakage. Any contact sports where a direct, hard blow to your chest is possible, even in kickboxing, may also be unwise. Implants are tough, but not invincible; as they age, they can also become weaker, so if you have any doubts, it’s best to consult your surgeon and avoid the risk.

Many athletic women are questioning the impact breast implants will have on their lifestyle; it can be comforting to know most extreme sport athletes experience little to no problems. Breast implants are durable, and medically there is no reason your extreme sports routine should change because of an augmentation—just make sure you add a good sports bra to your gym bag.