Greetings, gorgeous, busty women! I have created an in depth guide for working out with big boobs.
I’ll talk about my personal experience with these unruly nuisances, health factors to take into consideration, exercises aimed towards women like us, and ways to remain positive through the many frustrations that are our breasts… Because I know they annoy the living heck out of you.
As I’m sure you’ve read, my name is VIctoria Melo and I wear a 32DDD. I used to struggle with exercise because I felt like my breasts were keeping me from enjoying my workouts. My breasts were overflowing the cups of my sports bras, my ribs and back were aching all the time, and by the time I would finish running my breasts would be sore, too. I never looked forward to working out.
During this time I thought I was a 36C, so I was wearing terrible bras that were only making my workouts painful and inconvenient. Since I was convinced that I knew my size, I thought it was normal to be in pain while exercising. I simply assumed that all women with large breasts had the same problems as me and I never questioned anything.
You can read more about my story here, but it was not until years later when I was in college that I learned I actually needed a 32DDD.
I have learned several things about having large breasts since then:
Do not go in public without wearing a bra
Don’t you dare go in public without some sort of bra! Do not do it!
There have been days where I’ve been so exhausted and careless that I thought, “Oh, what the heck. I don’t care who sees me. I’m just going for a gallon of milk! I’ll be home in no time.” Do not lie to yourselves, ladies! If you’re like me, you’ll be humiliated by the time you see one person – and it’s usually too late to run back inside and put a bra on at that point.
The back pain is real!
Oh, it’s so real. I get this intense soreness in my mid back that’s in line with my breasts. It pretty much feels like a pulled muscle, except it never goes away. It especially hurts when I bend forward!
Rashes develop way too often
As if it’s not enough to be in pain, our boobs get heat rashes! For me, I usually get a heat rash when I wear a t-shirt over my bra and then exercise. Between sweating and the tops of my breasts rubbing on my blouse, I get those pesky red heat bumps that resemble boils. They are painful, nasty, and hang around for several days!
It can be difficult to find cups that completely hold your breasts
Unless you have an almost perfect sports bra, your boobs do one of two things: they either squish together and overflow the top of your bra, creating an awkward bulge/protrusion that pokes through your blouse, or your lower boobs poke out of the bottom of your bra, waiting on you to move abruptly so they can completely escape your sports bra and bounce freely for the world to see.
They’re almost always lopsided when exercising
It can be very embarrassing when your boobs become lopsided the more you move. Are you supposed to constantly fondle your boobs in public to keep people from noticing or are you supposed to just let them be lopsided? Decisions…
Boob sweat often seems inevitable
Boob sweat is disgusting, I know. Not only that, though – it also contributes to those rashes we already discussed, as well as odor, blisters, etc.
If you want to know how to tackle boob sweat, check out my article about preventing boob sweat with large breasts.
Do not underestimate your boobs; they WILL try to murder you
You choke half to death when you lie on your stomach, although if you literally grab your boob and lay it next to you in your partner’s spot, it’s tolerable.
When you bend over or lie on your back, your boobs love saying hi to your chin – and also choke you half to death in the process.
Should I even discuss the stretch marks or would you rather not cry today?
If stretch marks are a concern, here’s a guide I wrote about how to reduce stretch marks.
There are so many other daily frustrations that come along with having large breasts, but I don’t need to map it out for you any more than I already have – you’re already living this life!
Since I’ve reminded you of all the reasons why our breasts are a nuisance, let’s move on to one of the main points of today’s topic – exercise!
If you’re like me, you already dread exercise. It’s just an added stressor that we’ve got huge breasts on top of it! I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to my exercise routine, so if I can do it, I promise you can, too!
Exercising with large breasts
Personally, I physically hurt when performing an exercise that causes my boobs to bounce. Running is just out of question for me, even with a proper sports bra! My boobs pull down on my shoulders and upper chest so badly that after running my upper body feels like someone tried to separate my body from my boobs! (Oh, how I wish someone would really pull them off!)
Running, jogging, jumping jacks, and even elliptical exercises are all things that will cause your boobs to bounce, thus causing unnecessary strains in your back, chest, shoulders, and even your neck. You can still get your arms, abdomen,back, and other body parts moving without forcing your chest to bounce uncontrollably!
These first few are the basics. They’re things you can do with or without the perfect sports bra because bouncing is minimal with these:
Swimming keeps your heart pumping without the extra strain on your body. It helps tone muscles and build strength, which can help ease breast pain in the long run! There’s also no horrid boob sweat involved – or any sweat for that matter! A lot of women view swimming as a form of zen, and I can’t blame them. Your body temperature stays healthy, there’s minimal strain on your body, and the water feels darn good on your skin. Even if you swim quickly, there’s no painful bouncing of your breasts! How can you beat that?!
Riding a bike is another great one. It’s gentle on your joints, promotes healthier sleep, and gets those bowels moving! There’s no need for Activia or melatonin if you can hop on a bike for just 30 minutes a day. Even a stationary bike will work. I do encourage you to ride a bike outside, though, to inhale fresh air and hopefully see some nice scenery!
Swimming and bike riding are also two of the best exercises for people who are overweight or new to exercise because they’re so gentle on your joints!
I know, I know. Walking is incredibly boring. I get it! It’s also one of the healthiest forms of exercise you can do, and you can spice it up! You can walk your dog, which would help both you and your fur baby maintain a healthy weight. If you’re a big weirdo, you can always play Pokèmon Go while you walk!
If you’re not a big weirdo, you could make those much needed phone calls to distract yourself – you know, call to reschedule an appointment you missed, call your mom or sister back, call your landlord and demand they come fix the A/C… By the time you’re off the phone you’ll almost be done walking! You can also listen to podcasts or audiobooks of mystery novels while walking.
If none of that sounds fun, don’t worry, I’m full of great ideas:
Hatha yoga is a fantastic type of yoga for newbies. It’s great for your posture, mental focus, and breathing. If you’re overweight in addition to having large breasts, I would have to recommend using Pinterest for ideas about beginning yoga.
There are thousands of step by step guides educating you on what yoga poses work for what body types, ailments, etc. Yoga has been proven to lower high blood pressure, relieve stress, ease arthritis and heart palpitations, lower blood sugar, improve balance and posture, and the list goes on!
If you have never tried yoga, I encourage you to utilize the tools that are available to you! Go to YouTube and search “Yoga for beginners” or “Yoga for plus sized women”. You will be amazed at how many tutorials are available to you at no cost. You can completely change your body and turn your life around without having to leave your living room!
Rock climbing also involves little to no bouncing and is great for building strength!
Find a supportive sports bra so you can do exercises that require a little more movement
I’m sure you’re exhausted with sports bra talk from others, so I’ll make this short and simple:
Poor features of a sports bra (or any bra)
If the straps dig into your skin, it’s not the bra for you.
If you have a uniboob or your nipples are visible, it’s not the bra for you.
If it costs less than $5, it’s not the bra for you.
If you feel stuck when you try to pull it back over your head, it is not the bra for you! Your sports bra should come off just as smoothly as it went on. Imagine trying to take it off when it’s soaked with sweat.
If your boobs are spilling out of the top of your sports bra, it’s not for you. The cups should completely cover your boobs.
If your breasts nearly take out your eyeballs when you run, it’s not the right one. (However if you’re me, you’ll never know because once again I. Do. Not. Run.)
What to look for in a sports bra
You need an encapsulation bra
Research has shown that compression sports bras – the ones that are basically just a band that goes across your chest – work best for women who wear an A or B cup. Women who wear a C cup or bigger need a sports bra that has two individual cups; these are known as encapsulation bras.
Racerbacks and wide straps will give you maximum support
Racerbacks and wide straps provide maximum support for women with large breasts.
In a nutshell
Your sports bra should never feel uncomfortable. Your ribs and back should feel comfy where the band wraps around your body, and your breasts should not be in pain, nor should they overflow the cups. Your shoulders should not be aching from straps that are digging in. You should feel as comfortable as possible in your sports bra.
Okay, I said I would make sports bra talk short and simple, but I lied. I’m sorry, but I want you to support that rack right!
Once you figure out your bra situation, try these moderate to intense exercises
Consider doing burlesque
Spice up your life! Take a burlesque class! Channel your feminine side. You can wear makeup and a cute outfit all while working that body.
Dancing provides you with so many benefits, like flexibility, strength, endurance, confidence, and overall self love!
If you’re not comfortable dancing in a room full of strangers, I repeat: utilize the tools that are available to you! Search for free burlesque videos on YouTube or Pinterest, get dolled up, and learn how to be sexy without ever leaving home!
Try to belly dance
This one has a lot of similarities to what I just mentioned, but it’s one of my all time favorites, so I can’t pass it up: BELLY DANCING!
I can tell you from seeing belly dancers in person it takes a lot of skill to belly dance! If you have ever watched belly dancers at a Renaissance festival, those girls balance swords on their heads and jiggle their thick bodies all over the place without dropping their swords once.
Naturally last year when I heard there was a belly dancing class in my city, I joined as soon as I could. It was so much fun, ladies!
Let me tell you, I don’t know the first thing about dancing. I’ve personally bettered my belly dancing skills by *drum roll, please…* USING FREE YOUTUBE VIDEOS ON BELLY DANCING!!! Because a lot of women seem to not know much about belly dancing, I’ve pulled up some brief information from bellydancing.com to share some benefits you might not have considered.
It is considered a weight bearing exercise, which can prevent osteoporosis and strengthen bones.
It is also considered low impact, which means the risk of injury is minimal.
It aids in weight loss; you can burn up to 300 calories per hour.
It’s a fantastic prenatal exercise; It strengthens the pelvic and abdominal muscles that are used during childbirth.
It soothes our muscles that tense up due to stress. Because belly dancing requires so much concentration on repetitive movements, it’s an easy way to temporarily forget about the stressors of our day.
Belly dancing is even better than most exercises at aiding in digestion. Since you roll your stomach and sway your torso so often, it really gets your digestive tract moving.
Play beach, lake, or pool volleyball with your friends or family! The girls will bounce a little, but you probably won’t notice over the fun you’re having with your loved ones!
Throw a frisbee
It doesn’t sound like a lot of exercise, but once you jog (because who wants to run?) to pick it up several times, you’ll have exercised a lot more than you thought! The same concept goes with throwing a football or kicking a soccer ball back and forth!
Beat a punching bag
Consider purchasing a punching bag! Just think about it: you can kick it and the girls won’t move much. You can punch it…and the girls still won’t move much! You can pretty much beat the bag within an inch of its life and the girls STILL WON’T MOVE MUCH!
You’ll build strength, brush up on self defense, work out anger or frustrations, and you’ll temporarily be stress free. Honestly, now that I’ve typed out all the benefits of having a punching bag, I’m itching for one!!!
Once you find a great sports bra (and here’s my link to the five best sports bras), you can pretty much do any type of exercise that I did not mention, like lifting weights, elliptical training, zumba, and so on.
It’s important to know how having large breasts can affect your health, that way you remember what precautions to take when you exercise:
We’ve already discussed having pain in your shoulders, neck, and back. You also have to look out for yeast infections under your breasts. When too much heat and moisture gets trapped under your breasts, there’s a good chance you can end up with a yeast infection that leaves painful blisters and cracked skin under there.
Although it sounds strange, numbness is another symptom to look out for; if your breasts are overly large, your fingers, hands, arms, and breasts can all become numb and tingly! Too much weight on your chest can also contribute to breathing problems, so never, ever push yourself past your limit!
Your mental health
There’s another health factor to take into consideration that unfortunately a lot of people don’t consider. It might sound silly at first, but you have to think about your mental health, too.
Breasts in general are overly sexualized, but those of us who have “huge” boobs might have it a little worse than others. Some women are embarrassed or afraid to exercise in a tank top, a sports bra without a shirt, or even baggy t-shirts. A lot of us have been sexualized or even bullied from a very young age because of our breasts.
Unfortunately it DOES start at a young age with a lot of females.
For example, take a girl in sixth or seventh grade who already wears a B or a C cup. (Yes, girls this age wear a C cup sometimes!) Those girls are likely to have much larger breasts than their peers, which is likely to cause those girls to experience sexual attention way sooner than their classmates.
You also have to take into account how many girls give their busty classmates trouble for being so developed for their age. I know I personally dealt with bullying from time to time from other girls who did not understand why I already had breasts.
Now that I’m an adult, I know I’m not only speaking for myself when I say exercising in front of others is intimidating. You see cute women at the gym in their sports bra and pants and you want to dress that way, too – but maybe you don’t because your breasts are too big and you don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to yourself – it’s not as simple as just tuning people out.
We’re aware of our breasts and we know that others are, too. Even with headphones we can’t help but feel like someone is watching from afar! I know I’m not speaking for every women with large breasts; some of us are more comfortable in our skin than others, and that’s amazing! There are still a lot of women whose mental health/stability plays a role in whether or not they exercise in front of others.
I want to encourage all of you to love your body. Love your breasts. Wear what you want to the gym with confidence! I know some of you won’t take my advice even if you want to, and that’s okay. You can still maintain an active, healthy lifestyle without anyone ever seeing you.
I hope I don’t sound like a broken record, but that’s why I want to stress so much that you use the tools that are available to you. If you’re reading this right now there’s a pretty high chance you have wifi at home or data on your smartphone. That means if you’re uncomfortable in public, the tools you need are at your fingertips!
Clear a space in your living room, garage, or backyard. Download the YouTube app. Search for free exercise videos and follow them step by step. Follow fitness Instagram accounts that are run by women with large breasts/curves, and download fitness apps that send you reminders to exercise!
Stylecraze Fitness is a fantastic YouTube channel to follow for at home workouts targeted towards women. Subscribe to Sierra Schultzzie on YouTube if you want to watch free videos about curvy girl hacks, exercises, and daily motivation!
Love Sonima is a YouTube yoga channel that will teach you strength training and mobility workouts.
Scola Dondo and HangTightHangTightwMarC are other great channels for home exercise!
On Instagram, you can follow @FollowtheLita for daily exercise motivation!
@getbodiedbyj, @LyzabethLopez, @BrittanyPerillee, and @MyNameIsJessamyn are also all fantastic fitness accounts!
Other than following fitness acounts, there are things I want you all to try to keep yourself motivated. When you’re already likely to have back pain even when you don’t exercise, it is easy to find yourself discouraged and turned off from being active. Try these things to keep discouragment at a minimum:
Journal your progress
Keep a journal and document every time you work out. Write down in detail how you felt physically and mentally after exercising. Keep the journal with you at all times so you don’t forget. Make a list of new exercises you want to try, your favorite places to exercise, and people who have made you feel good about your lifestyle changes.
Take lots of photos
Take pictures of what you looked like on day one. Take more pictures either every month, every three months, or every six months and put them side by side. Observe the beautiful changes you’ve made! It will motivate you to keep working.
Hold onto your biggest piece of clothing to look back on
If losing weight is your goal, do not sell everything once you’re a smaller size. Keep at least one pair of pants at your biggest size. When you feel like your progress has plateaued, or if you feel unattractive, pull out that old pair of pants. Force yourself to acknowledge all the things you’re doing right.
Write yourself notes
Write motivational notes and put them on your refrigerator, in your wallet, and taped to the bathroom mirror. For example, you could write “You don’t get the ass you want by sitting on it,” and tape it to your bathroom mirror. I don’t know who came up with that, but it’s brilliant!
Find a friend
Make a friend who is in a similar situation as yours. Use each other as both motivation and friendly competition to see who can make the most progress!
Hang out outside more
Replace time on Facebook with time outside. I’ve recently done this myself. I’m not saying don’t use Facebook! But instead of spending an hour looking at pictures of what people you haven’t seen in ten years are having for lunch, go for a brisk walk around the neighborhood or dance to a quick YouTube workout instead.
Consider purchasing a smart watch
You could even invest in a smart watch. I personally didn’t have a lot of extra money when I bought one, so a name brand wasn’t an option for me. I bought a smart watch online and it is exactly what I needed! I only use it for the pedometer.
Get one for yourself – or a plain pedometer if you’re not into watches – and calculate how many steps you need to walk each day according to your lifestyle. As a general rule, you need to walk 10,000 steps per day to maintain your current weight. You need to walk 12,000 steps per day to lose weight and keep it off.
Buy yourself an exercise outfit for extra motivation
Buy yourself a cute workout outfit. This way you’ll be more eager to get out of the house and be around people! You’ll probably feel much more confident in something colorful that has personality to it rather than whatever old, plain clothes you have lying around at home.
Schedule a time to call an old friend
Talk on the phone while you walk. This is something I love to do.
If you have trouble convincing yourself to go for a walk, here’s a solution: schedule a time to call an old friend or family member you don’t hear from often. When it comes time to call them, find a pretty walking trail and explore nature while you talk. It’s easy to find reasons to be too busy when you’re at home; this way you’ll be active and you’ll catch up with someone you love.
Determine deep down why you want to remain healthy
Think about the deep rooted reason you want to remain healthy – or become healthy if you’re not already. This should be your ultimate motivation above everything else. For some it’s not as serious as it is for others, but FIND SOMETHING other than yourself to be your rock. Put your emotions into it! That’s what a lot of people are driven by.
Do you have a baby who needs a healthy parent? Do you have an illness that can be worsened by poor health? Do you want to be able to fit in your old wedding dress years from now without having it altered?
There are so many situations we can use as motivation to keep ourselves going. Write those reasons in your handy dandy journal if you need to so you never forget!
I think that pretty much sums it up, but if I left out something important that can help another woman, please let me know in the comments. I hope you all enjoyed my guide and I would love to hear your thoughts and contributions!If you enjoyed this article, then we're probably very similar. I'm Victoria Melo, and I know what it’s like to be busty and struggle finding the perfect bra. Not long ago, I was just another girl wearing the wrong bra size. When I finally discovered my real size and found great bras for my busty figure, it felt like a miracle. Now, I'm a bra fitter helping hundreds of women like you find their own miracle. Click here to read my lists of my favorite bras for you.