Updated 05 January 2015

Exercise can help to get rid of your man boobs

Man boobs are a problem for many men, but in many cases, exercising and a healthy diet can help to make make a difference.


Man boobs are a common problem for many men, causing lots of shame, psychological stress and social embarrassment. In many cases abnormally large male chests, also known as gynecomastia, are the result of hormonal imbalances and no amount of exercise and diet will make much of a difference. For many men, however, moobs are a consequence of being overweight and a good exercise regiment coupled with a healthy and balanced diet can help you get rid of them.

ManZone asked Kathleen Mc Quaide-Little, Health Promotions and Media Liaison Manager at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa in Cape Town, for some advice. She emphasises the importance of a proper medical diagnosis. If you’re diagnosed with gynecomastia, your doctor may recommend an appropriate medical treatment.

Mc Quaide-Little also stresses the needs for a healthy, balanced, calorie-controlled diet to help shift excess weight. She recommends regular cardiovascular exercise (e.g. running, cycling, rowing, soccer, tennis, and squash) combined with resistance training. “Do cardio for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week and add least two sessions of resistance training a week. Resistance training should include exercises for all parts of the body, but should focus especially on chest exercises.”

Watch this introductory video about exercising your chest:

Best chest exercises

Here’s a short list of Mc Quaide-Little’s best moob-fighting chest exercises:

Dumbbell chest presses
- These are done with dumbbells and ideally should be performed under supervision of a spotter to ensure they are done correctly. Use a light weight until you have mastered the exercise, then gradually increase the weight lifted each week until you reach a “maintenance” weight (i.e. a weight which you can comfortably lift for a full set of repetitions.
- Lie on your back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand and press them up and together slowly, feeling the chest muscles working to achieve this.
- Slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position, i.e. where the weights are almost touching the chest.

Upper chest workout
- The upper chest exercises are similar to the previous workout, but the bench needs to be inclined at a 45 degree angle.
- Follow the steps above.

Lower chest workout
- Lower chest exercises are like the original chest workout, except on a bench declined at a 45 degree angle.
- You might be able to lift more weight than on a flat bench.

Inner chest workout
- For this workout you use a barbell instead of dumbbells. Simply focus on using a lighter weight and keep your hands closer together (i.e. about 15cm closer than when you used dumbbells).

Do sets of repeats and just alter:
- your hand position
- the position of your feet
- your rest period in between reps.

Especially breaststroke - which works the pectoral muscles

Now let a body-building expert show you how to do some of these chest exercises properly:

More info:

- Attack of the man boobs
- Man boobs demystified
- Man boobs are more common than you think!
- Men with boobs
- UK men seeking smaller moobs

(Andreas Späth, Health24, October 2009)


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