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Despite advances in body positivity over the last decade, there are still large swaths of men who are stigmatized for having man boobs. Our culture has traditionally placed dudes with impeccably sculpted pecs on a pedestal, leaving those who don’t fit that unattainable physique feeling unfortunately insecure about their chests. Here in the United States, about 30% of all men will deal with man boobs at some point in their lives.
Like any other part of your body, it’s possible to store fat in your breasts, which sit on top of the actual pectoral muscles in the chest. In this case, men looking to flatten man boobs can follow a workout routine that targets the chest muscles and burns fat.
But man boobs can have a clinical diagnosis as well, usually in the form of a condition called gynecomastia, which is a disorder in the endocrine system of a man. Caused by hormone imbalances brought on by puberty, aging or drugs like steroids, this condition can ultimately lead to an increase in breast tissue, which in turn can lead to a larger chest. Basically, anything that has an effect on your body’s testosterone production can lead to swollen breasts.
These side effects often go away on their own, but there are also more proactive solutions for men wondering how to get rid of man boobs. While you can opt to get surgery to remove some of that extra tissue in more serious cases, many men will look to solve their issue through other means. A workout routine focused on strength training and centered on fat loss will do wonders to flatten out your chest. We’ve also rounded up some style hacks that can help conceal your man boobs before those strength gains kick in.
A Quick Body Positivity Chat
Listen, here at SPY, we’re all about helping you achieve your goals, whether that’s better skin, a more secure home or a more efficient, organized life. And on the health side, we’re here to offer the research, gear and motivation to fuel your fitness journey. We support and commend anyone looking to build a healthier lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate the skin you’re in now. Having body imperfections is something we all deal with, and is nothing to be ashamed of. Though we have plenty of articles on building muscle and burning fat, we want you, our readers, to be the best version of yourself, whatever that looks like to you.
Sometimes, one of the hardest and most rewarding fitness hurdles to overcome is the mental one — the awareness that your body is your body, with all its unique characteristics and individualities. There’s always something we could want to change about our bodies. But instead of dwelling on those components, celebrating them is a surefire way to gain mental peace and greater self-confidence.
So if you want to lear how to flatten your chest and get rid of man boobs, we can help you do that. But just know that we support your body in every form, and we encourage you to do the same.
How to Hide Man Boobs
If you’re wondering how to lose man boobs, one quick solution is to conceal them. That’s right — there are a number of style hacks you can employ to help cover up some areas of your body you might be less than stoked on. This type of solution can be a huge boost for your confidence, particularly on a first date or special occasion, when you want to be feeling your best.
The first one is shapewear. Yup. Discreet shapewear isn’t just for women. You can find a lot of great compression shirts for men specifically designed to help reduce the effects of gynecomastia. Women have relied on shapewear to squeeze into tight-fitting cocktail dresses and evening gowns for ages, and now men can benefit from shapewear, too.
You can also utilize certain colors, patterns and layers to hide man boobs. Darker colors naturally offer a more visually slimming silhouette, while vertical stripes draw the eye up and down, which elongates the perception of the body. On colder days, layering up is a great solution, as all the extra fabric will make your entire profile bulkier, not just the areas you might be self-conscious about.
If you want a few style hacks to help hide your man boobs, check out the products we’ve linked below.
1. GKVK Chest Compression Shirt
This compression shirt from KGVK is a subtle and stealthy solution to help hide your man boobs. The shirt not only helps with back support and posture, but it will also fit nicely under your existing clothing. Additionally, its breathable construction prevents overheating while flattening the appearance of your chest. While the model in the photo below is most definitely not struggling with man boobs, compression shirts like this aren’t just for muscle-bound athletes.
2. SPANX Ultra Sculpt Seamless V-Neck
BEST FOR THE OFFICE
We covered SPANX’s line of men’s shapewear last year, and the TL;DR of it is this — SPANX is legit. Its Ultra Sculpt line is the company’s tightest and most slimming offering. And while the v-neck profile isn’t everyone’s favorite, it makes a great undershirt for dress shirts on workdays or formal nights out on the town. Seriously, don’t be fooled by the fact that SPANX has traditionally catered to women. Its line of men’s products offers the same quality and solutions for keeping everything tight.
3. Buck Mason Slub Curved Hem Tee
BEST EVERYDAY TEE
One of the better — and simpler — ways to hide your gynecomastia is just by changing the color of your shirts. By wearing darker colors that aren’t as sheer as a white t-shirt, you’ll have fewer people paying attention to your chest. Of course, you’ll want to wear something comfortable too, which is why this t-shirt from Buck Mason is a great choice. The rich color will hide your chest well, while its coziness will give you great confidence, too.
4. J.Crew Cashmere V-Neck Cardigan Sweater
BEST LAYERING PIECE
While you’re waiting for your chest exercises to start working, there are a lot more style hacks that can help boost your confidence. Another fashion hack that’s helpful in hiding man boobs, especially in the winter, is layering effectively. Layers not only provide great warmth but they effectively conceal areas that you might be sensitive about. A simple cardigan sweater, like this supple and soft cashmere option from J.Crew, can be a helpful addition to your existing wardrobe. Plus, the darker color will also add that slimming effect. Stylish as it is good at hiding, it’s a timeless piece you’ll reach for again and again.
Best Gear for Flattening Man Boobs
1. Amazon Basics Rubber Hex Dumbbell (Single)
BEST STRENGTH TRAINING TOOL
To tackle exercises like the bench press or row, you don’t need to run out and grab a full weight bench or barbell. Rather, a simple tool like a set of dumbbells like these from Amazon Basics should get the job done just fine. This dumbbell sports cast-iron hex ends coated with rubber to prevent floor (or foot) damage when you drop them. The ergonomic handle’s chrome knurling offers excellent grip to ensure your hands stay comfortable during your workout. Note that this dumbbell is sold as just one weight — you’ll have to snag a second for a true.
2. Elite Sportz Push Up Bars
BEST HOME WORKOUT KIT
Just like bench presses can help to eliminate gynecomastia, push-ups also help flatten your chest. Push-up bars, like this set from Elite Sportz, are helpful because they can help you get deeper into each press, engaging more muscles along the way. Over time, you’ll increase your strength in your entire upper body, which will help to further get rid of extra weight that might be lingering in your chest. These push-up bars also come with a jump rope, making it easy to knock out some fat-burning cardio between sets of push-ups. This is essentially the ideal at-home fitness pack for targeting those man boobs.
3. ANDROSRUGE Estrogen Blocker for Men
BEST FOR HORMONES
For many men, gynecomastia can be the result of increased estrogen in your system. Androsurge is one of the best all-natural estrogen-reducing supplements for men. It can also help promote muscle building and fullness during training. And it may even help boost your overall energy levels.
Man Boobs Exercises
In most cases, burning fat and strengthening the pectoral muscles beneath that fat can help diminish the appearance of man boobs over time. However, resist the urge to only do chest workouts. While it’s tempting to hit the bench press every day, your body requires a level of symmetry to achieve overall strength. Work to train your back, shoulders and arms in tandem with your chest to maximize your strength gains.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite upper body exercises to strengthen your chest and back. We’re also including a couple of awesome fat-burning exercises. Losing weight isn’t targeted to a specific area, so when you start dropping pounds, it’ll happen across your body.
The best exercises to get rid of man boobs are:
- Bench Press
- Cable Fly
- Dumbbell Rows
The push-up is one of the most fundamental chest exercises you can do. It also happens to be the easiest, as it requires no equipment, and offers variations for different strength levels and goals. How do you get rid of man boobs? Well, doing push-ups every day is a great place to start. A dynamic exercise you can perform pretty much anywhere, a good push-up depends on good form. To begin, enter a high plank position, keeping your torso in a straight line and your arms locked to support your weight. Lower your body to the ground, then push up to return to the high plank starting position. Repeat for reps.
2. Barbell Bench Press
No chest workout is complete without a barbell bench press. It takes the same principles as the push-up but puts you flat on your back with a barbell to lift off your chest. The bench press holds a holy place in any bodybuilder’s heart. It’s the foundation of a strength training routine, and an exercise everyone likes to max out on. Swapping personal records with gym buddies on the bench press is a staple of bulking up. The barbell allows you to really drive up the weight, which will lead to bigger strength gains. And like most major compound lifts, a lot can go wrong during the bench press. Check out the video below for some great pointers on perfecting your bench press form. If you don’t have a barbell, you can also perform a dumbbell bench press.
Burpees come with a well-earned reputation as one of the most grueling bodyweight exercises out there. Because it blends a plank, push-up and squat jump all in one high-intensity movement, the burpee is guaranteed to get your heart rate pumping. It’s a particularly effective exercise for getting rid of man boobs. The intense full-body experience makes burpees great for burning fat, while the toll it takes on your chest and upper body will help strengthen your pecs.
To perform a burpee, begin by standing in an athletic position. Lower your hands to the ground, then kick your legs back to enter a high plank position as your palms meet the ground. Lower your body, push off the ground, then kick your legs back forward between your hands to begin the final movement — a jump squat.
4. Cable Chest Fly
The cable machine at your local gym offers a great addition to a chest workout, as it forces your muscles to stay engaged throughout an entire movement. The chest fly makes use of this tactic by heavily depending on your pecs to work the cable handles across your body. To begin, position two sides of a cable machine at shoulder height and clip on a handle attachment. Changing the position of the cables will alter the angle of the fly, thus strengthening different muscles within the chest. Grab a handle in each hand and face away from the cable machine in an athletic stance. With your elbows slightly bent, extend and lift your arms to the sides. Then, keeping your arms locked, slowly pull the cables across your body until they meet in the middle.
5. Dumbbell Row
If the bench press anchors any strength training chest workout, the row does the same for a back workout. As we mentioned earlier, it’s crucial to keep your back strong in order to develop an overall stronger upper body physique. Position yourself on a flat workout bench with your right knee and right hand resting on the bench. This will allow your torso to get parallel with the ground. Your left leg can kick outwards for stability. Grab a dumbbell in your left hand, beginning with your arm fully extended. Pull the dumbbell toward your body, bending your elbow and pinching your shoulder blade as the weight rises. Repeat for reps and alternate with your other arm.