Ok, so you were never Mr. Hardbody—but you certainly didn’t have man boobs. Then came kids, some weight gain, and a lack of time or motivation to hit the gym. Now you’re trying to figure out how to get rid of man boobs. Because that extra flab around what you formerly liked to call your pecs is kind of a downer for a guy who used to row crew and strut his stuff in his collegiate team singlet.
Here’s the thing—you are not alone. Studies suggest about one third of men sprout dreaded man boobs at some point in their lives. The good news is that, from whence man boobs come, man boobs can go. If you simply reverse the weight gain and inactivity that caused the man boobs to grow in the first place, they’ll retreat. Unfortunately, man boobs are basically fat deposits and it is not possible to spot-reduce your body fat. You’ll need to a regular fitness routine. Try this 5-move routine three times a week, with at least one day between sessions. That, plus a healthy diet, should be the end of your man boobs.
Basic move, big results. If you could only do one exercise to tone your chest area, this would be it. Focus on maintaining your form—neither dipping nor hiking your hips as you bend your elbows.
You can perform this exercise at the gym with a barbell, or at home with a medium-heavy piece of furniture like a side table or folding chair. Lying on your back (on a bench at the gym or edge of your bed at home), raise the weighted object directly over your head, arms straight up. Exhale. Then inhale as you bend your elbows and bring the weight toward your chest. Repeat 10 times, two sets.
As above, you can perform this exercise at the gym with a barbell or at home with a medium-weight piece of furniture like a side table or folding chair. Lying on your back, raise the weighted object directly over your head, arms straight up. As you inhale, extend your arms over your head and back toward the floor, feeling the stretch in your chest. Keep your elbows straight. As you exhale, raise your arms back over your head so they are directly above your face. Do this 10 times, two sets.
Tie one end of a bungee cord or elastic exercise band securely to a doorknob. Standing with your left side facing the door, grab the other end of the bungee cord with your left hand. Move far enough away from the door until there is subtle tension on the cord with your left arm fully extended. Keep your left arm straight, slowly pull it toward your midline, increasing the tension on the band as you move your arm. Release your arm back out to your side. Pull it toward your midline again, keeping your elbow straight. Do this 10 times, switch sides, and repeat. Complete two sets on each side.
Modified Cable Fly
Using the same bungee cord or exercise band tied to a doorknob, stand with your left side facing the door. Hold the free end of the cord in your left hand. Move far enough from the door so that there is subtle tension on the cord with left arm fully extended. Bend at the waist so your torso is at 90 degrees to the floor. Keeping your elbow straight, pull your left arm directly down toward the floor, aiming to reach your midline. Release. Repeat 10 times Switch sides. Do two sets each side.
This workout, three times a week, for four weeks, coupled with a sensible eating plan and honest-to-god attempt to shave off extra pounds, will get you some measurable results. There are, of course, other (rare and unlikely) possible explanations for your predicament, including pesticide exposure or using certain harmful chemicals that can mess with your hormones and lead to man boobs. But like we said, such cases are rare and unlikely. Significantly more probable: You, like the majority of dads, can solve your situation the old-fashioned way with exercise and a little dietary discipline.