Simple ways to help FTM individuals feel more comfortable with their bodies

Transitioning your body from female to male is a very complex process that requires time, patience and a lot of effort. It is a challenge not only physically, but also mentally because very big life-changing decisions need to be made, including how far you want to go, deciding if you ready for hormone therapy, are you willing to have surgery, etc. Meanwhile, we decided to share our insights on how you can make visible physical changes using various exercises. When you meet another person, there are three things you evaluate – physical appearance, voice, and posture. Therefore, to create a masculine image, it is crucial, that you work on improving and changing all these three aspects.

First of all, it is very important to understand, that female and male body physiology is different, so if you want to make visible changes, you will need to have discipline and work hard. What is more – it is crucial to understand, that the visible result will take time, so please do not give up after one or two weeks. That being said, please keep reading for useful exercise tips.

The flat chest is a dream for each FTM individual, especially, if you are “gifted” with a big bust and cannot hide it only by wearing a loose shirt or a binder. In that case, when you start working out, the chest is the most important area, which needs to be trained and focused on. So, what can you do to flatten your chest? There are hundreds of various tips and suggestions. Below you will find a list of our personal best, which do not require expensive equipment, are rather easy to learn and are in general fun.

The most important FTM trans sport exercise is swimming

Our top favorite exercise is swimming. With the weather getting better and summer almost here, we decided, that the most fun exercise for flattening the chest is a nice swim with some extra moves. However, if you want to achieve the best result, you need to swim regularly and do it properly. The best swimming technique is using front and backstrokes because they help to burn the unnecessary fat around the breasts and due to constant water pressure, it also helps to reduce the breasts quite a bit. Swimming also helps to increase lung capacity, improve heart functions and lose weight, if it is necessary. Our suggestion would be at least 45-minute swim daily at first, increasing the length and intensity of the workout every week or two.

Push-ups.

Another very good option is doing different push-ups exchanging them with other cardio exercises. Push-ups mainly focus on training the arm, shoulder and chest muscles. It helps to flatten the chest and at the same time train and increase your arm and shoulder muscle mass, making the upper body seem wider and sturdier. They are also extremely effective in strengthening your pectorals and increasing your tenacity.

There are few ways to do push-ups, however, the most effective ones are regular push-ups and push-ups with bent knees. For the regular push-up exercises, you will need to have a rubber mat or some tough and smooth surface (for example wooden floor works just fine).

Steps on how to do push-ups:

Lay down on the floor facing the floor.

Place your hands a bit wider than your shoulders, make sure your legs, arms, and back are straight. Also, make sure you pull your stomach in.

Now push your body against the floor, until your chest is almost on the floor, stay for a bit in this tense position and then push yourself to the initial position. Make sure, that when you are in the lowest position you breathe in and when you push yourself back to the initial position – breathe out.

Repeat this exercise 10-15 times, then rest. Do it at least 3 times.

Bent knee push-up steps: When you get a hang on how to do regular push-ups, we suggest trying to do the push-ups when your knees are bent. Every step is almost the same, the only difference is that when you lay on the floor, you bend your knees, cross your ankles and keep them in the same position while you do the push-up.

Wall-Press Exercise.

If you are not a fan of push-ups, you can try doing wall-press exercises. The target muscles are mostly the same as in push-ups, but this exercise is much easier to perform. Also, you can do this one any time, even during the commercial break of your favorite TV show.

Wall-press steps:

Stand against the wall a little farther than your arm’s length, keep your feet as wide as your shoulders are.

Face the wall, then lean towards the wall and put your palms against the wall at the shoulder height.

Bend your elbows and move towards the wall very slowly, not moving your legs. While pushing yourself towards the wall slowly breathe in.

When you lean to the wall, keep your body steady in this position for a few seconds and then push back.

Repeat this exercise 10-15 times, then rest. Do it at least 3 times.

Shoulder Shrugs and Upright Rows.

Another very effective and easy to perform exercise is shoulder shrugs together with upright rows. These exercises focus on the deeper muscle group, helping to tone them at the same time reducing any unnecessary fat in the chest area. This way, you not only reduce your breasts but at the same time you work on your muscle tone and train your upper body as well as shape it to be more masculine.

To exercise, just stand straight, shrug your shoulders as much as you can to reach your earlobes, then hold it in this position and release. Make sure, that during the exercise your elbows, as well as your back, are straight. Repeat at least 20 times, then do the upright rows and repeat shrugs. We recommend doing this set at least 3 times. To achieve even better results – we recommend doing these exercises with weights (you can use full water bottles if you don’t have any weights around you).

For upright rows, you also need to stand straight, but spread your legs, so that they would be shoulder-width apart. You need to feel comfortable standing. Place your hands straight on your tights, then pull the hands with the weight you are holding, bend your hands, stop, then pull them up little more and then lower your hands to the initial position. Always try to breathe in while lifting the weight and breathe out when you lower the weight. Allow a few moments of rest between the rows. 

Important note – the upright row is an intense and dangerous exercise, so make sure you are careful and do not lift objects that are too heavy.

Anterior Front and Side Raise.

Anterior front and side raises are the exercises you can easily do in the comfort of your home. For these two exercises, you would need some weights for lifting, but you can easily use water bottles instead. Also, keep in mind, that these exercises are designed for people, who are usually physically active and exercise at least a couple of times per week. If you are a beginner, we would suggest doing the exercises without any weights at first, then increase the weight with time. Be sure your back and knees are positioned correctly to avoid any injuries.

Anterior front rise exercise mainly is designed to train your upper body muscles. It affects your anterior and lateral deltoids as well as your abs. For this exercise, you will need to have a dumbbell or weights in both hands (you can use water bottles for that). Then move your hands up and down slowly, holding them in an upper position for a few seconds. You should feel your shoulder muscles working as well as some tension around your breasts.

Side raise exercises are almost the same, the main difference is that you raise your hands in the sides, rather than raising them in front of your body. Side rises are especially effective in reducing the fat around the breasts and reducing your measurements at least a few centimeters. We would recommend doing at least 20 anterior raises followed by 20 side raises and repeat this cycle at least 3 times.

Weight-Lifting.

If you are motivated and want to achieve results sooner rather than later, then we would strongly suggest practicing weight-lifting. It is a perfect way to train your upper body muscles, reduce the breasts and even change your posture to more masculine. To achieve the maximum result, we would suggest exercising at least 4-5 times a week. Also, if you can, please get a consultation from the personal trainer, this way you will learn to exercise correctly and avoid injuries and also with the right help you will be able to train the right muscles and enjoy visible results a few weeks.

There are a lot of different exercises with weights, but we consider these to be the most effective:

- Incline and bench presses

- Hip shifts

- Pullover

- Toning fit exercises with weights

It is important to note, that you need to make sure you do not overload yourself. Make sure you keep the balance and increase the weights progressively. Also, if you want to achieve visible results and keep them, then you need to make sure you train regularly.

Cardio Workout.

Cardio is a very intense set of exercises, which help to train all your body muscles and increase your body tenacity. It helps to strengthen your muscles, improve your lung functions, strengthen the heart at the same time burning calories.  There are many different workout options in gyms as well as there are a lot of different intensity and style videos available online, so you can work out in the comfort of your home. To achieve the best results, we would recommend working out at least 30-40 minutes four or five times per week.

Jogging.

If you are looking to work out outdoors and without any special additional devices, then you can choose

Jogging. It is also a very simple way to reduce your breasts and train your body daily. While jogging, all your body muscles are engaged and trained, so we recommend running at least 2 miles daily. However, you need to make sure you wear suitable brazier, shoes and stay hydrated. If you run at least 4 times a week, you should see your body changing in a month or so. Jogging is an easy option if you cannot afford to go to the gym or if your schedule is too busy for regular visits to the gym.

Hiking and/or Climbing.

Another very pleasant way to work out and get some fresh air is hiking and climbing. If you have a chance, we suggest try and find some trails outside for your workout. If no trails are available – then we suggest simply climbing up and down the stairs. Both climbing and hiking help to increase tenacity, regulate your muscle tone, heartbeat and blood pressure. The outdoors activities also help improve lung capacity and their functions, as well as strengthen your abdomen muscles, reduce breasts and thighs. What is more, the workout outside will be so fun, you will not even think you are working out ????

Yoga.

If you are not an active person or just prefer spending your time in a calm manner, we would suggest trying out yoga. Yes, you have read it right – we recommend yoga for reducing breasts and improving your physical shape. Particular yoga poses are proven to be very effective in training your body while calming your mind and reducing stress. We would suggest trying Mountain Pose, Big Toe Pose, Bow Pose, The Half Moon Pose, Tree Pose or Salutation Seal Pose. And if you are ready, then Yoga Headstand is a perfect exercise to strengthen your upper body and core.

It is very important to understand, that transforming your body is a long and complex process, therefore you need to be patient with yourself. We recommend thinking over what changes you want to achieve and start working towards them one day at a time. If you have some extra pounds, we would strongly suggest losing weight, because breasts for example, mainly consist of fat. So, if you lose weight, they will reduce visibly. Another important thing is making sure you exercise regularly. If you have a routine, your body adapts sooner and you reach visible changes in a few weeks or months. Also, please make sure your metabolism is right on track, especially if you are going to start hormone therapy. You can also try wrapping-up the breasts by wearing a high-quality binder, but make sure you use it with caution. Finally, to achieve great results, you will have to give up all your bad habits. Alcohol, sugar and junk food are not allowed if you want successfully transform your body.

Voice Training.

A deeper and lower voice is a dream for each transgender individual, who wishes to transition to male. Although to achieve masculine and deep voice, you would need to start hormone therapy, but in the meantime, you can train your vocal cords and change the way you talk by using a few simple tricks.

First of all, you need to find out what exactly you want to change. We would advise you to talk out loud alone, then record the voice and listen to it. We do understand it can be difficult, but you need to find out what you need to change. After listening to yourself speak, try to implement small changes on a daily basis, such as taking deep breaths while talking, try to talk from your diaphragm and your chest rather than your throat. It is also very good for your vocal cords if you practice singing from time to time. This way your vocal cords get used to the variations of the voice and adapt easier. Another thing you can do is start speaking the moment you wake up. Your vocal cords are looser in the morning due to the fact that your body was resting, so they are easier to manipulate. Try to find the depth and tone you want to achieve and try keeping your vocal cords relaxed, like in the morning. However, please be careful, keep things slowly, and do not overexert your voice, because you can cause irreparable damage to your vocal cords. Also, do not rush the process – first of all, master changing your voice before going public. Any stress or uncomfortable situation may cause tension in your vocal cords this way not allowing to speak in a deeper voice. Nowadays, you can also find a lot of different types of exercises for developing your voice. There are even several apps created to make it easier to train your voice, such as VoCo Vocal Coach, Warm Me Up for Singers, Perfect Piano, LaDiDa, Pocket Pitch, etc. The voice training apps mainly focus on teaching you diaphragm breathing, humming in a deeper voice, speaking from the chest, etc. All in all, if you learn those tricks and use them daily, soon you will be able to speak in a deep and masculine voice without any tension or unpleasant sensation in your throat. Just take it slow, keep it steady and you will achieve your goal!

Posture and Manners.

It is important to understand, that what makes you a man is not the body type or testosterone level in your blood, but rather voice, manners, posture. It might seem like a small thing, but the changes in the way you talk, walk, stand or even stand can make a huge difference overall. So first of all, you should work on your posture, as it may be even helpful in changing your voice. To gain more masculine posture, you should push your chest out, relax your shoulders, lean them slightly forward and lift your chin a little bit. This will help to put some pressure on the vocal cords to create a deeper and lower voice.  If you are walking, make sure you keep your legs wider apart and do not swing your hips. While sitting – also make sure you keep your legs wider, shoulders relaxed and head up. When you get a hang of the posture tricks, then it is time to learn some typical masculine manners. So first of all, when passing other people, make sure you do not keep eye contact too long, just glance at the person you are passing and that is it. Do not smile, if you wish you can use a head nod to say hi. While passing a woman – keep it friendly, do not stare, use your smile if you feel like it. If she turns her eyes from you do not overthink it – women are just used to doing this. When sitting, take up as much space as you need to, just relax and get comfortable. When speaking to other people, make sure to answer questions clearly and be brief. Always try to stay on topic and do not talk too much. Be confident, concrete and polite. If you want to learn about manners and all the subtle aspects of gender communication, we would strongly suggest reading a book or two about it.

It is very important that you feel comfortable in your body. Make any necessary changes and do not worry about others – it is your body and you decide what is right for you. Make sure you stay healthy, have the right mindset and love yourself.


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