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April 26, 2024

Can You Exercise After Tummy Tuck Surgery?

Written by: Dr. Dahlia Rice. Posted in: Blog

Exercise After Tummy Tuck Surgery

Yes! But the key to exercise after tummy tuck procedures is to start slowly.

A serious procedure like abdominoplasty surgery (tummy tuck) requires adequate rest and relaxation in order for your body to heal properly. Engaging in other healthy lifestyle habits is also essential: drinking an adequate amount of water, eating a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep, for example.

In the following article, we’ll go over the particular phases of tummy tuck recovery you can expect and explain when and how you can reincorporate exercise routines into your schedule.

An Overview of Tummy Tuck Surgery

Before discussing post-tummy tuck exercise, let’s take a look at what tummy tuck procedure actually entails.

During a tummy tuck, your plastic surgeon will make incisions on your lower abdomen to remove excess skin, tighten the ab muscles, and reposition the remaining tissue for a flatter, smoother stomach.

While a tummy tuck can produce dramatic and long-lasting results, it’s essential to recognize that it is a major surgical procedure. For this reason, it’s also important to remember that engaging in strenuous physical activity too soon after surgery can compromise your results and increase your risk of developing complications.

Exercise Guidelines Following a Tummy Tuck

When can you exercise after a tummy tuck surgery?

It’s natural to want to return to your regular exercise routine directly after undergoing a tummy tuck. However, you must wait and always follow your surgeon’s recommendations and guidelines to ensure a smooth and successful recovery before returning to your normal exercise routine.

Here is a basic exercise timeline after tummy tuck procedures and some general guidelines for ensuring your safety during this time.

1. Follow Your Surgeon’s Instructions

Your plastic surgeon will provide you with specific instructions for post-operative care, including when it’s safe to resume exercise. Follow these instructions closely, and avoid pushing yourself too hard or trying to go back to exercise routines too soon.

2. Start Slowly with Low-Impact ActivitiesWorking Out After Tummy Tuck

In the early stages of recovery, once your surgeon “okays” it, focus on gentle, low-impact activities. This will be after one to two months for most patients. These exercises will promote blood circulation and mobility.

At the same time, be careful not to put strain on your abdominal muscles. Abdominal exercises are strictly prohibited at this time, as are weight training exercises.

Examples of low-impact exercises include walking, gentle stretching, and light yoga. At first, only short bouts of walking are okay — and then, only when you feel comfortable.

3. Gradually Increase Intensity

As your healing progresses and your surgeon gives you the green light, you can gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. Once cleared to do so, you may begin incorporating activities such as swimming, cycling, or using elliptical machines, gradually increasing the intensity and duration as tolerated.

4. Avoid High-Impact Activities

During the middle stages of recovery, it’s important to avoid high-impact activities that could strain or stress your abdominal muscles. Avoid activities such as running, jumping, or heavy lifting exercises until your surgeon clears you to do so.

5. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to how your body responds to exercise and avoid pushing yourself beyond your limits. If you experience pain, discomfort, or swelling during or after exercise, scale back your activity level and give yourself time to rest and recover.

6. Wear Your Compression Garments

Wearing compression garments during even these first gentle workouts (and as recommended by your surgeon) can provide support to your abdomen and help minimize swelling during exercise. Be sure to wear compression garments as directed to optimize your comfort and healing.

Post Tummy Tuck Excercise Plan7. Avoid Upper Body Exercises

After undergoing abdominoplasty surgery, weight lifting (even light weight training) should be avoided. You want to avoid any exercise that puts strain and tension on the upper body, including the arms and core.

Plastic surgeons agree that sit ups, exercises with light weights, side bends, and similar moves should be avoided. These exercises work muscle groups that need to rest. Instead, exercise after a tummy tuck should focus more on blood flow. Light exercise forcused on cardio is better during the recovery period.

8. Stay Hydrated and Eat Properly

Proper hydration, diet, and nutrition for tummy tuck patients is essential for supporting your body’s healing process and fueling your workouts. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise, and consume a balanced diet rich in nutrients and protein to support muscle recovery and overall well-being.

9. Stay in Touch with Your Surgeon

Throughout your recovery journey, maintain open communication with your plastic surgeon. If you have questions about exercise or are interested in a personal trainer who knows your condition, ask them.

If you want to know if a certain exercise is safe, reach out.

Your surgeon is your partner in the healing process and can provide guidance and support to help you achieve the best possible plastic surgery results.

FAQ: Tummy Tucks & the Recovery Process

Does a tummy tuck remove excess fat?

Most tummy tuck procedures do involve some amount of liposuction. However, the primary reason for a tummy tuck is to remove loose skin on the abdomen and to tighten the abdominal muscles.

When can I exercise after a tummy tuck procedure?

Most surgeons allow short, gentle walks after just a few days. After that, it’s usually on a case by case basis. You should be able to do more after around six weeks or so, but always check with your surgeon.

Can you exercise after a tummy tuck with muscle repair?

Light cardiovascular exercises like walking are okay when done gently at the start of recovery. Do not engage in more aerobic exercises or any that involve the abdominal muscles until your surgeon says it’s okay. Always wear your compression garment.

How do I know if I am a candidate for a tummy tuck?

Good tummy tuck candidates possess loose skin, excess fat, or dissatisfaction with their abdomen’s appearance. Whether due to genetics, pregnancy, weight loss, prior surgery, or aging, this procedure effectively addresses such concerns.

How can I prepare my body for tummy tuck?

Prepare for your tummy tuck by consulting with your surgeon, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, undergoing medical evaluations, arranging post-operative support, following pre-operative instructions, and creating a comfortable recovery space at home.

Call Today to Book a Consultation Appointment

Want to learn more about tummy tuck surgery?

Contact our office to set up your personal consultation appointment with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Dahlia Rice. We look forward to hearing from you!


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