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A Comprehensive Guide for Exercising After Tummy Tuck Surgery

Posted February 28, 2020 in Tummy Tuck

Woman doing squats on beach after tummy tuck surgery.

3 Min Read

Women and men choose to undergo a tummy tuck to trim their waistline and enhance a firm abdominal contour. 

This plastic surgery procedure provides dramatic and long-lasting results, but these results need to be maintained with a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise. 

Unfortunately, tummy tuck surgery requires a recovery period of one to two months, during which you will be sore, bruised, and swollen. These side effects—combined with the physical limitations laid out by your doctor—can make it difficult to get your exercise program off on the right foot.

When Can You Work Out After a Tummy Tuck?

In the days following your tummy tuck, even the most routine tasks like getting out of bed and changing your clothes can feel like a marathon.

During this time, it is helpful if you take it easy, accept help from those around you, and ease into all exercise routines to see how your body responds.

When Can I Start Walking?

Walking improves blood circulation, which is essential to reduce inflammation (swelling) and prevent blood clots.

You should start walking as soon as possible—even around your recovery room or your house the night of your surgery. 

You may need to have someone present to help stabilize you.

Gradually increase the distance and speed of your walking over the following week.  

When Can I Start Running?

While you want to start walking immediately after your surgery, you do not want to resume running. Running can pull and damage the abdominal muscles that are working in overdrive to heal.

Most patients are cleared to start running four to six weeks after their tummy tuck.

When Can I Do Yoga?

Yoga is split into two categories: asana and pranayama.

Asana, which are the physical positions and stretches in yoga, should be avoided for at least six weeks because they place too much strain on the abdomen. Any exercise that involves deep bends and contraction of the abdominal muscles should be avoided until the incisions and tissues have healed. 

On the other hand, pranayama—breathing practices—can be resumed immediately to help circulate blood flow and purify your body.

When Can I Start Weight Training?

Most men and women can resume weight training after six weeks, but that is depending on if they were weightlifters to begin with. 

If your body was already used to this practice, it should be conditioned to resume weight training earlier than if you are starting fresh.

Even if you have a history of weight training, you will want to avoid lifting anything over 15 pounds for the first six weeks. Once you feel comfortable with that, you can gradually increase the weight.

When Can I Do Sit-Ups?

Sit-ups place an extreme amount of pressure on your abdomen, and these exercises can cause significant damage if they are started too soon.

You should wait for clearance by your surgeon before you resume these practices. It may take seven to 10 weeks to get to this level and obtain medical clearance. 

Is My Body Ready for Exercise?

Even though the above timeline is when you could hypothetically return to exercise, it is not the definitive answer. 

Everybody heals at a different rate, and you may need additional time before you can safely return to your normal routine and strenuous exercise. 

Rushing your recovery can be dangerous to your health and detrimental to your results. Pushing your body too hard before it is ready can result in complications such as wound separation, infection, blood clots, or excess scar tissue formation.

The most important thing is that you listen to your body—it will let you know when it is ready. 

Are You Interested in Tummy Tuck Surgery in Newport Beach, CA?

To learn more about tummy tuck surgery or if you have more questions about your tummy tuck recovery, contact Dr. Jon Grazer by calling (949) 644-1240 or by filling out our online contact form