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When Can I exercise After Tummy Tuck?

By: Dr. Glenn Lyle


If you search the Internet to find out when you can start exercising after abdominoplasty, you will find answers that vary significantly.  Each patient is individualized, and each surgeon has her own guidelines.  Unfortunately, there is no science or studies that proves the safety of a variety of exercise types after any surgery.

One of the most commonly asked questions after tummy tuck is " When can I go back to the gym? " The answer is not so straightforward but generally Dr. Lyle recommends walking as the first form of exercise starting first just walking around the house in the first week and then starting to walk outside after a week or so.  Light arm weights like dumbbells can be used to keep the upper body tone followed by isometrics (tightening your muscles without doing any movement) for the abdomen and squats.  Dr. Lyle recommends restricting your exercises to the home for the first 4 weeks and then venturing out to the gym to do light workouts at 6 weeks. Wear your compression garment while exercising and prepare for some swelling after a workout. Lymphatic massage is very helpful too. Avoid a full situp until about 3 months - especially with a major diastasis repair but smaller crunches and planks are ok after 6 weeks. Of course ., if things really are uncomfortable- back off a bit and gradually add these exercises. Squats in proper form are great for abdominal tone.

Most important is to discuss with your plastic surgeon as everyone has different circumstances and heals at an individual pace.

This 41 year old woman had lost 80 pounds after childbearing and did it by working out and watching her diet. She was frustrated as her loose abdominal skin was not improving. Dr Lyle did a tummy tuck and within 6 weeks she was in the gym for light work outs and in this photo- is about 4 months post op and back to full weights with some abdominal work thrown in.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.