Guide To Exercise After A Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)

Exercising After Tummy Tuck

A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) is a procedure where your abdominal muscles undergo a lot of changes, tightening, and overall stress. As a result, the recovery process may take several weeks post surgery, or longer in some cases.

If you’re considering tummy tuck surgery, it’s natural for you to wonder when you may be able to resume exercise. After all, exercise is an important factor for both your mind and body, so you want to get back to your regular exercise routine as quickly as possible! However, it’s essential to follow your surgeon’s advice in an effort to have the best possible recovery after your abdominoplasty surgery.

This article explains the general dos and don’ts for returning to exercise following a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty). For personalised advice, contact our team at Dean White today.

What Does a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty) Involve?

A tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) aims to accentuate or increase the effects where, despite exercise and a balanced diet, somebody isn’t able to achieve the results they want. Every person’s muscles and bodies in general differ, so while one person’s exercise routine may assist them with their desired result, others who are dissatisfied with their appearance may consider abdominoplasty surgery.

Tummy tuck surgery involves removing excess or loose skin and strengthening and tightening the abdominal muscles with the aim of developing a sculpted and toned appearance.

Prior to the surgery, you will be placed under general anaesthesia. Then, your surgeon will make a horizontal incision along the pubic hairline. The length of this incision depends on how much skin is to be removed, and in some cases may require a second cut around the belly button. Your surgeon will then repair and tighten your abdominal muscles, remove excess skin and excess fat, reposition the belly button, and close the incision site with sutures.

You will need to wait at least 12 months after your most recent pregnancy before having tummy tuck surgery. You will also need to have remained a stable weight and not undergone any significant skin changes in the last 12 months.

What is the Recovery Time and Recovery Process?

Abdominoplasty recovery typically takes about three months. While everybody will recover differently, you can expect symptoms such as:

  • Pain
  • Bruising
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty standing up straight

It’s crucial. to follow your surgeon’s advice and guidelines around pain relief, wound care, wearing a compression garment, and daily activity following surgery. They will also schedule a follow up appointment to see how you’re recovering.

When Can I Start Exercising After Tummy Tuck?

After having a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), it’s understandable to want to get back into your exercise routine and continue to see changes in your appearance. However, as with any major surgical procedure, it’s important to know what’s involved in the recovery process. This includes understanding what types of exercise you may be able to do to ensure your safety and promote healing.

Your surgeon will give you specific advice regarding exercising after abdominoplasty surgery. At a minimum, this includes not doing any heavy lifting for at least six weeks post surgery. This is because becoming active and starting exercise too soon may have detrimental effects, both in the short and long term. In order to heal properly, it’s essential to follow this advice as well as any other post surgery instructions you’re given.

Promoting Blood Flow

While you shouldn’t jump straight back into regular physical activity, it is important to move to a certain extent following a tummy tuck. Movement such as gentle, light walking is recommended in an effort to promote blood circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots. After around two weeks, the inflammation tends to begin subsiding and you may be able to slightly increase the frequency and distance of your gentle walking.

Exercising After Tummy Tuck: Getting Back Into a Fitness Routine


The First Few Weeks: Start Slow

After the first few weeks (approximately one month), and following approval from your surgeon, you may be able to introduce more cardiovascular exercises and lower body exercises. However, you’ll still be restricted from doing upper body workouts like any lifting exercises including weight lifting and core exercises such as sit ups for several more months.

Walking is great exercise that’s generally recommended during this time, as it aims to promote blood circulation and reduce muscle and joint stiffness. Your individual exercise plan may differ, but typically this looks like light walking for about ten minutes a day during the first few weeks of recovery. After the second or third week, you may be able to slowly and carefully increase your walking to 45 to 60 minutes a day.

The First Few Months: Gradually Increase

Your muscles will continue to heal over the following months. After approximately three months, following the okay from your surgeon, you may be able to introduce exercises involving the abdominal region. However, this shouldn’t involve abdominal exercises that engage or stretch the abdominal muscles, so no sit ups or weight lifting just yet!

You will need to take this slowly and carefully, ensuring you don’t damage your core muscles. You may find it helpful to work with a personal trainer who has an understanding of your surgical procedure and what the recovery process entails, so they may be able to assist you in getting back to your healthy lifestyle. If you choose to work with a personal trainer during your recovery, ensure they have experience working with abdominoplasty patients, and always follow your surgeon’s advice.

When you’re given approval to introduce lower body exercises after approximately a month, moves such as squats can be added. When the muscles and wound have healed adequately and the abdominal region can become involved, exercises such as leg raises, stability activities, knee tucks, stationary cycling, and Pilates may be useful. It is important to receive guidance regarding which activities are most suitable and how much to do for the best results.

After Recovering From Your Abdominoplasty Procedure

Overall, in an effort to heal completely, it’s best to go at a slow pace to avoid placing undue stress on the abdominal area. You should also follow a balanced diet in an effort to avoid weight gain and significant weight fluctuations, wear your compression garment as instructed, and avoid strenuous activities such as strength training until you’re given the all clear. While it may be tempting to return to your daily routine as soon as your whole body feels recovered, remember that it’s doing a lot of work behind the scenes!

Committed to Your Healing Process

Following tummy tuck surgery, it’s understandable to want to see more health benefits by getting back into your regular exercise routine. However, abdominoplasty is a major surgery, so it’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s advice regarding this and every other aspect of the recovery process. While it may be tempting to lift light weights or assume the push up position, doing so too early may interfere with the healing process and aggravate your recovering muscle groups.

When considering a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty), it’s in your best interests to consult with a leading plastic surgeon in Melbourne such as A/Prof. White. During this consultation, he’ll discuss your options with you and make recommendations based on your goals. To speak with A/Prof. White about your potential tummy tuck, book your appointment today.



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