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A tummy tuck procedure can help you achieve a slimmer and fitter waistline by removing excess skin and fat around the tummy area. It also tightens underlying abdominal muscles. Tummy tucks are best for people with abdominal laxity that cannot be corrected by diet and exercise. While a tummy tuck can get your stomach flatter and more toned, it does not make your body immune to fat gain. This is why exercise after tummy tuck is important to maintain your results.

If you’re considering a tummy tuck, below we’ll talk over the recovery process and how to safely resume a workout routine.

Why exercise after tummy tuck?

Even with a good diet and exercise routine, many people have loose abdominal skin, commonly after pregnancies and/or weight loss. A tummy tuck can help solve this issue by removing excess fat and skin, and also tightens the abdominal wall, allowing you to get results you may not be able to achieve through working out and weight loss alone.

However, to achieve the ideal result, a tummy tuck needs to be augmented by a diet and exercise regimen. Without it, you will still be able to gain fat and lose muscle tone afterwards. In fact, with the proper healthy routine, you may be able to improve upon your results.

While exercise after a tummy tuck is important, you won’t be able to hit the gym immediately. There is a recovery period and you’ll have to slowly ease back into vigorous physical activity.

When can I start working out again?

Tummy tuck recovery periods vary from patient to patient, so it’s important to work one-on-one with your surgeon to determine what is right for you. However, here are a few general guidelines on when most patients can resume regular physical activity.

Week One

In the first week after your tummy tuck, you should avoid physical activity as much as possible. Rest and recovery should be your main focus, so do not do any strenuous activity.

Usually, it’s recommended that tummy tuck patients stay in bed for the first week, but get up and walk with assistance multiple times a day. Talk to your surgeon about what’s right for you, specifically.

Week Two

If your recovery goes smoothly, by the second week you should be able to engage in light physical activity. This usually means longer walks. However, be careful not to overexert yourself. You should stick to activities that only mildly elevate your heart rate and avoid any heavy lifting.

Weeks Three to Four

By weeks three and four, most patients are ready to resume light exercise. You may increase the intensity of cardiovascular activity. Stick to exercises that strengthen the arms, chest, shoulders, and legs during weight lifting. Your abdominal muscles still need to recover. Minimize any activities that engage your core.

Talk to your doctor about the precise level of physical activity you can resume during week three and four. It’s also a good idea to consider a personal trainer, who will be able to ease you into a safe exercise routine.

Weeks Five to Six

Usually, by week five to six you’ll start to feel mostly back to normal. However, you should still be cautious about your workout routine to avoid overexerting yourself.

At this point, you may start doing some light stretching and more vigorous cardio. However, it’s best to refrain from heavy lifting and fully engaging your core.

Week Seven

Unless you had any major complications, by week seven you should be able to slowly ease back into your regular exercise routine. This includes more vigorous cardiovascular exercises as well as heavy weight lifting. You can also begin to seriously work your abdominal muscles.

However, you’ll need to work your way back up gradually, so consult a doctor or personal trainer. The vast majority of people recover from tummy tucks without issue, and you can increase your chances of a smooth recovery by working closely with your surgeon.

Remember to listen to your body throughout the process. If you notice any pain or discomfort, you’re likely pushing yourself too hard.


Loose skin and stubborn fat around the abdomen can be frustrating. It can be particularly frustrating when you adopt a strict diet and exercise routine and fail to see substantial improvement. A tummy tuck can help remove skin and fat from the stomach, which helps slim your waistline and tone your abs.

However, it’s important to remember the procedure is a foundation for change. It may not get you the exact results you want in and of itself, but it will remove a barrier to getting to your desired goals. Exercise after a tummy tuck is vital if you want to both maintain and improve upon your results.

Ready to get started? Leif Rogers is an Ivy League-educated, board-certified plastic surgeon. If you’re interested in a tummy tuck, get in touch with his team to schedule a consultation.

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