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Best Exercises After Tummy Tuck and Liposuction?

I had Tummy Tuck with Liposuction 6 weeks ago. What are the best exercises after these procedures?

Doctor Answers 9

Best Exercises: General Toning and Specific Abdominals, slowly


I am sure you have already received instructions from your plastic surgeon on this subject, but I can tell you what we tell our patients.

In the first days after out-patient tummy tuck and liposuction, we want our patients walking at home actively. After a week we suggest walking out of the home. After 2 weeks most can drive their car. After 6 weeks most can resume self-paced calisthenics, cardio, and light weights. They can do easy abdominal exercises. After a few more weeks of gradually resuming their routines they may push themselves to achieve prior goals. Follow your plastic surgeon's guidelines.

Greenville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Many exercises possible at 6 weeks after Tummy Tuck and Lipo

6 weeks after tummy-tuck and liposuction is an adequate time for many cardiovascular type exercises. Running, elliptical trainer, treadmill, fast walking are all excellent forms of aerobic exercise. Weight lifting can put a significant strain on the incisions and the sutures. It is wise to begin weight lifting slowly. 6 weeks is a fine time to start, but start slowly. Do less repetitions and less weight than you were used to doing. It is most important to let your body guide you. If you start to feel uncomfortable, stop, and drop the weight.

You must remember that these generalizations are based on a normal, routine, post-operative recovery. If you have had complications such as wound breakdown, then your surgeon will likely advise you to lengthen the time before you start exercising. Good luck.

Sirish Maddali, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon

Ease yourself back into excercise.

I agree that 6 weeks is the magic number with a tummy tuck where you can resume normal exercise. I am a bit more conservative on actual doing any abdominal work (sit-ups) until 3-4 months post op. I would start with very general and light cardio and then work your way slowly back to weights. Let your body be your guide and if you feel pain, slow way down.

David Rankin, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Exercizes after tummy tuck

At 6 weeks post-op, you probably can go back to the gym. I always tell my patients that they should be able to gauge what is tolerable a this point. Most will be uncomfortable to perform sit-ups. I would probably avoid that activity for about 8 weeks. Weight lifting, etc.. should be restarted slowly. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Take it slow

At 6 weeks you can slowly start to return to an ab workout. But stop if you get any pain. You want to keep that abdomen and flanks looking great so you'll need to work or tone. I personally do a huge ab workout but unless you've done a lot before it's tough to explain. You need to work the rectus and the obliques. A good program that does the whole body is the P90X. You've probably seen the infomercial. I have friends that swear by it. It tones the entire body. Give it a shot.

Too soon for exercise

I would actually refrain from all exercise after tummy tuck for 8 weeks.  At that time I have the patients start will low impact cardio.

Exercising Following Tummy Tuck

Abdominoplasty removes excess abdominal skin while simultaneously tightening the abdominal muscles. Patients can anticipate limited physical activity for two weeks following surgery. During this period of time patients are allowed kitchen and bathroom privileges. At two weeks, they are allowed to gradually resume normal activities with the exception of strenuous activities. Patients can usually return to work in two weeks if no strenuous activity is involved. After six weeks they can resume all their normal activities including heavy lifting and strenuous activity. 

It's important to go slow at first and gradually resume your normal exercise program. This process takes an additional two to three weeks. Make sure you listen to your body. If you're not ready for a specific activity, your body will let you know.  

Best Exercises following Tummy Tuck and Liposuction

Light walking but not running begins immediately after surgery once you are home. Normal activity may be resumed at 3-6 weeks post operation to tolerance and that would include elliptical and light cardio. .  After the operation, exercises are recommended, such as walking immediately and progressive activities beginning on the third week. Walking, swimming, or a stationary bicycle can usually begin in a few days after surgery. Specific time periods for resumption of daily activities, work, and exercise with be further discussed by your surgeon post operation.                                                                          At 6 weeks core exercises especially crunches (starting slowly and building each week to tolerance) is particularly helpful to show your results following a tummy tuck and liposuction of the tummy.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Now you can start exercising after tummy tuck

Avoid straining, lifting, and bending completely over. You may be able to begin cardio  at 3-4 weeks and strength training/ab work at 6 weeks after surgery. There, you may be safe to start working out again now. 

I suggest targeting your midsection to reclaim any lost strength while you were recovering. Remember to take it easy! Crunches are great for this.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.