Exercise at 8weeks?

Hi I started exercising almost a week ago. I am almost 8 wks post op tummy tuck and breast augmentation. I can do the elliptical just fine but if I try to do anything to tone my stomach is sore and achy and it doesn't feel like a have the strength to do a crunch. Should it feel like that ?

Doctor Answers 15

You'll get your former strength back

This is usually normal considering you are still 8 weeks post op. You should expect to have some weakness at the beginning, but with a gradual increase of exercises, you'll get your former strength back. It just takes a bit of time. Start off slowly, stopping as soon as you feel discomfort, and take lots of breaks.  Definitely avoid sit-ups for at least three months but instead start with planks.


It is very common for mommy makeovers to include both breast and tummy procedures.  After surgery, your pain should be well managed with 1-2 oral pain pills every 4-6 hours if needed.   All my mommy makeover patients are ambulating a few hours after surgery (of course walking flexed at their waist given the tummy tuck).   Most surgeons will likely recommend no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 5-6 weeks.  Most of my mommy makeover patients are comfortable with driving 7-10 days after their surgery.  I generally recommend taking 7-10 days off from a desk job after a mommy makeover procedure.  Doing too much too soon can definitely increase your risk of healing problems or fluid collections (seromas).

Recovery time following mommy makeover

Typically I recommend that you refrain from vigorous exercise and strenuous activity for 6 weeks following tummy tuck.  You can usually resume cardiac exercise within a few weeks, but avoid core strengthening exercises in order to allow adequate healing of your abdominal musculature, especially if muscle tightening was performed.  

It is not uncommon to experience discomfort once you return to exercising these areas.  I usually say to slow down or stop if you do have some pains with that activity.  You should be able to slowly resume your exercise at this time.  Certainly, an evaluation by your plastic surgeon should be done prior, so as to examine that you are appropriately healing well and that you are cleared for activities.   Hope that this helps and good luck!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

How to resume exercise routine after tummy tuck

The minimum healing time after a tummy tuck is about 6 weeks before too much strain can be put on the abdominal muscles. It is completely normal for them to feel weaker and sore when first starting. I usually have patients begin non-lifting exercises within a couple of weeks.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Exercising after tummy tuck

I normally recommend that my patients start cardiovascular workouts 3 weeks after a tummy tuck and full weight training and crunches 6 weeks after. It is to be expected that once you start your workout program again after the lay off, you will find it difficult to get back in the swing of things.  Start slowly without expectations, take it easy, and your strength and confidence will come back.  Most importantly don't push too hard or you will cause a problem.  If it hurts stop or slow down. Good luck.

Sore and weak after Mommy Makeover

Hello and thanks for the question.  Yes, you will be weak when you resumed your exercise routine.  It is very normal to feel sore and achy after laying off for two months.  Couple this with muscle tightening and don't be surprised it takes a few weeks to get back into your normal routine.  Hope this helps and best of luck.  Robert Kratschmer, MD

Getting back into exercising after mommy makeover

Hello. It is completely normal to feel sore when getting back into exercise after a mommy makeover. I usually tell my patients that it’s ok to start exercising after five weeks but to take it slow and be careful not to push yourself too hard. It is also normal to feel weak when getting back into exercising simply do to the down time took to recover.

Jaime Perez, MD
Mommy Makeover Specialist
Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Jaime Perez, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Exercising after tummy tuck.

Certainly discuss your exercise regimen with your plastic surgeon.  In my own practice by eight weeks people are indeed beginning to resume the exercise regimen.  I instruct my patients to begin gradually.  The stresses of exercise will pull and tug on incisions in the repair of the abdominal wall muscles.  It is common to feel sore. In my own patients if they feel too sore I instruct them to back off a bit and then try again slowly.


Best wishes for a full and complete recovery.


Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Clear for takeoff

You should listen to your surgeon as to what they would recommend. For my patients who have had a tummy tuck, I ask them to wait three weeks before they start walking for exercise. I had one girl who was running at 2 weeks. If found this out later and would absolutely discourage that. The muscle repair is what you are protecting for the first 6 weeks. Theoretically you shouldn't have to worry about disrupting that after the 6 week point. It does take a long time however to get back into shape so don't be too frustrated with your slow progress. You will do great!

M. Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 71 reviews

Weakness 8 Weeks after Tummy Tuck and Breast Augmentation

    Exercise after 8 weeks will come as a shock to the system.  Residual swelling and scar formation may give the sensation that you feel.  Also, 8 weeks off takes a while to get back on.

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.