Will Weight/Strength Training Negatively Impact Tummy Tuck Recovery?

I am 2 wks post-op from tummy tuck. Before surgery I regularly weight/strength train and perform moderate cardio 4-5 days a week. Once I am able to resume strenous exercise I am planning to work out wearing my binder until I feel comfortable without it. Will weight training put too much stress on my abdomin and slow down recovery and cause swelling?

Doctor Answers 8

Exercise After Tummy Tuck

I allow patients to begin light activity(walking, slow treadmill, light upper body weights) at 3-4 weeks. More strenuous activity is started at the 4-6 week mark. If you train too vigorously too soon, you may compromise your result and will prolong your recovery.


Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 132 reviews

Weight Training after Tummy Tuck

Depending on how much you lift at a minimum it will be about 6-8weeks or more before you can go back to serious training. Your plastic surgeon will guide you and let you know when it is safe.
Following surgery, you will be walk in a bent-over position to keep tension off the newly tightened skin incision site. Strenuous activity, and lifting more than ten pounds, must be avoided for 6 weeks. Softening of the surgical scars, return of sensation, and loosening of the tight sensation may take several months to a year or more.
Abdominoplasty involves a recovery period of 10 to 14 days longer than most plastic surgical procedures. Initial discomfort and decreased mobility is typical. You are encouraged to move and walk regularly starting the day of surgery. Wearing your TED stockings at all times, except while washing, to prevent venous clots (deep vein thrombosis) is mandatory.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Timeline for exercise after tummy tuck.

I agree that a 6 weeks healing period is minimal before exercise.  However, also consider that abdominal muscle strain should be avoided for 3 months post surgery.  Sit ups or trunk rotations (core) under heavy muscular loading    is not recommended. 

H. Michael Roark, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Training after a tummy tuck

I, like the other surgeons on this forum, recommend at least 6 weeks of no heavy lifting or strenuous training after an abdominoplasty. This allows enough time for the abdominal wall plication to heal properly and minimized the risk of suture failure and a resulting unsightly recurrent bulge.

Delio Ortegon, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Tummy Tuck Recovery Post OP Recovery

Care must be taken after a tummy tuck.  If the facia has been tightened to flatten the abdomen, then a deep layer of multiple sutures are holding things together.  Exercise should be started slowly at 6 weeks or you may rip-out sutures, cause swelling and prolong your recovery.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Weight training following a tummy tuck: obtain your plastic surgeon's recommendations

I recommend that my patients wait 8 weeks before engaging in the weight training activities that you mentioned though aerobic activities such as using a treadmill can be started at around 4 week. Neverthless, you need to contact your plastic surgeon to obtain his/her instructions for you as he/she was the one who performed your surgery.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Tummy Tuck

My recommendation is typically 6-8 weeks after a procedure of this kind, however, each person's recovery is different and I would follow-up with your PS to make sure you are not starting out too soon-He or She is the only one that should be in the loop about your safe recovery

Edward J. Bednar, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Weight Training After Tummy Tuck

I ask my patients to wait 6 weeks or so after their tummy tucks to resume heavy exercise, a bit longer for anything which places a lot of stress directly on the abdomen.  This is a question which should put to your operating surgeon with whom you have invested a great deal of time and money.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

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.