Working out Post-Tummy Tuck

I had a Tummy Tuck 6 weeks ago. I tried going back to my usual workout (biking, jogging, toning, weights), but I felt pain in the upper right muscle under my breast. Am I doing more harm than good? Should I wait for another week or two before attempting to workout as usual? Please advice me on how to safely resume my workout regimen.

Doctor Answers 10

You should be able to exercise after 6 weeks.

To barb-hoss,

Usually, 6  weeks after an abdominoplasty is more than enough time to exercise. But you have to listen to your body. If you have sharp localized pain  (as opposed to a little diffuse soreness) when you exercise, stop and see your surgeon.

Most likely, you have not done any harm.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Start Slower

You would need your own surgeon's advice, but for my patients, I suggest resuming moderate exercise slowly at six weeks.

Rather than performing all of the activities you mentioned, I would tell them to start with one. Try it for a few days and expect mild soreness since you haven't done this for weeks and you had surgery. If it did not cause discomfort, then add another type of exercise activity. If it was uncomfortable, them progress more slowly.

It could take some time to get back to your full workout routine.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Ask your plastic surgeon

I would be irreponsible if I tried to advise you on your post-operative regimen. The best person to ask is your plastic surgeon.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Exercise after tummy tuck

I tell my patients to start by walking on the treadmill at 3 weeks. At two months they can resume all exercise except crunches.

Workouts should also start slowly. Do not start at the same level as you finished with prior to the surgery.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Don't jump right in


The idea is to start your exercising at about 6 weeks. However, even if you had simply stopped working out and not had surgery you would not expect to return immediately to your prior level of exercise. You need to start slow, listen to your body and progress slowly as your body tolerates. Expect some soreness, but it should be more generalized over the muscle groups worked. Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Exercise after abdominoplasty

I usually have people wait 6-8 weeks to go back to heavy exertion or sit-ups.  But, I always tell my patients that that is the average.  Some people need longer, and some lesser time.  If you having pain, then you should probably wait some more.


Steven Wallach,MD

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

See Your Surgeon About The Pain You're Feeling After Your Tummy Tuck

6 weeks is usually enough time for a patient to recover following a tummy tuck. However, I always recommend they start off slowly, as your body won't be in tip top shape. You can bike, jog, strength train, or do other exercises but take it easy and stop if you feel any pain. Please see your surgeon or doctor regarding the pain you are currently feeling. 

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Working out after an abdominoplasty

Your plastic surgeon is the best source for answering your questions.  For my patients I allow light activity at one week, building up to some light physical activity, walking on treadmill, elliptical between the third and fourth weeks.  I advise patients to avoid vigorous activities such as training for a road race for eight weeks.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Exercise after tummy tuck

Patients are encouraged to start gentle exercise 3 weeks after surgery such as walking and gentle stretching. As far as the abdomen, tissues should be strong enough by six weeks to allow sit-ups.Gradual increase in repetition and load is recommended. Some aches and pains are expected to occur due to the lack of activity and the scar that needs to stretch.

M. Vincent Makhlouf, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

"Start" exercising at 6 weeks

I allow my patients to begin some light "movement" exercises (elliptical machine, bike) at 3 weeks after a tummy-tuck, but no impact or weight activities until 6 weeks after surgery. At that time, I do not think they will damage our result (specifically the muscular tightening) by beginning to exercise as before, but certainly they are deconditioned and need to move into their regime slowly. Think about it like going swimming on a cool day. Don't jump in right off the bat - the water maybe ice cold! If you go in slowly and start moving your body, fairly soon you will be able to do some laps. Let your body guide you as far as what you can do. Remember that muscular discomfort tends to show up 2 days after starting a new exercise. Take it easy and slow, and likely within 2 weeks you will be near your normal routine.

Michael A. Bogdan, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 67 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.