After the Tummy Tuck: Exercises that Help Your Recovery

You just got a tummy tuck. Give yourself a round of applause! You’ll be blown away with the end results. In the meantime, it’s important to focus on recovery so you can enjoy your new figure as soon as possible.

Sticking to a regular exercise routine is a vital aspect of maintaining your tummy tuck, but it’s important not to dive directly back into rigorous exercise immediately. Instead, you’ll need to gradually dip your toe back into the exercise pool over the course of a few weeks. Now is the time to use restraint and practice listening to the boundaries your body sets.

Want to know what exercises will help you make your way through recovery? Find out what movements will serve you best post-procedure.


Yes, 24 hours after having a tummy tuck, sitting up and standing out of bed is considered necessary movement, if not exercise. Even if you aren’t feeling sore, it’s important to treat your body with the care that it deserves. During your first day after surgery, your doctor will likely ask you to try standing out of bed. While it’s important not to push yourself, performing these light movements is essential for establishing the foundation of your recovery. It’s always recommended to have a friend or family member nearby to help you with these first steps.


While you’ll be able to stand and take a few steps after your first day, the majority of your first week will be spent standing or walking from one room to another. It’s important to avoid excessive bending or lifting motions, such as picking something up from the ground.

After the first week, you may find that your bruising and swelling have gone down slightly. You may be able to walk around your home in your compression garment comfortably (or maybe even out to the mailbox). When walking, stick your hips out slightly to take tension off of your abdominal muscles and avoid any risk of hindering your recovery process.

Once you can walk easily, you’ll face the challenge of showing restraint. Remember that you are still in recovery. Have your caregiver nearby assist with any movements that involve bending or lifting something over 10 pounds. After two weeks, you will likely be able to return to work. Your doctor will provide an exact timeline based on your body’s progress and how physically demanding your job is.

Recumbent Biking

Depending on your body, your doctor may allow you to perform light exercises three to four weeks after surgery. Recumbent biking can be a great way to gently raise your heart rate without putting too much strain on your body. Other light exercises that could be suitable for you at this time include walking longer distances on a treadmill or flat surface, as well as gentle standing exercises like Tai Chi. However, minimize stretching motions before your sutures have been removed. Continuing to avoid vigorous, abdominal-focused exercises during this stage is also important for ensuring an efficient recovery.

When Can I Resume My Normal Workout Routine?

After spending a few weeks avoiding any rigorous exercises, you may be wondering when you can resume normal activity (or maybe even make your workout routine even better than before). This will depend entirely on your body and how your doctor evaluates your condition. Most patients find that they can return to their normal activities and workout routine after week five or six of recovery.

Be sure to progress back into your routine rather than jumping in immediately. Your core will need time to rebuild after giving it a much-deserved break. When your doctor recommends, perform light core exercises such as crunches. This will help you develop a strong base for your future workouts.

Learn More About Tummy Tucks

Whether you are considering a tummy tuck or are recovering from one, it is important to discuss any thoughts or concerns with a professional. Contact us for answers to your questions about the tummy tuck procedure and recovery.