The best exercise for recovering after a tummy tuck operation is any exercise that doesn’t pull, stress or damage the surgical wound area. Walking appears to be the best exercise, but any form of stretching or light aerobics involving the legs and upper torso is just fine.

The following is general information with regard to exercising after tummy tuck surgery. Always consult with and follow your surgeons instructions prior to exercising after a tummy tuck.

Exercise Immediately After Surgery

First exercise you do after surgery is walking. Exercise immediately after you have your surgery by walking. That’s what they made me do. They made me walk to the bathroom (escorted under one arm by my surgeon and the other by his nurse). This provided the dual benefit of letting me get rid of fluids that they pumped into me during my tummy tuck surgery as well as giving my initial exercise to help avoid blood clots or deep venous thrombosis (DVT) . Following that I walked with assistance to my car, through my house and to my bed where I slept through the night. I did more walking the next day.

Tummy Tuck Exercises

– Walking is great.
– Avoid activities which include bending, twisting or stooping.

– Driving a car.
– Resume daily non-strenuous activities.
– Begin some form of low impact aerobic exercise.
– Brisk walking.

– Begin exercising upper bodies.
– Low impact cardio workouts is good.

– Most patients can begin to use their use their stomach during exercises.
– Resume most normal exercise routines.
– Light resistance training.

– Resistance training.

Benefits of Exercises After Tummy Tuck

  1. Lessen the risk of blood clots.
  2. Will give you a positive mental attitude.
  3. Helps maintain a flat stomach.
  4. Decreases swelling.
  5. Helps you to recover faster.

Danger of Overdoing Exercises

  1. Too much aggressive exercise increases the risk of fluid collections.

  2. Increases the chance of “popping” suture causing pain or complications.

  3. Increases the chance of tearing incisions.


  • You should wear an abdominal binder at all times.

  • Only after you are fully healed AND cleared by your surgeon should your resume your normal exercise routines.

  • Refrain from strenuous physical activity for at least 6 weeks.

  • Refrain from sit-ups or weight training that involves stomach muscles for at least 6 weeks.


Always wear a tight abdominal garment when exercising after surgery. It provides support and helps hold everything in place. It also serves as a reminder not to pull or stretch the incision area.

  1. Walking – Start with 10 minutes a day (minimum). Walks as much as you are comfortably able to.

  2. Stretching – As soon as you are able start stretching. Avoid stretching your abdominal muscles and midsection. Concentrate on you legs, arms, and upper body.

  3. Finger & Hand Strengthening – Work on strengthening your hand and finger by squeezing on a ball of one of those hand strengthening springs.

  4. Arm, Neck & Shoulder Exercises – Do 15 minutes of arm twirls. Resistance push against a wall. Do repetitive neck twists.

  5. Lifting Weights; Weight Lifting – Arm curls and resistance training with light weights should be OK as long as the midsection area of your body is not effected by the exercise. Be sure your abdominal muscles are not affected by these exercises.

  6. Daily Household Chores – Sweeping, washing dishes, feeding the dog, etc.. When you feel up to it you should be able to resume daily chores as long as you wear the abdominal garment and take great care not to pull on or in any way impact the abdominal or incision area.

  7. Normal Exercise Routine – Resumption of normal exercise after tummy tuck should only be resumed after you are fully healed AND cleared by your surgeon.


  1. Avoid strenuous exercise immediately after the surgery.
  2. Avoid exercise and activity that cause you discomfort.
  3. Start light exercises as soon as practical. The best exercise is walking.
  4. No lifting of heavy objects or strenuous activity for at least 6 weeks.
  5. Increase your level of exercise gradually. Listen to your body.
  6. Use common sense. Increase or decrease activity according to you fitness level, discomfort, swelling and soreness. If you feel any pain or discomfort during an exercise, stop immediately.
  7. Avoid strenuous activity after tummy tuck surgery for approximately three months.
  8. Light aerobic activities of low impact are a great way to start, such as walking or using a stationary bike.
  9. Avoid any exercise that will stress the surgical repair of your abdominal muscles including sit-ups and lifting of heavy weights.

Exercises following my Surgery

  1. Walking Came First
    Immediately following my surgery my first bit of exercise was the walk from the car to the house, then to the bedroom. I was assisted by a nurse whom I hired to care for me for 24 hours following my operation. The day after my tummy tuck surgery I was on my own. I felt pretty good and was able to walk around the house with no problems. Of course I walked and moved kind of slowly, but I was able to perform normal daily activities without any pain or discomfort.Light Aerobics
    A few days after surgery I began to increase my activity level to include some light aerobics. This consisted mostly of the leg and arm exercises. For my arms I would simply twist them, rotate them and move them in different directions to music. For my legs I would simply stand on one leg while moving the other back and forth or in a circular motion. I also performed a variety of stretches throughout the day, taking care not to pull or stress the surgical area. The compression garment that I wore was a constant reminder for me to be careful.
  2. Light Weights
    12 days following surgery I began a daily routine of exercising with light dumbbell weights (15 lbs weights) and various stretches for 1 hour. I think I was told to wait a few weeks after my operation before exercising but I was feeling pretty good. I took great care to avoid any pulling on my stomach area and on my stitches.

From this point forward I felt I was doing great in my level of activity. My strength was returning and I was able to resume somewhat of a normal life with little or no difficulty.