When Can I Start Toning My Abs After a Tummy Tuck?

A tummy tuck helps patients get tighter-looking and firmer abs by removing excess skin from the area. At Jeffrey LaGrasso MD in Miami, FL, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso performs the full, mini, and extended abdominoplasty to help individuals reduce sagging skin and boost confidence.

Patients are often curious how long after a tummy tuck they must wait to start their workouts again, particularly in the abdominal area. Below, we'll look at when you can return to ab workouts after a tummy tuck.

What is a tummy tuck, and who is a good candidate for the surgery?

During a tummy tuck (aka an abdominoplasty), Dr. LaGrasso will make an incision across the abdomen to:

  • Remove excess skin that appears after significant weight loss or childbirth

  • Tighten the muscles and fascia of the abdominal walls

  • Remove stubborn subcutaneous fat pockets that do not respond to diet and exercise (if liposuction is also used)

A tummy tuck is not weight loss surgery. Patients need to be close to their ideal weight and looking to boost confidence by tightening loose and sagging skin, reducing the appearance of stretch marks, and improving posture.

What are the different types of tummy tucks?

Three types of tummy tuck surgery are offered at Jeffrey LaGrasso MD in Miami, FL.

  • Full tummy tuck: This involves an incision made from hip to hip and the use of liposuction to remove stubborn fat pockets. It will leave a visible scar and typically requires repositioning the belly button.

  • Mini tummy tuck: The mini tummy tuck involves a smaller incision to address loose skin on the lower abdomen only. Liposuction can also be used before tightening the skin.

  • Extended tummy tuck: This is the most drastic type of abdominoplasty for those who have undergone significant weight loss and were left with excessive, heavy-hanging skin. This procedure can involve multiple incisions around the navel, flanks, and lower back to pull the skin tight. It can also involve liposuction and requires the belly button to be repositioned.

How long does it take to recover from tummy tuck surgery?

Since not all tummy tucks are the same, your post-tummy tuck recovery plan will depend on how invasive your surgery is and how long your body takes to heal. Pain medications and bed rest are typically needed up to 48 hours after surgery. After that, many tummy tuck patients should resume light activity to increase blood flow but refrain from strenuous exercise for roughly six weeks.

Some tummy tucks require up to three months of recovery, but patients can typically walk or begin running during this time. Stretching, yoga, and weight lifting may require six weeks of recovery. But Dr. LaGrasso will give each patient specific instructions.

When can I work on my abs after a tummy tuck?

Patients are often keen to know when they can start exercising their abs again after a tummy tuck. This area will require the most recovery time after an abdominoplasty. Even simple sit-ups may require roughly ten weeks of recovery before their safe again.

It's important to ask Dr. LaGrasso about your healing progress since exercising your abs with crunches, sit-ups, and planks before your abdomen is fully healed can delay recovery and even damage the area.

Get tummy tuck surgery in Miami, FL

Post-tummy tuck exercise plans will look different for each patient. They will depend on your type of surgery, how quickly you heal, and how well you take care of yourself after surgery.

If you want to learn more about if you're a good candidate for a tummy tuck to tighten your abdominal area, schedule a consultation with board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Jeffrey LaGrasso in Miami, FL.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.