Committing to a tummy tuck is a huge step in improving your quality of life. While consultation and the subsequent operation are of equal importance, successful recovery will depend on your understanding and following the post-surgical instructions Dr. Monante provides. This adherence is more significant to men and women who plan on returning to a regular exercise program and an active lifestyle after surgery.  

Also known as an abdominoplasty, a tummy tuck is a surgical procedure that removes excess fat and skin from the abdominal area. This procedure also reinforces underlying muscles to strengthen the abdominal wall. Here is some guidance for returning to your regular exercise routine after abdominoplasty.

Slow Start

You mustn’t jump back into exercising too quickly after a tummy tuck. Though you may feel eager to dive back into your workout regiment before surgery, you could do damage if you do. No crunches, situps, or any other abdominal exercises immediately after your procedure. You should also approach rising and bending with a certain amount of caution early in your recovery. 

Start slow, but be steady in your progress to move around. A gradual approach works best for abdominal muscles, like making efforts to move from lying down to sitting up, then standing multiple times every day. Although these simple tasks may seem insignificant, you should have someone there with you in the early stages until your muscles are strong enough to make this movement routine. This practice will lay the foundation that will pay dividends later in your recovery.

Short Walks

After abdominoplasty, a casual walk every day can be the most rewarding and safe way of getting back into the groove. Distance is not as critical as a comfortable, smooth motion. A walk around the house routinely soon after surgery is an excellent way to kick start your recovery. 

But take it slow. As you get stronger, increase the distance to down the street then around the block. Avoid jarring stops and walk with your back straight.


For the first month, your goal should be plenty of rest and sleep with some muscle movements in the mix. After four weeks of recovery, your body should be strong enough to start a light cardio workout. Start by picking up your walking pace, then move to stationary cycling or other low-impact exercises like elliptical machines.

Upper Body and Legs

Working out legs and upper body is an excellent way to strengthen your body without putting too much tension on your abdominal and back muscles. Incorporate a range of motion exercises or free weights with a focus on your arms and legs without too much stress in your core.


The recovery process is a personal experience, as healing varies from patient to patient. You should wait until the right time to begin strengthening your abdominal muscles and follow instructions from your surgeon about how and when to get back into it. As you begin to be able to work your core muscles, this phase is the final step before returning to your regular workout routine. Pelvic thrusts and leg slides are great starting points before graduating to crunches, leg lifts, and planks. Finally, when you’re strong enough, you can move on to sit-ups.

Resume Regular Workout

After several weeks of building up your body slowly, you should seek Dr. Montante’s approval before returning to your regular, full-body exercise routine. A gradual buildup to the harder workouts, while considering your abdominal healing can be arduous, but eventually, you will earn the right to resume what you were doing before surgery. 

Abdominoplasty may be the final step of your body transformation process after weight loss or liposuction. But once the fat is gone and the belly is tucked, many patients want to get to that place where they can show off their new tummy. Building a solid post-abdominoplasty exercise routine is necessary to achieve the best results possible while avoiding complications after surgery.

For more information about abdominoplasty and the best approach to recovery, contact us or call 804.325.4795 to schedule your personal consultation.