Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Bodybuilding After Tummy Tuck

Are you ready to get back in the gym? It’s true that many people have to wait a while before they can start lifting weights again, but it’s not impossible. We’re going to give you a few tips on how to get back into the gym and how to work out safely after your tummy tuck!

First, let’s talk about why it’s important to stay active after plastic surgery. A lot of people don’t realize this, but it’s actually one of the biggest things that helps with recovery and healing. When you’re working out, your body releases endorphins—meaning that when you’re working out after plastic surgery, your body is going through its own healing process! It will help your body heal faster and better because those endorphins are helping it repair itself from all the trauma caused by surgery.

Second, let’s talk about what kind of exercise is best for someone who has just had plastic surgery. You know how some people say “running is bad for your knees”? Well… running isn’t bad for everyone! In fact, if you’ve just had surgery on your stomach area or any other part of your body where there was scarring involved (like breast augmentation), running might actually be good.

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing the best and updated information on when can i do cardio after tummy tuck and leg exercises after tummy tuck

Bodybuilding After Tummy Tuck

Many of the men and women considering tummy tuck surgery who come to us from Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins are ideal candidates because they’re in great overall health thanks to their demanding exercise regimens. For people dedicated to intense workouts, such as distance running or CrossFit® training, recovery after a tummy tuck makes them a bit antsy, and they want to know when they can resume high levels of exercise.


To help patients plan their workout schedules, we always provide a general timeline that explains when it’s safe to resume certain types of activities after plastic surgery. In an earlier blog post, we described the steps that patients should follow during recovery from a Mommy Makeover procedure (which typically includes tummy tuck surgery). When it comes to factoring in levels of physical activity, however, intensity varies dramatically from person to person. Therefore, pinpointing when it’s okay to return to the gym depends on your exercise habits.


Of the most common plastic surgery procedures, tummy tuck recovery is probably the least comfortable. A tummy tuck, or abdominoplasty, involves removing excess fat and skin from your abdomen below the bellybutton. In doing so, the surgeon tightens the connective tissue in that area and re-creates an aesthetically attractive belly button. The result is a flatter, smoother tummy.


In this blog post, we’ll look at the unique situations of our abdominoplasty patients in Denver who participate in more strenuous exercises. The particulars of when to resume each type of activity vary because, for example, the strain on abdominal muscles from distance running is different than from swimming.


After a tummy tuck, people who are used to logging mile after mile while training for marathons or triathlons will need to ease back into their running routines. Distance running taxes the abdominal muscles, and these muscles require time to heal before they can endure the stress associated with distance running. Plan to wait at least 6 weeks following a tummy tuck before you begin running again. Start slowly and increase the distance and intensity gradually. Listen to your body and don’t push too hard.

As the old saying goes, you need to walk before you can run. At about 3 weeks post-op you can begin walking longer distances, which will give you a base of endurance before you begin running again.


Swimming in a pool or lake poses unique restrictions that don’t have anything to do with the physical stress of an intense workout. Tummy tuck patients should avoid getting in the water (even a pool) for at least 6 weeks because the incisions need to heal completely to avoid the risk of infection.

Most swimming strokes used in strenuous swim workouts engage the abdominal muscles in ways that could cause complications if you’re not fully healed internally. Using a kickboard is one way to resume part of your workouts once your incisions are healed. As with running, ease back into workouts gradually and stop if you begin to feel uncomfortable.


CrossFit training and other weightlifting that relies mostly on abdominal muscles should be avoided for at least 6 weeks after a tummy tuck. Patients can resume workouts focused on the arms, but with lighter weights than they’re accustomed to because heavier weights can still engage abdominal muscles. When you do return to the gym, especially for patients who participate in CrossFit, it’s important to not overdo your workouts. Being patient and stopping if you feel any discomfort or pain is essential for a successful recovery.

Whether you’re a runner, swimmer, or weightlifter (or combine all activities), every person’s recovery is unique. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to how your body feels and remember this rule of thumb: “If it hurts, stop.

Tummy tuck binder vs compression garment

Part of a successful recovery is wearing your tummy tuck compression garment, also known as a binder. Wear this as directed for a easier and faster recovery.

Atummy tuck compression garment is a heavily elasticized cloth that stretches around your mid-section, much like a girdle. It fits quite snugly, applying even and constant pressure on the encased area. The garment typically covers the area below your breasts down to the hips or pelvic area — everywhere that was treated during your tummy tuck, including the immediate surrounding area.

Why do I need to wear a compression garment after my tummy tuck? This is a question we often receive from patients. Because it fits so snugly, some patients find it rather uncomfortable to wear. However, you should know that you should wear it as advised. A compression garment can help a great deal in your recovery after abdominoplasty. Here are the top four reasons:

1. A reduced risk of seroma

Excess serous fluid collection filling a pocket under the skin is technically referred to as a seroma (when it is blood, it is known as a hematoma). Seromas are considered to be the most common complication associated with abdominoplasty according to several studies, including one from 2002 published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery. The constant, even pressure applied by your compression garment is designed to push down on tissues that were rearranged during your surgery, so that pockets where fluid could collect are minimized or eliminated. The garment also promotes circulation. These two reasons are believed to be how the incidence of seromas can be decreased.

2. Better circulation

And since we’re on the topic of circulation, we all know that keeping your blood going during your recovery is key to getting better, since it’s how beneficial nutrients are delivered to the treated areas to promote healing. This also reduces swelling, bruising and the risk of blood clots, which can be serious or even fatal.

3. More comfort

Your compression garment helps keep tissues in place while you move around. Damaged tissues and incision lines are protected from being pulled or strained. That means you’ll feel more comfortable. In fact, some patients like to wear their garment for weeks after it’s okay for them to stop because they feel more comfortable with it on.

4. Better contouring

While great care is taken to tighten your mid-section and minimize any contour irregularities, there may still be a chance that uneven contours may appear. Many contour irregularities can become permanent if they’re not corrected early on in your recovery. A compression garment helps to flatten out any lumps and bumps that appear.

Plain white cotton tank top to wear under a tummy tuck compression garment.

However, sometimes an ill fitting compression garment may leave permanent indentations. For example, seams can leave long lines in your skin. That’s why it’s important to make sure that your garment fits properly. If in doubt, let us know. Another option is to either wear your garment inside out if you can, or wear a seamless tight cotton shirt underneath your garment as a protective layer.–>

Having difficulty breathing?

We’ve had patients complain about having difficulty breathing while wearing their compression garment. While it should be snug, your garment should never prevent you from breathing properly. It should also not cause you any pain while you wear it. If it does, let us know as soon as possible so we can get you another one.

In some cases, patients find it difficult to breathe not because of the garment, but because they’re breathing unnaturally.

Breathing right

When you breathe, there are three parts of your body that are involved: the intercostals muscles, diaphragm and abdominal muscles.

The intercostals muscles are located between your ribs. When you breathe in, these muscles contract upwards and outwards to allow your lungs to expand with air. At the same time, your diaphragm moves downward toward your abdomen to create more space for the lungs as well. With proper and natural breathing, you’ll see your chest rise and widen while your stomach expand. It’s exactly how we breathed when we were younger.


Don’t be discouraged, because it is possible to have a leaner body contour.

Belly breathing

As we become more sedentary, we start to get lazy with how we breathe. Instead of involving these three body parts with every breath, we only use our stomach. Your abdominal muscles expand and contract, but your chest doesn’t move. This is known as belly breathing, and it’s a habit that can lead to a bloated stomach that no dieting or tummy tuck can fix!

Belly breathing is why some patients may find it difficult to breathe while wearing their compression garment. They rely just on their stomach to bring in air, but their stomach can’t expand because of the pressure applied by their compression garment.

If this is true for you, take a moment to be conscious of how you breathe. Feel your rib cage expand with every breath, and your diaphragm and abdominal muscles will automatically work together at the same time.

Best compression garment for tummy tuck

A compression garment is a special clothing item designed for a range of physiological issues and is a standard part of post-operative care for those who have undergonetummy tucks. After undergoing a tummy tuck, it is normal to experience a range of symptoms associated with the surgery, such as swelling, bruising and fluid retention. A compression garment (sometimes referred to as a surgical binder or girdle) can help in reducing these symptoms and finding the right one for you can make all the difference in your tummy tuck recovery.

What type of compression garment should I use?

Although the types of compression garments can vary depending on what they are being used for and how they are manufactured, there are design elements common to the majority of compression garments for tummy tuck patients.

These include the use of an elasticised (or stretchy) material, seams that are incorporated into the garment to avoid any areas directly affected by surgery, and other features that promote recovery. The types and sizing of compression garments used for post-tummy tuck procedures also vary, depending on how far you are along with your tummy tuck recovery.

Your surgeon will discuss different options with you and help you select the best compression garment for your post-operative care.

Why is a compression garment needed for Body surgery and tummy tuck patient recovery?

There are a number of reasons why compression garments are worn after tummy tuck surgery to assist with your recovery period. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Minimalising your discomfort by helping to control swelling. Swelling is a normal phase of post-operative recovery, but it can cause some discomfort. A compression garment helps to alleviate some of this discomfort by assisting in controlling the amount of swelling a person experiences after their tummy tuck.
  • Minimalising your discomfort by helping to prevent bruising and haematoma. Some bleeding is expected after tummy tuck surgery but a compression garment can help reduce this by helping with circulation and pressing down on areas that are susceptible to developing haematomas or intensive bruising.
  • Minimalising fluid retention. Compression against the skin helps the body to absorb the excess fluid that normally develops after a tummy tuck procedure.
  • To help prevent hypertrophic or keloid scarring. A compression garment helps to keep the surgical scar flat and smooth.
  • Promotion of healing to get you back to your daily activities a little bit faster!

How you wear your compression garment will depend on the individual manufacturing of the garment itself. Because compression garments designed for tummy tucks will avoid the area directly affected by surgery, the opening for these garments is usually found at the side.

compression garment

Why are Post-operative garments important for body surgery patients?

Most body sculpting surgery requires the post-operative support provided by a specifically designed compression garment.

Garments provide support in these seven different ways.

1. Reduction in post-operative swelling.

Swelling is very normal following body contouring surgery and generally affects the area close to the incision site, although initially patients can experience swelling of the hands, feet, and face within the first few days of surgery, this quickly settles but the skin closer to the incision sites often increases in swelling and/or bruising during the first few weeks after surgery. This is expected and a natural process of healing following body contouring.

Persistent swelling is often more pronounced to abdominal or limb suture areas. Due to the effects of gravity and your body’s ability to absorb and remove internal fluids. This swelling can take weeks or months to fully resolve.

The cause is as a result of the actual operation, where skin is moved or removed altogether and liposuction or liposculpture is used to contour body tissue to create the desired effect. It is a normal response as the body struggles to understand the cause of this sudden trauma and retains fluid in an effort to facilitate healing. Swelling is uncomfortable causing bloating, pressure or even burning pain.

2. Reduction in nerve pain,

Reduction in pain related to bloating or general bruising, haematoma, or underlying skin swelling. Some bleeding within the skin tissues is expected following cosmetic surgery (you feel this – tender areas or firm rounded swelling and see it – in bruised, discoloured skin). (burning or shooting occasional unpredictable pains). Swelling can cause pressure on the narrow channels that nerve fibres travel through such as the elbow or groin, reduction in swelling helps to reduce this occurrence or severity.

A firm compression garment can reduce risk and control this by providing firm pressure at the wound site by compressing the skin firmly and therefore improving circulation within the body.

3. Reduction in fluid retention

Compression encourages the body to reabsorb additional fluid from the dermal layers whilst compressing the skin firmly to discourage additional fluid build-up.

4. Warms the scar lines which encourages blood supply for healing

The thick and elasticised structure of the garments provides an optimum healing temperature to the skin

5. Reducing scarring and scar stretching

wearing garments to support scar lines enhances timely healing which in turn reduces the risk of scarring due to keloid scars or suture line breakdown, by keeping the scar line flat and smooth.

6. Provides support for your incision

in the same way your seatbelt gives support and driving without it makes you feel unsafe and unsupported, your garment provides support to your body, reducing the movement of skin that needs additional support.

7. Promotes skin retraction and contour

Body contouring surgery is a highly skilled procedure, shaping the internal contours whilst also ensuring enough skin remains to provide a pleasing result, this often relies on the body’s ability to facilitate skin retraction in relation to the gentle but firm pressure of a fitted garment.

What is the best compression garment for me?

There are many different compression garments available for people who have undergone a tummy tuck procedure. Your surgeon will have their own recommendations on the best garment for your tummy tuck recovery and discuss these with you to help you make an informed choice on the best-suited one for you.

Like other garments, compression garments come in a variety of different brands, shapes, sizes and designs. The most important thing your surgeon will consider when recommending a compression garment for your tummy tuck recovery is the fit of it on you. It should cover the areas it needs to cover adequately, feel snug but not too tight, and be easy for you to put on and take off once you’re able.

Which compression garment brands do surgeons prefer?

The brand of compression garments that comes highly recommended by plastic surgeons is Marena.

Marena compression garments stand out as they are made using fabrics that contain anti-bacterial properties, which can assist in preventing infections occurring and are designed in a way that minimises irritation to the skin during the recovery period. They are surgical-grade compression garments that come in several different binder options covering the different stages of recovery and levels.

A stage 1 surgical grade compression garment will offer pressure across your entire abdominal area, along with your sides and lower back. They’re simple to put on, have a fully adjustable side closure to avoid your tummy tuck incision, and often they are treated with an anti-microbial treatment.

These garments will also help stabilise your shape and new contours and can be great for assisting with skin retraction after your tummy tuck surgery.

If you have never worn a compression garment before, the sensation can take a little while to get used to. They are designed to put pressure against the skin and can sometimes feel a little tight and uncomfortable during the initial recovery phase when swelling is still present.

Although the thought of this may seem a little unpleasant, a compression garment is made to help you heal the best you can, and give you the best possible results after your tummy tuck surgery.

Other compression garment brands include Leonisa, Isavela and Caromed.

How long do I wear the compression garment?

Your surgeon will discuss with you how long you will need to wear a compression garment after your tummy tuck. The length of time can vary from person to person but typically you will need to wear your compression garment for a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks following surgery. Although this may seem like a long period of time, it is to promote healing and to ensure you gain the best possible results from your tummy tuck. In some instances, you’ll only be required to wear a compression garment for a much shorter period of time.

From a surgical post op perspective, the most beneficial effect will be achieved from wearing your garments day and night for the full 6 – 8 weeks post-surgery. The longer the better.

It may feel very unnatural or constricted at first if you are not used to wearing compression garments. You may be swollen and very likely sore from your recent surgery.

It does take a little while to get used to the firm feeling of compression. Please persevere as the more the garment is worn the faster you will heal, the lower the risk of skin healing complications such as scarring or suture line breakdown and of course the less swelling you will experience.

You have invested a lot of time, thought, and indeed money into your surgery, it just makes sense to use all the tools available to ensure the very best outcome is achieved.

‘Not all garments are created equal’ There is no doubt that garments are costly, but they are well designed, surgical grade compression, using shaping to graduate the fitting and are made with extended zips or closure devices and using the very best materials available.

Garments are carefully crafted to avoid the ridged effect of fluid collecting, instead extending the pressure to several centimetres away from suture lines. The garment needs to be snug but not too tight (not forcing surrounding skin to bulge or chafe). It also needs to be relatively easy to out on and take off once you have recovered from the initial days following surgery.

They have external seams and tags to ensure as little skin irritation as possible whilst also providing a smooth surface to the skin. The wider surface area of pressure achieved by a specifically tailored garment provides consistent and uniform pressure, helping to prevent pockets of swelling developing. When you also consider the function of such a garment in the overall control and management of swelling it is money well spent.

Here at Aesthetik Profile we highly recommend and measure for Lipoelastic, Marena and Design Veronique. It is important to have a range of different garments available as everyone is differently shaped and each surgical goal is individually tailored to your needs.

You will be measured for your surgical garments by a member of our highly skilled team, a few weeks prior to your surgical date. There is a lot of skill involved in measuring garments with regard to predicted surgical skin loss but likely fluid collection (swelling).

The garment not only needs to fit well but be fit for purpose – do you have a support person to help you at home or will you need to put the garment on by yourself? Do you have underlying health considerations such as joint stiffness which affects your flexibility? The good intentions and positive outcome of purchasing an amazing garment are useless if you do not wear it.

When Can I Do Cardio After Tummy Tuck

The ideal exercises for six weeks after a stomach tuck are cardiovascular and lower body exercises. Start lifting some modest weights as well.

8–12 Weeks After Surgery

At this stage, you’ll start to feel like yourself. After receiving Dr. Turner’s approval, you can start doing abdominal workouts again.

Leg Exercises After Tummy Tuck

Throughout the first four weeks of the recuperation period, any kind of modest leg exercise is acceptable.
This does not imply using any weights or adding an additional upper-body workout, like arm ellipticals, to the activity.
Stop the workout right once and see your plastic surgeon if you feel any pain or discomfort.

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