When to Begin Exercising After Cosmetic Surgery

When it comes to exercise post surgery, the most important question is “when to start?”

As with most other things in life, the correct answer is “it depends.” For example, procedures such as liposuction and abdominoplasty will only affect your body’s core. Meanwhile, facial and breast procedures come with their own sets of rules.

In this article, we’ll go over the four main types of cosmetic surgery. These are abdominoplasty (or tummy tuck), breast augmentation, liposuction, and facelift. If you want to know when it’s safe to exercise after these procedures, read on to find out.

Before we get to it, however, remember that these are just general guidelines. If the below information contradicts what your surgeon has told you, disregard it.

Tummy Tuck

As the tummy tuck recovery process involves a lot of muscle repair, patients should take it as slow as possible.

For the first couple of weeks after the surgery, you should just practice standing. Though this is not much of an exercise routine, it will help you stimulate your circulation. Once the first two weeks have passed, you should be able to start walking.

After four weeks, you can finally begin with light cardio. Sit-ups, crunches, and weight training exercises are best off ignored until you hit the 10-week mark.

Breast Augmentation

With breast augmentation (and breast lift), it’s all about the pectoral muscles. As most of the implants will be inserted under the pecs, they’ll need some time to heal. Overworking these muscles too soon can interfere with the recovery process.

During the first four weeks, you shouldn’t pull, push, or lift anything over 10 pounds. Any arm, chest, or back-based exercises should also be avoided. Activities such as golf and tennis are off-limits as well.

What can you do? Well, light cardio and leg exercises should be fine after two weeks. As a matter of fact, they’re encouraged.


Liposuction can be done on various parts of the body, so the guidelines for exercise post surgery can fluctuate wildly. However, the standard abdominal liposuction does have a stricter timeline.

As with the tummy tuck, you should stick to standing and light walking for the first several weeks. Once you hit the 3-week mark, you can start with light cardio exercises such as cycling and elliptical.

Five weeks is the magic number. If you’ve been keeping busy with light cardio, you can now transition into the more rigorous routines.


Facelift patients should refrain from exercises that increase heart rate and blood pressure. If done too soon, these activities can cause bleeding and unnecessary discomfort.

In practice, this means you should stick to light movement during the first couple of weeks. Heavy cardio exercises such as jogging and aerobics should wait until week four.

Once you hit the 6-week mark, you should be able to go back to your normal activities.

More on Exercise Post Surgery

As you’re probably aware, cosmetic surgery shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you have any other questions regarding this topic, you can contact us right here. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.