Tummy Tuck, workouts

Returning to CrossFit after Surgery

I can’t believe it has already been 2 months since my abdominoplasty! I hit my 8 week post op mark Monday. I’ve been back to CrossFit full time for 2 weeks now. It has been such a weird thing coming back to CrossFit after 6 weeks off. Not only is getting back into shape hard to do after 6 weeks off, it is harder to do when there has been some kind of major trauma to your body. I’m no doctor, so as always be sure you check with your doctor about returning to CrossFit and what timeline you should follow.

My doctor released me to work out at 6 weeks. His only restrictions were that I listen to by body and if something was painful not to do it. Uhm, That is pretty much the advice I give to all our clients! If it hurts, stop. It is one thing to press through a tough workout, it is a whole different thing to press through an injury. There is a difference to being sore and being hurt. It is up to you to know your body and be able to tell a difference.

The process of returning to CrossFit after surgery has been just as hard, if not harder, mentally than it has been physically. When I first started CrossFit I was so unsure of what my body was capable of. Over the past several years I have been able to learn my body and build my confidence. I knew what I was capable of, what was within the realm of possibility, and what was a ways off. My body was reliable most of the time. I know it will be again, but right now I’m back to that place where I’m not sure what my body will allow me to do. So every day is kind of like an experiment. I believe it will be this way for the first few months.

So what does that mean for me? It means taking it slow. Super Slow. The first week back was all about just getting moving again. Super light weights, extra slow and cautious movement. If you are returning to CrossFit after surgery you have to know that you will not come back at the same place you left off. Duh, right? While I knew that, it was still hard to come back and feel so out of it.

There is a balance with everything. Yes, you need to be cautious when returning to CrossFit after surgery. But being cautious is very different from being afraid. You shouldn’t be afraid to at least try something. Last week I tried bar roll outs, and I knew it just wasn’t going to happen yet. Sit ups have come up in the work outs a few times and every time I tried to see if I could do it. The first few times I wasn’t ready. Last week I did sit ups slowly and carefully in a workout. It was exhausting and my core felt tired afterwards, but that is how you rebuild strength!

The first week I was back I tried to back squat and didn’t feel comfortable going over about 45% of my max. So I stayed there. You have to learn to listen to your body, even if your mind is telling you something different. Each day I’ve worked out I’ve felt stronger and stronger. Getting my endurance back has been the hardest part. It has been a blessing in disguise though, as I am now remembering exactly what it is like to be new. I finish last in class more often than not, but after 6 weeks of doing nothing I’m just glad to be able to do any kind of workouts!

If you are returning to CrossFit after Surgery or an injury or just some time off make sure to listen to your body and your coach. Don’t be afraid to ask for modifications. Remember, CrossFit is infiniately scalable! It isn’t supposed to be a deathly punishing workout every time. Just like that picture says – stay safe. have fun. You’ll be back to normal (or maybe even better) in no time!

Do you have any tips for getting back in a groove after some time off?



5 thoughts on “Returning to CrossFit after Surgery”

  1. This is a great topic. I am going to have weight loss surgery in another month or so and it is going to be hard waiting to get back into my regular exercise routine.


  2. I’m going through the same thing now. I’ve been out for 8 weeks after having major abdominal surgery. I’ve found the toughest parts have been mentally accepting how weak and out of shape I am. My endurance is crap, my strength is crap. When a workout comes up I think of what I would have used to warm up for it before and that’s what I try to use nor. It’s so depressing.


  3. Did you have muscle repair with you abdominoplasty? I’m scheduled for an abdominoplasty w/o muscle and lipo next week and my biggest fear is being away from Crossfit after two years of progress! 😦 I’m worried not just about the physical toll of the time off, but the mental aspect, too. Crossfit is my therapy!


  4. Thanks for posting. I am 6 weeks released to normal activities and crossfit has been on hold for the entire time. I know not working out for that long it’s going to be tough getting back but it’s helpful to know what slow looks like. I also had breast implants so my movement will be limited all around.


  5. I have lost 55 pounds and have about 10 more to go before I need to have the skin/tummy tuck surgery. I’ve been doing Crossfit for 2 years now . I’m so scared to take that long off. I love the workouts and people so much. I hate the extra skin though enough I think the surgery is worh it. Do you feel you made a good choice to do the surgery even with the side affects of having to take time off and go slow?


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