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Flexibility Exercises After Bariatric Surgery

By Jacqueline Osuna, MD on February 19, 2018

woman dressed in white practicing yoga on the beachIf you have recently undergone weight loss surgery, or are preparing to do so, you are probably ready to start learning what comes next. It is crucial to exercise after surgery, as becoming active following your procedure is one of the most important things you will do to maintain your results and enjoy your new lifestyle. At our Tijuana, MX practice, Dr. Jacqueline Osuna helps her patients design a personalized activity plan, including flexibility exercises after bariatric surgery.

The Importance of Flexibility Training

There are three primary types of exercise important for your post-operative lifestyle: endurance, strength, and flexibility. While it may not seem as crucial as building muscle tone or increasing cardio, flexibility is actually an essential aspect of your overall weight loss plan. When incorporated into your routine, flexibility exercises can result in lower stress and an enhanced mental state.

What Types of Exercises Should I Try?

There are plenty of flexibility exercises you can try following your bariatric surgery. Some of the most common include:

  • Yoga: Beginner’s yoga is one of the most popular exercises among our patients. Not only will it ease you into stretches as you become more comfortable, it will also teach you how to properly stretch different muscle groups.
  • Hamstring stretches: Your hamstrings help you bend your knees and extend the hip. To work these muscles, sit on the floor with your legs extended and your back straight. Slowly lean forward and reach toward your toes. You should feel a stretching sensation near the back of your thighs. Hold this position for approximately 30 seconds, then rest and repeat.
  • Calf stretches: The calf muscles help you flex your ankle. To stretch these muscles, extend your arms and place your palms against a wall. Bend the front leg at the knee and extend the back leg so your heel is flat on the floor. Slowly lean forward and wait until you feel a stretch in the back leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with the other leg.
  • Side bends: Placing your hands on your hips, stand with your feet shoulder-length apart and bend your knees slightly. Slowly bend to the left side and hold for about 30 seconds. Then, bend to the right side, repeating this process three more times.
  • Lunges: Forward lunges help stretch the hip. When combined with a slight side twist, you can also stretch the back muscles.

Feel the Burn

When performing flexibility exercises, it is important to avoid overexertion. Feeling a slight burn from stretches is a good thing. However, if that discomfort turns into pain, you should back off a bit. Don’t forget to breathe deeply and intentionally as you are stretching.

The Benefits of Stretching

Flexibility exercises do all kinds of amazing things for your body. Stretching regularly can:

  • Improve circulation
  • Prevent soreness
  • Release stress and tight muscles
  • Enhance your ability to sustain exercise
  • Increase your range of motion
  • Lower your risk for sprains, dislocations, and other traumatic injuries

Learn More about Exercise after Surgery

If you are looking for ways to improve your mobility and lifestyle following bariatric surgery, flexibility exercises are a wonderful place to start. To learn more about exercising after your weight loss surgery, contact us online.

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My experience with Dr. Osuna and her staff was better than I could have imagined. She was absolutely amazing...The city was beautiful and safe, the hospital was beautiful and clean, the staff were great, I could not have asked for more. Natalie P.

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