how soon after a tattoo can you work out

How Long After A Tattoo Can You Work Out? Don’t Start Yet!

You can do light workouts after 24 hours of getting a tattoo. However, tattoo artists recommend that you resume normal routine exercise after 48 hours. On the other hand, if you want to get back to intensive training, you need to wait at least one week.

There is no doubt that a regular workout is so important to maintain a fitness level. But it can have a reverse effect if you start doing exercise soon after getting a new tattoo.

To learn all the relevant factors and details on how long after a tattoo you can work out, continue reading the entire article.

Key Takeaways

  • You can start light home workouts after 24 hours of getting a tattoo. For intensive training, you need to wait one week.
  • Based on the location of the tattoo, you need to choose different workouts. For example, if the tattoo is on arms or hands, choose workouts that focus on legs like weightless squats.
  • After getting a new tattoo, try to avoid outdoor workouts in direct sunlight. Also, don’t engage in swimming until 4th week. 
  • You need to wait for workouts after a tattoo because it involves complications such as a high risk of infection, skin stretching issues, or fading of ink pigmentation.

How Long to Wait for Work Out After Getting A Tattoo?

How Long After a Tattoo Can You Work Out

You need to wait at least one day to resume workouts after getting a tattoo. This time is required for the initial recovery of your tattooed skin.

However, it is generally recommended to wait for at least 48 hours before attempting any heavy exercise. Also, it takes four to six weeks for the tattoo to fully heal.

Fresh tattoo ink can be pulled away by vigorous exercise, and freshly inked skin takes time to heal. Therefore, artists suggest waiting for a few weeks until your body art heals fully.

The following table provides information on when you can do different types of exercise after getting a new tattoo:

Type of ExerciseWhen to Workout
Low-intensity home workoutsAfter 24 hours
Normal fitness routinesAfter 48-72 hours
Intensive trainingAfter 1 week
Swimming After 4 weeks

So, you can start high-intensity workouts after one week. During this time, your skin should be healed enough. Also, you can start swimming after four weeks of getting a tattoo.

how long after a new tattoo can you work out

Which Exercises Are Safe After Getting A New Tattoo?

After getting a new tattoo, it’s best to avoid vigorous exercise for around 48 hours. However, light exercises like walking can be considered within 24 hours if it doesn’t cause discomfort.

If you’re keen on exercising, start with gentle walking and progress if you feel no discomfort. Simple cycling on an exercise bike might work if your tattoo isn’t on the thighs or glutes.

For upper body tattoos, lower body strengthening exercises like squats and lunges are possible. Conversely, if your tattoo is on the lower body, upper-body exercises like push-ups and rows are viable.

So based on the location of your tattoo, you can determine which workout is safe to do.

Location of The Tattoo Matters 

The placement of your tattoo plays a significant role in deciding what kind of exercise you can do early. And which ones you need to wait for a long time. For instance, exercises involving joints, hands, or feet might be uncomfortable with a new tattoo. 

However, smaller tattoos, like cosmetic ones, usually won’t interfere with workouts after 48 hours.

The below table provides recommended workouts you can do based on the location of your tattoo.

Location of The TattooRecommended Workouts
Arms or handsShift attention to your legs with weightless squats, stair-climbing, or stationary biking
Back or chestStick to walking. Do gentle localized arm and leg exercises to avoid engaging your back or chest
Legs or feetFocus on your arms and abs with exercises like planks, biceps curls, and sit-ups

Which Exercises to Avoid After Getting A New Tattoo?

You need to carefully choose your workouts after getting a new tattoo. To avoid complications, try not to do these workouts:

Avoid outdoor workouts: Stay away from direct sunlight as it can harm the sensitive skin around your new tattoo and fade the ink. Most tattoo artists recommend keeping your tattoo shaded from the sun for around 4 weeks.

Skip swimming: It’s generally advised to avoid swimming for at least 2 weeks. Immersing your healing tattoo in water can damage the ink. Chemical pools might cause infections, and natural bodies of water could expose your tattoo to harmful bacteria.

Is It Okay to Go to The Gym After Getting A New Tattoo?

Exercising at the gym soon after getting a tattoo can pose an infection risk. The reason is gyms may not thoroughly disinfect equipment. Even if your tattooed area doesn’t touch gym equipment, the itchiness might lead to accidental contact with dirty hands. 

It’s best to avoid the gym for the first two days after a tattoo. If you do go, avoid exercises that strain or rub against the tattooed area. This is also applicable to stretching and yoga. 

Running is generally safe as long as you prevent sweating on the tattooed area by using moisture-wicking clothing or a towel.

Why Should You Wait to Workout After Getting A Tattoo?

There are several reasons to keep yourself from working out after getting body art. It can be painful and uncomfortable. Here are some effects of a workout with fresh ink:

High Risk Of Infection

New body art is just like an open wound. This wound can cause germs and bacteria to enter the skin. The tools used in gyms might contain bacteria. These bacteria infect the wounded area and slow down its healing period.

Fading Of Ink Pigmentation

Exercising soon after a new tattoo can increase the risk of pigment fading. As the skin takes time to heal, the ink can disappear from the tattooing area.

This results in slow healing and early fading of the art design. When the skin heals completely, it can retain pigment for a minimum duration.

Skin Stretching

During exercise, the muscles contract, and the skin stretches. The stretching of freshly tattooed skin will hinder the process of healing. And also it can lead to bleeding. The ink will not adhere well to the stretched skin and get out.


During a workout, the body temperature increases. So, the body starts to sweat. This sweating can wet and heat the tattooing area.

Since the new tattoo should keep dry, sweating interferes with the ink’s healing process. Moreover, the increase in the body temperature can irritate the tattooed area and result in an injury.


While going to any physical exercise, you need to cover your tattooing design with clothes. It results in friction between tattoo ink and the clothes.

Whether you are wearing tight or loose apparel, there are possible chances that rubbing can occur. As a result of rubbing, the body art can be damaged. The scabs may fall off and cause skin irritation.

Tips for Working Out After Getting A New Tattoo

Although, exercise is not recommended for two to six weeks after getting a tattoo. But, when you start to work out after a few weeks, you should be careful to prevent the tattooing area from infection and scabbing. And you can follow the tips given below to protect a new ink art.

how long after a tattoo can you start working out
Source: Freepik

Don’t Perform Vigorous Exercise

While your tattooing skin is healing, don’t expose it to vigorous activities. Instead, you can do light workouts such as yoga, walking, etc. After three to four weeks, you can resume your other exercise routine when your wound completely heals.

Wear Loose Clothes

The wearing of tight clothes while training can lead to irritation in the tattooed area. Therefore it is suggested to wear some light clothes to avoid body art from rubbing and stretching.

Avoid Excessive Sweating And Swimming

Excessive sweating may cause the tattoo ink to leak out and fade away. The sweat glands release more sweat while doing any vigorous activity. Therefore, it is advisable to do some light activities.

The swimming water may contain bacteria and other germs that can infect your tattoo. So, it is not recommended to expose your body to water or you should waterproof tattoo for swimming. Also, exposing the art design to excessive moisture may cause the early fading of the pigment.

Sterile The Gym Equipment

Disinfect the gym equipment to make it safe from any disease-causing bacteria. This is because the bacteria grow faster in an unclean environment.

Clean Your Tattoo Area Before And After A Workout

Clean the tattoo area before and after taking exercise. It will reduce the possibility of germs and help to heal the ink properly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Can You Run After Getting A Tattoo?

Yes, you can run after getting a tattoo. However, you need to wait at least two full days before doing so. For larger tattoos, it is recommended to wait for 72 hours. This time is required for your skin to heal and prepare for workouts such as running. 

Will Sweating Ruin My New Tattoo?

Sweat contains minerals that can irritate your skin. Excessive sweating increases the risk of infection. Furthermore, sweating can also cause wetting and fading of the art.

Can We Work Out Two Days After Tattooing?

Yes, you can start working out two days after having a tattoo. However, you need to do easy and less painful activities such as walking, yoga, etc.


We all know that the tattooing process involves puncturing the dermis. Therefore, you should give the proper time to the skin to heal.

There is, as such, no specific answer for how long after a tattoo you can work out. But it’s essential to wait for two to six weeks to prevent your tattoo from any complications.

Light working out after a few days has no side effects. Make sure to prevent your wound from stretching. Also, avoid excessive sweating and direct exposure to sunlight. Keep the body art disinfectant for faster healing.

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