Working Out After Getting a Tattoo: When Can You Workout After Getting a Tattoo?
Did you just get a tattoo, and now you are wondering when it is safe to workout again?
Or, are you planning on getting a tattoo, and want to know if it will effect your training?
Then this article is for you! And, it's good news (unless you are trying to find a way to not work out, in which case just take some time off), you can most definitely workout after you get a tattoo, and probably a lot sooner than you think.
I am going to break this article down into sections based on tattoos and specific workout activities such as, doing cardio or running after getting a tattoo, CrossFit after getting a tattoo, weightlifting after getting a tattoo, and so on. You can read the whole article if you would like, or if you are like me, and only care about your specific way of working out, you can scroll to that section.
One more thing, I am not a doctor. I just have tons of experience with working out and tattoos. We have one of the busiest shops in one of the most fitness minded regions of the world (Southern California). We have tons of experience tattooing athletes from various disciplines, and helping these athletes get back to training soon after being tattooed. With that being said, if your tattoo seems to be feeling worse, your tattoo isn’t healing well, or you are feeling sick from working out, stop, take some time off, and just think of it as a free week's vacation.
General Guidelines For Working Out After Getting A Tattoo:
Let's with some general guidelines for working out after getting a tattoo, these guidelines apply to any sport or activity after getting tattooed, and should be followed until you new tattoo is healed.
- Do not let clothing or anything else rub against your tattoo while it is healing, especially the first week. This includes wearing very tight clothing when doing normal everyday activities.
- Do not let your tattoo get dirty when working out or playing sports. Just like any wound, a tattoo needs to stay clean to heal effectively
- Do not cause excessive stretching of the skin on the tattoo area. Again, it is a wound, if you keep tearing it open while it is healing it will impair the healing process.
- Do not continue any activity, working out or not, if your tattoo is causing you significant pain. Just take a couple days off until your tattoo is feeling better.
- Do follow all your tattoo aftercare instructions. This is important whether you are working out or not.
How long until you can do cardio workouts after you get a tattoo?
You can do cardio workouts the next day after being tattooed. But, there are some things you must avoid to ensure your tattoo heals the best way possible.
When doing a cardio workout after you get tattooed, make sure you are not wearing any tight clothing over the tattooed area. Also, make sure that nothing is vigorously rubbing against the tattooed area when working out. For example, you don't want an ankle tattoo rubbing against your shoes and socks while you are running, or your shorts rubbing against a thigh tattoo.
If you are sweating a lot, it's a non issue, no need to worry. Just take a shower after your workout, and follow your tattoo aftercare instructions. Also, make sure to wipe down any workout machines before and after you use them.
When doing cardio in a public place, like a gym, make sure to cover your tattoo (no need to wrap it again, covering with your clothing will be fine) that way you don't get anyone's fluids in your tattoo.
How long until you can do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts after you get a tattoo?
Again, like cardio, you can do a HIIT workout the day after you get the tattoo. The reason you have to wait until the next day is that you want to ensure the new tattoo has a chance to slightly heal. And, if you have gone through the trauma of a tattoo, waiting a day to give your body some time to recover before you beat it up with an intense workout is a good idea.
How you train may need to be adjusted as well for about a week or two. When doing a HIIT workout after you get tattooed, make sure you are not wearing any extra tight clothing over the tattooed area. Also, make sure that nothing is rubbing vigorously against the tattooed area when working out. For example, you don't want your new thigh tattoo rubbing against your tight shorts while you are doing high knees, or your butt tattoo rubbing against the seat of an assault bike.
If you are doing a HIIT workout, you are sweating or you are not doing it right. Don't worry, getting your tattoo sweaty while working out is a non issue. Just take a shower after your workout, and follow your tattoo aftercare instructions. Also, make sure to wipe down any workout machines before and after you use them (just like you should be doing anyway).
When doing your HIIT workout in a shared space like your gym make sure to cover your tattoo (no need to wrap it again, covering with your clothing will be fine) that way you don't get anyone's fluids in your tattoo, or your tattoo fluids on anyone.
How long until I can do CrossFit workouts after I get a tattoo?
I know the CrossFit crew is crazy, and that's why we love you. I know you want to get in the box the second the tattoo is done and set some new PRs. However, just wait until the next day, that's all. Let your body recover from the tattoo for just one day, and you'll be ready to dominate again.
Again, use common sense when working out. No tight fitting clothing on your new tattoo, no movements that will make your new tattoo rub against things i.e. get a hand tattoo, no Pull ups in your workout, get a thigh tattoo, take a break from the fan bike. And, workout like this for the next week or two until that new tattoo is healed.
CrossFit workouts get you sweaty, luckily sweat isn’t going to hurt your new tattoo. Just take a shower after your workout, and make sure to wipe down any workout machines before and after you use them.
Make sure to cover your tattoo (no need to wrap it again, covering with your clothing will be fine) that way you don't get anyone's fluids in your tattoo, or your tattoo fluids on anyone.
Also, keep up with your regular tattoo aftercare regimen. It's a simple easy way to ensure your tattoo heals fast whether you workout or not. It will make your tattoo look great for years to come, and it will get back to full throttle as soon as possible.
How long until you can do Weightlifting or Bodybuilding workouts after you get a tattoo?
Are you ready to get back to pumping that iron? Well, you are in luck my friend, because just like the other activities, Weightlifting and Bodybuilding are okay. Just wait until the next day after getting tattooed, and you are good to go.
Use common sense when doing a Weightlifting or Bodybuilding workout after getting tattooed. If you just got a sick back piece tattooed, skip Bench Press on Push Day, and do some standing Cable Flys. Just got a nice tattoo on your shin? Use a Trap Bar when deadlifting to keep that tattoo looking fresh, and scraped off by the aggressive knurling on a straight bar.
Wipe down your equipment before and after working out. This should go without saying, but it is especially important with fresh ink.
Don't sweat the sweat. Just clean up after your workout you filthy animal.
And, always remember to cover up for the first week or two, no need to re-wrap, your gym clothes are fine.
All this goes for about a week or two, and always remember to follow your tattoo aftercare instructions. They were developed by tattoo experts for you, to ensure your tattoo stays looking as great as the day you got it.
How long until you can do Yoga & Stretching workouts after you get a tattoo?
You can do Yoga and stretching workouts the next day after being tattooed. But, there are some things you must avoid to ensure your tattoo heals the best way possible.
When doing Yoga or stretching after getting a tattoo make sure that you do not stretch the skin were the tattoo is too much, this can impair the healing process. Make sure that your tattoo isn't rubbing to hard against any clothing or surfaces. Also, remember not to wear any really tight fitting clothing over the area you had tattooed.
Hot Yoga is okay too, just make sure to shower after your workout. And, if you are doing Yoga in any public spaces, make sure to cover your tattoo, and wipe down any mats, blocks, or equivalent , before and after use.
As with with any workout activity, make sure to follow your tattoo aftercare instructions to ensure your tattoo heals well.
How Long After Getting A Tattoo Can You Swim?
Swimming is a little different than most of the exercise routines and workouts on the list, because with swimming you need to about 2 weeks, or until your tattoo is fully healed.
You are probably asking, “What can happen if my tattoo isn’t healed and I swim, why does it need to be fully healed?”
A tattoo is essentially an open wound, albeit a very cool looking open wound filled with ink. As such, a tattoo needs to be treated like any other open wound, you need to keep it clean, moisturized, and free of contaminants for it to heal properly. This is even more important with a tattoo, because you want it to heal the best way possible so it stays looking beautiful.
The reason swimming is a bad idea is because you are exposing your open wound (the tattoo) to any contaminants that might be in the water. Having the open wound is also a direct pathway into your body for any contaminants in the water, including: Chemicals, bacteria, and anything else that may be lurking in the water.
So if you don’t want a biological waterslide of filth cannonballing into your body, it is best to not risk it and wait until your tattoo is fully healed before taking a dip. You can read more about swimming after getting a new tattoo by clicking here
As with with any workout activity (even if you are avoiding it), make sure to follow your tattoo aftercare instructions to ensure your tattoo heals the best way possible.
How long until you can do sport specific workouts after you get a tattoo?
No need to worry, you can usually train for your sport the next day after you get a tattoo. As long as you are smart about your post tattoo workouts for the first week or two.
Common sense is key here, if you are a grappler, no rolling, if you are a boxer, no sparring. You don't want your new tattoo getting scratched, punched, grabbed, or roughly handled in any way for the first week or two.
Training workouts can be done after getting tattooed with a few caveats. Ensure your new tattoo isn't rubbing against anything, and your training clothes are not too tight against the tattoo, and you should be all good.
Make sure to keep the tattoo covered (no need to re-wrap, your clothing should be fine), and wipe down any equipment you used during your workout. Sweat won't hurt your new tattoo, so don't worry about that. Just shower up when you are done with your workout.
Proper tattoo aftercare is a must even if you don't workout. So, make sure to follow the instructions to ensure your tattoo heals the right way.
Final Word On Working Out After Getting Tattoos:
That is about it, I think just about any workout fits in one of these categories, so you should know when to and how to workout after getting a tattoo.
When doing any workout after getting a tattoo, common sense is king. If it hurts, stings, or just feels wrong in any way, take a break or adjust your training. I promise missing a few days of working out will be worth it to ensure you and your tattoo stay healthy.
Just as importantly, always make sure to practice proper tattoo aftercare. Click here to see our definitive guide to tattoo aftercare, a simple and effective way to make sure your tattoo heals the best way possible, in the quickest amount of time as possible.
If you have any other questions we didn't answer about working out and tattoos, ask them in the comments below. We know that it's hard to miss training time, and we know that you are looking for answers.
If you are planning on getting a tattoo, or have questions about tattoos, you can always call, book your tattoo, or come on down to Mr. Inkwells Tattoo Shop.
See you soon!