Working Out After Getting a New Tattoo

What You Should Know

If you are physically active and you plan to get a tattoo any time soon, you might be wondering if it’s okay to work out right after getting your new tattoo.

Fortunately, the love for tattoos and exercising are not completely exclusive, but you should consider a few things.

So, can you work out after getting a tattoo? As a general rule, it’s recommended to wait 2-3 days before any high intensity training. Then, it’s recommended to wait slowly with light exercise programs until the new tattoo is completely healed (2-3 weeks after getting the tattoo).

As this is a very discussed topic, in this post we’ll present some recommendations and best practices for taking care of a new tattoo while exercising.

tattooed man working out

Training After Getting a Tattoo: Important to Know

Taking care of a new tattoo is one of the most important parts of the process of getting a tattoo to ensure a healthy and beautiful tattoo in the years to come.

Activities such as sunbathing, swimming or exercising in the first few days after getting a new tattoo increase the chances of getting an infection.

Does that mean you can not train with a new tattoo at all? Not necessarily.

Before we jump into the details, let’s talk about the reasons why you should wait before exercising with a new tattoo.

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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Work Out After Getting a Tattoo

1 – Risk of infection

Sweat sinks in your skin and can get into your tattoo, which can lead to itching and infection.

2 – Irritation

Not only will the healing time be delayed, but the area in which your tattoo is located can become incredibly irritated.

3 – The color of the tattoo can fade


One significant thing that can occur when practicing after a new tattoo is the risk of tattoo ink disappearing from the tattoo.

Although tattoo inks do a pretty good job at staying inside the skin throughout the healing process, the possibility of losing ink through the top layer of the skin in the early stages of healing is there.

If your new tattoo is wet for an extended period of time, ink may run out. Keep the tattoo area moist, but avoid excessive sweating.

Once the skin is completely healed, you do not have to worry about ink bleeding out of the tattoo.

4 – Excessive bleeding

Exercise also increases your blood pressure, which can cause excessive bleeding from your tattoo.

5 – Compromised performance

Your concentration will probably be on your tattoo, not your workout. This leads to an interrupted workout and slows you down both mentally and physically.


tattooed man playing padel

Training After Getting a New Tattoo: Best Practices


We do not recommend exercising at all until after 48 hours after getting a tattoo. After these 2 days and depending on the location of the tattoo, it may be possible to do some form of light training.

If you want to make sure that your tattoo heals perfectly with the least risk, we recommend that you wait at least 2 weeks.

That being said, we know that many people can not wait and need better alternatives. For that reason, we have created a list of best practices and tips for what you can train after getting a tattoo.

– Start slowly

If you decide to exercise while your tattoo is healing, which we do not recommend, you should at least try to do light exercise types such as:

  • Walks
  • Easy stretch
  • Light weight lifting
  • Yoga
  • Other forms of lower intensity exercises.

Once the tattoo is completely healed after 2-3 weeks, you can resume your normal workout routine.

– Avoid swimming or water sports for at least 4 weeks

Swimming and everything water related is forbidden until your tattoo is completely healed. The reason behind this is mainly due to exposure to bacteria that are higher in water (both pool and sea).

– Avoid direct sunlight

For example, if you decide to go for an easy walk, make sure your tattoo is not exposed to the sun. As we mentioned above, sunlight and tattoos are not a good combination. Therefore, be sure to take this into account.

– Wear loose clothing to prevent rubbing

To prevent your new tattoo from rubbing against your clothes, choose some loose-fitting clothes.

– Disinfect the gym equipment

After the pandemic, this may be obvious, but it’s good to remember that bacteria spread faster in polluted environments.

To reduce the risk of infection, make sure the equipment you use is properly cleaned.

– Make sure you clean your tattoo before and after training

Same as with the equipment, make sure that your tattoo is cleaned properly before and after the workout.

– Avoid locker rooms

Locker rooms are typically wet environments that tend to be more prone to bacteria and not always cleaned properly.

Avoid them while you have a new tattoo and you will reduce the risk of getting an infection.

tattooed man working out

Running With a New Tattoo

For all runners out there we would recommend waiting at least a week before resuming any kind of run.

When running, you move almost every part of the body, so it really does not matter where your tattoo is, it will be affected.


It is okay to miss a few training days if it means your body and skin avoid infection and other complications.

By giving your skin time to heal, you can quickly get back to your workout again.

Our recommendation? It is fine to train gently after a few days. Just remember: Be sure to avoid direct sunlight and water.

If you can sit through an entire tattoo session, you can also wait a few days to sweat.

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