Can You Workout with a Hernia?

If you’re dealing with a hernia, you may be wondering if it’s still possible to get a good workout in. The answer is yes – but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

What is a Hernia?

A hernia is when an organ or tissue protrudes through a weakness in a muscle or surrounding tissue wall. This can be a very painful condition and it is important to get it treated by a medical professional. However, some people with hernias can still exercise, depending on the type and severity of the hernia. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of hernias to see if any can be safely exercised with.

Types of Hernias

There are several types of hernias. The most common hernia is an inguinal hernia, which usually appears in the lower abdomen where a weak area of muscle bridges the abdominal cavity and groin. This weak spot can allow fatty tissue or part of the intestine to bulge out of the abdomen, resulting in pain and discomfort.

Other types of hernias include femoral, umbilical and incisional hernias. Femoral hernias appear near the inner thigh region and are more common in women than men; an umbilical hernia is usually found around an infant’s navel; and an incisional hernia can occur when a pre-existing abdominal wall incision opens as a result of strain or injury to the area.

Some people are born with what’s called a congenital hernia, which occurs when part of the body protrudes through a weakened area in utero. Hiatal (diaphragmatic) and spigelian these types of hernias occur through small openings in various locations around the diaphragm or abdomen wall.

In rare cases, people may experience strangulated or incarcerated hernias, where tissue is accidentally caught between organs and begins to cut off blood supply to the affected area around it — this type requires emergency surgery to correct it. Other specialized types may include sciatica or paraesophageal hernias, unusual hiatal defects found on one side (unilateral diaphragmatic defects) as well as bochdalek’s posterior diaphragmatic defects linked with major deficiencies in pleural space between lungs within chest cavity wall.

Causes of a Hernia

A hernia is a protrusion of an organ or fatty tissue through a weakened area of muscle or connective tissue. The most common type of hernia is an inguinal hernia, which is found in the lower abdomen or groin. There are many causes of a hernia, including factors like genetics, age, gender, and weak abdominal muscles caused by childbirth or weightlifting. Let’s dive a bit deeper and discuss the causes of a hernia in more detail.

Risk Factors

There are many potential causes of a hernia, and the risk factors vary depending on the type. Some of the most common causes are listed below.

-Lifting heavy objects: Exerting too much pressure on abdominal muscles through activities such as lifting can place stress on them, increasing your risk of developing a hernia.
-Physical strain: Stress or strain on weakened or stretched area tissue from exercise can put extra pressure on their walls and cause them to weaken further, leading to a hernia.
-Smoking: Smoking weakens tissues in the chest and abdomen, making smokers more susceptible to developing a hernia.
-Chronic coughing: Persistent coughing over an extended period of time can lead to weakened or stretched tissue that is subject to excess pressure, potentially causing a hernia.
-Excess weight/body mass index (BMI): Obesity increases the risk for various health conditions due to extra weight placed upon organs and muscles that support them. An increase in BMI increases your risk for developing all types of hernias.
Age: As you age, muscle strength weakens and elasticity is lost in areas like those containing organs such as heart and lungs which could increase the possibility of developing a hernia.
-Previous surgery: Many surgeries such as Caesarian section involve making an incision into abdomen wall regions; unfortunately any weakening can persist post-surgery increasing your risk for future complications such as a hernia formation.

Symptoms of a Hernia

Hernias occur when an organ or fatty tissue pushes through a weak area of a muscle or tissue wall. There are four common types of hernias; inguinal (inner groin), femoral (outer groin), umbilical (belly button), and incisional (result of an incision from a surgery). Symptoms of a hernia include pain, pressure, or burning sensation in the affected area and a bulge that can be seen or felt. It is important to seek medical advice if you suspect you have a hernia.

Diagnosis of a Hernia

Diagnosing a hernia usually starts with a physical exam performed by your doctor. During the exam, your doctor will look for a visible bulge in the abdominal wall, as well as assess your pain levels. Your doctor may perform additional tests to help confirm the diagnosis, such as an X-ray or MRI.

Your doctor may also ask about relevant medical history and lifestyle habits to determine what type of hernia you have and whether there are any other potential causes of the symptoms. It’s important to discuss any pain you’re experiencing and provide copies of imaging tests conducted prior to your visit if applicable.

If a hernia is discovered during the exam, your physician may perform one or more of several common diagnostic tests in order to classify the hernia and determine its severity. These tests include ultrasound, CT scans, electrodiagnostic studies such as an electromyogram (EMG), and laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) or open abdominal surgery where they actually look into the area that appears to be causing discomfort.

When it comes to diagnosing a hernia, it’s critical that you seek professional medical attention right away in order to avoid further complications and receive proper treatment. Your healthcare provider should also assess any likely risks associated with exercise so that this can be taken into account when designing an appropriate workout routine for you going forward.

Treatments for a Hernia

A hernia is a health issue that can cause discomfort and pain, so it is important to take care of it in the best way possible. Treatment for a hernia can vary depending on the type and severity of the hernia. The most common treatments are typically surgery and physical therapy. In some cases, medications and lifestyle modifications may also be recommended. Let’s explore all of the treatments for a hernia and discuss how to keep exercising safely.


Surgery is recommended in most cases of hernia. The purpose of surgery is to repair the weakened tissue or muscle and/or return the organ or tissue to its original position. Depending on the severity and complexity of the hernia, there are several surgical options available.

Open Repair: This is a traditional type of surgery when an incision is made in order to manually return organs or muscles in their original position, internal stitches are placed, and then the weakened area may be repaired with sutures or mesh.

Laparoscopic Surgery: This method entails making small incisions (usually three) for surgical instruments as well as a small camera device so that a surgeon may view the inside on a monitor. A mesh patch is also used to close up the hernia in this procedure.

Robotic Surgery: The most advanced type of surgical procedure for hernias involves using robotic hands that assist surgeons during operations inside the body. During this procedure, surgeons can have better control over their instruments due to its precision and accuracy through specific technologies available through robotics arms aiding in vital movements during hernia repairs. It not only allows surgeons better viewing angles but also reduces chances for human error due to automated technologies employed within robotic surgeries.

Working Out with a Hernia

Exercise can be beneficial for those who have hernias, but it is important to remember that you should always consult your doctor before starting any type of physical activity, especially if you have a hernia. Exercising with a hernia can be beneficial or detrimental to your health depending on the type of hernia and the intensity of your workout. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of working out with a hernia.

Exercises to Avoid

If you have a hernia, there are certain exercises that you should avoid. While generally it is not recommended to exercise with a hernia, if you do choose to, it’s important to select exercises with care and always get your doctor’s approval prior to beginning any sort of workout regimen. It’s also very important to warm up properly beforehand.

The chest press, leg press, lateral pulldown and other compound movements can be hard on the abdominal wall and greatly increase the chances of making an existing hernia worse, or triggering the onset of a new one. It’s best to stay away from these exercises altogether and focus instead on low-resistance bodyweight workouts such as light walking, swimming and yoga poses. Squatting or deadlifting should be done sparingly as well since these can also cause damage to weakened abdominal muscles due of hernia development.

It’s safe for people with hernias to participate in cardiovascular activities such as swimming or biking at a slow pace — provided that they don’t experience excessive pain during the activity. If you experience any pain or discomfort while working out then it’s essential that stops exercising and consult your doctor for advice immediately rather than pushing through the pain. Remember to always warm up and cool down properly before and after working out!

Exercises to Do

There are various exercises you can do if you have a hernia. It is important to decrease any strain on the abdominal wall and to learn proper body mechanics. Before starting any exercise program, talk to your doctor to make sure that it is safe for you to do so.

The following exercises can help keep the abdominal wall strong while decreasing strain on the hernia:

-Abdominal bracing: This helps strengthen abdominal muscles without putting pressure on the hernia. Begin by lying with your back flat against a flat surface, such as a bed or sofa, with your knees bent up towards the ceiling and feet flat on the floor. During this exercise, be sure to keep your stomach and buttocks relaxed while engaging your core (pullin in abdominal muscles). Take 5-10 seconds inhaling through your nose and exhale deeply through pursed lips for another 5-10 seconds before releasing tension in core muscles.

-Gentle stretching exercises for abdomen, pelvis and lower back: These should be slow and gentle movements that focused more on longer holds rather than active movements. Stretching should be done 3-5 times per day while controlling breath during each movement. Lunge stretches, side stretches and pelvic tilts are all examples of these types of stretches.

-Swimming: If possible, swimming is an excellent activity to reduce symptoms of hernias by decreasing intra-abdominal pressure while increasing strength in abdominals and other areas of the body leading towards more balanced muscle development as opposed to muscle imbalances that could lead to further injury when engaging in other activities or sports such as running or cycling.


Ultimately, it is important to consult with a doctor before beginning any exercise program while suffering from a hernia. Everyone’s body is different, and the proper management and healing of a hernia varies depending on its severity. Certain exercises may be beneficial for strengthening the abdominal wall muscles in some individuals, while other approaches such as bracing or other supportive devices may be required for those dealing with larger or more severe hernias.

It is advisable to understand the risks associated with working out with a hernia before you start any routine. For example, certain types of exercise which involve heavy lifting should be avoided in order to reduce symptoms and promote recovery. Additionally, certain movements should also be monitored to ensure they cause no increase in inflammation or size of the hernia.

Following your consultation with your doctor and understanding the risks associated, start your workout gradually and pay attention to how you feel during each movement. In some cases, light stretching as part of a rehabilitation protocol can help strengthen the surrounding musculature as part of an effective treatment plan for hernias. Ultimately speaking, consulting with a physician about your fitness goals and intentions is always advised when approaching any physical activity after diagnosis of a hernia.

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