Hernia Abdominal Exercises


Many people wonder what type of exercises can be done for a herniated condition. There are different categories of hernias, including the hiatal, the inguinal (groin) and the epigastric, located between the belly button and the lower rib cage, where a portion of the intestine may protrude through the abdominal wall. The cause of most hernias is weak muscle tone. Weak muscle fibers create opening through which the intestines may bulge or protrude, so strengthened and toned abdominal muscles are essential to heal and prevent such hernias.

Exercises to Avoid

  • Exercise is important for healthy, toned abdominal muscles, designed to keep internal organs where they're supposed to be. Loose, weak and flabby muscles increase the risk of developing an abdominal hernia, which are most often caused by lifting heavy objects. Avoid exercises that involve heavy pushing, pulling or lifting such as weightlifting.

Strengthening Exercise

  • Perform aerobic-type exercises such as walking, swimming and bicycling. A recumbent bike is ideal for those with bulging hernias, as abdominal muscles will not be over stressed. These types of exercises don't force the throat closed, which places more pressure on the abdomen, to perform. You can ride a stationary bike, walk or jog on a treadmill. Sit ups and crunches are okay as long as you are not causing pain, and the moves are not producing an outward protrusion or straining the muscles in any way. However, any type of exercise that won't encourage a 'bulging" of the hernia is usually acceptable. Still, ask your doctor before beginning high-impact exercise routine. Aim for approximately 30 minutes of continual exercise to help strengthen all core muscles.

Isometric Exercises

  • Engage the abdominal through isometric exercise. Besides sit-ups, suck in and holding your stomach in tightly for a count of 30 seconds, then release. While you sucking your stomach in, tilt the pelvis upward at the same time. This will help strengthen and tone the lower muscle area. This is the key area for inguinal hernias to develop. Lie on your back on the floor and place your hands beneath your buttocks, and lift your legs off the floor. Start with your legs about a foot off the floor, hold for the count of five and then release. As your abdominal muscles grow stronger, lift your feet between one and three inches off the floor and hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Remember to breathe; you don't want to hold your breath or increase pressure during thuis exercise. If you're not quite ready for both feet, lift one foot off the floor at a time, then switch.


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