Fitness & Equipment Guides > How to Exercise With a Hernia

How to Exercise With a Hernia

18th Jul 19

Being able to exercise with a hernia isn’t always easy to do. Sometimes it’s not even a safe thing to do. Hernias are complicated things alone, never mind looking into exercising with one, but here we are. Hernias can happen for a number of reasons and in a number of places. That makes it a little tricky to give you a definitive answer. Let’s look at why.

First things first; the cause, the place and the severity of your hernia need to be looked at before you can exercise. It should go without saying, but please do talk to your doctor before you even try to exercise with a hernia. That’s just a side note. It’s also worth noting that they don’t get better without surgery. You will need it at some point. This is just how to keep fit in the meantime.

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Hernia Location & What Exercise to Avoid

So first up, location. Where your hernia will significantly impact the exercises you can do. It’s mostly in your abdominal or groin region. A lot of that depends on your gender and how you got the hernia in the first place, but generally speaking, these are the most common. With that in mind, you need to avoid making it worse.

Ab Exercises

In most cases, ab exercises are usually pretty hard to do and can be the riskiest when exercising with a hernia. It’s generally wise to give them a knock on the head for a while unless your doctor says otherwise. That’s point number 1.

As well as avoiding ab exercises specifically, it’s also essential to avoid overstretching too! Make sure you aren’t doing anything that will cause excess stress on your abdomen. Anything at all that’s strenuous, like yoga, for example, can be one of the worst ways to worsen your hernia, depending on where it is. Be careful before you do anything.

Heavy Lifting Exercises

person holding abdomen in pain from a hernia

Number 2 is to avoid heavy lifting. If you’re going to attempt to exercise with a hernia, you need to avoid putting yourself at even more risk. One of the easiest ways to develop a hernia in the first place is by overstraining. One of the easiest ways to do that is? Lifting heavy things, especially with the wrong technique.

Until your doctor post-surgery gives you the green light, avoid doing heavy lifts both in your training and in everyday life. You don’t want to make things worse for yourself! Things like deadlifts, squats and bench presses are some of the biggest lifts and should probably be avoided. Take it easy!


Basically, take it easy and get surgery. That’s the take away from all of this. If you truly want to keep exercising with a hernia, just make sure you’re not doing anything strenuous. Keep breathing throughout your exercises, as with weight training, it can be easy to hold your breath on a lift. That makes more pressure and often a much worse hernia.

Talk to your doctor before trying anything to ensure you aren’t putting yourself at excess risk, and exercise lightly. Any exercise is fine, as long as you are not pushing yourself too hard.


Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.

If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.