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Pilates after Hernia Repair

February 9, 2014 — 22 Comments

Pilates after hernia repair offers a crucial piece of the exercise puzzle – pelvic floor and deep abdominal support!

Lately I have received several requests for exercise suggestions to help either repair small existing inguinal hernias, or assist in maintaining a hernia repair after surgery.

First of all, what is a hernia?

According to the NIH,

A hernia is a sac formed by the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum). The sac comes through a hole or weak area in the strong layer of the belly wall that surrounds the muscle. This layer is called the fascia.

Basically, a hernia is an area where the intestines start to protrude through a weak area in the abdominal wall. Hernias are named for location (inguinal – groin, umbilical – belly button, hiatal – upper abdomen, femoral – upper thigh).

Hernias are caused by straining while abdominal pressure is increased – it can happen on the toilet, opening a window, or even lifting weights and/or doing abdominal exercises incorrectly.

Yes, you read that correctly. Poorly executed exercise can cause hernias and make existing ones worse.

However, correctly done exercise can help heal a hernia, especially after repair.

Exercise recommendations for pilates after hernia repair are similar to those for diastasis recti.

Once you have been cleared by your physician to exercise, it is important to avoid straining while increasing abdominal pressure. This requires careful monitoring of breathing patterns while moving and exercising.

At the beginning you should avoid most traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches. You should also avoid overhead presses.

Focus on exercises that help engage your pelvic floor muscles, diaphragm, and deep abdominals.

Breathing correctly is the first challenge.

Listen to the first breathing exercise in my back pain video. This is the basis for moving correctly in any exercise.

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Lynda Lippin

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Lynda Lippin is an award-winning NYC-based Certified Pilates Teacher with 25 years experience, an ACE Certified Personal Trainer who specializes in TRX® and Kettlebell training, and a Usui Reiki Master. Lynda's teaching style, which is described as "nurturing yet demanding," allows her clients, such as journalist Natalie Livingstone and designer Donna Karan, to overcome basic issues of poor posture, poor alignment, stiffness, injury, and back or neck pain. Lynda Lippin's clients end up stronger, taller, more flexible, and thinner with many fewer aches and pains. Livingstone says, "Lynda is the only personal trainer I have worked with who combines hard-core cardio, super-toning but not bulking weight circuits and expert pilates. Her results speak for themselves...." Contact Lynda Lippin to schedule a session or for more information.

22 responses to Pilates after Hernia Repair

  1. This is news to me. I have to say that I had no idea that you could work out with a hernia. Not that I have had one, but I would have certainly used it as an excuse to extend my couch time.
    Mamapotamus recently posted…Pregnant Me vs Teenager MeMy Profile

  2. Really interesting post. I’m a big pilates fan and love that it has so many benefits. Visiting here as part of the SITS Girls Comment Love event. :-)
    Mel Caldicott recently posted…God Absolutely and Completely Knows What He’s Doing!My Profile

  3. Interesting! I listen to the Jillian Michaels podcast, and she talks a lot about functional training. This sounds like a similar concept. Visiting from SITS, and I hope you are having a great week!
    Marjorie recently posted…Meal Planning. And Getting More Organized 15 minutes at a Time!My Profile

  4. My youngest daughter has a navel hernia but each year it has been going down. It’s good to know you can work out when you have one. Thanks for this helpful article!
    Louida recently posted…e.l.f Studio Products I Got at WalmartMy Profile

  5. Very interesting and just what I need!
    Luanne recently posted…Red Velvet Poke CupcakeMy Profile

  6. Excellent post and very informative. Loving this SITS Comment Love event and getting to visit and get to know so many other fellow bloggers. Hope you have a great day! :D
    Marcia @ Blogitudes recently posted…Tuesday Ten -- Things That Make Me CryMy Profile

  7. I didn’t know you could still do activity with a hernia, very informative.

  8. I love pilates, good for so many things. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Interesting and informative post. Thank you!
    Michelle @ Tales of a Fit Kitty Mama recently posted…Why I BlogMy Profile

  10. I didn’t know you could get a hernia from something so seemingly innocent. Good to know there are exercises to help strengthen and repair.
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell recently posted…Are You a Spaghetti Breaker-in-Half’er?My Profile

  11. My Mom has a hernia and is in physical therapy 3x a week right now. I feel a little more informed after reading, and although I have heard about hernias, I did not know how many types there were. Thanks for sharing the info!

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