4 Helpful Abdominal Hernia Exercises

abdominal hernia exercises

“Frugal” does not necessarily mean “cheap.” Instead, frugal people make the best use of all the resources that they have. Many times, expensive surgery is the best way to treat a severe hernia. But instead of the first option, maybe surgery should be the last option, because there are a number of very good hernia exercises that are proven to produce results. 

Many people believe that lifting heavy objects causes hernias. Such action may be the catalyst, but the main problem is that the abdominal muscles are weak. It therefore stands to reason that strengthening these muscles is the best way to prevent hernias, and very often, exercise may even cure them without surgery. 

Exercise Goals 

Before discussing the exercises themselves, it’s necessary to determine the endgame, because all journeys are a lot easier when you know where you are going. Pelvic strength is probably the most important element, but there are others as well. For example, strong shoulders act like a coat hanger which suspends the abdomen and prevents it from sagging. 

To narrow it down a bit, here are three specific goals for your hernia fitness regimen:

• Strengthen the pelvic floor, 
• Develop the obliques and other lower abdominal muscles, and 
• Strengthen the abdomen-shoulders link to lift the pelvis. 

Yoga and pilates accomplish many of these goals. As a bonus, these exercises involve no muscle strain, so they’re very good for recovering surgery patients who want to prevent future episodes. Lots of walking (perhaps 45 minutes a day) is a good idea as well, because walking is a good low intensity, whole body exercise that enhances the interaction between the aforementioned target areas. 

These aren't exactly bodybuilding exercises that will add serious muscle or burn significant bodyfat, but they can certainly make a positive difference directly and indirectly.

Angled Leg Lifts 

This exercise is a great way to strengthen the abdomen in a targeted way without the neck strain often associated with sit ups. 

Leg lifts are even more effective when they’re done on an incline board that places your head below your legs, and when weight is added to your legs. Try wearing ankle weights or asking a partner to press on your legs to increase resistance. 

Inclined Cycling 

Using that same incline board, lift your knees above your body and rotate your legs in a bicycle-pedaling motion. This exercise sounds really easy but is in fact quite challenging. 

For the first few days, most people feel a burning sensation almost immediately, and you should stop when you get that feeling. Very quickly, however, endurance increases and most people will see significant improvement. 

Pillow Squeezes 

Put away the incline board and lie flat on your back with your knees slightly elevated. Then, using just your thigh muscles, squeeze a pillow between your knees as you inhale and exhale slowly. Stronger thigh muscles push up the pelvis, and better support means less likelihood of injury. 

Many people begin with this exercise. If you need a little more support, try one of the best hernia belts available. 

Mini Crunches 

Much like the pillow squeeze, the point of mini crunches is to target specific muscles. In this case, it’s the abdominal muscles. 

Get in the traditional sit up position, but instead of a full sit up, lift your torso about three or four inches off the ground and then relax. Start with one set of fifteen reps, then work up to three sets of fifteen reps. Remember that most hernia patients have very weak abdominal muscles, so do not overdo it. 

Hernia Help

These exercises are not do-it-yourself cures. If you have a hernia issue, go to a doctor straightaway and communicate clearly with them about the issue. Working together, the two of you can determine the best and most frugal path to recovery. Much more often than you would expect, the journey involves exercise instead of surgery.

Combine these exercises with healthy daily nutrition and dietary supplementation if needed.

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Also make sure to strengthen your lower back safely!

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