T Nation

Hernias! Prevention and Training.


I've had one for about a year. I went to the doctor and it turns out I have one on either side (each is near a testicle). I haven't seen a surgeon yet but at the latest I will get the surgery in 3 months. So far the hernias have not been giving me much pain or discomfort.

I've been doing deadlifts, planks, squats, and overhead presses for about a year and they have not seemed to aggravate the hernias too noticeably.

What should a BBer or any type of lifter do to prevent getting/aggravating a hernia?


bump. Cuz I got one too and I wanna know.


you may want to try posting this in the strength ports section more people DL and Squat than in this forum


What syptoms made you have it checked? The reason I ask is for a while now, if I tighten up my abdomin, my right nut contracts. Left nut does nothing. I've wondered if this might be a slight hernia, but hell I have no idea. I have no pain associated with it.


i had one for a few years, eventually got it operated on last year. million percent recovery, back on the weights, no problem.

when i had the hernia, i did weight training with it, but then stopped after it got a bit bigger. what you need to realise is that your abdominal wall has a rip (in fact, two rips)... and with more weight, more pressure, it's quite possibly gonna keep on ripping, little by little, you won't even notice it. the hernias get bigger and bigger, the bit in between them gets smaller and small, and eventually you have to ask yourself what's left to stop your guts from falling on the floor? overhead press etc is cool, but i'd be worried about the major weight bearing exercises, like squats and deadlifts.


I had an umbilical hernia repaired two days ago. Don't know if I got it from lifting or not.

Is there anyway to prevent these things? I don't ever want to get one again.

Are certain exercises like squats and dead lifts more likely to cause them?


If you just went through surgery, These are questions you should already have the answers to.


How's that?

The hernia was NOT likely caused from lifting, but I know that lifting CAN promote hernias.


I have one too, had it for around 6 years because I'm a lazy fucker who keeps forgetting to book an operation to get it fixed.

doesn't give me any discomfort though.


Dude, get it taken care of sooner than later. Trust me.

It's better to walk into the hospital on your own than to be rushed in there on a stretcher.


Yeah, I know. I've been stupid really. On the bright side, this thread has prompted me to set a reminder on my phone to contact BUPA to book an appointment. I haven't got anything important to train for coming up so now is as good a time as any to have my groin sliced open..


so wtf



To prevent;
Strengthen abdominal wall and breath out on every lift.

Intestine protrudes through weak area in abdominal wall or the weak area that contains it.

I'm no doctor.





A couple of years back I developed a hernia in the exact same place as the OP. It got ten times worse when it was under pressure (e.g. standing up, and having eaten) and especially with exercises such as pullups/chinups (funny enough, deadlifts and squats were bad, but not as bad as pullups). There's no way that I could have carried on, the bulge was huge (and so was my hernia hehe).

I had the operation, which anoyingly I had to wait 3 months for (I couldn't stand the thought of being out the gym for 3 months). Then afterwards, I was signed off for 6 weeks for recovery. I still was out of the gym for months after that...not a good time.

Then again, if you had something like keyhole surgery, this would be a lot quicker (much less recovery)...compared to having a 6inch hole above your groin lol.

Note to those worried: The mesh actually doubles the protection, when the skin grows over it, it becomes a lot stronger than before. So re-occurrence is unlikely, unless it's somewhere else.


Hi, there!

Getting a hernia is pretty much genetics!
If you got weak connective tissues in your groin than you will get one, thou your are training or lying in your bed for the rest of your life.
In this case prevention can't stop that.

It is also possible to get one, when you got imbalances (muscular or bones)so that one side have to compensate the load more for the other side.
Here some prevention can help like stretching the groin region and training abs.

If surgery is necessary than I would recommand a mesh. With a mesh training after 14 days is possible. Hard training should be avoided for the next 3 months.
The mesh can hold it for the next 20-25 years but in general ther is no need to change it.
Hernias on the other side are possible.

While this phase, your focus should be on core-work and stretching. Front-Squats or very light Squats (olympic) are better than the leg press, because the leg press puts too much pressure on the groin!
Won't performe any Deadlift. Rows are better. Chin ups/Pull up can stretch too much. You will be surprised how important the core is for weightlifting.

Conventional surgery is an option but not a good one. Here the Doc closes the hernia by fixing the abdomens together.
That was no fun! This has been the worst muscle soreness I've ever had!
The possibility of getting another hernia (on both sides!) here is hgiher than with a mesh.
Training for the next 3-4 Month are impossible!!! No Abs and others!!
Walking, swimming and bicycling is an option but depends on your pain.After 2-3 month light jogging is possible and I would start streching and light (!) core work. After 1-2 month if light training, start weightlifting light. No Deadlifts. After 3-4 month you could incorporate them, but it really depends on your pain!

There are other options like the "sandwich method". Sounds strange but as far as I you it is the best method. The groin channel (right word?) are closed. If you do it on both sides, than a getting a hernia is pretty impossible.
As with the mesh, after 14 days workouts are possible. Heavy loads are also for the next 3-4 month a no-no.

I can't point out enough on the core work and stretching after a surgery! I was afraid after my hernia to train the abs and to stretch. My lower back was getting stronger also my inflexebility. Now I got some slipping discs as a result of weak abs!
Don't be that fool, bros!

Last advice: when it is possible, you should work with physiotherapist or a doc who knows about weightlifting and the special needs for this training or ask a strength coach who gots some experience with that sort of injury!



I don't believe this statement. We need the doctor with the white dog of a profile pic to come in and say otherwise.

EDIT: Because you have a weak core or weak groin doesn't mean you have bad genetics. It mean you have a little to no strength. Genetics is something that you can't change (without surgery) such as muscle insertion/origins. You can strengthen your groin tendons and abdominal wall.


With "genetics" I mean, having weak connective issues is genetics. There is a really seldom disease that can cause this. Muscle or tendon imbalances combined with a weak groin can cause that hernias.

So, training abs hard, stretching and correcting any disbalances, can prevent getting one.
With the rest I'm agreeing with you :slight_smile: