T Nation

The Hernia Conundrum

Hey all,

I found out recently that I have a hernia and to say it flat out, I’m pissed. As a serious soccer player, this injury has single handedly reduced the velocity of my shot, lowered my top sprint speed, and has been small everyday things (like sneezing or carrying somethign heavy) a pain in the butt. I am not going to let this injury make it game over for me.

I realize that I will need surgery to correct this (unless someone knows of a different procedure), but in the mean time, I don’t want to let me fitness and training go down the tubes - even though it feels like it is now.

Was hoping to get all of your expert advice on what kinds of abdominal exercises, and other exercises I can do to keep my fitness level high and my 6-pack showing. Also, if any of you have had a hernia and had it corrected, it would be great to hear about your experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Please write soon.


I had hernia surgery to correct it. It was out-patient, I was at the hospital at 7am surgery around 8am and home by 3pm. I was not allowed to lift anything over 8 pounds for 6 weeks then eazed back into lifting. Probably took a total of about 3 months to return to normal.

i had an inguinal hernia. got surgery a year ago. started lifting again when i didn’t feel pain (four weeks). i made gains comparable to newbs when i got back.

hernia surgeries have gotten better over the years. recovery is much better now than it used to be. my doctor told me i could start lifting again immediately after surgery if i wanted because due to the mesh he used to fix the hernia it had no chance of coming back.

dont be afraid of time off. many elite athletes take a lot of time off.

get it fixed right away so you can recover and minimize the ineffective training period and the downtime. i had an inigual (sp) hernia fixed using the 3d mesh procedure. (search the web for info) it is the state of the art procedure and has the lowest reoccurence rate of all procedures. find someone who knows it and is experienced. mine was an outpatient surgery. 2 weeks later i started lifting. within a couple of months i was at 75% - 85% of my strength and running hard. I have since surpassed my pre surgery strength.

Thanks for the replies everyone. I would like to know what type of hernia surgery you all had. I know Pkiousis said he had the “3D Mesh” procedure…what type did you all have?

How big is the scar and where is it located? Is it visible?

In the mean time, what exercises and fitness moves can I do to keep my level high while I play injured. I will get the surgery very soon, Im just trying to plan it based upon my soccer season.

Please write back. The responses are comforting to hear how you all have bounced back and how you have made gains since then.


Sorry to hear about the hernia. I actually had not one, but two and played soccer through high school and college. I had the second hernia my junior year in high school. It’s a small incision just slightly higher and right/left of your groin depending on the side. It not very invasive, outpatient, and takes a few months to get back to shape.

If you’ve googled hernia you should know what they are all about. Yes, surgery is inevitable and you should lower the intensity of your workouts before surgery. Post surgery and recovey is a bitch. Even taking a crap requires a high pain tolerance. You’ll certainly understand the reasoning behind a strong core because it is used for everything. You’ll soon realize that the second you are done with surgery and try to move around.

Listen to your doctor about fitness. Eat right. Don’t get lazy with your diet because you are going to be pretty immobile. I don’t want to give you any bad advice, all I can say is: ASK YOUR DOCTOR and EAT RIGHT!

Once you are cleared to go, make a gradual increase in intensity. It took me awhile to feel comfortable throwing around a lot of weight. Listen to your body and good luck.