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How to Exercise After Inguinal Hernia Surgery

author image Peter Mitchell
Based near London, U.K., Peter Mitchell has been a journalist and copywriter for over eight years. Credits include stories for "The Guardian" and the BBC. Mitchell is an experienced player and coach for basketball and soccer teams, and has written articles on nutrition, health and fitness. He has a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) from Bristol University.
How to Exercise After Inguinal Hernia Surgery
Stretching exercises are ideal after inguinal hernia surgery. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Inguinal hernias occur in the abdomen. Impact or inflammation pushes part of the intestine out through the inguinal canal above the groin. After inguinal hernia surgery, you may feel tender and a little weak. That means that high-impact exercise is not recommended. A carefully considered exercise plan, however, can help you get back on track. Hernia rehabilitation generally includes gentle stretching, moving to more demanding activities after a few weeks. Aim to build strength in your core -- the area of muscle in and around your abdomen and lower back.

One to Two Weeks After Surgery

Step 1

Walk indoors at a gentle pace for 15 minutes twice a day. Avoid stairs for the first few days.

Step 2

Sit upright on a secure chair after a short walk. Keep your legs together, facing forward. Turn your upper body and face to the right. Put your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on the back of the chair for support. Hold your position for 30 seconds. Breathe evenly and deeply. Repeat the movement facing the other direction.

Step 3

Sit on the floor or on your bed. Stretch one leg out straight in front, and bend the other leg at the knee. Shift position slightly until you feel relaxed and comfortable. Reach for your outstretched foot with both hands. Bend gently at the waist and keep your back straight. Don't strain too hard. When you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, hold the position for 30 seconds.

More Than Two Weeks After Surgery

Step 1

Walk up to 30 minutes each day at a fair pace. If you're feeling stronger, use an exercise bike or outdoor bike. Pick a gentle setting and cycle for up to 30 minutes.

Step 2

Lie on the floor, facing the ceiling. Keep your feet flat on the ground, and bend your knees. This is the starting position for a pelvic tilt. Breathe steadily. Exhale and try to touch the floor with your lower back while gently lifting your hips up and back toward your chest. Stay in position for up to five seconds, then rest. Repeat 10 times.

Step 3

Stretch out your legs while still lying on the ground. Carefully lift your legs up, bending your knees at a 90-degree angle. This is the starting point for the supine reverse crunch. Put your hands behind your head. Breathe out and clench your stomach muscles. Pull your legs and hips up and off the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then lower your legs back to the floor as you inhale.

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