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Good core exercises after hernia surgery? - Page 2

post #31 of 43
Thread Starter 

RFO --  Thanks!!  These are some great links and thoughts.  There's a lot here to study and try out.  I poked around on the plyometrics site; lots of drills I can start now.  Also, I read that NYT article when it first came out and had intended to clip it out, but it got recycled before I could -- so thanks for giving me the link. 

I like the idea of "full body" sport.  The closest I have to that now is mountain biking, but even with that my upper torso only gets a real work-out on gnarly single-track.  A lot of my current sports presume that the upper torso is in shape -- tennis, skiing, baseball, biking -- but do not actually provide a full upper torso workout.  Hence, up til now, the stationary weights.  But you've inspired me; when I hit the gym this afternoon I'm going to try those plyometric heavy ball drills.

Also, I saw in one of the links a blurb on active stretching.  My son's cross country coach swears by this -- he makes the whole team do active stretching after a 1-mile warm-up run.  I need to start doing this, after 40 years of exclusively static stretching. 

I'll keep you posted as I explore these.   Thanks again.          

post #32 of 43
Ah, yes, that's another thing I've started doing, too! Dynamic stretches before exercising, static stretches sometimes after exercising, or on off days.

Added bonus to dynamic stretches: it really helps stave off the desk jockey burn that I can tend to get sitting at a mixing board for 10 hours a day. Some fast arm windmills (forwards and backwards), some leg kicks (front and side), and some jumping jacks are really fantastic for getting everything moving again!

Glad to know those articles helped. As I said, I'll post more sites when I finally dig through my bookmarks.

Hope the plyometrics go well!
post #33 of 43
I wouldn't suggest plyometric exercises especially after hernia surgery as these types of exercises are intense. I would recommend performing some 'good-mornings' weightlifting movements to restrengthen the lower lumbar muscles, abdominal twists with a light medicine ball to work the obliques, and kneeling kickbacks. Restrengthen the core muscles first and bring back some muscle memory and then start incorporating more intense movements like plyometrics.
post #34 of 43

Once you are feeling "back to normal", I would think about adding side planks or other exercises that work the obliques.  I'm sure your doctor is right that there's no relationship between strength and the injury you had, however, I would wonder if the mesh and everything in there has compromised the area a bit?  Maybe not, but really you can never go wrong with stronger obliques anyhow.  

Did your doctor say no to low rep weights for good or just during recovery? Typically 8-12 reps is considered the hypertrophy range, so it's about building more mass.  Less than 8 is typically associated with more strength, while higher than 12 is related to endurance. Of course there are no absolutes, but this is typical.  

So for skiers, I would generally recommend working in the 8-12 range for a month or so to get a base, and then I would usually suggest moving into the 5-8 range, although I may also recommend alternating in some higher rep days as well.

Plyometrics are great, but make sure you are progressing them properly.  Depending on the specific exercise, they range from low to high intensity. Even though you don't tend to feel a burn from plyos, they are a high-intensity exercise and can lead to injury if they are done without an adequate strength base. And ideally you don't want to do too many reps either.  25 contacts per workout or max 100 per week is a good guideline, and again that's once you have a good base. I didn't catch how old you are, but if you're over 40, then I'd think about fewer reps on the plyos.



post #35 of 43
Once recovered from the hernia surgery there should be no exercise restrictions related to the repair.  Keep in mind, however, that while recovering a significant amount of de-conditioning will have taken place so start slowly.
post #36 of 43
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all. 

Originally Posted by evaino View Post

Did your doctor say no to low rep weights for good or just during recovery? Typically 8-12 reps is considered the hypertrophy range, so it's about building more mass.  Less than 8 is typically associated with more strength, while higher than 12 is related to endurance. Of course there are no absolutes, but this is typical.  


Evaino -- I don't remember whether my doc was recommending "less weight more reps" as a temporary or a general rule.  I stuck with his advice for the first six weeks and then worked back up to my pre-operation weight level.  Now I vary it: one time with less weight more reps, the next time the other way around.   

It's been over four months since my hernia surgery and I feel no effects of either hernia or surgery.  After a gradual post-surgery ramp-up, I've given more emphasis to core strengthening, including obliques.  Also, as you may have seen from another thread, since August I've focused on training for an 8K race.  Strictly from a running perspective, I'm probably the best shape I've been in for a decade. 

Since the race (on 10/31), I've started to re-torque my program in preparation for the ski season.  Also, a complementary exercise objective, I'm planning to learn ACL strengthening exercises so I can teach them to my 9-year-old daughter, who is a budding soccer star. 

post #37 of 43

I tried sending this via PM but couldn't since I haven't posted enough.  So, here's my story.

I'm a fellow DC-area guy who just got a hernia shoveling during that snow we got right before Christmas.  The question is when to have the surgery.  I'm thinking after Presidents weekend cause it would allow me to ski local with the family beforehand and give me about 6 weeks recovery before spring break when we are headed up to New England during the kids vacation.

Is six weeks enough or should I schedule it for after spring break (don't really want to wait that long though)?
post #38 of 43
Thread Starter 

I'm not a doctor, but I think your proposed schedule might be cutting it too close (no pun intended).  I gave myself six weeks before getting back into moderate exercise, then it took me another month to get back into my pre-operation shape.  Granted, everybody heals at a different pace.  If your doctor says it's OK, you may want to wait until after the Spring break ski trip to have the surgery.  Last thing you want is to re-tear it while skiing.  Even though hernia surgery is a "minor" operation, it's not fun.  

Best of luck with this.  BTW, if you have a choice, consider having it done by laporoscopy.

post #39 of 43
 In case anyone is interested, Mike Boyle has written a few articles about sports hernias - both prevention and rehab.  This article is more a discussion about what typically happens that "causes" sports hernias.  He admits in the article that his view is controversial, but I think worth a read for anyone who's had one. 

And another article from Carson Boddicker http://boddickerperformance.com/?p=60 that is a bit more specific in terms of suggestions although geared to runners vs skiers.  I have been impressed with everything I've read of Carson's.

post #40 of 43
Thanks Jim!  I'll look into re-scheduling.  I'll also look into how to stay fit with a hernia.  Usually this time of year I'm doing spinning classes on MWF and squats on Tu Th.  Squats are out and spinning on Monday was sort of uncomfortable.
post #41 of 43
FWIW.  I just contacted my regular doctor.  She thought the risk of re-injury from skiing 6 weeks after surgery was greater than my risk from postponing the surgery another 8 weeks.  So postponed it is.
post #42 of 43
the article above is spot on!  I wish I had that 2 years back.

I skied a whole season with a sports hernia. I skied with a hernia belt which added support to my lower abs and then wrapped my upper thigh as close to the hip and down to my crotch to help  support the adductors which in part, stopped working.  I also put one of those heat packs on my lower abs to keep the area warm.  Soft snow and Powder was fine but hardpack or when you had to make angles was very painful. Stay off bumps!  Also, ski with a friend as getting up when you fall is not a good idea. I really couldn't get up with my ski's on.  That should get you by as long as the doctor (medical disclaimer here) says its OK.  Advil was my friend.  The good news is a nice kevlar patch and a few weeks in recovery and you should be in good shape. You should qualify for rehab so they will be able ot work with you and get your core back on track.
post #43 of 43
I had a sports hernia repaired a little over 2 years ago. For me, the recovery was worse than the problem... but that's because the actual hernia was quite small and was only a problem on occassion due to nerve pain. If the hernia is serious, don't wait as it's not worth the risk of an intestine loop getting strangulated. If your defect is minor and not causing you much grief... take your time and schedule it when it is most convenient. I waited 18 months before I had my surgery.

If you do get surgery, let your pain be your guide at how fast you push yourself. That was my biggest mistake. I pushed myself way too quickly and no doubt prolonged my recovery. Aside from regular physical activity, put your intimate activities on the back burner for a couple weeks as well.

Plenty of good surgeons in the area, so I'm sure the execution of the procedure will be solid. The rest is in your hands.
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