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watching out for hernia?


White Belt
Oct 7, 2005
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I know we're all trying to move a lot of weight, especially with one rep max DL and Squat. My question is, whats the best way to prevent hernias? I know a lot of nurses that get hernias from moving heavy people from gurney to gurney.

Anyone have experience with this? I scared myself a little bit, because I was lifting heavier and heavier, then realized I might be neglecting an exercise to make sure I don't get that problem. (I think I just overworked a lower abdominal muscle doing weighted leg lifts....and then got freaked out thinking it might be symptoms of a hernia.)

Thanks in advance!
Hernias are protrusions through the abdominal wall and can be prevented by strengthening the core musculature. For many lifters consists of countless crunches, however his method does not take into account the fiber type of the abdominal wall, and denies the function required of the core.

The abs are primarily comprised of fast twitch muscle fibers which have the fastest-contractile speed, the largest cross-sectional area, the lowest oxidative capacity, and the highest glycolytic capacity. As such, their physical make up makes them ideally suited to short fast bursts of power and should be trained accordingly with lower reps than typically used (5
hey entropy, I don't expect that tot be a complete list by any means but mind if I run my list of ab exercises I reccomend by you? In addition to those listed I often tell people to do Side presses, bent presses, full contact twists and this thing. In terms of both function and fiber recruitment could these exercises make your list too?
Hmmm. i actually though I had one. For the millionth time I work for a moving company (here comes the disclaimer) while I'm putting myself throught school. Now that along with heavy lifting takes a toll on your body for sure. Anyway, my fiance had her hand on my stomach one day and noticed a lump protruding. I thought for sure, with all the heavy lifting I do on a daily basis, that i had a hernia. It turned out to be a "fatty tumor". Anyway, they are supposed to be harmless. Sorry to hijack the thread, I just thought about it when I read your title.

Core exercises as entropy and urban both pointed out should go along way in keeping you hernia free. It is a good reason not to neglect training your abs, even though I know how tedious it can be. (especially when you leave them till last and decide like the pussy i am that i'm just to tired to work them now.) This thread will help with a little extra motivation.

A quick question. Would front squats be a good ab exercise to go along with quads, ofcourse. I was just wondering this because i do them frequently and have noticed a signifigantly stronger core and I want to attribute some of it to front squats, just because of the motion and the stability it takes to keep the bar in front of your body while maintaing an erect (dont be sick) position.
one of the few things I agree with john davies about is that heavy squats (front, back and overhead) in addition to other heavy posterior chain work (deadlift variants) will train your core and abs more sufficiently than most of the ab routines available. though it couldn't hurt to tack on an additional bit of midsection work at the end of a workout or something. but like you Rickdog, they're often neglected in my routine. If I drag ass through the rest of my workout, after 60 minutes I leave, with or without doing any core work.
Yes, I have had one and had it operated on. I got it during a violent incident, it started when I tore a lower abdominal muscle and then the intestines started trying to push thru the tear before it could heal. Prevention is definitely better than cure (although I'd have to say it was the most successful, proffessional operation I've ever had done on me, and I've had a few).

I'd definitely advise heavy attention to core building exercises. I think hernias, along with other injuries, come when some parts of the body are stronger than others (because of neglect or inattention or whatever) and whilst one part of your body handles a large amount of weight in one exercise or lift, another part mightn't. The weakest link will eventually give if you are pushing hard enough. I hope that makes sense.
The primary function of the core musculature involves flexion, extension, lateral flexion, and rotation. The relevant muscles involved are the rectus abdominis, obliques, transversus abdominis, erector spinae, serratus / intercoastals.
I remember reading that a large portion of the abdominal muscles (all four obliques, both abs, etc.) are transverse in nature. I forget where I read it, but I looked at a muscle-manequin and couldn't see what the author was talking about. I beleive he meant to say that most muscles in that region were meant for rotation. is this accurate? would training rotational movements be of greater benefit to core conditioning than flexion? I know the correct answer is both, but work with me here...

The external obliques, internal obliques, and transversus abdominis are three supporting layers of flat muscles that play a substantial role in torso stabilization However, these muscles are typically neglected in abdominal training. Research suggests that strengthening the deepest transversus abdominis muscle, along with the obliques, and even the pelvic wall, should be the primary focus for developing core stability.
sounds kinda like you're agreeing with my author from above, assuming those layers of flat muscles are transverse.

Even though I don
Thanks a bunch for all the info. I definitly won't neglect my core exercises anymore.

Entropy, you said a hernia is a protrusion through the abdominal wall...I got a picture in my head where someone's guts spill out of their belly button.

I was under the impression that hernia's happen only in the very lower sections of the abdominal wall, where the muscles hold the organs up?? (I have no idea what I'm talking about, but when my bro was just a toddler, he ended up getting a hernia and one side of his ball-sac inflated because of the pressure that was unleashed from the protrusion.)

So working the core overall would be beneficial, but would something like weighted leg lifts (or weighted rotational leg lifts?) be more concerned with strenthening the muscles that prevent hernia?


I guess this would be a very very bad example of a hernia that is not part of the lower abdominal wall.....guess I answered my own question there....Let me know if I'm not allowed to post this pic...

That last pic.....I'm torn between feeling sorry for that old fella, and also thinking, "uhgg, nasty."

Just wondering if doing jackknives (its the same as the ab wheel movement, using rings near the floor) twice a week is enough to maintain core strength? I need to keep my core strong, but I haven't really bothered with much weighted work for this. My abs seem more exhausted doing jackknives than doing the 20x3 leg raises off the bottom of a bench / 50 or 60 x2 weighted crunches that I used to finish up every other workout with, which wasted a lot of time and were boring as hell.

I'm pleased with the time savings of just doing jackknives or ab wheel rollouts over the old routine, but have no idea if they really are a good universal exercise or not. I'm base my impression only on how they feel (they burn like hell, seem to hit everything and are a lot more difficult!).
Urban said:
I remember reading that a large portion of the abdominal muscles (all four obliques, both abs, etc.) are transverse in nature.
The abdominal muscle fibers run in three different directions: diagonally, vertically and horizontally, which allows for multi directional strength expression and the stabilization of the trunk.

The Transversus abdominis is so called as a result of the direction of its fibers, hence
antant said:
Entropy, you said a hernia is a protrusion through the abdominal wall...I got a picture in my head where someone's guts spill out of their belly button.

ROFL!!! You