It may surprise you to learn that hernias become more common the stronger the core, but it turns out that the strength of your abdominal wall and your groin can become diametrically opposed to your fitness goals.

If your workout requires asymmetrical movement, meaning a combination of rotation and tension while bending at the waist, the torque of asymmetrical forces can rip a tear in the fascia of your abdominal wall.

What happens next is truly shocking, and you may not want to read on if you’re standing, eating, or driving 👀, but here’s an image that begins to explain it:

Even the slightest tear in the abdominal wall can cause the small intestine to spill out between layers of flesh beneath the skin. Men are especially susceptible to this ailment, as the descent of the testicles during development in the womb creates a channel that the small intestine can follow into the testicle, accompanied by “a zipper like burn”.

NSFW: graphic anatomical images

The best way to avoid this issue while working out is to provide tension in equal and opposite measure while maintaining alignment. Avoid simultaneous pronations or extensions of the joint. Focus on one movement at a time during workouts.

If you have a hernia the best way to alleviate pain is by keeping the hernia in place with a hernia truss, or getting surgery.

If it’s not too late, the most common exercise to cause an inguinal hernia is the one armed dumbbell row, but there is a way to do it that will provide gains to the targeted muscle groups while preventing hernias.

If you are working out regularly, we recommend wrist support sleeves and back support braces for those looking to minimize injury as they maximize their gains.

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