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  1. #1
    Jonathan123 is offline Member
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    Default How should I train with a weak abdominal wall (susceptible for hernias)?

    Hi everyone,

    And thank you for your time!

    I recently posted about an issue I had and was told I should see some specialists. I got a diagnosis from them and now have some questions I would be very greatful to get some good answers for.

    I have been diagnosed with overuse and possibly overstretching of the hip joint and hip flexor ( In the pass weeks I did: grappling and hundreds of situps in BJJ class, yoga, ginastica natural, hlrs, deadlifts and tgus)

    They also found I have a weak abdominal wall in the area of the inguinal canal. The surgeon said its genetic and that I might get a hernia in 10-15 years but its currently not a serious issue or something to operate on.

    The surgeon recommended an immediate return to activity at 70% precent intensity.

    So..

    I altered my training from PTTP to the program minimum with a light kettlebell and added a 3-5 method janda situp routine to strengthen the abdominal wall without working the hip flexors. I reduced the number of BJJ classes to two a week, and will not go hard during them.

    Does this seem safe enough?

    How should I breath during exercise to be as safe as possible?

    What should I do in general to be less susceptible to a hernia?

    I thought that if I fast before workouts the stomach area will be more compressed and therefore the abdominal wall will be thicker. Is this a good idea?

    Should I lose weight? Same Idea as above: If the stomach area is smaller, the abdominal wall will be less stretched to begin with and therefore thicker. I gained about 10 kgs in the last couple months because I stopped training for special forces selection and think this maybe caused the abdominal wall to stretch and weaken.

    Anything else in general?

    I really appreciate your help.

    -Jonathan.

  2. #2
    ad5ly is offline Senior Member
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    The doc said you could return to 70% physical activity. I would err on the side of caution EOTSOC. Drop the BJJ stuff for now. No grappling ,wrastlin, mma for at least the time being. In the heat of battle and spirit of competetion you could cross the line and get injured. As far as weight/KBs - go slow. Find out what you can/can't do, and work within those limits..Dennis

  3. #3
    Rambodoc is offline Senior Member
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    If you are "genetically predisposed" to the hernia (I presume your doctor thinks you have a congenital variety that manifests later in life), there is nothing your training can do to prevent or forestall it. That is because there is a sac (like a deflated balloon) that runs into your testicle area UNDER the muscles. In acquired hernias (from obesity, surgery, old age, or weakness), the groin areas are weak but, again, exercise can do next to nothing to prevent it. That is because the weakness is largely in the connective tissue (fascia), less in the muscles.
    BMI--Fat Loss For Life
    Practising moves (for self-learning) on You Tube: www.youtube.com/thekbdoc

    There is an RKC in every surgeon (like me, as a random example).

  4. #4
    Steve Freides is offline Senior Member
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    Jonathan, I've got what you've got, except that mine manifests early in life. I had double inguinal hernia surgery at age 3, and so did both my boys. My father had inguinal hernias, as did his father. There is certainly no doubt that it runs in our family.

    For me, it's a classic case of what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I had on and off discomfort on my left side through my entire life until I started deadlifting. Deadlifting the Party way, which means increasing the pressure in your belly but staying tight and not letting your belly expand, seems to strengthen whatever muscles are in that area, and I have gone from having pain there once every few weeks to having it once every few years, a big improvement.

    This is not intended as medical advice, just one man's experience and opinions.

    -S-
    KBNJ.COM - Steve Freides, RKC Team Leader

  5. #5
    Rambodoc is offline Senior Member
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    Steve, a hernia surgery at age 3 is a whole different kettlebell of fish.
    BMI--Fat Loss For Life
    Practising moves (for self-learning) on You Tube: www.youtube.com/thekbdoc

    There is an RKC in every surgeon (like me, as a random example).

  6. #6
    Steve Freides is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rambodoc View Post
    Steve, a hernia surgery at age 3 is a whole different kettlebell of fish.
    I am not a doctor and I don't know how similar or dissimilar it is to what our OP is asking about. I do know that I have a tendency to have weakness and pain in the area repaired by the surgery, the same area asked about by our OP. It's clear to me that the surgery did not completely solve my problem. Lifting, however, is the only thing that's made a difference in my symptoms. Remember that I'm in my mid-50's and only started lifting 10 years ago - I spent most of my adult life with on and off pain in that area.

    -S-
    KBNJ.COM - Steve Freides, RKC Team Leader

  7. #7
    AriSuper is offline Senior Member
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    I think you should invest the time and effort and master the abdominal vacuum and power breathing,that should improve your condition immensely.

  8. #8
    Rambodoc is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AriSuper View Post
    I think you should invest the time and effort and master the abdominal vacuum and power breathing,that should improve your condition immensely.
    And you say that because....?
    BMI--Fat Loss For Life
    Practising moves (for self-learning) on You Tube: www.youtube.com/thekbdoc

    There is an RKC in every surgeon (like me, as a random example).

  9. #9
    Jonathan123 is offline Member
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    dennis: Thanks for answering. I don't want to quit BJJ entirely so I'll quit sparring for now but still go practice and learn techniques.Does this sound OK? that way I won't lose myself in a match and get injured.

    rambodoc: thanks for the very informing and dissapointing answer! Are there really no non-surgical ways of reducing the likeliness of getting a hernia?

    Steve: Thanks for telling ne how you delt with your issue. I will ask the physiotherapist what she thinks of deadlifting in my condition. Right now I'm sticking to relatively light weights to reduce internal abdominal pressure and rehabing the hip flexor.

    I'm interested in how your grandfather dealt with inguinal hernias. Did he have surgery then? Or just endured the pain?

    Ari: Can you give the reasons to why these will help me? I will certainly study the techniques if they are worth it.

    Thank you all for your time

  10. #10
    AriSuper is offline Senior Member
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    I say it because:
    The transversus abdominus and lumbar multifidus are your inner abdominal musclesAbdominal wall - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The muscles in question are rarely even tought off let alone trained. They lie beneath the rectus abdominus and ext. obliques. The inner abdominal muscles support your posture and control deep breathing during power production,like deadlifting or over head pressing,you get the picture.They are also responsible for your back support.So,because no one really specifically trains them and they are rarely affected by classic exercises, its becomes imperative to build a stronger inner abdominal wall(In your case especially).This is an old school exercise that the strongmen of old age and OG bodybuilders(B.Hoffman,J.Grimek,C.Atlas and such) knew and practiced.With this exercise I eliminated my back pain, reduce lower back fatigue and improved my Oly.Lifts.

    As for power breathing -
    Pavel says its a great way to avoid hernias and back injuries,PTTP from page 64 to 67

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