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Pull-Ups & Hernias: 7 Answers You Should Know (For Beginners)

Hernias aren’t particularly pleasant injuries.

They occur when an internal part of your body pushes through a weakness in your muscles or surrounding tissue.

So avoiding hernias is something most people would like to do.

Well, in this article, we look at how pull-ups and hernias relate to each other.

We take several different types of hernia and see if pull-ups can cause them in the first place, as well as whether you can do pull-ups if you have one, or if they’re best to be avoided.

Can Pull-Ups Cause A Hernia?

There’s a possibility that pull-ups could cause a hernia although it’s highly unlikely.

Hernias can happen as a result of trying to lift something that’s too heavy for you. Or by trying to push something that takes a lot of physical exertion.

A hernia is unlikely to occur from pull-ups since it involves a pulling movement and the resistance is just your body weight.

That being said, you should always take care when doing pull-ups by ensuring you’re properly warmed up and using the correct technique.

Can You Do Pull-Ups With A Hiatal Hernia?

Normally, if you have a hiatal hernia, you can still exercise.

In fact, if you don’t have any symptoms and your doctor says it’s okay, you don’t need to change your current exercise routine too much.

The main thing to remember with a hiatal hernia is that you want to avoid exercises that put pressure on your abs.

You could argue that pull-ups do put some pressure on this body area as your core plays a role in the movement.

This could mean that pull-ups aren’t necessarily the best exercise for you if you have this type of hernia.

Can You Do Pull-Ups With An Inguinal Hernia?

Again, any exercise that can cause strain on your body, particularly your abs, is probably best avoided if you have an inguinal hernia.

Pull-ups are usually a pretty safe exercise to perform. But they could potentially make things worse if you do them with an inguinal hernia. 

Can You Do Pull-Ups With An Umbilical Hernia?

You’re typically advised to avoid high-intensity activity that requires any form of pulling, pushing, kicking, or punching if you have an umbilical hernia. 

As pull-ups require a lot of pulling power, it would be sensible to avoid them until your umbilical hernia has been treated and you’ve fully recovered.

Light exercise can definitely help umbilical hernias though, so things like walking, swimming, and cycling could be beneficial to help manage your symptoms.

Can You Do Pull-Ups After Hernia Surgery?

No, not for at least a few weeks anyway.

If you try to do pull-ups or other similar strenuous exercises too soon after hernia surgery, you could cause the hernia to reoccur and severely delay your recovery process.

(And you might even need another surgery).

You should listen to your doctor and follow their instructions.

Usually, it’s suggested that only light exercise is done for at least four to six weeks after surgery.

Can Pull-Ups Cause Back Pain?

Pull-ups can cause back pain for a few different reasons.

The first thing to think about is that your back muscles are working hard during the movement.

This can cause discomfort which could be confused with pain.

Another potential cause of back pain during pull-ups is an incorrect technique.

(I.e. Your core muscles aren’t engaging enough which results in more stress being placed on your lower back.)

There’s also the possibility that back pain during pull-ups is a sign of injury.

When done correctly, pull-ups shouldn’t cause back pain.

So if you are experiencing this, you might want to stop and double-check your technique. Or even seek medical advice if you think you might be injured.

How To Do Pull-Ups Safely 

Pull-ups are a pretty safe exercise for most people to perform.

There are some safety considerations to keep in mind though.

Firstly, you should make sure the pull-up bar you’re using is safe and free from any damage.

You should also ensure you’re properly warmed up and the working muscles are ready for exercise.

Your technique is also very important if you want to do pull-ups safely. Even small errors in your technique can cause much bigger issues than you might expect.

As long as you have a good foundation of strength and fitness, you’re properly warmed up, and you have mastered the technique, pull-ups are an extremely effective and safe upper-body exercise.


How To Do A Pull-Up