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Push-Ups & Hernias (12 Answers You Should Know)

There are several different types of hernia and they can be extremely painful.

If you have a hernia, it’s always sensible to follow the advice and guidance that your doctor gives you.

They may advise you not to exercise at all, but they might say that certain exercises are still ok to do as long as you are careful.

In this article, we look at the relationship between hernias and push-ups.

In it, we answer 12 questions about the different types of hernias and how doing push-ups might be a good or bad idea if you’re trying to prevent one or recover from one.

Woman doing a push up in a crossfit gym

Can Push-Ups Cause Hernia?

As a general rule, it’s highly unlikely that push-ups could cause a hernia.

While it certainly isn’t impossible, it would be extremely unfortunate if a hernia was caused by push-ups.

Hernias are commonly caused by excessive pressure being placed around an area of weakness in your tissue or fascia.

This can happen if you’re trying to lift a weight that’s too heavy for you or it could happen if you’re trying to push an object using high levels of physical effort and exertion.

During push-ups, you’re using your body weight as resistance.

As your body is used to moving your body weight around, it would be unlikely that push-ups would result in you lifting more weight than you can handle and causing enough pressure to push an internal part of your body through an opening in the tissue.

As a result, push-ups will not usually cause a hernia.

Can Push-Ups Cause Hiatal Hernia?

No, push-ups won’t usually cause a hiatal hernia.

There aren’t too many agreed causes for a hiatal hernia, but a suggested cause is a rise in pressure in your stomach from things such as coughing, being obese, being pregnant, lifting something heavy, straining on the toilet, vomiting, or an injury.

A lot of the time a hiatal hernia won’t have any symptoms so it can be tricky to even know you have one in the first place.

Are Push-Ups Bad For A Hernia?

As with a lot of health and fitness topics on the internet, there’s some contradictory information out there about push-ups and hernias.

Some of the information seems to suggest that push-ups are bad for a hernia and should be avoided if you think you have one.

Other information suggests that push-ups might actually help with a hernia.

The best thing to do is to follow the advice and guidance of your doctor.

They’ll be the best source of information for you and they’ll know better than anyone whether push-ups are good for a hernia or not.

Can You Do Push-Ups With A Hernia?

Normally, if you have a hernia it’s best to avoid exercises that put pressure on your core or exercises that involve a lot of pushing.

As push-ups bring your core muscles into play and clearly involve a lot of pushing, it might be best to avoid doing push-ups if you have a hernia.

That being said, depending on what type of hernia you have, push-ups may be ok for you to do.

Can You Do Push-Ups With A Hiatal Hernia?

As a hiatal hernia can have very few (if any) symptoms, you may not actually have to change the way you train too much.

Normally, there aren’t any restrictions on exercise with a hiatal hernia.

However, sometimes it’s advised that you avoid any exercise that puts pressure on your abs and core.

As push-ups do this, you might have to avoid them for a bit if your doctor advises you to do so.

Can You Do Push-Ups With An Inguinal Hernia?

If you have an inguinal hernia, you’ll need to avoid pretty much all types of heavy exertion.

This includes things like weight lifting, sports, and even moving objects much lighter than you can normally move.

Any strain placed on your body, in particular around your abs and core, is something to be avoided with this type of hernia.

As push-ups could be considered a high exertion exercise, it’s probably best to not do them if you have an inguinal hernia.

Can You Do Push-Ups With An Umbilical Hernia?

Light exercise is usually the only kind advised if you have an umbilical hernia.

Light exercise can be things such as walking, cycling, or swimming but even these activities need to be done with care to avoid making things worse.

Any exercise that involves pushing, pulling, or other similar powerful moves is best to be avoided. This does, unfortunately, include push-ups.

Can You Do Push-Ups With A Cervical Hernia?

Usually, push-ups aren’t bad for a cervical hernia and can be done if your doctor says it’s ok to do so.

However, for some people with a cervical hernia, push-ups could make things worse and will be best to be avoided.

If you have any kind of pre-existing weakness or issue prior to your cervical hernia, push-ups probably aren’t going to help you out too much.

As always, your doctor will be the best person to advise whether push-ups are suitable for this type of hernia or not.

Can You Do Push-Ups After Hernia Surgery?

A period of recovery is usually required after hernia surgery before you’ll be able to start exercising and doing push-ups again.

The length of time needed to recover will be dependent on the type of hernia surgery you had, how well it went, and how quickly your body recovers from the operation.

Can You Do Push-Ups After Inguinal Hernia Surgery?

Normally, high-impact exercises such as running and jumping will need to be avoided for up to six months after inguinal hernia surgery. 

Even less impactful exercises like push-ups will not be advised for some time after your surgery.

Your body will need time to fully recover, so it’s always best to recover properly rather than trying to do push-ups too soon and making things worse.

If you start exercising too soon and complications occur, not only could you put yourself in danger but you could also severely increase the amount of time you’re unable to train for.

Can You Do Push-Ups After Umbilical Hernia Surgery?

You’ll likely be told to avoid anything close to heavy lifting for at least 2 weeks after umbilical hernia surgery.

Push-ups will probably have to be avoided for up to six weeks too, but this will depend on how your surgery went and how well your body recovers from it.

When Can You Do Push-Ups After Hernia Surgery?

The time frame between surgery and doing push-ups again will vary depending on the type of hernia surgery you had and whether there were any complications as a result of the operation.

With some hernia surgeries, you could be slowly getting back into exercise and thinking about doing push-ups again in as little as two weeks.

That being said, it’s usually somewhere between six and eight weeks before push-ups become a viable option for you in the gym.

It’s worth keeping in mind though that, sometimes, it can be up to six months or more before push-ups can be put back into your training program.

No matter how long it takes, it is always the best idea to listen to your doctor, take things slowly, and give yourself all the time you need to fully recover before trying to do push-ups again after hernia surgery.


In summary:

  • Push-ups are unlikely to cause a hernia.
  • You should always consult your medical doctor before doing any exercises with a hernia.

That’s all for this article, but can a fat person do push-ups? Or what’s the average push-ups for a 15 year old?

Hope this helped!


Exercising With A Hernia