Unsafe core exercises can worsen prolapse symptoms and weaken the pelvic floor.
While it’s important to have good core strength, many abdominal core exercises can overload the pelvic floor.
If you’re living with a prolapse or after prolapse surgery it’s vital to avoid unnecessary strain on your pelvic floor to reduce your risk of prolapse worsening or repeat prolapse after prolapse repair.
Read on now for this extensive list of unsafe core exercises:
- Mat core exercises to avoid
- Equipment-based core exercises to avoid
- Machine-based core exercises to avoid
PDF print out of unsafe core exercises scroll down page
Unsafe Abdominal Core Exercises For Prolapse
Why are some abdominal core exercises inappropriate with prolapse issues?
Intense abdominal core exercises force the weak pelvic floor and prolapse downwards!
When repeated over time, these abdominal core exercises can progressively stretch and weaken the pelvic floor. Prolapse problems can worsen when the pelvic floor is weak. Many women report worsening of prolapse symptoms with intense core abdominal exercises.
Some women with prolapse problems may be able to modify and perform some of these core exercises after pelvic floor rehabilitation.
Avoid the following core exercises if you’ve undergone prolapse surgery unless advised otherwise by your surgeon or Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist.
1.Unsafe Core Exercises – Mat
- Crunches or sit-ups: lying down head and shoulders raised forwards off mat
- Double leg raises*: lying down both legs raised simultaneously (modify to single leg raise)
- Bicycle legs: lying down both legs raised, legs cycle in air
- Scissor legs: lying down both legs raised, straight legs criss-cross above the ground
- Plank or Hover*: prone weight through forearms/hands and feet (modify Plank to kneeling and decrease time maintained)
- Dead bugs*: lying down both knees bent and legs raised, arms extended towards ceiling- single leg then extends towards ground (modify this unsafe Pilates core exercise to single leg raise and single leg extended)
- Reverse crunches: lying down both legs raised towards ceiling- buttocks are then raised off mat
- Medicine ball sit ups: sit up exercise holding medicine ball to chest
- Seated knee tucks: sitting with both legs raised and knees bent- legs then extend away from body
- Men’s push ups: prone weight through hands and feet as body lifts and lowers from mat
- V sit: unsafe Yoga core exercise seated on mat with both straight legs raised and trunk leaning backwards
- The Hundred: lying with both legs raised with hips and knees at right angles, head and shoulder blades raise forwards off the mat
* May be modified by some women with prolapse to reduce pelvic floor loading
2. Unsafe Core Exercises – Equipment
- Weighted hula hoop
- Russian twists: recline sit up position with medicine ball rotated across the body
- Exercise ball crunches: crunches lying back over the ball
- Exercise ball pull in: prone push up position with ball under shins, knees then tuck to roll ball towards body
- Exercise ball hover: leaning forward on ball with forearms resting on ball in kneeling or on balls of feet
- Double leg ball raises: lying down ball between legs, raise and lower ball
- Ab roller: ab roller frame supports body for abdominal crunch
- Ab wheel: wheel with handles supports body weight as it is rolled to and from body
- Sit up bench: bench supports body for crunches
- Hanging leg or knee raise: hanging via arms as both knees or straight legs are raised and lowered
3. Unsafe Core Exercises – Machine
- Ab crunch machine: seated resisted incline forwards
- Cable crunch: weighted cables provide resistance for seated or kneeling crunches
- Captains chair: frame supports upper body with body suspended and knees raised to chest
Key Points For Unsafe Core Exercises
Some intense core abdominal exercises can weaken the pelvic floor. If you’re living with prolapse problems it’s important to choose pelvic floor friendly core exercises and avoid those that are most likely to strain your pelvic floor.
Keeping your core muscles in good shape can help you manage your pelvic floor and prolapse problems.
Choose appropriate deep abdominal core exercises and try to avoid those unsafe core exercises most likely to cause pelvic floor strain and weakness.
Print Friendly Unsafe Core Exercises for Prolapse
Where To Next: Pelvic Floor Safe Core Exercises (Video)
with Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist Michelle Kenway
Strengthen and tone your core safely with this Physiotherapist-guided pelvic floor safe strength and core abdominal workout DVD.