Which unsafe resistance exercises should you avoid in the gym with prolapse or after prolapse surgery?
Which gym exercises may be appropriate with modification?
This list of gym exercises helps you know which unsafe resistance exercises to avoid and those exercises you may be able to modify in the gym if you have prolapse problems and weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles.
Unsafe Resistance Exercises to Avoid With Prolapse
Use this list as a starting point for safe strength training. If you’re living with a prolapse your body may be able to tolerate a greater range of exercises after pelvic floor strengthening and rehabilitation.
If you’ve had prolapse surgery avoid the following exercises long-term unless advised otherwise by your doctor or physiotherapist.
A. Lower Body Exercises To Avoid
1. Leg Exercises
- Leg press machine
- Deep weighted squats*
- Jump squats
- Deep weighted lunges
- Clean and press
- Dead lifts*
- High bench steps*
2. Back Exercises
- Dead lift*
- Kettle bell swings
- Chin ups
Scroll down for information on keeping lat pull down and seated rowing exercises pelvic floor safe.
C. Upper Body Exercises To Avoid
1. Chest Exercises
- Full push up*
- Dips on parallel bar
2. Arm Exercises
- Tricep dips
- Pull ups
* May be modified by some women for pelvic floor safe gym exercises
2 Popular Back Exercises Requiring Caution
Use appropriate technique with an emphasis on correct posture when performing these two popular back strength exercises.
1. Seated row
2. Lat pull down
Posture & Technique
- Ensure good upright seated posture throughout
- Lengthen your spine and avoid slumping forwards through your spine
- Maintain the inwards curve in your lower back though out the entire exercise
- Keep resistance manageable
- Exhale with the effort of pulling the cables or handles towards your body
Good posture is important doing these 2 exercises. Slumping forwards increases the likelihood of using your core abdominal muscles and this should be avoided minimise loading on your pelvic floor.
General Tips For Resistance Exercises To Avoid
To protect your prolapse when strength training in the gym:
- Avoid exercises that reproduce your prolapse symptoms during or after your training session.
- Avoid exercises that cause direct downward pressure on your pelvic floor
- Avoid exercises that involve supporting your weight entirely through your upper body.
Some women with prolapse problems who have well functioning pelvic floor muscles may be able to withstand the pressure associated with some of the exercises listed here – every woman is different.