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Core Exercises with Ostomy


Do any of you do core exercises? I was told not to for the first few months after surgery.

Just started doing pushups again and oh my, there is some serious atrophy going on.

What are you doing to stay fit with a hole cut through your abdominal wall?

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Although I received a hernia on my left side from lifting 35 lb water jugs , I do do sit ups to strengthen my core , but didn't start tgat until 6 months post op. I do bike and take 2-5 mike brisk walks each day . Unfortunately, once summer hits here , then it's only swimming . Last year I was afraid to swim as I didn't know any better . Then folks on here said we can and that's great core strengthening. I hope after the huge incision that I can regain a lady six pack , but I no longer wear bikinis , so I just try to suck it up . Good luck and be careful. 


Hey Forever,

  The sensible thing to do is nothing for a few months post surgery.  After that opinions differ.  Seems the biggest concern is a hernia, but I'm not sure there's data that suggests a correlation between exercising with an ostomy and an increased occurance of hernias or not.  Seem some folks are just more suseptible to them than others without considering exercise.  And obviously it depends on the skill of the surgeon when he placed your stoma.  

  I haven't had any hernia type issues with mine while doing situps, but my barrier isn't a big fan of me flexing longitudinally across it without it reminding me by leaking.  So my plan is to move from situps and such to Pilates for my abs.  If interested you might try talking to "Pilatesgirl" on here, as she's an instructor.  She pops in on occasion, so you'd probably do best to PM her if interested.  

  One other thing.......from what I've read on here it seems a hernia in the stoma region is not a trivial thing, or something to be taken lightly.  You either learn to live with it or have it surgically corrected, with no guarantees.  So best to avoid the whole mess if possible.  Just my 2 cents.




I do 30 minutes a day on my elleptical trianer it's all all over body workout including core muscles used to compete in competions in my younger days on them with stoma and took a lot to keep up with me back then lol. I use a steper for 20 minutes 3 times a week it works your core muscles too. I do plank twice a day for 2 minutes each time. If you look online you will find safe sit ups to do with an ostomy, knees bent and you don't lift your back all the way up easier to watch it being done than explain....I used to do standard sit ups but have been told of many times by Dr's & nurses that you shouldn't do them with an ostomy. 

There's not really anything that you can't do exercise wise with a stoma even body building just take it easy at first 


Thanks, Ritz, Bob, Panther! 


I love Tai chi for post surgery, starting 8-12 weeks after. Once I'm in the gym I do a lot of stabilizer type core work, like standing on one leg while lifting weights or using cable weight machines. For me, paying attention to all the smaller muscles is most important. The bigg muscles will follow along naturally. One legged squats are hell but good. Pilates if you're careful. I pay carefully attention to strengthen back muscles so they can compensate for the hole in the front. Lots of torso rotations with weights/cables, both seated & standing. Lots of walking on a treadmill, without hold on to anything.  Planks are great, and assisted chin-ups. I stress endurance and flexibility over power lifting. I at least do 3 sets of 15 on everything (total 45). First set is work but more like a good stretch. Second set is hard, tough the last couple. Third set is stop-talking-just-concentrate hard. If I'm standing on one leg, it's 3 sets of 10 each leg (total 60). 




Clearly it is a good idea to ease into it.  I have had my ileostomy for over 35 years and have had not issues with core excersize.  I have participated in a martial arts tournament a few months after surgery, lifted weights regualary,  kayaked whitewater around the country, Rock climbed for years mountain bike regulary, and I just took up surfing a couple of years ago.  I know everyone's body reacts differntly and that I have been lucky to be able to do these activities.  I do situps, pushups, etc and I have not had any problems with any level of physical acitivty over the years. Good luch to you and listen to your body!


Use a hernia belt! Much better to avoid one than deal with it after the fact! I was stupid, and once the doctor said, "Do whatever you feel you can do" - I did. I guess he wasn't used to a 55+ year old woman who did pushups, etc, because I now have a honkin' big hernia and have been absolutely forbidden to do any of those excercises for fear of making it significantly worse. At this point, there's not much he WILL let me do. Don't go that route, be smarter than me.


I echo Newbie Dana!  Wear a hernia belt! 

I use a fitted Nu Hope hernia belt when I am awake, often when I sleep. At one point I wore it 24/7 for about 2 years except showers. Like Dana I've paid the price for doctors that grossly under estimate our activity levels and after having TEO hernia's at my stoma I'll never go without the belt again. BTW, the first hernia was repaired, the second no one will touch so I get to live with it. 

I do simple sit ups at home. In the gym I'll do various leg presses and upper body exercises. Building core strength and keeping it have been very difficult. 

Good luck, be careful but not too careful! :) 

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