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Working out core/abs

 
This is the best website for people with an Ostomy. So much understanding.

Hey guys I used to be heavily into calisthenics before I got my ostomy bag. Doing handstand push-ups and muscle ups, tons of pullups, L sits and weight lifting. Now I'm 2.5 months post surgery and I'm getting back into working out. But doing any core or pull ups hurt my stoma. I'm fully healed but I guess when I hang and try to pull it hurts the stoma in guessing cuz there's a hole in my body. But it scares me that I won't be able to do pullups again and I love doing that. Even trying to hang with my legs in front me hurt. So obviously no L sits either. I'm doing planks but I'm not sure how to get that uncomfortable pulling pain on stoma to go away when trying to pull ups or dips. Any tightening of my core in a hollow body position hurts... Any advice? Anyone able to do pullups or can help me get back my fitness level? Thanks again. 

 

2.5 months and fully healed? How did you come to that conclusion? You’d be the only person I’ve ever heard of being fully healed in that time frame. 

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Hello Umizoomi.

I felt tired just listening to all the things you were doing and wondered if you were taking precautions with regard to potential hernias. 

It's wonderful when people are able to continue what they love doing after surgery, but there are some obvious dangers when it comes to over-exerting themselves. I think I'll stick to writing rhyme!

Best wishes

Bill

 

have you consulted your stoma nurse /doctor before doing these exercises ? as you said you have an hole in your body. patrick


 

Are you wearing a hernia belt? 2.5 months is not a long time to consider fully healed. I workout with my personal trainer and have built up core strength over time but it has taken time to build up to the pre-surgery athletic level I once was and I don’t think I over exerted  but I ended up with a Peristomal hernia  that I manage now.



Last edited by on Tue Nov 01, 2022 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total
 

Hi Umizoomi, you may be “healed” at 2 1/2 months out but you’re really not fully healed. Your stoma is letting you know that.Check with your medical people about returning to exercise and be clear about what your regimen was. You may have to find some alternatives, like softer versions of the past workouts. It’s easier to avoid a hernia than it is to care for one. You’ll figure it out and come back stronger, but definitely don’t rush things.

 

It takes your body approximately a year to heal from surgery,  at least this is what I've been told by so many medical people. Beware of hernias when you're doing all of your core exercises. As people with stomas are much more prone to them 

Ice
 

Great question. I just had my surgery 2 weeks ago and anxious to get back to working out. Driving me crazy just sitting around. I will take it slow but need to do something. Looking forward to reading all the responses.

 

Maybe start off with walking first..which strengthen your body...I feel your ostomy is too new for major core exercises..I posted some after ostomy core exercises here a while ago.. I will try and find them.

 


AlexT wrote:

2.5 months and fully healed? How did you come to that conclusion? You’d be the only person I’ve ever heard of being fully healed in that time frame. 

Sorry I don't mean to come off arrogant. I mean healed as in my stitches are cleared up and no more bleeding/I can move pretty normally again. I understand the full healing process is much longer. 

 


patrickrichardson1946 wrote:

have you consulted your stoma nurse /doctor before doing these exercises ? as you said you have an hole in your body. patrick

I haven't been doing those advanced exercises yet. It's just my hopes to do them again. After being on bed rest for so long I definitely lost a lot of necessary strength to perform those. So I'm retraining to build up strength again. My surgeon said I can do light workouts. So I thought a few pull ups and pushups were ok for "maintenance". 

 


Anonymous wrote:

Are you wearing a hernia belt? 2.5 months is not a long time to consider fully healed. I workout with my personal trainer and have built up core strength over time but it has taken time to build up...

I'm sorry to hear you unfortunately still had a hernia. I'm doing what I can to prevent that while working out. I use a stealthbelt for my ostomy bag which helps support the torso and I also have a Tommy copper support belt. I'm not fully healed like others in terms of years but I meant healed stitches and stoma cut with no pain or bleeding from those areas. How would you suggest I train my core to build up body weight strength? Also I plan on reversing my stoma and get the j-pouch.

 


eefyjig wrote:

Hi Umizoomi, you may be “healed” at 2 1/2 months out but you’re really not fully healed. Your stoma is letting you know that.Check with your medical people about returning to exercise and be ...

Yes thank you for the advice. I'm not doing those advanced exercises yet, still building back strength I lost being bedridden. I do wear a stealthbelt which supports my bag and torso. I also have a Tommy copper support belt. I plan on reversing the stoma by getting a j-pouch next year. So I'm not sure if that will change things again. 

 


Ice wrote:

Great question. I just had my surgery 2 weeks ago and anxious to get back to working out. Driving me crazy just sitting around. I will take it slow but need to do something. Looking forward to read...

Believe man I get it. It suuckkss just sitting doing nothing. I genuinely love working out and it was torture not doing anything knowing I'm losing weight and strength. But just let yourself heal and you'll slowly get back into it. I'm just starting back and a bit eager. After my doc said I do more. I started with walking on the treadmill and alternating regular walking with farmers walk. Then glute bridges. Now starting back push ups and pull ups .. it's much different. Good luck my friend we got this 💪🏽

 


Umizoomi wrote:

Sorry I don't mean to come off arrogant. I mean healed as in my stitches are cleared up and no more bleeding/I can move pretty normally again. I understand the full healing process is much longer. 

The stitches being cleared up and no bleeding around your stoma is just superficial wounds. Your insides have been altered to some degree and that’s what will take much longer to heal. I’d start  with light dumb bells, light machine work, etc. to build up to your body being able to lift your own body weight safely. You’re obviously educated enough on exercise to know the exercises that can be done that’ll activate your muscles to get them to build. The point is, they are weakened right now from your sickness and surgery so jumping right back in doing what you were doing isn’t safe or smart. Go slow and build your body back up, it’ll take time. 

 

Hi Umi,  It seems that you are aware of the hernia risks and are taking precautions, but 2 1/2 months post-surgery is just not enough to be fully healed.  The fact that you are experiencing pain in the area of your stoma is enough to tell you that.  The pain is sending you a message.  If you were into very hard-core abdominal workouts, you may never be able to safely resume these.  You can do core and abdominal exercises, but you need to start with very gentle ones.  I would think that at 2 1/2 months, even planks might be too much.  You really don't want a hernia, believe me.  There are plenty of members on this site who will tell you how a hernia can mess with your life.  You are young, and you have time, so be patient, and you will not regret it.  Build your muscle strength back up slowly.  I am three years in, and don't do the same core and abdominal work-out that I did pre-ostomy, and I probably never will.  I'm OK with that.  I've gotten back to a fitness level I'm happy with.  

Terry

Ice
 


Umizoomi wrote:

Believe man I get it. It suuckkss just sitting doing nothing. I genuinely love working out and it was torture not doing anything knowing I'm losing weight and strength. But just let yourself heal a...

Do you have a vertical or horizontal stealth belt? I do a ton of backpacking and think I need the horizontal so the hip belt will fit.

Ice
 


Umizoomi wrote:

Believe man I get it. It suuckkss just sitting doing nothing. I genuinely love working out and it was torture not doing anything knowing I'm losing weight and strength. But just let yourself heal a...

Do you have a vertical or horizontal stealth belt? I do a ton of backpacking and think I need the horizontal so the hip belt will fit.


 


Umizoomi wrote:

I'm sorry to hear you unfortunately still had a hernia. I'm doing what I can to prevent that while working out. I use a stealthbelt for my ostomy bag which helps support the torso and I also have a...

Umizoomi-I honestly can’t remember where I started with core training but I’m now working with a personal trainer and I’m doing weight training and actually own a Dogwalking business so I started doing a lot of walking initially and I love to swim so I think that’s where I started -I now do a lot of core training and weight training that my personal trainer customizes for me

 


Umizoomi wrote:

Yes thank you for the advice. I'm not doing those advanced exercises yet, still building back strength I lost being bedridden. I do wear a stealthbelt which supports my bag and torso. I also have a...

I totally get your concern and questions. It was really important to me, too, to get back to my fitness routine. I’m almost eight years out from my permanent ostomy surgery. I started slowly and worked my way back to active Yoga, planks and push-ups. My core came back. I just had gallbladder surgery so I had to wait, yet again, several weeks to get back to it full on. It’s all worth the wait. You’ve got this!

 


eefyjig wrote:

I totally get your concern and questions. It was really important to me, too, to get back to my fitness routine. I’m almost eight years out from my permanent ostomy surgery. I started slowly and ...

I appreciate the inspiration you're very strong. Thanks for the motivation and encouragement. Hope you heal up well soon

 


Anonymous wrote:

Umizoomi-I honestly can’t remember where I started with core training but I’m now working with a personal trainer and I’m doing weight training and actually own a Dogwalking business so I sta...

Ok cool thanks for the advice. I have been doing a lot of walking on the treadmill and farmers walk with some weights on each hand. I think I'll stick to those and glute bridges/planks for a while. I was thinking maybe some anti rotation stuff but that's later on. I appreciate you. 

 


Ice wrote:

Do you have a vertical or horizontal stealth belt? I do a ton of backpacking and think I need the horizontal so the hip belt will fit.

I have a vertical one because I have an ileostomy so some times my output is more liquidy. It does kinda get in the way of your pants. It can be tucked in but then when your bad starts to fill it is uncomfortable to be in there so I just let it sit over my belt and cover it with a shirt. I wanted to try the horizontal one but I wasn't sure how that'd work with the output. If you backpack alot I'd say just make sure you don't have any or much compression where the bag would be. Hope that helped

 

My stoma nurses would be shocked at your post! General rule is no situps, no planking, no pullups, no anything that strengthens your abs. No weightlifting - for the first 6 months at least not even a full kettle of water. There is a series of gentle exercises for "diastasis recti" that might be worth discussing with your physio or trainer - it strengthens the vertical muscles - it's a common regime for women getting back into shape after pregnancy. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22346-diastasis-recti

 

I'm doubting that you are full healed in just 2.5 months.  Now, I've had my ileostomy for 50 years, but I do pretty heavy weight training, which include a lot of the things you mention, and I don't have any issues with anything.  I think you're trying to do too much too soon.  Good luck!

Jme
 

You might want to take a look at exercise bands for upper body.  I have 6 pairs of varying strength that I was using daily up until the end of August (9/6/2022 op date).  Sounds like you know how to set up a plan …. Start light.  They do go up to > 100 lbs.

To be blunt, I think your days of doing sets of pull-ups will need to stay in the past or you may have a prolapse that you measure in feet, not inches.  I also used to do sets & I about exploded on #1.  No more, I’m done with pull-ups.

For abs, I have had to cut back to alternating leg raises — knee to chest.  Start with 50 or so each leg.  I found that to be doable.

 


Ice wrote:

Great question. I just had my surgery 2 weeks ago and anxious to get back to working out. Driving me crazy just sitting around. I will take it slow but need to do something. Looking forward to read...

Hi Ice,

I am 1 month out from my colostomy surgery. I worked out 5 days a week and taught weight training classes 4 days a week. The ONLY thing I am cleared to do right now is walking which I am up to almost 2 miles a day which I space out morning and afternoon. I also can do light arm exercises. I only use 3 pound weights for that but it’s a start. We’ll get back to our routine one day. Slow and steady for me, last thing I want is a hernia or a set back. 
Wishing  you a smooth recovery. 

 

Just be careful.. I'm over 2 years post surgery and resumed working out about 7 months ago (I know, complete slacker). Today I was doing cable tricep extensions and had excrutiating pain in my lower ab that dropped me to my knees. Still no clue what that was about since it was about 3 inches below my stoma..

 

In 2012 I had my bladder and various other parts removed.  Two days later, everyone was telling me that I was healing extremely fast and I was up walking around.  The surgeon said that he had done 10,000 of these operations and I was healing lighting fast and that he had never seen anything like it.  I was out of the hospital in 5 days.  I was fully back to work in three weeks.  (Not heavy manual work) 10 months later I had the start of my hernia.  Now it is about the size of half a large grapefruit.  But it isn’t a real bother so far.  I do work out most days, even days for upper torso and odd days for the lower. Nothing super strenuous I think may make the hernia worse.  So I believe that some people can heal faster than three months.

Jim

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