What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. Today we’re going to talk about one of the most common injuries in men, especially guys that are working out, and that’s the hernia. Now, I know more about the hernia than most because I’ve had 2 of them. Actually, one I still have, and the other one I had repaired if you remember, a couple years ago.
Now, what is the hernia? I think we have to start off by explaining that first and foremost because some people think that a hernia a muscle tear. It’s not a muscle tear. It’s a fascia tear. Now, it’s influenced by the muscles that are around it, and I’m going to explain that in a second. But it’s a hole in the fascia that allows some of the internal organs in our bodies to actually spill out. Now, they’re inside of a cavity, so it’s not like all of a sudden your intestines are going to start dropping out inch by inch, but they’re coming out in a bulge through there and you can actually feel the bulge.
You can see the bulge. I would show you my bulge but I’d have to show you all my bulges if I was able to point out on me exactly what we’ve got because it’s pretty low down here right next to the junk and you don’t see again, if you have an inguinal hernia, most likely you’ll see some kind of a prominent bulge there. If it’s out, it can sometimes feel uncomfortable almost like someone kicked you in the nuts. What you could do if you’re feeling that discomfort like I do from time to time, I’ve actually got to lie down on my back and push down, as gross as that sounds, and push it kind of back inside of me.
Now, sparing all the gory details, the most important thing is, if you haven’t suffered a hernia before, you kind of have to understand what might lead you to suffer one because it is a very common injury, and what you might be able to do about it so that you can prevent it from even happening. And I think what you have to look at is beyond the genetic component. Yes.
There’s a genetic weakness of the fascia. Some peoples’ fascia is just not as strong as others’. And I think that’s one of my problems. But the other thing is, if you have a good amount of strength in your abs, or a good amount of strength in your groin, you can actually get some issues here. You can get a, you can become more predisposed to having a hernia. It’s not necessarily an ab weakness that causes a hernia. I think it’s actually an ab strength, but it’s an ab strength with a lack of control of the other end that leads to most of the problems. So, having strong abs and having a weak groin can become an issue. Take out this piece of paper for an example. If you look at this piece of paper, and I pull in opposite directions on it.
I’m pulling pretty hard. This thing is not tearing, ok. Well, what happens is, if you take this same paper, and you apply forces in an asymmetrical way, so even though I’m still pulling with the same strength, if I pull from the top and I pull from here, right there, all of a sudden, a quick an easy tear, right. One I was pulling up, the other I was pulling here. You can try this yourself with your own piece of paper. Same force that I was applying here. So that’s a case where maybe the abs, or the rectus abdominus and the groin muscles here have equal and adequate strength, but if you’re pulling in an oblique manner, you can have some issues which leads me to the actual exercise that gave me my 2 hernias.
Now, am I saying this is a bad exercise? Absolutely not. I love this exercise. However, there are things that we can do wrong in this exercise that would definitely predispose us to having it cause a hernia. It’s the One-Armed Dumbbell Row. Now, watch me do this exercise. Here, you’ll see that, a lot of guys will put their leg out to the side. What you’re doing there is you’re prestretching and putting tension on the groin right from the start. Ok. So, you’ve got your tension from below. If you go up to the top here, your core should be really as activated and stable through any exercise that you do. Now, the problem comes in when I go and I actually cheat the weight up like I’ve showed you before, and I rotate, I’ve got that added stretch. So we have a torque and tension and this asymmetrical situation like I showed you back here where the abs are pulling in one direction and the groin is pulling with tension from an oblique direction.
Now we’ve got some problems. And it actually was the same exercise twice that I felt an immediate zipper-like burn. On one rep, pulled up, tried to cheat the weight up a little bit, stupid ass, I wound up feeling the burning sensation. that was actually the tear that was occurring and then of course in the days that followed, I started to gradually get a worsening of that bulge that would come out. So, are you supposed to abandon the exercise? No. Not at all. What you’re supposed to do is, you try to do this exercise the right way. If you’re going to have tension in both places which you should, that’s a good stable pelvis, right, tension from below, tension from above, you want to make sure that you’re keeping yourself in good alignment not just in this exercise but every other exercise that we do.
So, preventing hernias, the most you can really do is try to maintain proper alignment and maintain proper tension from above. Remember, if you have just tension in one place and no tension in the other, it’s just going to pull it in the direction of the tension, right. There’s nothing happening down here and I pull up, you’re generally not going to get tears there, but that’s going to lead to a whole host of other issues. Having a completely weak groin that applies no tension while you have this dominant ab tension is going to set yourself up for a lot of other issues including back pain and hip issues and all that. So that’s not the solution. The solution is to be balanced, but to also provide your tension as best you can in equal and opposite directions. So, the take home message here guys, you can’t do anything about this once you get it.
Once you get this, you’re going to have to have surgery. How long you go before you need it? It could be a very, very, very long time. If you need the surgery, recovery is definitely part of the game plan. If you can get a laparoscopic surgery like I had, you can accelerate that process. There’s certain things you won’t be able to do for a long period of time. Hanging from a bar was one of the hardest things I had to do after a hernia surgery because the tension that’s in your abdominal muscles just by holding on to a bar and supporting your body weight is immeasurable, right. And going back to doing that after you’ve had these muscles cut through in order to repair the hernia can make it a little bit challenging.
However, once you’re back and at it again, I just try, you’re going to be lifting heavy weights again. You’re going to be able to do everything you were doing before, you’re just going to have to try to stay very conscientious about your form. And I have never been more conscientious than after the second time that I’ve had this happen to me. I try to be in good solid tension throughout my entire core. Stable from below. Stable from up top. But I try to maintain my alignment. And just like we’ve talked about before with back issues, you don’t want to apply a lot of torsion under tension. Twisting. Bending over at the waist, and then twisting is one of the quickest ways that you can blow out a disc when you provide that flexion with torsion. It’s the same thing here. Always want to try to be in alignment. Align yourself up. Align your body up with your hips. Align your hips up with your shoulders.
Try to stay square. That’s what an athletic position is anyway. Trying to be very square with your body. So, guys if you are dealing with a hernia then there’s hope, ok. There’s things that you can do. If you’ve never had a hernia, try to focus on the things I’m showing you here. This is just one example in this exercise. And if you’re looking for a program that helps you to strengthen your abs, and helps you to strengthen your lower body so that you do get this good balance between the 2 so you can optimize your strength throughout your body, then head to ATHLEANX.COM right now and get our ATHLEANX Training System.
Training like an athlete allows you to create a muscularly balanced physique from top to bottom. In the meantime, if you found this helpful, make sure you leave your comments and thumb’s up below. Whatever else it is that you want to see, guys, I’ll try to make sure I cover it here. Again, sometimes once a week here we break out the skeleton and we try to make it more anatomy based.
I hope you guys find these helpful, too. Alright, I’ll be back here again in just a few days..
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