My workout regimen involves the three major lifts (squat, deadlift, bench). I do not squat very heavy (not more than 400 lbs), so I do not use a belt. In all lifts, I focus on keeping a tight core and do accessory ab and posterior chain exercises.

My father has hernia and I want to make sure I do not potentially aggravate what might already be a genetic disposition. Is there a legitimate concern of acquiring hernia, especially when doing heavy squatting and deadlifting, and if so, what can I do to prevent it from developing?

If it is better for a professional to handle this question, then I would welcome suggestions regarding who in particular I should address.

1 Answer 1


as to my knowledge, you can prevent a hernia only by not exercising and not move at all.

By that I mean that I've seen people get hernia from sneezing! My advice is just train, do what you already are doing - working the core with the same intensity as with your main lifts, watch for correct technique and dont think about it. If it happens it happens and you cant' do really anything about it.

However, being prone to hernia is not a big issue as it was some years ago. Todays surgery has pretty advanced and the 'repairing' of hernias is not a big deal anymore. There are good implantats (meshes) for very active and professional athletes that let you actually forget that you had ever any issue with it. I ve seen people training again after a couple of weeks. I also belive that the psychological damage is more the problem then the physical.

Additional information: There are some pages out there and even some doctors are saying that by not keeping the air during a heavy lift helps preventing a hernia, but to my experience this is causing more harm them being a good advice as you are loosing stability if exhaling during a heavy lift and squat - even in lockout position. I doubt even that you can move the same amount of weight.

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