Looking at the visitors of gyms and fitness clubs, you can see that women and men attend classes in almost equal proportions. And strength training in the gym is no exception. When drawing up a training program, an experienced instructor takes into account several fundamental factors at once: the state of health at the beginning of the training process, the presence of absolute and relative contraindications for performing certain exercises, correlating them with the training goals. A well-chosen set of exercises allows you to correct your figure and reduce the risk of developing various diseases.

Physical activity: gender differences

Physical activity: gender differences

In an ideal world, body shaping and muscle building programs should be gender-specific. However, in most cases, physical exercises are universal in nature, differing from each other only in the free weight used.

Neglect of medical recommendations and advice from competent trainers, combined with ignorance of the risks of developing gynecological complications, can lead to the development of adverse consequences for a woman: pelvic floor muscle failure, prolapse of the pelvic organs, urinary incontinence, bleeding, and also threatening premature birth.

5 exercises that gynecologists do not approve of

The most popular exercises to create beautiful body contours can cause irreparable harm to women’s health. Exercises for the buttocks, arm muscles and abs can lead to the development of various diseases. MedAboutMe has compiled a selection of exercises that obstetricians and gynecologists dislike in gyms and fitness clubs.

Exercise 1: Barbell Squat

Barbell squats are one of the most traumatic exercises, even with the right technique and the use of minimal weight.

In the process of execution, the physical load is distributed unevenly. At risk are the cervical and lumbar spine, knee joints and, indirectly, the pelvic organs. Weakness of the pelvic floor muscles, combined with a regular increase in pressure in the abdominal cavity, leads to the prolapse of the pelvic organs. Clinical manifestations on the part of gynecology — urinary incontinence, prolapse of the vagina and uterus.

Exercise 2: Deadlift

The deadlift is recognized by the sports community as the most effective exercise for strengthening the gluteal muscles. Rounded shapes achieved during training give the body a beautiful, feminine shape.

In terms of the likelihood of injury to the body, deadlift competes with squats with a barbell. Many nuances of execution, a high chance of making a mistake, overestimating the capabilities of your body, improperly selected weight are fraught with the development of acute conditions and chronic diseases in women. Excessive muscle tone of the lumbar muscle (hypertonicity) causes the development of pain.

When drawing up training programs, one should take into account the characteristics of the female body: a weak, compared to men, muscular frame, as well as the main reproductive function — the ability to conceive and bear a child.

Exercise 3: Lunges to strengthen the buttocks

Among women’s preferences for strengthening the gluteal region, lunges with a load are in third place. Discomfort in the lumbar region and in the projection of the pelvic organs occurs when the technique of performing the exercise is not observed and the weakness of the stabilizing muscles. Congenital and acquired sense of balance, active work of the cerebellum increase the chances of the correct performance of the load.

Exercise 4: To strengthen the muscles of the arms

Without embossed, tightened arm muscles, it is difficult to imagine the beautiful outlines of the female body. Two to three months is usually enough to strengthen the muscular frame of the arms with regular physical activity. Misunderstanding of the technique of exercises for biceps and triceps, the use of inappropriate weights lead to the fact that in the process of performing a set of exercises, the muscles of the back and anterior abdominal wall (abs) take part. An increase in intra-abdominal pressure triggers the process of prolapse of the pelvic organs and leads to prolapse of hemorrhoids.

Exercise 5: For the abdominal muscles

Instructors mistakenly recommend doing abdominal exercises on a bench or fitness mat. Raising the body of the body involves not only the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall, but also the muscles of the pelvis and back. Performing the exercise by an unprepared person leads to injury to the intervertebral discs and divergence of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall. In addition to cardio and proper nutrition, the best exercise for strengthening the abdominal muscles is the plank.

Exercise during menstruation

Rejection of the lining of the uterus is an integral part of the normal menstrual cycle. In the first few days of heavy bleeding from the genital tract, intense training and free weight exercises should be avoided. Failure to follow the advice can lead to increased bleeding and aggravation of pain.

During menstruation, special attention should be paid to hygiene procedures. An open wound surface against the background of endometrial rejection is a risk of developing inflammatory diseases of the reproductive organs when visiting the pool and gyms.

Exercise during pregnancy

Exercise during pregnancy

Women in «position» are at increased risk of developing complications during weight training. During pregnancy, obstetrician-gynecologists advise avoiding exercises associated with lifting free weights, increasing intra-abdominal pressure. Following the recommendations will reduce the risk of threatened preterm labor due to increased uterine tone.

From the point of view of maintaining health and muscle tone throughout the entire period of gestation, dosed cardio training, yoga and swimming in the pool are considered optimal. However, before starting classes, you should consult with your gynecologist to identify contraindications to exercise.


When drawing up a training program, it is necessary to take into account the characteristics of the body of women, the day of the menstrual cycle, the presence of pregnancy or its planning, and also follow the advice of doctors. One to two sessions per week are considered sufficient to maintain muscle tone. Strength training more than two or three times a week not only changes the woman’s hormonal background in the direction of masculinization, but also increases the risk of obstetric and gynecological complications.

Expert comment

Yulia Viktorovna Chernysheva, obstetrician-gynecologist

For healthy women, there are no special restrictions in terms of physical activity. I must say right away that the ideal option for exercising in the gym is under the supervision of an experienced trainer who will help you perform the exercises correctly. Gynecologists do not recommend squatting with a barbell, lifting weights and lunges with dumbbells for women who already have a uterine prolapse. During such exercises, intra-abdominal pressure increases and pressure increases on the pelvic muscles that support the internal genital organs. If the loads are excessive, then the result is the prolapse of the pelvic organs, including the uterus. In addition, urinary incontinence may develop. If you do not have such problems, such exercises will not be contraindicated for you, but increase the load gradually so that your body is ready for them.

Exercises for «pumping» the press have a similar effect. If you have not done this before, there is a risk that the abdominal muscles will, as it were, push the organs located in the small pelvis outward. The probability of such an outcome is especially high if you put some kind of load on the press. Before doing an exercise on an exercise bike, do not forget to adjust the seat for yourself, otherwise the wrong position in the saddle can lead to pain in the perineum due to compression of the pudendal nerve.

Many girls do not know or forget that during menstruation, any active sports activities should be excluded. These days it is better to work out calm sports. Perseverance and perseverance these days can cause uterine bleeding, and this will require an immediate appeal to a gynecologist.

In addition, it is worth remembering that excessive physical activity, especially close to professional sports, affects the functioning of the ovaries and can lead to ovarian dysfunction, so a woman may have problems conceiving a child. The main rule that you need to follow when bringing your forms closer to ideal ones is not to go too far, carefully increasing the load under the strict guidance of a fitness trainer. When choosing a training program, keep in mind that some loads can lead to problems with women’s health.

Gynecology. National leadership / Ed. G. M. Savelyeva, G. T. Sukhikh, I.B. Manukhin 2013

Obstetrics / Ed. Savelieva G.M. 2000