Core Recovery

Core exercises (abs, obliques, lower back) have always been apart of my daily workout routines. There were days where all I’d do for a workout would be core exercises. I found the stronger my core became, the less likely I was for an injury when lifting heavy squats, dead lifts, standing shoulder presses, etc. I prided myself in always having a strong core. Even after my first battle with colon cancer I was able to rebuild my core strength back to what it once was. But, this go around has definitely brought a new challenge into the mix of rebuilding my core strength, another huge incision and my stoma.

Having an ostomy and exercising is like sticking a bag filled with warm something-or-other onto your stomach that constantly fills the longer you workout while trying to NOT let others know it’s there. Oh, and if you sweat a lot it might start to peal off. As funny, and yet bothersome, as that might sound that’s the easy part. The difficult part is strengthening your abs without getting a hernia.

Seeing how I was a “gym rat” before cancer hit, I had a strong core. This made the biggest difference in recovery times from all of my surgeries. But, things are a little different now with a stoma. The stoma creates an area of weakness within my abdominal wall. An area that a hernia can easily happen. So, how have I been training my core? Like this…

I started out with isometric exercises to strengthen my core first. I’d lie on the ground and hold a crunch.


At first, I could only hold the position for a short time. As I continued to do this exercise I was able to hold the crunch longer and longer. I then progressed into doing an isometric hold on a Bosu. Now, this is where you will get frustrated. Even without having an abdominal surgery this is difficult. This exercise uses more stabilizing muscles and assists in strengthen your core to help recovery.


Next, I progressed to planks, everyone’s favorite core exercise. BUT, I choose to do them a bit different.


This is still an isometric hold. I was looking for more muscle involvement than just performing a regular plank. I use TRX straps and a Bosu in order to accomplish what I wanted. With using both the Bosu and TRX straps, I now have more stabilizing muscles involved. I also have more upper and lower body muscles involved as well. Now is when the harder stuff comes into play…


As I’ve been strengthening my core, I’ve also been doing other exercises involving the rest of my body. What I like doing is combining core with other exercises. I could go on and on about how good this is in many ways, but for now lets just stick with core. Most of my core exercises up to this point have been isometric holds with eccentric movements as well, and for good reasons. I’m now starting to perform concentric movements into my core exercises (crunches, figure 8’s, V-ups, Russian twists, etc) while still using the Bosu and TRX straps.




While also trying a few exercises I used to be able to do…


It’s been a difficult recovery for many reasons. This is just one part of my recovery process. It has taken 11 months to get to where I am now. No, I’m not happy with my progression. I wish I could be much further along than what I am. BUT, I AM further than what I was a month ago. A slow progression is still progress. I guess I can be happy with that, for now…



4 thoughts on “Core Recovery

  1. Your skills are like Kongfu masters, I am going to try your Ab exercise 1 and 2 for beginners. I bought a Chinese style Cheongsam from a charity shop and am determined to put it on for the coming Chinese New Year:-)
    Thank you for the tips and esp your courage and perseverance!
    All the best

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think theories on raising a child helps. Gentle yet firm. A person’s mindset changes under extreme circumstances: you do not just go for it, you observe and take baby steps. 加油(Jia you-Go go)!


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