Advice & Support
Incontinence Exercise Zone

What not to do at the gym if you have incontinence

There’s no downside to physical exercise, even with incontinence, but doing the wrong activities can cause problems.
Published by Jane Granger
What not to do at the gym if you have incontinence

There’s no downside to physical exercise, even with incontinence, but doing the wrong activities can cause problems.


Getting started
If it’s been a while since you’ve been to the gym, or if you’ve taken a break because of prostate treatment, always check in with your doctor before you start. This is because individual circumstances are all different. The information we provide can only be general, so seeking a medical professional’s evaluation of your suitability for an exercise regime is critical – especially if you’ve had surgery.


1. Don’t overdo it
The biggest mistake most people make when getting back into exercise is going too hard, too soon. If you have incontinence, have had surgery, an injury, are overweight or just haven’t exercised in a while, take it easy. We’re all impatient to see improvements, but acquiring an injury at the gym will only slow you down, not to mention feeling stiff and sore is hardly motivation to go again!


2. Give the high impact activities a miss
High impact activities (skipping, jumping and running) put pressure on your pelvic floor muscle. If you’ve recently had surgery or radiation therapy, your pelvic floor may already be weak and not only will this impact cause leaks (Stress Incontinence), it may damage the repairing muscle. Again, check with your doctor first.

Instead, low impact activities like swimming, cycling, yoga and walking won’t cause undue stress and are all great alternatives.


3. Don’t lift heavy weights
This can cause you to strain, and if your core is weak, further fatigue your pelvic floor. Like high impact exercise, if radiation or surgery has damaged the muscle, it needs to recover before being put under stress.

If weights are your thing, start with Pilates classes to strengthen your core muscles. Once these are ‘switched on’ and strong, you can engage them when lifting weights, avoiding injury. You can read more about Pilates and core muscle strength in men on the Pilates Inner Strength website


4. Don’t worry about what others are doing
Let’s face it; it’s easy to start feeling competitive in a gym and pushing ourselves harder than we should. Keep in mind that some people have been working out several times a week for years – so it’s also taken them a while to achieve what they’re doing. Always work at a level that’s comfortable for you. If you’re experiencing any pain, stop immediately.


5. Don’t let a little leakage stop you getting active
If your doctor is aware of your incontinence and has given you the all clear to start exercising, don’t use it as an excuse not get started. TENA has a range of products designed specifically for men that are discreet, even under sportswear. Try them on at home first and check – you’ll be pleasantly surprised. TENA Shields and TENA Guards are both anatomically designed to fit snuggly into the front of your regular briefs (not boxer shorts). They have soft, breathable fabric and odour control for added comfort and confidence. Order a Free Sample and find the one that’s best for you. You can then order online and have your products delivered directly to your home, in unbranded packaging.


6. Don’t forget to exercise your pelvic floor muscle
The most important exercises for incontinence are those that strengthen the pelvic floor muscle, restoring control. You can find out more about these exercises for men, including instructional videos, in the TENA Exercise Zone.

Once you’ve located your pelvic floor, classes like yoga and Pilates also help activate and strengthen them. Both forms emphasise engaging the pelvic floor in improving core strength and stability, so consider adding a session or two to your weekly routine.




Asaleo Care makes no warranties or representations regarding the completeness or accuracy of the information. This information should be used only as a guide and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, medical or other health professional advice.