How to do fitness in different phases of the menstrual cycle

A few centuries ago, the fair sex during their lives had about 160 menstruation, as most of the time they were carrying children or breastfeeding. With the advent and spread of contraception, the situation has fundamentally changed. Now a woman has to go through more than 450 menstrual cycles and at the same time to work and rest, make love and sports.

How to combine the menstrual cycle and training? Tells MedAboutMe.

Like a watch: a little about the menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle is a very fragile mechanism. There are many factors that can lead to its malfunction. These are long stresses and time zone changes, a sharp weight gain and its equally rapid decrease, hormonal imbalances, functional ovarian cysts, uterine pathology, thyroid disease, poor nutrition and intense sports.

If there are violations in his work, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. The same thing should be done if severe pain occurs during menstruation, which worsens the quality of life and reduces working capacity. The doctor will determine the cause of the problem and select the most optimal treatment tactics.

Remember: you can play sports in any phase of the menstrual cycle only when you feel good and can withstand moderate intensity training.

Did you know?

Did you know?

Scientists estimate that on average, menstruation “takes” 3,500 days of life from a woman, which is approximately equal to ten years.

Scheduled Fitness: Workout Planning

Scheduled Fitness: Workout Planning

The normal duration of a woman’s menstrual cycle is 21-38 days. Although there are representatives of the fair sex, whose cycle time is longer, nevertheless, this is a variant of the norm if ovulation occurs during it.

On average, a woman has one cycle lasts 28 days, so when drawing up a schedule of fitness classes, we will focus on him.

Menstrual phase

This phase is characterized by blood loss of varying intensity. She may be accompanied by a feeling of depression, headache, weakness, a feeling of bloated abdomen and muscle cramps. The menstrual phase does not last long – 3-7 days.

How to train?

If you feel good, do not give up sports. However, it is imperative to moderate the fitness ardor. Any exercise with weights and aimed at working out the press (they can increase bleeding), squats, twisting, jumping and lunges is forbidden.

A well-designed fitness program during menstruation can reduce pain and relieve discomfort. Light exercises improve blood circulation, give a boost of energy and increase mood. The best types of training at this time are considered yoga, Pilates, dance directions and stretching. If you visit the gym, you can use treadmills, exercise bikes and an ellipse. But all in moderation!



To make this phase of the cycle easier, review your diet! Stop drinking alcohol, processed foods, and caffeinated foods. Do not dine in fast food restaurants. A healthy diet is now crucial, it will help reduce bloating, solve problems with insomnia and improve mood and overall well-being.

Follicular phase

Follicular phase

This phase begins immediately after menstruation and lasts an average of two weeks. If we consider it from the perspective of hormonal changes, an increase in estrogen levels is characteristic, while progesterone remains normal. A woman feels a surge of energy, energetic, ready for new achievements and achievement of sports victories.

How to train?

This is the time of the most intense training you can afford. Direct your energy to “burning” body fat and fighting the “orange peel”. The body is restored, using its own energy reserves as the “fuel” (provided that you follow a diet and are actively involved in sports).

To feel in good shape, practice bench presses, squats, twisting and pulling up. The ideal types of training will be high-intensity circular, Crossfit wods, HIIT, Tabata. In this phase of the cycle, endurance increases, so that which previously seemed impossible is now becoming a feasible task.

Ovulatory phase

On average, it occurs on the 14th day of the cycle and lasts only 3 days. The woman’s body is ready for conception – estrogen levels are at a natural maximum, the level of progesterone is elevated, however, like body temperature.

How to train?

The body is ready for strength (anaerobic) training. During ovulation, intensive trainings are welcome, since the performance is very high. The main thing is not to overestimate your capabilities so that classes in the gym do not end in trauma. Try group exercises, in a team of like-minded people to train more productively.

In addition to athletics, you can add weight training – ideally, in the gym, with insurance. Repeat all exercises with a large number of approaches – 3-5 per muscle group.

The more forces will be applied, the more developed will be the muscle mass, which will help to become slimmer and keep the figure attractively taut. Calorie intake during the ovulatory phase can be slightly increased so that the body has resources for building muscle mass.

On a note!

On a note!

Some experts advise staying away from products containing soy in this phase of the cycle. Since it contains phytoestrogens, which in conditions of already high content of female sex hormones can provoke menstrual irregularities.

But on fresh vegetables, berries and fruits containing fiber, on the contrary, it is worth leaning on, as well as on useful types of tea – green, white, oolong.

Luteal phase

Luteal phase

It occurs immediately after ovulation and lasts until the start of the next cycle. In the body of a woman, the level of estrogen decreases while increasing progesterone. Often there is swelling of the body associated with fluid retention in the body. Depressed mood, high excitability and reduced ability to work – as a logical result.

How to train?

At this time, the fair sex complain of general fatigue and a feeling of lethargy, a decrease in motivation for classes. The woman’s performance is on the decline, so this is the time for moderate intensity training

Ideally – under the guidance of personal training, which gently directs energy in the right direction, and will not press.

If you don’t feel like doing it, go to the pool and go swimming, you can practice yoga or stretching at home. Connect leisurely walks in the fresh air, cycling, skiing, jogging, trims, lunges and squats, classes in the orbit. Do what does not cause your indignation. Now the task is not to go astray, and the time of records will come a little later.

Expert Commentary

Maria Sidorova, personal trainer, sports nutritionist

Maria Sidorova, personal trainer, sports nutritionist

Training a woman during menstruation depends, first of all, on her personal well-being. And of course the level of sports life, because if a woman trains in a high-performance sports zone, then here the load is rarely tied to a cycle. Since the challenge for professionals is to reach the peak of the form for a specific competition date, the training program is drawn up only on the basis of this parameter. And the trainer has little interest in what phase of the menstrual cycle at this time the athlete. These are the features of big sport.

In fitness, training, of course, is adjusted depending on the cycle. And this can be a great test for a gym instructor or your personal trainer. If for him this factor is insignificant – perhaps it is worth looking for another specialist.

So, from the point of view of medicine, the menstrual cycle of a healthy woman lasts an average of 28 days. It is also considered normal if this number is between 21 and 23 days. Changes in the female body affect her mood, physical qualities, up to changes in her appearance. It is customary to divide the cycle into six key periods.

1 period (from 1 to 5 days). The first day of the onset of menstruation is considered the first day of the cycle. These days, a woman experiences weakness and irritability. As a result, there can be no talk of strength training, as such sports qualities as strength and endurance are reduced. It is also recommended to exclude abdominal exercises and vacuums, do not take inverted poses. During this period, it is recommended to do stretching (stretching) or work on rolling the facets. The last direction in fitness is called "myofascial release" or MFR.

2 period (from 6 to 13 days). A woman becomes vigorous, strong, hardy and active, as the synthesis of sex hormones (estrogen and testosterone) increases. Estrogen is responsible for the menstrual cycle and conception, and testosterone is responsible for the synthesis of muscle fibers and mood, it enhances or weakens intimate desire and is a “natural” fat burner.

In the second period, it is recommended to conduct strength training, the body will respond well to them. For example, this time is the best time to start work on reducing excess weight. These days, the appetite is moderate and the mood is excellent.

3 period (from 14 to 18 days). These days there is a peak in strength indicators, as ovulation occurs, and with it the libido reaches its peak. But keep in mind that some women experience abdominal pain on the first day of ovulation. When conducting a training, it will be necessary to take this fact into account. During this period, one must be careful with excess food, as appetite grows, metabolism slows down – the body stores fat to continue the genus. Here you can combine strength and functional training.

4 period (from 19 to 22 days). Do not reduce physical activity, as the metabolism is still reduced. But there is good news! During this period, the woman gets enough sleep and her nervous system is very stable. This can be used during training: we introduce super-sets (two or three exercises in a row for one muscle group) and interval training (4 to 10 high-tempo exercises in a row with one rest between the entire block of exercises).

5 period (from 23 to 26 days). In a woman's body, the level of progesterone rises, which affects the connective tissue (ligaments become more elastic, and joints are mobile). These days you should avoid running and basic exercises, replacing them with isolating exercises, you should pay attention to stretching, yoga, or just do cardio training on a stationary bike.

6 period (from 27 to 28 days). These days are the most unfavorable for women in terms of fitness. Training during this period should be chosen depending on the individual reaction of the body. Some women become a little aggressive and can show unprecedented strength and endurance for themselves, thus splashing out emotions. Others, on the contrary, refuse to engage in sports, so they can not withstand the load.

In conclusion, I want to say that each organism is individual and it is desirable to develop a training plan individually for you. A professional trainer will always help you with this. And your body will always respond with gratitude to your self-care!

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