6 Tips for Training During your Menstrual Cycle

9th September 2019
The menstrual cycle is a completely normal situation for a woman’s body. However, many women find it hard to maintain training during this time of the month. Learn some useful tricks to keep your motivation up and the workouts flowing.

The vast majority of women find it hard to maintain a constant workout during their menstrual cycles. It’s normal since menstrual and premenstrual symptoms can make you feel unwell and uncomfortable.

As we talk about a situation that even affects professional athletes, discover some useful tips to make it easier for you to keep working out during your menstrual cycle.

Common discomforts during the menstrual cycle

During the menstrual cycle, and starting from about a week prior to bleeding, women suffer hormonal changes. These hormonal changes lead to mood swings, irritability, depression, sinus pain, abdominal discomfort and, in many cases, also intense tiredness.

For all these reasons, it’s often easier to stay at home resting than to go out and practice the sport we usually enjoy. However, skipping training can trigger frustration and even higher irritability, as there’s an internal war between what we want to do and how we feel physically during our menstrual cycle.

Six tips for training during the menstrual cycle

That frustration we talked about earlier often translates into not being able to train in the conditions that would really be preferred. To mitigate this uncomfortable situation, we’ll offer some recommendations to be able to train during the menstrual cycle:

1. Incidence of injuries

When women are in the premenstrual stage, they may be more likely to suffer certain types of injuries. Some of these conditions can include problems in the knee joints, since their coordination may be damaged.

Injuries can be avoided by working on the motor and neuromuscular control. To do this, you can focus your training in exercises that involve balance or plyometric work. At the same time, working on your gluteal muscles and hamstrings becomes very important, as it’ll help mitigate any danger of injury.

you have to inderstand how your menstrual cycle works in order to train properly
You can follow an effective training routine with nothing more than a plyometric drawer, which you can even build at home.

2. Importance of aerobic exercise on the days of the menstrual cycle

During your menstrual cycle, it’s highly recommended that you focus on aerobic exercises. This type of exercise will help to decrease premenstrual symptoms and, at the same time, improve your mood. Plus, as aerobic exercises are demanding, practicing them will help you to rest better.

3. Planning your training

As mentioned in other articles, planning your training and workout calendar for the month in advance is the key to achieving your goals. During the menstrual cycle, it’s no less important, but you have to schedule your training so that it won’t overstrain you. Work alongside your body, not against it.

4. Get involved in new disciplines

If the menstrual and premenstrual symptoms are stronger than usual, we can choose to perform different activities such as hiking, swimming or yoga. It’s also possible to use the time of the menstrual cycle to take a step back from your usual sport and try new and exciting things.

5. Attention to eating habits

In many cases, premenstrual symptoms can become worse if you aren’t eating properly and maintaining a balanced diet. In order to avoid being overwhelmed by your menstrual cycle, you have to control what you eat, with special emphasis on keeping your sugar levels at normal values.

Therefore, in our diets, we must include foods rich in calcium and magnesium, as well as vitamin B. Similarly, foods such as nuts, fish, vegetables, milk or whole grains are great alternatives during these days.

eating plenty of fruit can give you an energy boost
Benefits of whole grains in endurance sports.

6. The best time to do strength training

Last but not least, you need to understand what the phases of your menstrual cycle are and how do they work. Fourteen days after your bleeding starts, ovulation occurs. During ovulation and at the beginning of the luteal phase, is the best time to perform strength work and high-intensity exercises — or HIIT training. During this time of the month your testosterone levels peak, so you’re able to train harder and longer.

Now that you know these simple tips, you’ve no excuse for not taking advantage of your training during the menstrual cycle. Follow these guidelines and you’ll see for yourself how you shouldn’t stop exercising just because you are menstruating. Take advantage of your body’s changes!

  • Constantini N., Dubnov G., Lebrun C.M. (2005) The menstrual cycle and sport performance. Clin Sports Med. 2005 Apr;24(2):e51-82, xiii-xiv.
  • Dusek T (2001). Influence of High Intensity Training on Menstrual Cycle Disorders in Athletes.Croatian Medical Journal 42(1) 79-82.