Reviewed by: Horia Marculescu, MD
Last updated: 04.2021

A girl dressed in sports clothes is doing exercises to relieve constipation on a fitness mat.

The Exercises for Constipation presented in this article are simple and effective. They put pressure over the blood vessels and keep the muscles tensed over the intestines area. In this way, we can improve intestinal motility and transit.

Many exercises help intestinal transit. Here are a few types that focus the effort over the abdomen.


exercises to relieve constipation simple crunches exercises to relieve constipation crunches at gym exercises to relieve constipation crunches

Crunches are the best exercises to relieve constipation because they make the intestines and the muscles around them to put pressure on the fecal matter.

This thing helps evacuate the stool blocked and prevents food from staying longer in the intestines.

Crunches are ideal because they are focused on the abdomen area. Putting pressure on the small and big intestines from time to time helps improve peristalsis immediately.

These exercises are best for both episodic and severe constipation. They are great for short-term relief and improve digestion on long-term.

Benefits of Crunches

  • they force the stool to evacuate fast
  • they make the abdomen muscles contract
  • they stretch the abdomen area
  • they improve blood vessel circulation for those who have a sedentary lifestyle
  • they improve digestion and peristalsis when suffering from severe constipation
  • the exercises require little effort
  • the training can be done at home or anywhere there is a clean floor
  • they work your abdomen muscles just like in a gym


Although these exercises are effective for constipation relief, if you feel pain around the abdomen after training, then you might suffer from a severe type of constipation.

Also, the chances are high of you having a bacteria or virus that are causing constipation.

If you feel pain when doing just a few crunches, STOP and take some medical tests (blood, stool, urine, and diabetes). In this way, you will find your health status and maybe other causes/diseases.

Examples of Crunches Training to Relieve Constipation

Episodic Constipation

  • do 5 series of 15 crunches slowly in the morning (take a minute break between series)
  • do 2 series of 15 crunches slowly in the evening
  • take 1-day pause
  • continue the next day with the 5 series

Severe Constipation

  • do 3 series of 12 crunches slowly in the morning (take a minute break between series)
  • do 2 series of 12 crunches slowly in the evening
  • take 1-day pause
  • if you feel pain, irritation or intense dehydration around the abdomen area then STOP
  • if you do not feel anything, continue with the series the next day
  • add one more series to your morning routine until you reach 5 series of 12 crunches per day

We should do crunches once every 2 days to improve bowel movement fast. We could do crunches more often for immediate results (once or twice a day).

The ideal training program should look like this:

  • we should do 6 series of 25-30 crunches per day
  • we should do crunches slowly, laying down on the floor, on our back, with our hands behind our head
  • we should train for no longer than 30 minutes a day
  • take 1-day of rest
  • stay hydrated all the time

Also, you can do crunches with a pull-up bar. It doesn`t matter if you are at the gym or home.

It`s the same type of crunch or abdomen. The difference is that you are suspended over the floor.

Crunches \ Sit-ups with pull up bars are more demanding than regular crunches on the floor because you have to stay suspended in the air and pull your legs up.


exercises to relieve constipation man doing pushups exercises to relieve constipation woman doing pushups exercises to relieve constipation woman pushup rise

Pushups are also, one of the best exercises for constipation relief because during training and after, all muscles around the intestines are contracting.

They tend to stay tensed for longer periods of time.

The continuous muscle movement from pushups in the abdomen force the blocked stool to move for evacuation. This thing helps the intestinal transit similar to crunches.

Benefits of Pushups

  • they put pressure over the intestines by contracting abdomen muscles
  • they force the stool to move and prepare for evacuation
  • they work the abdomen, butt, and arms muscles
  • they strengthen your arms muscles

Although pushups are hard to do, you need to start slowly. To relieve constipation with these exercises, it takes patience because not everyone has strong arms.

We should combine pushups with crunches because they are effective for short and long-term relief.

Examples of Pushups Training to Relieve Constipation

Episodic Constipation

  • do 5 series of 10 pushups in the morning
  • take a minute break between series
  • do one series of 10 pushups in the evening
  • take 1-day rest
  • continue with the 5 series in the morning

Severe Constipation

  • do 3 series of 5 pushups in the morning
  • take a 1-minute break between series
  • do 2 series of 5 pushups
  • take two days to rest
  • continue with the 3 series in the morning

You should do pushups slowly, with your hands in front, closer to each other and your body straight and head straight.

For beginners or people who are just starting pushups, every series should have 3-5 pushups. Start slow, don`t force yourself at first.

The ideal situation is to do pushups every 3 days and stay hydrated (it would be better every two days).

Staying still for 30-50 seconds in the pushup position, with our hands straight, forces the abdomen and muscles around it to contract. This exercise is also great to improve peristalsis.


exercises to relieve constipation man swimming fast exercises to relieve constipation woman swimming under water exercises to relieve constipation woman swimming over water

Swimming is also one of the best exercises for constipation because it`s very demanding and puts every muscle in our bod the intense effort.

The abdomen muscles are very tensed during training (strained). This thing triggers signals to the intestinal muscles to evacuate the stool.

Swimming is a very demanding sport. You should be careful not harm yourself at the beginning. Also, you need to stay permanently aware that injuries and cramps can interfere with your training.

Benefits of Swimming

  • it puts all muscles to work (feet, butt, abdomen, arms, chest)
  • it improves bowel movement fast
  • food is digested properly because your body needs energy and nutrients to resist the intense effort
  • the stool is prepared quickly for evacuation
  • it keeps us in a good shape
  • it improves your endurance
  • it relaxes the body after training

Swimming has lots of benefits. The problem with swimming is that you can`t train in the small pool in your backyard.

You should go to an Olympic size swimming pool that helps you swim long distances. You don`t have to practice swimming the right way to be effective.

Examples of Swimming Training

You should go swimming once a week but two times a week should be perfect. Start swimming short distances if you`re not in good physical shape and you suffer from constipation.

In this way, you let your body get used to the intense effort and get the most out of this exercise to relieve constipation.

Beginner (Episodic Constipation)

  • swim in the Butterfly Stroke style one time the entire length of the swimming pool
  • have 5 minutes of rest
  • swim in the Backstroke style one time the entire length of the swimming pool
  • have 5 minutes of rest
  • repeat this exercise 2 times
  • in the end, rest in the swimming pool

Intermediate (Severe Constipation)

  • swim in the Freestyle Stroke style two times the entire length of the swimming pool
  • have 5 minutes of rest
  • swim in the Butterfly Stroke style two times the entire length of the swimming pool
  • have 5 minutes of rest
  • repeat this exercise 4 times
  • in the end, rest in the swimming pool

Don`t force yourself because cramps or kinks can appear suddenly (and that can be dangerous).


exercises to relieve constipation running fast exercises to relieve constipation running exercises to relieve constipation jogging

Running and jogging are very similar and they are one of the best exercises for constipation relief. The reason is that they force our body to endure physical effort for long periods of time.

This thing is useful when treating constipation because it puts all the muscles to work. Abdominal muscles need intense stimulation often.

Benefits of Running (or Jogging):

  • it improves the intestinal transit very fast
  • it contracts the abdomen muscles often
  • it improves the blood vessels circulation
  • it improves digestion and the assimilation of proteins and nutrients
  • it helps the blocked stool move for evacuation
  • it creates running endurance
  • it creates adrenalin in the entire body
  • it removes stress and sadness
  • it keeps us in a good physical and mental shape

Running long distances requires lots of physical effort. If you suffer from episodic constipation, you can start running immediately.

If you suffer from chronic or severe constipation, you should start running slowly.

What we want to achieve is to prepare the body for physical effort gradually. Severe constipation has causes that may be harmful if you run long distances at first.

For example, you might have bacteria inside the intestines that causes constipation, pain, and irritation.

In this case, physical effort needs to be low in intensity, and you need to hydrate well.

It is useful to know which type of constipation affects you. Also, you need to be aware of the physical effort that is causing you pain and dehydration.

In this way, you can choose which type of exercises is good for constipation. You can also decide which program to follow.

Examples of Programs for Running


  • take running slow and/or increase slowly the intensity or the distance
  • run at least once every 4 days (or every 5 days maximum)
  • run slow for at least 1 hour straight (60 minutes minimum)


  • you can enjoy running to improve intestinal transit fast
  • run at least once every 3 days
  • run for at least 90 minutes straight (1.5 hours) to create effort endurance and to force the intestinal muscles to evacuate the stool
  • run for at least 3 miles (5 kilometers)

Episodic Constipation

  • run slow once every 2-4 days
  • if you don’t feel pain, start running once every 2-3 days
  • run once every 2 days, for at least 1 hour

Severe Constipation

  • try running for a minimum of 60 minutes
  • if you feel pain after 30-60 minutes, STOP
  • take 1 day to rest
  • start again with 60 minutes of running
  • if pain appears and you are dehydrated, STOP
  • if there is no pain nor irritation, continue with the program from Episodic Constipation


exercises to relieve constipation walk in city park exercises to relieve constipation walk in park exercises to relieve constipation walk in nature

Walking Long Distances on a regular basis is one of the simplest and most effective Exercises for Constipation. The reason is that walking helps intestinal transit and puts the muscles to work.

Walking is a long-term way to improve intestinal transit. People who suffer from constipation should walk as often as possible.

Taking Long Walks does not require lots of effort. It does not constrain us in any way. Walking can be even more effective if we keep a diet or we eat foods in the right combinations.

Benefits of Taking Long Walks

  • it helps us relax our mind and muscles (after work, after sitting long periods of time at the desk, on the driver`s seat, after long periods of stress and study)
  • it puts the muscles to work, especially feet muscles
  • it improves blood vessel circulation
  • it improves digestion and stool movement in the small and large intestines
  • it makes the body consume the calories in excess

As an example, we can take a long walk three times a week in the evening for at least 1.5 hours. In this way, our body relaxes from work or study and has time to put the intestinal transit to work.

Because of movement, the muscles around the abdomen area contract more and force the stool to move for evacuation.

Taking very long walks often, is one of the most effective exercises for constipation. We can also improve our resistance to stress and effort.

We can go out for a walk with our dog, with our friends or we can take our newborn out in the park with the baby carriage.

Examples of Programs for Walking

  • Walk at least 3 times a week, with a day in between to rest, for at least 1.5 hours. (this is the minimum effort that a simple exercise for constipation can improve digestion a bit)
  • Walk at least 4 times a week for at least 2 hours with no rest day in between (this is an effective way to prepare our body for physical effort)
  • Take Long Walks, 3 times a week for at least 5 miles a day. (for people who have a sedentary lifestyle)
  • Take Long Walk, 4 times a week for at least 10 miles a day. (if you want to relieve constipation fast)

What matters for you is very easy to do. Move for at least 1.5 hours to relax your body.

A stressed and tired body can`t deal with proper digestion. When we are sad, stressed, our nervous system located in the abdomen area, slows digestion. It moves blood from the intestines to the arms and feet.

The role of walking is to calm us down and to relax our muscles so they can contract.

Taking long walks requires energy that comes from food and fat deposits. In this way, we force the intestines to absorb all the proteins and nutrients needed.

Also, it helps to burn the fats necessary for physical effort.


exercises to relieve constipation weights in the gym exercises to relieve constipation man body building exercises to relieve constipation woman training in the gym

Going to the gym a good way to improve digestion and bowel movement. The good part of Fitness training and Body Building is that there are many simple exercises to train for constipation relief.

We can use weights, belts, and any other machine available at the gym.

The problem with Fitness and Body Building is that they require a gym or space with special equipment. This thing forces us to either buy a monthly pass at the local gym or to create a gym in our home.

Every option costs money. To relieve constipation does not mean to buy expensive machines and equipment.

Going to the gym at least two times a week is great for digestion and bowel movement. Usually, motivation and interest in fitness come after 3-4 pieces of training at the gym.

Lifting weights, running on the belt, doing specific exercises all improve our mental and physical shape.

We should combine these exercises with crunches and pushups and keep this in mind all the time.


exercises to relieve constipation basketball exercises to relieve constipation voleyball exercises to relieve constipation tennis

Every exercise relieves constipation in a way or another.

There are many sports that include intense physical exercises like running, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, ice hockey, table tennis, hiking, mountain climbing, dancing, skydiving, marathons, etc.

Benefits of playing sports:

  • it improves our resistance to endurance effort
  • it improves our mind and mental shape
  • it makes our body consume lots of calories
  • because of the intense effort, the intestinal transit will accelerate to evacuate the stool

Everyone has favorite sports and exercises. We can combine them in playful and fun ways. The purpose is to improve digestion and bowel movement.

Examples of Swimming Training

  • whatever the sport is, train for at least 1.5 hours (at least 90 minutes)
  • train 2 or 3 times a week (in the morning is best)
  • play a sport or do exercises clean in quiet environments like parks, seaside, mountainside, gyms


flat abdomen and relief exercises improve bowel movement stretching before exercises

Sitting down at the desk in the cubicle, working for hours and hours every day or studying for an exam are constipation causes.

Living and working under stress and pressure from peers for long periods of time is a problem for our mental and physical health. It is even worse for constipation, related symptoms, and diseases.

It`s the same problem when sitting for hours on the driver`s seat and having to go places all over the city or between cities.

If you do not have time for exercises on a regular basis, here are some simple guidelines to help you with stress and sedentary lifestyle:

Guidelines for a Sedentary Lifestyle:

  • exercises and sports help deal with stress and anxiety
  • take some minutes to do some stretching after 4-5 hours of sitting down
  • take a vacation, go and see the world because no one cares if you work hard
  • if you drive for hours and hours, and can`t take breaks, eat more liquid foods and more vegetables that contain fiber (soups, salads)

The same problem applies to those of us who are obese or suffer from a disease that doesn`t let us do sports in the way.

Below is a list of simple advice for those who are stressed, work in cubicles and have a sedentary life.

Its purpose is to help those who do not have time to do any exercises for constipation relief.

Simple Advice for a Stressed Lifestyle:

  • take short breaks from sitting on a chair (6-10 minutes every 1 hour) by standing up, watching outside the windows or walk outside
  • the lunch break should be no less than 60 minutes (20 minutes eating time and 40 minutes of relaxation, closing your eyes and staying in quiet mode or taking a short walk)
  • stay hydrated and work in a cool place
  • don`t skip meals and eat in intervals of 3-4 hours
  • change seats or places when there is too much light

There are many exercises to relieve constipation that are good for indoor and outdoor.

Train at the gym as often as you can if you have the time and mood. If you don`t have enough time, you can train at home. Time is precious for many of us.

Physical exercises focused on the abdomen are an alternative to heavy medication and other chemical products.

For example, it is easy to evacuate the stool with 5 series of crunches if you suffer from episodic constipation.


The problem with exercises and constipation is that not every one of us can afford to spend lots of time and money to train on a regular basis.

Also, some of us have disabilities or problems that stop us from working out.

As we grow older, there are a few reasons why we do not focus on leisure activities and physical exercise.

These reasons can be:

  • lack of dietary culture (we eat what is accessible, fast, and cheap)
  • lack of sports culture (office work does not promote sports and rest)
  • not training often (because of obesity, diabetes or other diseases)
  • having to travel long distances to get to a park or a gym

Eating disorder or eating the wrong combinations of food every day is another major problem for our constipation symptoms and our constipation stages.

Physical exercises are only alternatives in dealing with constipation on long-term. The easiest ones assume small effort like walking, jogging, running, and a few simple stretching exercises.

The good thing about exercises to relieve constipation is that we can enjoy both the benefits of sports and fitness and deal with this awful symptom at the same time.

Besides putting all muscles at work, especially the abdomen muscles, we need to take advantage of the fact that an endurance sport like running or jogging can improve our overall health.

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About the author

My name is Sebastian D., and I am the senior editor of constipationguide.com. With the help of my mentor, Dr. Horia Marculescu, I decided to create a practical guide to constipation relief.. read more

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