Boost Your Training: Exercise for Different Phases of Menstrual Cycle

Exercise for menstrual cycle

Menstrual Cycle Training Is When You Tailor Your Exercise To Your Menstrual Cycle Phases

Being a woman comes with constant challenges! It means embracing the everchanging shifts in our bodies and minds, and adapting to the changes.

One of these shifts occurs in the form of the menstrual cycle. It’s not just about those few days of menstruation, but the whole cycle that spans around 28-29 days. This cycle is divided into four main phases: menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and luteal. Menstrual cycle training, sometimes called “Cycle Syncing” involves changing or modifying the intensity, amount or type of exercise you do to match the phase of menstrual cycle you are in. 

The cycle affects women differently, and although there is no medical reason to stop exercise during menstruation, hormones do affect energy levels, motivation, sleep and stress. Therefore, it can be beneficial to exercise in adherence with the changes happening in your body throughout the cycle. This may involve changing when you exercise, how much you exercise, or the style of exercise you choose. 

Exercise has been shown to reduce some symptoms such as cramps but certain types of exercise may be better suited to other times in the cycle. 

At Core Fitness, we understand that different phases of your menstrual cycle can have different impacts on your energy levels, mood, and overall physical performance. Therefore, we have created this comprehensive guide on how to adapt your exercise routine according to each phase of your menstrual cycle.

This guide has been designed with the utmost professionalism and compassion, aiming to educate you about your body and how to work in harmony with it, while getting the best out of it in terms of exercise and recovery!

Menstruation Phase: Embrace Gentle Movements

The menstruation phase, often referred to as your period, is when your body sheds the uterine lining. This phase typically lasts between three and seven days. During this time, you might experience symptoms like fatigue and cramps due to the decrease in hormone levels, particularly oestrogen and progesterone.

Exercise during this phase will help with improved mood, due to the release of those much needed endorphins. It can also help reduce cramps, fatigue and water bloating. 

Exercise Recommendations

During the menstruation phase, your body may benefit from less intense and more restorative activities. The aim is to move your body without too much intensity or strain. Here are some exercises you might consider:

  1. Yoga and Stretching

Yoga, a practice known for its calming and restorative benefits, can be particularly helpful during your period or menstruation phase. Styles like Yin yoga focus on passive, seated postures that target the connective tissues in the body, promoting relaxation and stress relief. 

  1. Walking or Light Cardio

Despite the fatigue during menstruation phase, keeping your body active is beneficial. Walking is a great low-intensity exercise that can improve circulation and release feel-good endorphins, which can help alleviate period cramps.

  1. Pilates

Pilates, like yoga, can help reduce pain and promote relaxation. It’s a method of exercise that consists of low-impact flexibility and muscular strength and endurance movements.

Remember, the key during the menstruation phase is to listen to your body and engage in activities that feel comfortable and beneficial for you.

Follicular Phase: Time to Boost Your Energy

The follicular phase begins on the first day of your period and continues until the start of ovulation (overlaps with Menstruation Phase). During this phase, your body experiences a surge in oestrogen, leading to increased energy levels.

Exercise Recommendations

With the energy boost during the follicular phase, you might feel more capable of handling more intense workouts. Here are some exercise recommendations for this phase:

  1. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is a form of interval training that involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by short recovery periods. This type of workout can make the most of your increased energy levels during the follicular phase.

  1. Strength Training

Thanks to the rise in oestrogen, your body might experience increased muscle strength. Therefore, this phase is a great time to engage in strength training exercises, lifting weights and testing your maximum capacity! 

  1. Cardio

Cardio exercises like running or dancing can also be integrated into your workout routine during this phase. Perhaps try your longer distances and push yourself to get the most out of your increased energy levels during this phase.

Ovulation Phase: Maximise Your Performance

The ovulation phase is usually the midpoint of your menstrual cycle. This phase is characterised by the release of a mature egg from the ovary, triggered by high levels of luteinizing hormone.

Exercise Recommendations

During ovulation, you might still experience high energy levels similar to the follicular phase. Here are some exercise recommendations:

  1. High-Intensity Workouts

Since your energy levels are peaking, you can continue to engage in high-intensity activities like HIIT or strength training.

  1. Cardio Exercises

Running, cycling, and other cardio exercises can be beneficial during this phase. However, be mindful of your body’s response to these activities. If you experience any discomfort, consider adjusting your exercise routine.

Luteal Phase: Prioritise Recovery

The luteal phase is the last stage of your menstrual cycle before menstruation begins again. This phase can last from 11 to 17 days. During the luteal phase, your body experiences a rise in progesterone, which may lead to feelings of fatigue.

Exercise Recommendations

During the luteal phase, it’s essential to prioritise recovery and engage in low-intensity activities. Here are some exercises you might consider:

  1. Yoga or Pilates

These low-impact exercises can help you stay active during the luteal phase without overexerting yourself.

  1. Light Cardio

Engaging in light cardio activities like walking or swimming can also be beneficial during this phase.

  1. Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training exercises can be adjusted to your comfort level, allowing you to stay active without pushing your limits.


Remember, your menstrual cycle is unique to you. Understanding how your body changes throughout your cycle can help you adapt your exercise routine to work in harmony with these shifts. 

Perhaps you can start a fitness journal or log your energy levels and training in an app. This way you can collect information and learn along the way how much training suits you at which time of the month! This has potential to guide you to decide when to push harder and when to scale it back. It will allow you to be more in tune with your body and mind. 

Please bear in mind that these are generalised recommendations rather than personal and may not work for everyone. Always listen to your body first, and adjust your intensity and level of activity as needed. 

If you experience significant discomfort during any phase of your cycle, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider. Remember, your health and wellbeing are always the top priority.

At Core Fitness, we believe in empowering our clients by providing them with the knowledge and tools they need to take charge of their health and fitness journey. Contact us today to start a journey of empowerment! 

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