Do you have any exercise recommendations for a male client who has a hernia right above the belly area and would like to avoid surgery (intervention with exercise preferred!)?
As always, consult with a medical professional before beginning any exercise program.
This is one of the few times I would have to say traditional treatment is the best. While many people live years with an abdominal hernia and have no problems, just as many have to have emergency surgery because the intestine becomes trapped in the abdominal muscle. The fact that your client is in the gym means he is probably active and would run a high chance of straining and making the hernia worse. After surgery is when the exercise becomes important. You will need to reactivate the muscle in his abdominal wall. Teach him how to isolate then integrate his TrA as well as building strength in the RA, EO, IO. Good luck.