Workout Tips during different Menstrual Phases

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Exercise is an essential part of maintaining good health, and it is particularly important for women during their menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle is a complex interplay of hormones that can affect your energy levels, strength, and endurance. To optimize your workouts and gain maximum benefits, it is essential to understand how your menstrual cycle affects your body and adjust your exercise regimen accordingly.

Phase Days (approx.) What happens
Menstrual (part of follicular phase) 1–5 Estrogen and progesterone are low. The lining of the uterus, called the endometrium, is shed, causing bleeding.
Follicular 6–14 Estrogen and progesterone are on the rise.
Ovulatory 15–17 Estrogen peaks. Testosterone and progesterone rise.
Luteal 18–28 Estrogen and progesterone levels are high. If the egg isn’t fertilized, hormone levels decrease and the menstrual cycle starts again.

In this article, we will discuss the different phases of the menstrual cycle and provide tips on how to exercise during each phase.

The Menstrual Phase (Days 1-5)

The menstrual phase is the time when you experience bleeding, and it typically lasts for three to seven days. During this phase, your hormone levels are at their lowest, which can lead to fatigue and decreased energy levels. However, exercise during this phase can help relieve menstrual cramps and boost your mood. (1)

Low-intensity exercises such as yoga, Pilates, and walking are ideal during this phase. These exercises can help you relax and relieve tension while still keeping your body active. Additionally, focus on activities that involve stretching and flexibility, such as yoga, to help alleviate cramps and improve blood flow. (2)

The Follicular Phase (Days 6-14)

The follicular phase is the time between the end of your menstrual phase and ovulation. During this phase, your hormone levels, particularly estrogen, increase, leading to a boost in energy levels and stamina. (3)

This is an ideal time for high-intensity workouts such as running, cycling, and weight lifting. Research suggests that the follicular phase is the optimal time for strength training as estrogen levels can improve muscle recovery and increase muscle strength. Additionally, you may experience increased endurance, allowing you to push yourself further in your workouts.

The Ovulatory Phase (Day 14)

The ovulatory phase is the time when you ovulate, and it typically lasts for one to two days. During this phase, your hormone levels, particularly estrogen, reach their peak, which can increase your energy levels and improve your mood (4)

This is an ideal time to engage in high-intensity workouts such as interval training, HIIT, and weightlifting. The surge in estrogen levels can help improve your performance during intense workouts, making it easier to reach your fitness goals.

The Luteal Phase (Days 15-28)

The luteal phase is the time between ovulation and the start of your next menstrual phase. During this phase, your hormone levels shift, and progesterone levels increase, leading to fatigue and decreased energy levels.


Low to moderate-intensity exercises such as yoga, Pilates, and brisk walking are ideal during this phase. These exercises can help alleviate bloating and reduce stress levels. Additionally, focus on exercises that improve balance and coordination as progesterone levels can affect these areas.

Workout Tips during Different Phases of Menstrual Cycle

Regardless of the phase of your menstrual cycle, here are some workout tips to keep in mind:

Stay hydrated: It is essential to stay hydrated before, during, and after your workout, especially during the menstrual phase when you are losing fluids.

Listen to your body: Pay attention to how you feel and adjust your workout accordingly. If you feel tired or fatigued, opt for low to moderate-intensity workouts, and if you feel energized, take advantage of high-intensity workouts.

Fuel your body: Ensure you eat a balanced diet to provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs to perform at its best during your workouts.

Take rest days: Rest is essential for muscle recovery, and it is essential to give your body a break to avoid burnout and injury.

Get enough sleep: Sleep is crucial for recovery and helps regulate hormone levels.


In conclusion, your menstrual cycle can have a significant impact on your workouts and exercise routine. By understanding the different phases of your menstrual cycle and adjusting your exercise regimen accordingly, you can optimize your workouts and gain maximum benefits. Whether it is a low-intensity workout during the menstrual phase or a high-intensity workout during the ovulatory phase, paying attention to your body and taking care of yourself is key.

It is important to note that every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, and what works for one person may not work for another. If you experience severe menstrual symptoms, such as heavy bleeding or severe cramps, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the best exercise regimen for you.


  1. Campbell, B., & Hausenblas, H. A. (2009). Effects of exercise interventions on menstrual function: a systematic review. Sports medicine, 39(11), 887-911.
  2. McNeilly, A. S., & Tay, C. C. (2000). Gonadotrophin secretion and the menstrual cycle. Bailliere’s best practice & research. Clinical obstetrics & gynaecology, 14(5), 801-820.
  3. Robergs, R. A., & Roberts, S. O. (1997). Exercise Physiology: Exercise, Performance, and Clinical Applications. Madison, WI: Brown & Benchmark.
  4. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2019). Exercise During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. Retrieved from

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