Fit Knowledge

Cycle Syncing Workouts: A Guide To Exercising For Your Menstrual Cycle

In the pursuit of holistic well-being, understanding and aligning with the natural cycles of our bodies can be a game-changer.

Ever noticed you occasionally struggle with one movement or lift or workout when, only a week earlier, you did it without an issue? Well, chances are, the phase of your cycle could be the culprit.

Cycle syncing, a practice gaining recognition and popularity, revolves around this very idea. It’s a holistic approach to health and wellness that tailors various aspects of life – exercise, nutrition, and more – to the different phases of the menstrual cycle.

Let’s explore what cycle syncing is, who can benefit from it, and how it can transform women’s health and vitality.

What is Cycle syncing?

Cycle syncing, also known as menstrual cycle syncing or cyclical living, is a concept rooted in the idea that women’s bodies go through distinct phases during the menstrual cycle, each characterized by hormonal changes. By recognizing these phases and adapting lifestyle choices accordingly, women can optimize their health, well-being, and productivity.

When trying to understand cycle syncing methods, it’s important your understand more about your menstrual cycle.

Menstrual Cycle – The Four Phases of Your Cycle

Menstruation takes place every month and is essentially a normal physiological activity. It starts on the first day of your period and ends on the first day of the following period. It is common for men to cycle for about 30 to 30 days. In menstruation cycles there are four phases:

Menstrual (First 7 days of your period cycle)

This is the bleeding phase, where the uterine lining sheds. Estrogen and progesterone levels are relatively low and you might feel lethargic and your mood may be low.

Follicular (the 7 to 10 days after your period)

Estrogen levels begin to rise, leading to the maturation of follicles in the ovaries. Energy and mood often improve during this phase. This is also the time when you’re most likely to feel good during exercise.

Ovulatory (around day 14, or in the middle of your cycle)

During the ovulation phase, the luteinizing hormone causes the release of the egg from the ovary. At this point you may find you have heightened energy and feel more confident. What’s more your overall wellness should be better.

Luteal (the 10 to 14 days between ovulation and your period)

The most common PMS symptoms can occur in the luteal phase, and especially later in the luteal phase. When menstruating, the hormone starts to dip. As a result, women may have symptoms such as pain, fatigue, and headaches and other symptoms may appear as well as those listed below.

What is the purpose of cycle syncing?

During menstruation, hormonal fluctuations can affect your overall health. Synchronizing diets with these phases—otherwise called cycle synchronisation—will aid in hormone balance and can be of further advantage to menstruating women.

Not only can it help you to gain better understanding of what’s happening with your body and hormones at different times of the monthly cycle, it can also help you to workout better too.

By planning the types of workouts you go for depending on the different phases of the menstrual cycle, you can ensure you get the most out of your body.

What is the cycle syncing method?

Typically, synchronization cycles have simple rules. Instead of the same workout throughout the months, it will be personalized according to the current phase in menstruation.

Let’s take a closer look at how this might look and what it means for your body.

Woman during her menstrual cycle

What are cycle syncing workouts?

With each change that happens as part of your menstrual phases, it’s important to understand what your body needs in order to get the best out of it.

For example, higher intensity workouts hit completely differently when you’re at different points of your menstrual cycle. At one point in the month they may come easily, while at another they may be incredibly challenging, and your energy levels could be through the floor. So, it’s important your know about your period cycle and how it might impact your exercise habits too.

Here’s a run down of the types of cycle syncing workouts that might be best for you at different times in your menstrual cycle phase.

  • Menstruation: During your period, your energy may be lower, so it’s a good time for gentler forms of exercise like yoga, stretching, or walking.
  • Follicular Phase: As estrogen rises, you’ll likely experience increased energy and stamina. This is an excellent time for high-intensity workouts, strength training, and cardio.
  • Ovulation: You may feel at your peak during this phase. Embrace challenging workouts, HIIT sessions, or group fitness classes.
  • Luteal Phase: Progesterone may cause mood swings and lower energy. Opt for lower-intensity workouts, focusing on flexibility and balance, such as pilates or swimming.

Here are four cycle syncing workouts, one for each ovulatory phase:

  • Menstruation – Gentle Yoga Flow: Ease into your cycle with a gentle yoga flow. Focus on poses that alleviate cramps and release tension, such as child’s pose, cat-cow, and supine twists.
  • Follicular Phase – High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Embrace the energy boost of this phase with a HIIT workout. Incorporate exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, and sprints for a high-intensity sweat session.
  • Ovulation – Strength Training Circuit: Maximize your strength during ovulation with a circuit that includes squats, deadlifts, lunges, and push-ups. Challenge yourself with weights or resistance bands.
  • Luteal Phase – Restorative Pilates: Wind down during the luteal phase with a restorative pilates session. Focus on controlled movements, core engagement, and deep stretches to ease any discomfort.

[Related article: 3 Super Effective HIIT Sprint Workouts for Women]

Benefits of cycle syncing workouts

In all phases during a period of menstrual cycle, female body response to exercises differs from that of male body. This can cause alterations in the metabolism of food, stress hormones as well as immune system. This helps to match your fitness levels in different phases to help you.

Cycle syncing your workouts can provide several benefits tailored to your body’s changing needs throughout the menstrual cycle. Here are some key advantages of adapting your exercise routine to your menstrual cycle:

1. Improved Energy Levels

Syncing your workouts with your cycle allows you to capitalize on your energy fluctuations. You can schedule more intense workouts during high-energy phases and opt for gentler exercises when energy levels are lower. This approach maximizes your workout efficiency and minimizes fatigue.

2. Enhanced Performance

Tailoring your workouts to your menstrual cycle can lead to better exercise performance. During the follicular phase, when estrogen levels rise, you may experience increased strength and stamina, allowing you to push harder in your workouts.

3. Reduced Risk of Injury:

Adjusting your exercise intensity and focus to match your cycle can reduce the risk of overtraining or pushing your body too hard during low-energy phases. This helps prevent injuries and promotes long-term exercise consistency.

4. Better Recovery:

During menstruation and the luteal phase, when energy levels may be lower, incorporating recovery-focused workouts like yoga or stretching can aid in muscle recovery and reduce soreness.

5. Hormone Regulation:

Cycle syncing workouts can promote hormonal balance by adapting exercise intensity to specific phases. This can contribute to more stable hormone levels, potentially alleviating symptoms like mood swings and cravings.

6. Stress Reduction:

Engaging in exercise that aligns with your menstrual cycle can help manage stress more effectively. Yoga and meditation, for instance, can be particularly beneficial during menstruation and the luteal phase.

7. Enhanced Fitness Goals

Tailored workouts can help you achieve fitness goals more efficiently. Whether you’re aiming to build strength, improve endurance, or manage weight, syncing your workouts can align your efforts with your body’s natural rhythm.

8. Empowerment:

Cycle syncing empowers you to understand your body better and take control of your fitness journey. It fosters a deeper connection with your physical well-being and helps you make informed choices about exercise.

Remember that everyone’s body is unique, and the benefits of cycle syncing workouts may vary from person to person. It’s essential to listen to your body, experiment with different approaches, and adjust your exercise routine based on how you feel during each phase of your menstrual cycle. This individualized approach can help you unlock the full advantages of cycle syncing for your overall health and fitness.

Nutrition and Cycle Syncing: Fueling Your Body Wisely

Just as exercise can be tailored to your menstrual cycle, so can your nutrition. The hormonal fluctuations throughout your cycle can influence your appetite, metabolism, and nutritional needs. So, it’s just as important you take that into account as you plan out your month of exercise.

Here’s how you can optimize your nutrition in sync with your cycle:

  • Menstruation: Focus on iron-rich foods like leafy greens and lean meats to replenish lost iron. Incorporate magnesium-rich foods such as dark chocolate and nuts to ease cramps.
  • Follicular Phase: Emphasize complex carbohydrates like whole grains, sweet potatoes, and legumes to support increased energy expenditure.
  • Ovulation: Prioritize foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, like berries, avocados, and nuts, to support hormonal balance and reduce inflammation.
  • Luteal Phase: Boost serotonin levels with complex carbohydrates and fiber from foods like oats, brown rice, and fruits to manage mood swings and cravings.

Examples of cycle syncing meals:

  • Menstruation – Iron-Rich Smoothie: Blend spinach, banana, almond milk, and a scoop of plant-based iron-rich protein powder for a nutrient-packed, easy-to-digest meal.
  • Follicular Phase – Veggie-Stuffed Quinoa Salad: Mix cooked quinoa with roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and a lemon-tahini dressing for a satisfying and energy-boosting salad.
  • Ovulation – Avocado and Berry Smoothie Bowl: Top a smoothie bowl with fresh berries, sliced avocado, and a sprinkle of chia seeds for a nourishing, hormone-balancing breakfast.
  • Luteal Phase – Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry: Enjoy a comforting bowl of sweet potato and lentil curry with plenty of spices and a side of brown rice for a serotonin-boosting meal.

Is there a cycle syncing app you recommend?

Yes, I strongly recommend the myFlo App, which helps protect your data and privacy.

It allows you to begin tracking how you feel at different times of the month, in order to provide the best level of accuracy for when the phases of your cycle are in play.

This should help you plan your workouts really easily, so you know when you should be attempting those higher intensity workouts, and when low impact exercises might be the best option.


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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