Why does my lower back hurts when I do abs workout?

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  1. grejotte profile image76
    grejotteposted 13 years ago

    Why does my lower back hurts when I do abs workout?

    I lay down on my back and do several different sit-ups, sometimes with the upper body, sometimes with the legs getting up and down. But my lower back always hurt. I can feel a gap between my back and the floor when I lay down on my back.

  2. McConnell Group profile image70
    McConnell Groupposted 13 years ago

    when doing crunches only touch the tips of your toes to the floor, this will keep your back flat and avoid breaking for which is leading to the back pain

  3. grejotte profile image76
    grejotteposted 13 years ago

    Thx McConnell smile
    I was wondering if this is because my abs are too weak, and then my back wants to compensate.

  4. dabeaner profile image60
    dabeanerposted 13 years ago

    There is more to your body than your abs.  This is not a professional opinion, but sounds like your OTHER muscles are WEAK.  Also do the seated pull-down machine (or chinups with your knees raised), and the horizontal push and pull machines to develop other muscles.

    And McConnell Group tip is a good one.  Don't arch your back.  Be conscious and keep it flat for the strength exercises.

  5. mixfitness profile image61
    mixfitnessposted 13 years ago

    There are lots of reasons why your back could be hurting during ab workouts.  First, sit-ups are tough on the lower back.  A crunch would be a better choice to avoid pain, but still effectively train your abs.  (I wrote a hub on the difference between sit-ups and crunches, if you're interested in reading that.)

    You should maintain the natural curve in your lower back while doing crunches.  That means that there will be a small amount of space between your low back and the floor.

    Second, your lower back and/or your abs could be weak.  It's best practice to exercise both the front and back of your torso.  Try supermans to strengthen your lower back.

  6. revortay1 profile image60
    revortay1posted 13 years ago

    Just a helpful hint but when you are doing crunches you might want to put a pillow under your lower back. This will keep your spine off the ground and also alow for more stretch of the ab muscles leading to a better work out!

  7. creator of wonder profile image60
    creator of wonderposted 13 years ago

    You might not be doing the exercise right. I recommend you ask a trainer to check your form.

  8. lanealanea profile image61
    lanealaneaposted 13 years ago

    Its most likely because you do not yet have a strong enough core so when you are performing your situps you might be pulling on the muscles in your back more then utilizing your abs. The best thing that you should do is swim and if you cannot do that to strengthen your stomach muscles from inside out then try sitting on a chair a specific size where you can keep your back straight and pull your legs up instead and this should have same affect till they become stronger. Not a great idea to continue working on your stomach if you end up strainning your back ultimately, your stomach will be the best thing to keep your back in shape "core." Hope this helps some. Lanea

  9. atafoy profile image60
    atafoyposted 13 years ago

    Many people have this problem. If you look at a diagram of the psoas muscle you will get an idea of the other muscles involved in helping you do situps. If your rectus abdominis (the "six pack muscles") are not strong enough to support the weight of your upper torso the psoas comes to the rescue. It pulls from the mid-low back toward the upper femur to help fold you in half. This is why crunches are better then sit ups for your low back. The decreased range of motion doesnt allow you to engage the psoas as much thus pulling on your spine less. This pain will subside if you contniue to strengthen your core with exercises such as those mentioned by the other hubbers who answered. If you start to hurt during exercises find another core exercise. Not only will your core get strengthened but you will also learn a ton of core strengthening moves for your workouts in the future.


  10. Deborah J. Myers profile image60
    Deborah J. Myersposted 13 years ago

    I can relate to this, I have had my share of lower back problems.
    The truth is, the stronger your abdominals get with consistent ab strengthening exercises, the less your back will hurt. Your back is compensating for the weakness in your abdominals. If it feels like a skeletal issue, and not a muscular problem, that could mean you have swollen or herniated discs, which I have also had.

    In that case you will want to see your doctor, but even with that as an issue, they will recommend strengthening your abs to ease the strain on your back. So keep up the good work!

    By the way: A folded towel or yoga mat under your lower back while doing those crunches will help you out. smile

  11. quickabs profile image60
    quickabsposted 13 years ago

    To relieve some of the tension in your back, you might try an alternative to sit-ups/crunches such as the Reverse Crunch or the Vertical Leg Crunch.  I actually wrote a hub on these alternatives if you're interested.

  12. sparksdaniel2000 profile image74
    sparksdaniel2000posted 12 years ago

    I would have to say one word: support. Muscles help each other out to stabilize the body. You back helps your chest, while your biceps help your triceps. When soreness or pain occurs, your body is indicating failure or weakness. I suggest you increase the strength of your lower back. Many ways to do this (such as dead-lifts or 'good mornings').  Good luck and great question!

  13. ultimatekboxing profile image60
    ultimatekboxingposted 12 years ago

    There are quite a few reasons why your back may be hurting:
    1) Form - you may be performing the sit up incorrectly. The best way to solve this is to get someone to watch you and ensure that your form isn't causing you to injure yourself. Sometimes, when people have weak cores, they throw their weight up instead of lifting themselves properly, which can cause pain. Ensure that your back is straight, and that your movements are controlled.

    2) Your core is weak - try doing some static exercises like the plank and bridge to strengthen muscles throughout your core. These will also work to tone your stomach muscles and can actually be more effective at getting a flat stomach.

    3) Preexisting problem, exacerbated by situps - do you slouch a lot, spend most of the day sitting or experience back pain at any other time? If so, it may be worth visiting a doctor to check that it isn't another issue, that's just enhanced by the situps.

  14. profile image50
    johnsilvester12posted 11 years ago

    Each and every workout will be given within a regimen arrangement, when you proceed from exercise to workout with bit of recovery among, hence holding your heart rate up. The particular conditioning Dvd videos aim for specific areas on the human body every time: breasts and spine; and then upper limbs; legs along with back; chest muscles, shoulder muscles, in addition to tricep muscles; and backside and biceps. Other Videos center on plyometrics (mind-blowing "potential" moves), Kenpo kick boxing, cardio exercise , ab muscles, pilates, and stretching.

    As an example, the "Chest muscles & Backside" Digital video disc is a fifty three - minute work out that works out the chest area muscles using variants of the push-up, including standard push-ups, “ flying ” push-ups, and push-ups accomplished by using your own arms near jointly. This is targeted on the back muscular tissues having variants of the pull-up and also pull-down exercising with weight bands, as well as pull-ups/pull-downs by way of your own hands and fingers at shoulder complex breadth, wider, narrower, or maybe invert grip. This likewise features rowing techniques .

    The 59 - minute “Plyometrics” exercise will be the most extreme in the entire P90X method. After the substantial warm-up, this kind of aerobic routine directs an individual through a collection of jumping techniques that will predominantly aim for low muscles. You're going to need a fine pair of shoes and also a comfortable work surface meant for this particular working out.

  15. cat on a soapbox profile image97
    cat on a soapboxposted 10 years ago

    Pilates has taught me to control my core in order to peel off and lay back down  on a floor or table while consciously thinking of each vertebra. At first it seems like a very small movement at the pubis or the sternum, but it becomes second nature. Eventually you can incorporate it in power sit-ups w/ no back injury because you've learned to keep your abs tight and your spine flat. It's a discipline. I hope it helps.

  16. AMAZING THINKER profile image61
    AMAZING THINKERposted 10 years ago

    It could be Hyper lordosis(a forward curve in lower spine caused by tight lower back muscles+ weak abs+ tight quads+ weak hamstrings) google it.
    That was for the gap, a little gab is natural and necessary.
    Your back hurts because it is worked too in your ab exercises, it supports your upper back.
    If its Hyper lordosis, you have to do some streching, bridges, warrior lunge, planks etc.

  17. Amethystraven profile image70
    Amethystravenposted 10 years ago

    Your lower back muscles need to be worked out as well. Try some stretches for your lower back after you do your sit ups. I am a huge fan of yoga which provides poses for both the back muscles and stomach muscles. Also keep in mind your breathing when you are doing sit ups. If you don't breath right when you perform your sit ups it can put a strain on your lower back.

  18. The Examiner-1 profile image60
    The Examiner-1posted 10 years ago

    You can also take the crunches one step farther.
    Keep your knees bent. Keeping your arms straight, set your hands flat on your legs. Then sit up all of the way if you can and allow your hands to slide off of your legs and then back on your legs as you lay down again.

  19. edhan profile image38
    edhanposted 10 years ago

    I do believe it might be the posture while doing the sit ups or you have strain your back before. I think you should check with your doctor to see if it is the muscle strain or you have other injuries.

  20. Etherealenigma profile image70
    Etherealenigmaposted 10 years ago

    As a massage therapist, I have another answer for you. First of all, I saw where many people told you to place a pillow or support under your low back. That's not correct. The support needs to go under the bottom end of your tush. Although you may have a bit of a Lordosis, even if you don't, if you have enough of a tush, it will prevent you from laying with your back flat.

    Since you feel a gap when you lay down on your back, you obviously have enough tush to interfere with your back laying flat. So you would have to lay with your knees bent, or put the pillow as I stated above.

    However, there could be another thing affecting you. If you sit a lot, as in someone who is frequently on a computer, then you are already developing an issue that will cause low back pain. You are already contracting at the pelvic region, and that alone will cause low back pain.

    Its like a seesaw. One side goes up and the other down. If you are somehow contracting in the pelvic region on a daily basis, that is the down. Contraction shortens the muscle and limits flexibility and range of motion. The opposite of this, then, would be overstretching; which is what would be happening to your back, because the front side is over-contracted.

    It does sound like you have a Lordosis, but it could be exacerbated by over contraction on the front side, and overstretching on the backside. Stretching is a necessity, whether you work out or not, but if you workout, then your stretching needs to triple to accommodate the over contraction that you are doing in your workouts.

    Now, usually, people having low back pain tend to bend forward to stretch the lower back. This is the wrong move. If the above conditions are the case, the stretch needs to be reversed because the psoas and the abdominal muscles are over-contracted and shortened. These need to be opened up. So the bend needs to be backwards.

    One of the best stretches for this is to reach back and grab the ankle, making sure that you have something to help support you and the balance you need for this stretch. You grab the ankle and pull it up towards your tush as far as you can. At the same time, for an extended stretch, you bend forward, which is why you need something to hold for support. This stretch will open up the psoas, the abdominals, and also stretch your quads; which should take some of the pressure off your low back.


  21. profile image0
    epsonok0posted 9 years ago

    lay on a sofa or stool that is big. Hover your legs out over nothing until it hurts. Then pull your knees to your chest slowly with your lower back or abs. This should work it out. If not review the sun pose in yoga and work out your issue.

  22. Mightyheidi profile image57
    Mightyheidiposted 9 years ago

    try doing core work that does not involve sit-ups. They put a lot of pressure on the spine. Also, sometimes pain in one muscle is caused by weakness in another. I can not say for sure because I can not asses your form in person. I can give you some suggestions to help fix imbalances. If you have the money, look for a personal trainer with a good certification, preferably one from ACSM, ACE, or NASM, and if they have a degree in Kinesiology, specializing in exercise science, even better. They should be able to assess you and help you find those imbalances causing the pain and help you fix those. However, I can give some suggestions of things that might help. You can try doing bridges. Also, try things that don't involve lying done, like planks on the floor, one armed planks, 1 legged planks, one arm one legged planks, planks on the stability ball, use an ab wheel and do ab roll outs, do leg lifts on the captain's chair at the gym. While sit-ups and variations of sit-ups can be helpful in improving core strength, it doesn't do much to strengthen the entire core. I suggest doing core exercises that involve every aspect of the core including the gluts and the low back. All of these things I mentioned do this. Your core works together to stabilize your body, and if one component is weak, another has to compensate causing the pain. Doing exercises that activate more areas of the core will help this. I am a huge fan of compound movements, the more muscle involved, the better. One muscle is less likely to become overdominant if they are worked in groups rather than isolated all the time.

  23. annajazz profile image84
    annajazzposted 9 years ago

    This happens to me a lot.
    I was told by a trainer that is was simple because of the way my lower spin is. a.k.a I have to much butt to allow for my spin to completely touch the ground, she recommended rolling up a towel and sticking in either right under by butt or just under my lower back to help
    And boy does it!

  24. AvineshP profile image61
    AvineshPposted 9 years ago

    There can be several reasons for your lower back pain. The list includes -

    Depression, smoking, stressful job, obesity, depression. Try to focus on these causes, it will surely help you to get rid of your suffering.

  25. Businessonly247 profile image61
    Businessonly247posted 9 years ago

    Your back may not be the problem at all. It's the abs themselves. I have the same problem, the only way i can get rid of the pain is by working my lower abs. Yes it will hurt your lower back in the process but you have to take that aspect of it slow. as your lower abdominal and your lower back are very small and will require the most patience when trying to build them up. Also, stretching will help counteract the pain. Possibly a massage if your lucky enough.

  26. cloverleaffarm profile image69
    cloverleaffarmposted 9 years ago

    If your core is not "tight", then you can have problems in your back and many other issues. The core is the key to good abs, but also to good posture. If one does not have good posture, you can also have upper back issues. Try doing exercises that will help strengthen your core, and you will notice a difference in your back.
    If you don't, you should have it checked out to see if you have any disc issues. If you have disc issues, you will want to address these with proper care. Be well, and good luck.

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