Improperly performed situps or doing too many situps before the lower back is sufficiently developed can indeed cause back pain. One common method of the exercise involves placing feet under a bar to make it easier to complete a situp. However, this exacerbates the potential for back pain because by anchoring the feet and placing abnormally hard pressure on hip flexors, the spine is forced into an anterior pelvic tilt that could damage discs or strain ligaments. Back pain from situps is also possible because of pre-existing conditions that emerge during situps. During situps, many people place clasped hands behind their head or neck to help raise the upper body and prevent neck muscles from fatigue. However, this action may encourage back pain by causing cervical flexors located in the neck to shift pressure to lower-body muscles. Then, as abs strengthen and neck muscles weaken, an imbalance in muscle power occurs, potentially provoking back pain during an extended session of situps. Try crossing your arms over your chest to prevent this. Because situps involve muscles surrounding the spine, mechanical problems may occur that cause back pain, including muscle tension, spasms, sprains and ruptured discs, also known as herniated discs.
Sprains from situps happen when they are performed improperly and the back is twisted or raised aberrantly. Spasms and painful tension emerge when someone overexerts the back during situps by doing too many of them too quickly. Muscles rebel by tearing and becoming inflamed when fatigued caused by irritated and breached nerve endings. If you\’ve tried to improve your form or changed your situp routine but still experience pain, there are other things you can try. Experiencing back pain during situps is frequently a consequence of performing this exercise on the hard ground. When doing situps on a hard platform, the spine is pushed against the ground as the hip flexors and abdomen muscles raise the upper body and extend the spine, placing pressure on the lower part of the spine. Try doing situps on a pad, carpet or other supportive surface that provides some flexibility rather than rigidity. Another way to perform situps without aggravating the lower back is to lie in bed and elevate your legs slightly by propping them up on bedding.
If you continue to experience pain during situps and have been examined for underlying conditions that could be causing the pain, other exercises can successfully replace situps and give you the same beneficial results. Hip raises involve using legs to \”crunch\” abs rather than rolling down on your lower spine to exercise abs. Using stability balls is another method that integrates upper-body strength and stomach muscles in the same way situps do. In addition, hanging crunches are also good substitutes for situps because this exercise uses the same muscles as situps without pressure on the lower back.
I receive many questions about abs home workout, and especially questions like What to do if sit ups hurt my back? Last time I was talking about sit ups and related side effects made me realize that I never do sit ups any more. I just don\’t do them. Sit ups is one of the easiest and most common home workouts that you teach kids, but sometimes it can become very challenging. Can Doing Sit Ups Hurt? Oh yeah! It can, and it usually does.
I am sure that many people experience #1. It\’s an awkward position because our body weight presses on the tail bone, which may cause big pains especially if performed on a hard surface. Ok I know, usually you put a soft pad underneath, but it still hurts to me. I also experience lower back pains when I do sit ups, and so do many other people. I don\’t have the exact explanation for this, I just know it\’s very uncomfortable and so I avoid it. What to Do Instead of Sit Ups? If you can\’t do sit ups for one of the reasons above, don\’t worry. There are several other options for abs workout. I am thinking of three big families: Crunches is my favorite abs workout actually. It\’s easy, comfortable, and it doesn\’t hurt my tail bone nor my lower back. All I do is lay flat on my back, raise my feet from the ground and cross my legs. Basically my upper legs form a 90 degree angle with my body. At that point I do crunches and bring my face towards my knees. Even better, I usually alternate and do cross body crunches to work my obliques too. All you need is a good ab contraction. I find that sit ups require you to do a range of motion that is too wide and useless.
There is another crunch exercise that I love to do and doesn\’t hurt my back: exercise ball crunches. I use a ball that allows me to keep my feet flat on the ground and form a 90 degree angle at my knees while I sit on the ball (that\’s the right size for me). I find this abs workout very effective as I can keep the contraction for all the duration of the exercise. Another good exercise to do if you have problems with sit ups is leg raises. It can be done on the ground or hanging from a pull ups bar, your choice. Planks have the purpose to build endurance in your abs, and they are also great exercises for abs, back and stabilizer muscles. Stomach vacuum is a great ab exercise, but it doesn\’t build you a six pack. What it does is to work the inside layer of our abs and its main purpose is to give us a flat belly. So at the end of the day, you don\’t have to do sit ups if it gives you problems, instead go for one of the several alternatives. Of course if you want to add resistance try to do sets of 10, then 15, then 20 and so on, it\’s all good!