Lower back pain during abs exercises

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    Lower back pain during abs exercises

    Hi all,

    So that's one of my problems, lower back pain during ab exercises especially lower abs workout like leg raises. What should I do? Can anyone who have conquered lower back pain share their experiences? Do you simply do lower back strengthening exercises? Any advices are welcome. I want to make this thread the one on the issue.

    TheRaven Damer neilarey Redline oneironaut

    #2
    I have been suffering from lower back pain myself, kandy, although I'm happy to report that right now, things are much better.

    Do you have any idea where your own problems come from? Back pain can have various causes, and depending on your own situation, the solutions will not be the same.

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      #3
      Redline It's really obvious that after I do a certain number of leg raises my lower back starts to act up, but I have little lower back problem with flutter kicks. I generally do fine during upper ab moves like crunches, but pain can happen again if I do enough sit-ups (can't remember how many reps).

      I also get a bit discomfort in the lower back area when I elbow plank over 40 seconds, but that is after I "correct" my form into what I consider to be right, because previously I have probably arced my back, which causes shoulders fatigue and pain.

      In daily life I don't treat my lower back very nicely, I think. I sit a lot, and I often sit in my bed, or my upperbody bends forward a lot while sitting in bed or on floor, which causes lower back pain, too, after a while. I also cross my legs a lot while sitting on chairs.

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        #4
        I have had (still do, sometimes) lower back issues as well, mostly to do with bad posture and sitting too much. What helps me is doing regular hip flexor stretches (especially when sitting a lot, bc they tend to get shorter and pull your hips and lower back into a bad posture, stretching them out will alleviate this) and Yoga, especially for the back. Supine twist, child pose, reclining goddess pose, general hip openers, stuff like that is what I like to do mostly.
        Also maybe try and figure out if your form with those workouts is a bit off? When you work your muscles for a bit they get tired and it gets more difficult to keep proper form, which might be a reason for your pain? I'm just talking from personal experience, though, so no guarantee. Hope it gets better for you.

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          #5
          I am not an expert and I only mention my personal experience
          It happens to me to find myself with back pain after a workout when:
          1) I didn't do a proper warm-up first and some stretching at the end
          2) I do not use a correct form in the performance of the exercise
          3) Too many repetitions and therefore due to fatigue the form becomes improper
          4) That exercise just isn't right for me
          For point one it is enough not to get caught up in the rush and do things right, especially at the end stretching for the back if the main problem is that.
          To be sure of using a correct form in an exercise, just look in the mirror or have a person look at us so as to avoid the biggest mistakes.
          However, any exercise must be adapted to your body, repeating it over and over to find your own way of doing it.
          For me the critical factor is almost always the number of repetitions, if they are too high the shape progressively worsens due to fatigue.
          It is better to be slower in the progression of increasing the number of repetitions but to maintain a shape as correct as possible and also learn by mistake
          Then there are some exercises that are not good for us, at least for now, and it is better to go to other similar exercises that maybe train the same muscles but in a way that does not cause us discomfort.

          I give a personal example: although I tried to improve the shape of the basic burpee, without jumping and without push ups after 50 base burpee I have a bad back, after 100 with push ups I have no problem, apart from the tongue on the floor, and the planks I checked I do them well but for the effort in the end something is wrong, it's obvious
          So when there are burpees to do, I do them with push ups, a pragmatic solution

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            #6
            WaywardAF Fremen Thank you for your inputs. ​This thread is becoming helpful and informative. The matter is more complicated than I think. I never warm up before abs exercises.

            Looking forward to more answers.

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              #7
              Hi kandy from what you write it sounds like it's "just" soreness because your lower back isn't strong enough. Ab exercises like flutter kicks, leg raises, planks, etc. are called "ab exercises" because that's the main focus, but they utilize way more muscle groups - especially the lower back.
              So from all the muscle groups involved the weakest will always give out first - which in your case is the lower back - regardless of form.

              It's nothing unusual. You can either target your back specifically to even out the imbalances with these workouts:

              Back & Core
              Hardback
              Homemade Back
              Lower Back

              Or you can just keep doing what you've been doing now until your back strength "catches up", but don't overstress your lower back just to reach certain rep counts.

              So, don't sweat it and give your back a bit more attention

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                #8
                I found a lot of relief in my lower back when I discovered Katy Bowman’s work, particularly her discussions around rib thrusting: https://www.nutritiousmovement.com/rua-rib-thruster/

                I find that being conscious of my posture has taken a lot of strain out of my lower back. I also find that this engages my core muscles in a new way and contributes to overall strength.

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                  #9
                  I have a multitude of back issues which hinders me...on exercises like leg raises, scissors, bicycle crunches, leg circles I have to put my hands or some other support under my sacrum...on flutter kicks I have to raise up to elbows...planks I just have to watch form and remind myself to engage Core. I avoid sit ups and traditional push ups as they are physically not possible with my issues and ill advised according to physicians. I also make everything low impact to avoid jarring my spine. Stretching is important too. Having a strong core is crucial to combating back pain though as it counter supports weak spinal muscles. Most importantly just listen to your body. If it persists or worsens, consult a physician to be on the safe side.

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                    #10
                    I guess we can thank everyone for their helpful input.

                    As WaywardAF mentioned, your front hip flexors may cause the issue here. Since they are actually attached to your spine near the lumbar area, overworking them may cause them to get too tight and pull on your lower back. Stretching them and making your lower back stronger (with the exercises or workouts mentioned by TheRaven) should both be helpful here.

                    On a side note, do you ever get back pains after standing or walking for too long?

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                      #11
                      kandy I am a little late to all this and everyone here has given brilliant advice. I will only add one extra thing. When you do perform flutter kicks or leg raises, try placing your hands, palms down, directly under your hips, so that you're essentially sitting on them. This tends to raise the hip area off the floor and change the angle of the exercise as it flattens the lower back. It may help. And you guys, in this thread, simply freaking rock!

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                        #12
                        Redline No, usually I don't unless I am wearing heavy backpack. I remember getting better after doing Back and Core program.

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                          #13
                          Thanks for all of your advices here!
                          TheRaven ambermae MissMolly Damer

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by ambermae View Post

                            I find that being conscious of my posture has taken a lot of strain out of my lower back. I also find that this engages my core muscles in a new way and contributes to overall strength.
                            Posture is HUGE for me, as well!!! I find that yoga and my ROMWOD has helped in the stretching/strengthening department. By the way, ROMWOD.com is an offshoot from CrossFit, but stands for Range Of Motion Workout of The Day. It’s deep facial stretching. Another thing that can help which I employ (not as often) is a foam roller. It’s a form of self deep tissue massage that is amazingly effective.....
                            I will be checking this thread often,@kandy, thanks for starting it!!👍🏼😎

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