Why You Get Back Pain With Ab Workouts (and how to fix it)

If you have ever experienced back pain with ab workouts this video is for you! 

Have you ever had to stop in the middle of your ab workouts due to low back pain? 

Have you ever attempted an ab workout that was supposed to be “safe for back pain” but all it did was give you more back pain? 

You’re not alone and there are a few simple changes you can change to the way you train your abs that will leave you with less pain and symptoms and more strength and resilience in your core. 

How Can I Work My Abs Without Hurting My Back?

For a detailed (step-by-step) of this you will want to check out the video. For the spark notes version keep reading. Working your abs without hurting your lower back comes down to making a few simple changes. 

The biggest change comes down to exercise choice. There are good and bad core exercises and as much as you may LOVE to train abs and feel absolutely destroyed after a good core workout. You have to think and play the game smarter. 

The second approach would be finding how YOUR body fits into that core exercise. Coaches will hound on finding the perfect neutral position or flattening your low back into the ground for optimal engagement. This is good for a small percentage of the population but if you have a history of low back pain all of that goes out the window. 

To see how these are broken down into applicable steps check out the video above! I also share 2 other critical elements you’re going to want to hear about!

If you want to see 10 of my most top suggested core exercises for a sensitive low back check out this post here!

Can Weak Abs Cause Back Pain?

The debate whether or not weak abs can cause back pain has been going on for a while. 

To keep it simple if your core was “weak” you would have a hard time standing up. You would essentially just fall over limp. 

So I think “weak” is a bad word to use when you’re talking about lower back pain. 

The terminology that I use with my clients is. alack of coordination and endurance for their individual lifestyle. The key to building a resilient support structure is for it to be able to withstand the demands you put on it. Having more endurance and awareness of how your core is used when moving, exercising and doing what are now “risky” activities that cause low back pain is critical. 

So can having weak abs cause low back pain? Yes and no but reframing the way you look at the core is the most important part of this answer. 

One element to this is how you’re tuning your core brace to fit the demand. 

I did a write up on this you can check out here!

Why Does My Lower Back Hurt When Doing Sit-Ups?

Sit-ups are probably one of the worst core exercises you can do. 

Now there are creative ways to modify the sit-up to make it suck less but at the end of the day it’s a lazy choice for building a more resilient and robust support system. 

Keeping it simple the sit-up uses a lot of unnecessary flexion to achieve the desired outcome (a more chiseled midsection). It may be okay for beginners but as you get stronger the only way to make them harder is to do more which is adding MORE unnecessary flexion into your already sensitive spine situation. There is no way this is going to HELP get you onto the healing side of low back pain. 

On top of that after a while your core fails and your quads and hip flexors kick in and start doing most of the work anyways. 

So do yourself a favor and join the movement #cancelsitups

What are your favorite back pain friendly ab exercises? Let me know below! 

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