Back Pain With Ab Exercises (WHAT TO DO)

How to train your abs if you have back pain…

If you have back pain, there are certain ab exercises that you need to look more closely at how you are performing. The basic crunch is one of those ab exercises. Provided you are not suffering from a herniated disc in your lumbar spine, crunches and ab exercises can be performed in your workouts. That said, you must be sure that your abdominal muscles are actually doing the work and not your hip flexors or psoas.

As you’ll see in this video, when the hip flexors dominate ab exercises, the end result is an ab exercise that becomes a back pain exercise (or at least a back pain causing abs exercise)! To be sure that your psoas is not contributing too much you need to deactivate it by contracting the muscles on the opposite side of the hip. When you actively contract your hamstrings and glutes, you reciprocally inhibit the contraction of the hip flexors. This allows the abs to dominate the exercise as they should.

Compensating for weak abs is one of the most common problems seen in the gym today. The second you lack the necessary strength in your core to complete an ab exercise, your body turns to the muscles nearby to help do the job that the abs are not. This is not the solution. Doing this simply leads to an overactive and tight muscle that torques your spine and leads to back pain.

You must learn to take a step back and first concentrate on developing the proper strength in the abs by performing your ab exercises correctly. Once you have the strength needed to move forward, you can then start adding harder and harder versions of ab exercises in to your workouts. Turning to back pain exercises and stretches is usually a bandaid for the root cause of the problem. You can try and stretch out your back all day long but if you never focus on strengthening your weak abs, you’ll always tend to wind up back in the same spot. That is, with a sore back following your ab exercises or crunches.

If you want to start eliminating back pain once and for all, and get back to doing your workouts without low back discomfort, be sure to visit and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. This complete workout program was designed for professional athletes (and guys wanting to look like them) to build ripped, athletic muscle safely under the guidance of a physical therapist.

For more videos on back pain exercises and ab workouts you can do that won’t cause further back pain, be sure to subscribe to our channel at

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