Why Does My Stomach Hurt When I Do Sit-ups?

Are you experiencing stomach cramps while doing sit-ups? You may find yourself asking, “why does my stomach hurt when I do sit-ups?” There is usually a good reason for that. The last thing anyone wants to experience during a workout is cramping or pain of any sort. It can almost make you not want to work out at all. We would hate for that to be the case however, because getting fit is a great goal to have. One that you should stick with.

But if your stomach hurts while doing an exercise there might be a simple explanation for it. It’s always advised however to consult a doctor if the pain never seems to go away as it could be the result of an underlying issue.

Cramping during a sit-up can make for a very uncomfortable workout. It may be short bursts of pain that you feel or it could linger in your stomach longer than it takes to complete your sit-ups. Abdominal pain can occur for many different reasons but most can be relieved through simple methods, others could be severe enough to contact a doctor.

Reasons Why You May Be Experiencing Cramps While Doing Sit-ups

1. You’ve Experienced a Previous Injury

You may have experienced an injury in the past in your abdominal wall that hasn’t been fully healed or wasn’t healed properly to begin with. It’s very common to continue exercising believing that your injury has healed. It can be dangerous however because you do run the risk of injuring it all over again.

Improper technique could hurt you.

If working out is something you haven’t done in awhile then you also increase your risk of injuring yourself by using poor techniques. You can cause strain to your abdominal muscles which could be the reason why you cramp up during your exercise routine.

If you do strain your muscles or even cause any type of tear you are definitely going to feel pain anywhere from a slight tweak to intense pain.

If injury is a possibility it is very important for you to stop working out and speak with a doctor or therapist on how best to handle your injury.

2. Soreness

If you are out of shape it is perfectly normal for you to feel soreness when doing sit-ups. Even from one day to the next your body may cramp up if it’s not used to the exercises. Soreness is due to tears in the muscle fibre through intense workouts. It’s all part of the normal process of getting in shape. The only way to get away from that soreness is to get in shape. If you only do sit-ups once a week you will probably always be sore because your body isn’t used to the movements.

Increase the amount of times you do sit-ups and the cramps should subside.

3. You May Have a Gastrointestinal Issue

The cramping you are experiencing during a workout may not have anything to do with the workout itself. There may be an underlying issue with your ability to digest such as a gastrointestinal issue. You may not be aware of the issue but there are certain foods that people cannot tolerate. These foods can be troublesome to digest causing terrible boats of bloating and cramping. You may not realize that the cramping you are experiencing has nothing to do with the act of performing a sit-up. But the act of doing a sit-up will only make that problem feel ten times worse.

Spicy foods are a pretty common culprit. But we can’t blame it all on them. Other irritating substances are aspirin, coffee, pop, most forms of caffeine, and alcohol. Other irritants could include wheat products, dairy products, high-fibre vegetables and any form of bean. It may be time to cut some of those things down in moderation now that you have chosen a healthier lifestyle. If food is the issue, then it’s best to eliminate it from your diet altogether as it will wreck havoc there whether you do a sit-up or not.

Other Forms of Digestive Issues

There are many different ailments that could cause cramping while working out. They could come in the form of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), ulcers or gastritis. Symptoms of these issues include, bloating, gas, bloody stool and vomiting. These are ailments you might not even be aware that you have. It’s best to consult with a doctor if you think you may have any of them.

4. Sometimes You Just Get Cramps

I know it sounds like simple logic and maybe just too easy of a solution but it’s so true. Sometimes the body cramps and that doesn’t mean that something terrible is happening to you. A muscle cramp will usually originate under your rib cage, a tell tale sign that it’s just the muscle cramping. Sometimes you will experience it in other areas around the abdominals but the rib cage is a common one.

Abdominal muscles are super short muscles!

Source: www.pelvicexercises.com.au

Cramping is pretty popular when it comes to doing sit-ups because the muscles are so short and when they are used in an intense manner sometimes they stay contracted. It may feel very painful because the muscle stays cramped longer than it’s supposed to.

A great way to help with cramping is to always stay hydrated. Being dehydrated is a great way to cramp up with any exercise. Sports drinks are a good alternative also if you are low on electrolytes. By staying hydrated you don’t get fatigued as quickly and then can not only do more but avoid injury through improper technique as well.

Below is a video that shows you the proper technique for doing sit-ups to avoid cramping.

Great Ways To Stop Cramps:

  • Stay hydrated
  • Do gentle stretches
  • Eat smaller meals before you work out
  • Massage the cramps away
  • Although you need to be hydrated don’t overdo it right before an exercise
  • Avoid sugary drinks

There’s no doubt about it, experiencing an upset stomach while doing sit-ups is no fun but there are lots of different things you can do to prevent that. More often then not stomach pain is the result of eating the wrong thing or drinking more than you should.

Try these greats tips and you will no longer be asking yourself that dreaded question, “why does my stomach hurt when I do sit-ups?” It will be a thing of the past. Always keep in mind that working out is a lifestyle change, and that means diet as well. Avoid the foods that make you feel awful afterwards and you wont feel your stomach hurt when you do sit-ups. Staying hydrated is also key to avoiding cramping. 

Many people take for granted how important it is that the body is constantly hydrated. It can help you in so many aspects of life, it just isn’t about avoiding pain. It’s always best to consult with a doctor if you are experiencing any problems during exercise for long periods of time. If pain is long term, there is a good chance that there is an underlying issue involved. You don’t want to risk future injuries.

What to learn more about your abs?

If you liked this article, be sure to check out our guide -Are Sit-ups Or Crunches More Effective? We definitely recommend you focus on crunches, but there are a few caveats, so check it out. Also, you may find What Muscles Do Sit-ups Work? interesting! 

Thanks for reading.

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