So you love hitting the gym and you’re working really hard to get that body you’ve always dreamed of. Good for you! That is all well and good, but you’ve suddenly hit one snag. Every time you try to work your abs you end up not so much giving your tummy a workout but more just injuring your poor lower back. How are you supposed to get that dream body if you keep getting injured trying to get your belly in shape? Unless your dream body is one with a back that’s snapped in two then this is probably not an ideal situation for you. So how do you fix it? Well, we talked to our fitness experts and they have a lot of clients who run into problems like this. Our experts put together a list of some of the most common abs exercises people do that could be hurting your back and some safe alternatives so you can have shredded abs and an unshredded back.
Exercises That Hyperextend Your Spine
So you have probably figured out that hyperextending your spine is a bad thing. You are correct, it’s a horrible thing to do. You want to regularly extend your back when you work out, once you start hyperextending it then you know you’re in trouble. The different exercises that can cause this are low leg lifts, leg tosses and what are known as GHD sit-ups. If your back is hurting and you’re trying any of these workouts, now you know why you’re in pain. Basically, if you’re lying straight on your back and trying to use your legs then you maybe hyperextending your spine. Try your best to tuck your tailbone in to keep your spine functioning normally and you should avoid injury.
Exercises That Cause Hyperflexion Of Your Spine
If hyperextending your spine is bad then you can probably gather that hyperflexion isn’t great either. You want to keep your spine from getting hyper in any sense of the word. Hyperflexion of your spine can be caused from sit-ups and hanging leg lifts. If crunches hurt your spine try putting a ball between your legs and do them very slowly. Really try to focus on flexing your ab muscles so there is more strain in the front as opposed to on your spine.
Exercises That Cause Your Spine To Twist
Twisting the spine probably doesn’t sound good and it shouldn’t. Spine twisting is something you want to avoid if you are having some pain in the back. A lot of people complain that bicycle crunches and Russian twists leave them having to ice their backs at home. It’s hard because these are great exercises for your abs but if they’re hurting you then what’s the point. If your back is really hurting after these just try to do them very slowly and shorten the range that you move with. These are important exercises for flexibility so you need to do them, just be extra careful and slow and the more you do the stronger your back will get, allowing you to extend the range of motion.