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  1. #1
    Registered User mport1's Avatar
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    Ab exercise that won't hurt my back?

    Does anybody know any good ab exercises that won't hurt your back. Right now, pretty much everything I try to do hurts my back. The only thing that has remotely worked have been weighted ab machines, but my school gym does not have one.

    Right now I just do bicycles, however, they end up starting to hurt my back before I really feel it in my abs. It takes me about 50 kicks before I start really feeling it, so I usually just go until my back starts to hurt, rest for a few seconds, start again, etc.

    So far I have tried crunches, leg raises, leg pushdowns with a partner, and double crunches.

    Any suggestions?
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  2. #2
    Jacques Rhott Bushmaster's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mport1
    Any suggestions?
    Yes, see a Chiropractor. Back pain isn't normal dude. Don't you find it odd that most everybody else can do ab work without being in pain?

    Seriously, you have something going on with your spine and that is whats causing you pain. Get that sorted out before you worry about situps or crunches..
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  3. #3
    Registered User nognig's Avatar
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    I assume it's your lower back that hurts? If so, have you tried regular old situps, but limiting the range of motion?

    If I do regular situps and let my shoulder blades touch the floor, I feel a lot of stress on my lower back. But if I only go to the point my middle back touches the floor, it eliminates 95% of the stress.

    NN
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  4. #4
    nom nom nom deserusan's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have a weak core in general. I would suggest you start incorporating some lower back exercises into your routine.
    "I just use my muscles as a conversation piece, like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd Street." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

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  5. #5
    Registered User mport1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bushmaster
    Yes, see a Chiropractor. Back pain isn't normal dude. Don't you find it odd that most everybody else can do ab work without being in pain?

    Seriously, you have something going on with your spine and that is whats causing you pain. Get that sorted out before you worry about situps or crunches..
    Well, I have seen doctors about it and I have done physical therapy, but it never really gets any better.
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  6. #6
    Registered User mport1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by nognig
    I assume it's your lower back that hurts? If so, have you tried regular old situps, but limiting the range of motion?

    If I do regular situps and let my shoulder blades touch the floor, I feel a lot of stress on my lower back. But if I only go to the point my middle back touches the floor, it eliminates 95% of the stress.

    NN
    Yeah, I can't really physically do sit-ups, its really weird.
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  7. #7
    Registered User mport1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by deserusan
    Sounds like you have a weak core in general. I would suggest you start incorporating some lower back exercises into your routine.
    I'm pretty sure my core isn't very weak. I have been working out for years and I do a lot of back exercises in my workout.
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  8. #8
    nom nom nom deserusan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by mport1
    I'm pretty sure my core isn't very weak. I have been working out for years and I do a lot of back exercises in my workout.
    Doing a lot of back exercises doesn't mean you are training your back the right way. Do you do deadlifts, back extensions, good mornings, or rack pulls?
    "I just use my muscles as a conversation piece, like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd Street." - Arnold Schwarzenegger

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  9. #9
    Registered User mport1's Avatar
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    I train with HST, and I do deadlifts, machine rows, and lat pulldowns for my back exercies.
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    if you're already working out back then check your form on a few exercises. if you don't workout back, and you're getting back pain, it's time to start. aside from that, maybe try doing some stretches for your back every day, could potentially help you out a little bit. make it a goal to get rid of the back pain, THEN make it a goal to get the abs in shape

    for supps if you want to go hardcore into fixing the back, look for chondroitin, glucosamine, msm. when i did some hardcore stretching to gain flexibility i used these and they helped tremendously, should be able to find them all in the same product, there's a ton out there.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by mport1
    Well, I have seen doctors about it and I have done physical therapy, but it never really gets any better.
    But have you seen a Chiropractor? Try it, you just might find out that he can help you where others can't.
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  12. #12
    Registered User mport1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bushmaster
    But have you seen a Chiropractor? Try it, you just might find out that he can help you where others can't.
    No, I haven't. I'll have to do that when I get a chance.
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  13. #13
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    Knee raises wouldn't hurt your back would they? And you could try decline situps.

    EDIT: Oh, and what about reverse crunches? You lay flat on your back and pull your legs into your chest, and then put them straight out but keep them raised above the ground. Basically knee raises laying on your back
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  14. #14
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    hmmm have u done swiss ball crunches - you know crunches on a swiss ball? Thats supposed to be better for you back - but if that hurts then its definitly a back problem u should get checked out. IMO it doens't matter how much you work your back , there may be an inherent problem that needs to be looked into to fix it up.
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    Regular situps will stress your back a lot as this exercise mainly works the hip flexor (psoas) muscles which connects from your lower back to your thigh bone. So basically you are yanking on your lower back when you situp. My suggestion is janda situps which takes the hip flexor muscles out of the exercise which should reduce the back pain you are feeling.
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    Registered User mport1's Avatar
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    What about stomach vacuums? Would those by themself be enough for an ab workout?
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    Originally Posted by mport1
    What about stomach vacuums? Would those by themself be enough for an ab workout?
    They can benefit everyone. But the exercise doesn't really target your abs.

    Swiss ball reverse crunches
    Swiss ball crunches
    Decline alternating crunches
    Vacuums

    and do Good Mornings, Squats, Deads and that one where you lay on your tummy and stretch your arms infront of you and raise your chest of the ground for a 3 count.

    That will strengthen your lower back and prevent pain from doing ab work.

    EDIT: food + time
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    Now it was a basic health class but we were taught that when you have back pain due to your ab workouts it is because of an uneven muscle distribution (probably a better way to word that).

    What I mean is that your abs are much stronger than your back which puts more stress on your lower back. Usually if it is the opposite muscle from the one you are working then you are lacking in that muscle. Lots of people I know work out abs extensively but rarely do their lower back a lot.


    Hope that helps and I am correct in what I was taught,
    Scott
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    Originally Posted by farmerlee
    Regular situps will stress your back a lot as this exercise mainly works the hip flexor (psoas) muscles which connects from your lower back to your thigh bone. So basically you are yanking on your lower back when you situp.

    Bump on this. I know it from experience. Any ab exercise with your feet 'hooked' in is going to be problematic.
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    Originally Posted by hockeysc23
    Now it was a basic health class but we were taught that when you have back pain due to your ab workouts it is because of an uneven muscle distribution (probably a better way to word that).

    What I mean is that your abs are much stronger than your back which puts more stress on your lower back. Usually if it is the opposite muscle from the one you are working then you are lacking in that muscle. Lots of people I know work out abs extensively but rarely do their lower back a lot.


    Hope that helps and I am correct in what I was taught,
    Scott
    sounds about right. lots of injuries are caused by muscle imbalance, as is probably the case here. however, i dont know enough about it to comment further
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    Originally Posted by mport1
    Well, I have seen doctors about it and I have done physical therapy, but it never really gets any better.
    (Doctors and physical therapists) != chiropractors.

    I highly recommend that you go see a chiropractor. I have dealt with back pain and compressed nerves on and off for several years. A good chiropractor can sometimes remove your back pain within five minutes of treatment. Doctors and physical therapists don't do s**t for back pain. Believe me -- I've mucked around with them and wasted time and money without getting any relief for my pain.

    While I guess it could be true that people get back pain because of having a weak core or a muscle imbalance, this has not been my experience at all. Whenever I have back pain it's usually because my spine is out of alignment and some nerves are getting compressed.

    So try out the chiropractor. I'm pretty sure you won't regret it. In the mean time, don't try any hard stretching or any exercises that make it angry because it most likely won't make the pain go away. Just go and let the chiropractor work his magic.
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