Crunches and Back Pain

  1. I've been doing variations of crunches for a long time as my ab routine but recently I've been having back pain during them and after them.

    Is there another effective method for flat abs that doesn't make your back hurt? I've stopped doing crunches/sit-ups because I'm afraid I'm damaging my back.
  2. I would think it's hurting your back because your muscles are weak and your back is compensating. It is also really easy to do crunches incorrectly. Have you tried laying on your back and sort of pushing your legs up or lowering your legs? It's so hard to describe what I mean, but it's a good ab exercise.
  3. Do you mean like just lifting your legs up so that you form a right angle and then slowly lower them back down?
  4. you can either do that or you can lift them all the way and then sort of push your feet straight up in the air. Sometimes my trainer has me lay on my back on a machine on the gym to hold on and I'll lower and lift my legs and it is hard and when I feel my back start to hurt I stop.
  5. I'm not sure about this, but it might be the technique you're using that causes the back pain. In Pilates they teach you how to pull your stomach in and up and "wrap" the top of your thighs. This works the abs completely and is not supposed to harm the back.
  6. You can try crunches on a fitness ball. That should help to cushion the impact on your back.