Ab exercises bad for your back. Watch

Schrödingers Cat
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Hello all,

I've been doing ab training for a couple of months now :woo:. However, I'm having concerns over some ab exercises that could be detrimental to your back.

The main exercises I am concerned about are:

- The Plank
- 6 inch leg raises
- Side Plank
- Dragon flag twists
- Reverse curl ups

Could any fitness gurus or physios tell me if any of these exercises should be avoided due to back pain?

Any help is appreciated
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jadys10
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(Original post by Schrödingers Cat)
Hello all,

I've been doing ab training for a couple of months now :woo:. However, I'm having concerns over some ab exercises that could be detrimental to your back.

The main exercises I am concerned about are:

- The Plank
- 6 inch leg raises
- Side Plank
- Dragon flag twists
- Reverse curl ups

Could any fitness gurus or physios tell me if any of these exercises should be avoided due to back pain?

Any help is appreciated
Doing sit-ups can tone your abs. I don't think there's a serious problem with affecting your back whilst doing these, just do enough stretching and warming up before the exercises. Yoga helps too for after cooling down.
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SerLorasTyrell
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Six inch leg raise (laying flat with legs slightly off the ground?), yeah that seriously hurt my lower back when I done it everyday for a while, I certainly would advise avoiding that one.


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Schrödingers Cat
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(Original post by jadys10)
Doing sit-ups can tone your abs. I don't think there's a serious problem with affecting your back whilst doing these, just do enough stretching and warming up before the exercises. Yoga helps too for after cooling down.
After a quick research I tended to stay away from sit ups because they are suppose to be the worst for your back.
Most sources come to the same conclusion:

http://www.peaksportsandspinept.com/...reabadidea.cfm

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/ar...lp-either.html
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Schrödingers Cat
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(Original post by SerLorasTyrell)
Six inch leg raise (laying flat with legs slightly off the ground?), yeah that seriously hurt my lower back when I done it everyday for a while, I certainly would advise avoiding that one.


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Yeah that's the exercise, thanks for the input. I find it pulls up your abs and thus back when you're doing the exercise so I can imagine it would be bad.

Thanks, I'll probably skip this one. Shame because it's such a good workout
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Schrödingers Cat
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Anyone else?
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BKS
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Mostly with unweighed stuff you are more likely to aggregate an existing injury than cause one. Pretty much anything is only likely to cause problems when you do it with bad posture, like going into extension doing leg raises. There's nothing on your list I'd consider a bad idea completely but if you are getting pain then you need to look at why- and that's probably not as simple as blaming one exercise.
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Schrödingers Cat
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(Original post by BKS)
Mostly with unweighed stuff you are more likely to aggregate an existing injury than cause one. Pretty much anything is only likely to cause problems when you do it with bad posture, like going into extension doing leg raises. There's nothing on your list I'd consider a bad idea completely but if you are getting pain then you need to look at why- and that's probably not as simple as blaming one exercise.
Ok, that's very true thanks for the help
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Liv1204
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I'd say just watch technique as well. One of my kickboxing coaches doesn't like us doing full sit-ups with him (he gets us to do crunches instead) because he says it's not great for your back (and people's technique isn't always brilliant with them), and same with the plank - if your technique isn't great, it can mean you end up arching your back, which can be uncomfortable. If your back is straight, it shouldn't cause too many problems.

Basically just what BKS said though - often the reason for causing problems is bad form/posture/technique, so keep an eye on that, and if it's uncomfortable pain then stop doing said exercise.
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Schrödingers Cat
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(Original post by Liv1204)
I'd say just watch technique as well. One of my kickboxing coaches doesn't like us doing full sit-ups with him (he gets us to do crunches instead) because he says it's not great for your back (and people's technique isn't always brilliant with them), and same with the plank - if your technique isn't great, it can mean you end up arching your back, which can be uncomfortable. If your back is straight, it shouldn't cause too many problems.

Basically just what BKS said though - often the reason for causing problems is bad form/posture/technique, so keep an eye on that, and if it's uncomfortable pain then stop doing said exercise.
Thanks that really helps
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Angry cucumber
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What BKS said tbh

However sit ups aren't fab for most people as rather than just use your core, you use your hip flexors instead, which just tightens them and causes flexibility issues in many.

Crunches are not that great compared to most ab exercises anyway, there's a fair bit of study into them showing them as a fairly poor muscle builder.

A question.. why just ab exercises?
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Schrödingers Cat
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(Original post by Angry cucumber)
What BKS said tbh

However sit ups aren't fab for most people as rather than just use your core, you use your hip flexors instead, which just tightens them and causes flexibility issues in many.

Crunches are not that great compared to most ab exercises anyway, there's a fair bit of study into them showing them as a fairly poor muscle builder.

A question.. why just ab exercises?
Yeah I avoid sit ups.

Well I'm only concerned about an exercises because they mostly involving moving the torso and so back. My upper body exercises won't put my back at risk, neither will my leg exercises
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