Abdominal pain during press-ups

Has anyone else experienced this? I intend to go to the doctor, but in the mean time I'd be interested if anyone has any experience of this, and can recommend any support product.

I am female, and have always found my abdominal muscles my weakest link when doing press-ups. They tend to go before my arms. During PT a couple of years ago, during a particularly press-up heavy lesson, I suddenly felt something pop in my lower abdomen, on the right side. I knew straight away I couldn't continue, so just finished the running part of the lesson.

After that it hurt even getting out of bed, and I had to push myself up with my arms. The doc gave me a biff chit for a short time, and I rested it enough to manage PFTs etc, but there has always been a weakness since. Consequently, I avoided press-ups as much as I could get away with, which was probably stupid, because now I struggle with them even more, and my abdominal weakness hasn't gone away.

I decided to build back up, but after pushing myself last week, when I got down a few days later to do more press-ups, I found I couldn't even support myself in the press-up position, let alone complete a single rep, because my abdomen hurt so much. It feels like I have no support beneath me when I try to push myself up. It doesn't hurt while I'm resting, but I am aware of the sensitivity all the time, and try not to jerk or strain.

All this is very frustrating because I obviously can't do a PFT, or start building up, until this muscular weakness is fixed. I'm concerned that this might be the early stages of a hernia. Apparently susceptibility is inherited, and my mum had emergency surgery for a hernia in exactly the same place a few years ago.

Obviously I need to see the doc, but I'm concerned they'll just tell me to rest it again, without fixing the cause, and I want to get back to being able to do proper PT. It's amazing how many activities put the abdominal muscles under strain.

Has anyone had experience of this, and what rehab did you get? Are there exercises that will build the muscle up without straining it? Does anyone know of female support products for the lower abdomen?

Advice would be appreciated.
Hey 310,

I had the same problem - I managed to slightly tear my abdominal wall - not a full on hernia but a pain nonetheless! I rested and then started doing girlie press ups and slowly built it up. Doing lots of sit ups helps as well, as they do help strengthen the lower abdominal muscles - speak to your PTI and he should be able to recommend some good strength building exercises for this. However be very careful about trying to run before you can walk with this - a lot of damage can be done to your reproductive system by placing too much strain on the uterus when the muscles around it are not strong enough!

Hi am27,

Thanks a lot for replying - it's good to hear someone else's perspective, and to know you fixed it. I was starting to feel like a biff because no-one can see it and it sounds like you're making shit up.

I saw the doc and he says what I guessed - it's not a hernia, but a muscular weakness that needs rehab. I have a chit for no press-ups, but can still do all other PT. Seeing the physio soon, and looking forward to building up again. Now I think about it, even before I popped this injury, my core muscle weakness must have been causing a lot of strain for ages. Hopefully I will come back with an improved core stronger than before, and see the benefit in all PT, not just press-ups.

Note to all: Don't forget your core, because even now they don't put enough emphasis on it in training. If you get pain, look into it, don't ignore it and worry about looking like a wimp.


War Hero
Try working in the plank to your routine, and all round core exercises. The plank would be a good buildup to remedy your problem though, as doing pressups requires a similar core technique to the plank.
It's your lack of penis as a counterbalance, it makes you weak, irrational and unable to throw a ball.

Either that or your ovaries are riddled with tumors and your uterus is about to thud out with a resounding plop.

Hope this helps.

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