Back aches when doing situps

Hi all

I am trying to find out if anyone else has experienced this and how to overcome it.

When I do sit ups after 15 or so the middle of my back aches, to a point where I have to stop. I can then rest for 10 seconds and do a few more. My back starts to ache before my abs so never feel like I am achieving much. I only get this pain when doing ab exercises, some make it happen more than others and don't get the ache doing any other form of exercise. I am in the process of joining the Army and am aware that I have to do 50 or so sit ups in two minutes.

Do you think my core is too weak so putting more strain on my back?

Any ideas would be much appreciated.


thanks

Angus
 
Are you doing situps with your hands behind your head or crossed arms to the front with fingers against your collarbone?
 
How are you doing the sit up?

Full standard style sit up?
Are your hands clasped behind your head?
If so, are you inadvertently pulling with your arms on your head?
 
DON'T **** ABOUT WITH YOUR BACK. Get it seen by a Physio. You may have a condition called lordosis (one of the three spinal curvature problems) or problems with a disc. hopefully though, it'll just be weak lower back muscles, and a Physio can prescribe various exercises to help strengthen the back and deep abdominal muscles.


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Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
DON'T **** ABOUT WITH YOUR BACK. Get it seen by a Physio. You may have a condition called lordosis (one of the three spinal curvature problems) or problems with a disc. hopefully though, it'll just be weak lower back muscles, and a Physio can prescribe various exercises to help strengthen the back and deep abdominal muscles.


Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
As someone with a bad back I'd second that, very sound advice.
 
Sit ups are primarily a hip flexor exercise (your hip flexor attaches from your thigh to your spine), with your abs acting as stabilisers to stop your spine being pulled apart as you do them.

If you looked at yourself side on in a mirror, you'd possibly notice your lower back curving towards your belly button.

You're spot on about your core not being strong enough.

Learn to do planks properly and google "dead bugs" as an exercise to help sort this out.
 

DaManBugs

On ROPS
On ROPs
Book Reviewer
Lordosis is certainly a possibility, but from the rather vague description given by the OP, I suspect that wrong execution could also be the cause.

Angus, try the following as an experiment. Put a weight (a 16 - 18 kg kettle-bell is ideal) between your feet, hook your insteps under it's curve and sit so that your legs (calves to thighs) form about a 45 degree angle. Interlock your fingers behind your head and lay your forearms alongside your head above your ears. Lift your head and try to "roll" your body up towards your knees. Don't attempt to lift your upper body straight up "all in one go", as it were. It's then that you tense your back muscles to keep your upper body straight.

MsG
 

Gout Man

LE
Book Reviewer
I just put my back out trying to reach a bottle of whiskey at the back of the cupboard.
It's one thing after the other in this bloody household!
 
When I was young I used to do sit-ups no problem all day long with fingers interlocked behind my head- it was a nice exercise in a circuit because you got to lie down! Then one day I got told that my technique was shit because you should never lock your fingers
behind your head as you can wrench your neck. Instead you should put your hands flat against the sides of your head. Unfortunately the next gym session I was doing some sit-ups and pulled both my ears off.
 
I just put my back out trying to reach a bottle of whiskey at the back of the cupboard.
It's one thing after the other in this bloody household!
That's what happens when you fail to keep vital supplies close to hand
 

DaManBugs

On ROPS
On ROPs
Book Reviewer
When I was young I used to do sit-ups no problem all day long with fingers interlocked behind my head- it was a nice exercise in a circuit because you got to lie down! Then one day I got told that my technique was shit because you should never lock your fingers
behind your head as you can wrench your neck. Instead you should put your hands flat against the sides of your head. Unfortunately the next gym session I was doing some sit-ups and pulled both my ears off.
The reason for the hands behind the head is to support your neck, not wrench it. Don't forget that some folks do about a hundred sit-ups in one go. Doing that without adequately supporting your dumpling really puts a strain on the sternocleidomastoideus muscles (the ones at the front of your neck).

Then some ghimbos decided that it looked a bit naff and introduced all manner of different hand positions. Now you mainly see fellas doing sit-ups with their fingertips all together and resting on their temples. Not only does that defeat the object, it looks as if they're having a really bad migraine attack.

MsG
 

Arte_et_Marte

ADC
Moderator
Last time I looked, this thread wasn't in the NAAFI.

Posts deleted, thread cleaned. No infractions but it's a close shave for some of you.

If you have no advice. Go away.

Ta.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
Question: why are you doing sit-ups? If it's ab strength/building you're after, you're better off with scrunches, either on a mat or on a medicine ball. In the latter case, no more than from 0 to about 30 degrees.

A full sit-up uses the leg muscles whereas the scrunches isolate the muscle more. And fingers locked behind the head? Don't know if PTIs still insist on it but it strains the neck.

Or, as said above, do planks. Standard as well as side, and add in some variety with leg raises. Look out planks while 'threading the needle', downward-facing dogs, etc.

It may just be that you need to work on your core strength and lower back strength. And do stretch.

Nasty things, sit-ups. I have done a few in the past. :-D
 

RampTramp

Old-Salt
Lie on your back and raise both feet while keeping your legs straight. If you start getting the same pain, it could be a hip flexor issue as a previous poster said. (Not a substitute for a medical opinion though)

Put your feet up on a bench when your doing sit ups. It help to take the hip flexor out of the exercise. Worked for me when I had an injury.

If you do full sit ups, definitely don't hook your feet under anything, that will engage the hip flexor for sure.

Crunches, planks and stretching your hip flexor should help. YouTube has loads of vids for stretches


Posted from iPhone using my ARRSE
 

2/51

LE
I have always had back ache when doing sit-ups, and I have always been told it is because I have a weak "core". Does not seem to matter what I do to fix the problem, the back ache remains.
 

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