crunch-filter: how do I stop my stomach from being sore?
May 21, 2008 6:36 PM   Subscribe

crunch-filter: how do I stop my abdominal muscles from aching?

it seems I went a bit too far with my crunches this week and now I'm unable to sleep with an aching tummy. I realize there's probably not a lot I can do about that right now I'd like to keep this from happening again, mainly because a sore stomach feels horrible. it's as if you were sick and wished you could throw up but just can't.

so is there a way to stretch your abdominal muscles? especially the upper ones seem to be the issue for me.
posted by krautland to Health & Fitness (12 answers total)
you have to stretch - try this (it's taken from yoga):

Cobra pose
posted by prudie at 6:47 PM on May 21, 2008

Have you tried a pain reliever? Like ibuprofen? I would go that route.
posted by LoriFLA at 7:03 PM on May 21, 2008

And I seemed to miss the question, entirely. You are asking for the future. Sorry about that.
posted by LoriFLA at 7:05 PM on May 21, 2008

Good cardio is always the best soreness cure for me.
posted by Octoparrot at 7:58 PM on May 21, 2008

Cobra sounds like a good idea. Also:


Lie on your back.
Bring your feet in to your buttocks.
Hook your fingers into your shoes, or grab your ankles.
Raise your hips. Imagine you are about to do something obscene to the ceiling. Then bring more of your torso up.

If you are more flexible, put your hands on the ground behind your head and do a proper bridge. Walk your feet close to your hands and feel the stretch as you bend in two.

There are two options for prevention. 1, harden up. Really. After a while, it's really hard to overload muscles to that kind of soreness. 2, don't ever do too much more than the previous workout, where "too much more" is more than say 5% of weight or repetition.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:05 PM on May 21, 2008

Be sure to stretch before and after the exercise and drink plenty of water too (I know it sounds basic but still worth mentioning)
posted by wangarific at 8:34 PM on May 21, 2008

Basically, as you found out, it's really easy to overload your abs. I did a workout at the gym one time, that literally felt like nothing at all. The next day, I couldn't *walk* right.

The stretches above, esp the bridge, sound great. Just remember to take it slow.

(I eschew painkillers for muscle soreness from working out - it's a badge of courage for working out to the limit!)
posted by notsnot at 8:55 PM on May 21, 2008

You can also arch your back over an exercise ball, which relieves you of the effort of lifting yourself into bridge or cobra, which, if done properly, will be engaging your abdominal muscles somewhat. That will gently stretch your muscles. Be careful getting on & off if your core is sore.
posted by judith at 9:26 PM on May 21, 2008

Lemme second both the cobra pose and the water suggestions - both those approaches have worked splendidly for me. Also, are you returning to exercising after an absence? Then you won't have this problem for long - soon, that soreness will be replaced with a newly mighty set of abs.

Good luck!
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:25 PM on May 21, 2008

If Britney Spears can do a thousand crunches a day, you can too. Just don't try that on day one.

Take it easy for a few days, and then get back in the saddle a a more normal pace and you will be fine. These are hard muscles to stretch, and Cobra's stretch will only help a little, although it is great for your spine.

Moderation in every thing and your life will be long, happy and prosperous.
posted by caddis at 11:46 PM on May 21, 2008

You can either rest it or do some light ab work. I always find that when I get back into ab work after a while, it feels like someone punched me in the stomach. But, if I keep going for a couple of days, the pain disappears.
posted by reenum at 8:54 AM on May 22, 2008

Experimented in the gym just now. Judith is absolutely right, just draping myself over a big exercise ball seemed to get the best stretch in the upper ab area for me.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:03 PM on May 22, 2008

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