Is Severe Pain After Crunches Normal?

Everybody wants to have beautiful and toned abs. It’s a big deal of work that requires exercising, eating healthy and lots of devotion and commitment. But surprisingly many people believe that all they need to do to have a belly of their dreams is as much crunches as possible. But the truth is that it doesn’t work that way and very often ends with pain and disappointment.

Building a fit flat belly is not only done with crunches. It requires many types of exercises, cardio, and most importantly, a special diet. If you won’t mind what you eat and won’t work on your entire body, your belly will become only bigger. Why? The muscles will grow but they’ll still be covered by a layer of fat.

Don’t Overtrain!

How many crunches do you really need? You’d be surprised but working on your abs 1-2 times per week is enough. There is no need to kill your abs in those days. Several exercises are quite okay. As you train other muscles of your body, your abs work as well, because you can’t train one muscle solely, others are inevitably involved.

If you overtrain your stomach, the appearing pain is logical. Let’s observe the mechanisms that cause its development and whether it is normal or abnormal.


Crunches are not a natural and recognizable strain for our stomach muscles. If you didn’t train for a long time and then decided to give them a killer workout, you will traumatize your muscles, which weren’t ready for such a strain. That’s DOMS – pain occurs due to micro-injuries of your muscles. Remember – less is more.


As we train, magic processes take place in our body. This magic is called chemistry. Our muscles need the energy to function. As our body produces this energy, the lactic acid is released. It’s the so-called “waste” after the production. Your stomach “burns” because of it as you do crunches. Pain caused by lactic acid usually disappears within 30 minutes.

Injury or Internal Organ Problem

If the severe abdominal or pelvic pain lasts for several days, there is something definitely wrong. If the character of the pain is pulsing, it’s also no good. Make an appointment with the doctor in both cases and don’t train until you know and solve your problem.

How to Prevent and Relieve the Pain

Overtraining and muscular damage are 100% preventable. Follow these rules to avoid the pain:

  • Warm up your muscles before training each time

  • Be sure that your workout technique is proper

  • Stretch your muscles after you train

  • Increase your strain gradually

Seems elementary, right? Yes, everything is just that simple. Ignoring these rules will surely make you feel bad after each workout. But what to do if you are already in pain?

  • A hot bath will boost your blood circulation and relax your muscles

  • Slightly massage your sore muscles

  • A little cardio will help you ease the pain

If nothing helps, you should go to the doctor and describe your problem to find the solution. Take care of yourself and don’t overtrain!