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Athletic Training

Abdominal Spasms



I have been working out my abdominal muscles (after years of total neglect) with a simple crunch exercise and a lateral crunch to work the obliques.

During the exercise I have some major abdominal muscle spasms, where these muscles contract, like in a leg cramp, and do not release unless I stop the movement.

AM I doing the exercise wrong and what might be going on, should I maybe stretch these muscles first,

I usually only do 12-15 reps of crunches as


When a muscle spasms or cramps there can be various causes, the most common being overwork, fatique and possibly dehydration. It is important to listen to what your body is telling you. It would be an excellent idea to stretch before and after your workouts. Keep your head in-line with your body and use correct technique. If you don`t seem to be progressing with the exercise that you are using, maybe you need to do an exercise that is less stressful till you build up strength in that area. There are a number of books available to reference proper technique and exercises that work all the abdominal muscles.

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Response by:

Linda Weber Daniel, MS, ATC, PT Linda Weber Daniel, MS, ATC, PT
Athletic Trainer
The Buckeyes Online
The Ohio State University