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Exercise and Fitness

Abdominal Exercises, e.g., crunches, and pain

01/23/2008

Question:

During routine abdominal exerices, e.g., crunches, sometimes my stomach cramps up - the muscles tighten up and don`t relax - the same way a "charlie horse" happens with your leg muscles. Is there anyway to manage this? Is it possible that I am doing the exericise incorrectly?

Answer:

Since the exact causes of muscle cramping is unknown I may not be able to answer your question.  One thing you can try is to make sure you're staying hydrated during your workouts.  Bananas (potassium helps with fluid regulation), electrolyte drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.), or water are a few things to try that may help.  If the cramping continues for prolonged periods of time, I would suggest you consult your physician.  Hope this helps.

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Response by:

Jayme   Johnson, MS Jayme Johnson, MS
Program Manager
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati