Here at Atlantic spine clinic in Mount Pleasant, our team of chiropractors and massage therapists know all to well the effects of improper exercising and how it can not only cause muscle problems, but postural distortions as well. With summer soon approaching, so is the ever-daunting realization that summer means bathing suit season. Suddenly more attention is focused on our abdominal workouts, but are you performing the exercises correctly and really targeting the abdominal muscles? If you like to hook your feet under something while doing a sit-up or a crunch, be careful because you are most likely engaging your hip flexors more than your abdominals. The hip flexors are a group of muscles that work together to bring your trunk and thigh closer together. You use your hip flexors daily while doing simple activities such as walking, going up steps or bending over, so they don’t need the extra attention that the abdominals need.
One of the most common pains treated here at Atlantic Spine Clinic is low back pain, which is very often caused by a weak core/abdominal muscles. The inability to keep your feet flat on the ground while doing sit-ups is a good sign that your core is weak and the hip flexors are being overly engaged. Over worked hip flexors can cause groin pain and create more pressure on the low back by tilting the pelvis forward.
The most important thing to remember when performing a crunch or sit-up is to stop as soon as you feel your feet start to lift off the floor. Learn to feel the difference between your hip flexors and your abdominal muscles. If you can learn to only go as far as your abdominals will take you and contract them as you exhale you will get a much better result and minimize low back pain.
If you suspect that improper abdominal exercising could be contributing to your pain, come see us at the office and together our chiropractors and massage therapists can get you feeling better. Soon you will be able to exercise those abs the proper way and avoid the pain you might have been experiencing before.