Lower Ab Tears During Situps

It is possible to strain or tear the abs during sit-ups.
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A flat stomach is something most people want from their exercise program -- incorporating tons of exercises or different machines to help target this area. The sit-up is one of the most common exercises used to work your abs. And while it may be possible to tear your lower abs during sit-ups, it is more likely that it was caused during an activity that requires whole body movements, and quick changes in direction.

Sit-up Technique

If you have enough strength to perform sit-ups properly, they can be an effective part of your abdominal workout. Start by lying on a mat on the floor. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart and about eight to 12 inches from your butt. Place your hands behind your head with elbows out. Exhale and curl your torso up off the floor. As you lift, tuck your chin towards your chest. Come all the way up so your torso is off the floor and in an upright position. Inhale and slowly lower back down to the floor.

Muscles Used

The focus of the sit-up is your rectus abdominis. This is a long, flat muscle that starts under your ribcage, traveling down the front of your body and inserts on your pubic bone. It is responsible for curling, or bending, your spine and torso. Many people refer to the lower abs, but there is not actually a separate muscle. Instead what they are referring to is the lower portion of the rectus abdominis muscle. In this exercise the internal and external obliques on the sides of your body are also assisting the movement.

Abdominal Tears

An abdominal tear may also be referred to as a strain or rupture, according to the Sports Injury Clinic. They usually occur in the rectus abdominis, but can also be seen in the obliques. Symptoms include tenderness, inflammation, sudden sharp pain and an increase in pain when the abs are contracted. If you feel any of these symptoms you should immediately stop performing sit-ups, or any activity that aggravates the condition.


It is important not to diagnose yourself with any condition. If you think you tore the lower portion of your abs, see your doctor as soon as possible. Rest the muscle until it is fully recovered to avoid further injury. Your treatment plan could include over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or even a steroid. Ice therapy is also commonly used, along with ultrasound. Depending on the severity you may also see a physical therapist to safely rehabilitate the muscle.

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