Don’t let those nasty stomach cramps stop you from achieving the abs you desire. Muscle cramps can occur anywhere in the body, especially if you are just returning to exercise and fitness. Taking the time to care for your muscles and understanding the cause of these cramps can help reduce cramps with situps and other core exercises.
Warm up your core muscles immediately before completing any abdominal exercises, such as situps. working out cold muscles can easily result in a cramp. Use stretching exercises, such as that described in Section 2, to get the blood flowing to your core muscles.
Stop eating about an hour before situps. When the stomach is full, blood is shunted toward digestion, not the abdominal muscles.
Hydrate the muscles with only small sips of fluids before, during and after abdominal exercises. Add some electrolytes, such as those found in commercial sports drinks, to feed your muscles. Electrolyte insufficiency alone can trigger muscle cramps.
Stretch the core muscles daily. Increasing muscle flexibility will reduce the fibers’ tendency to cramp when used. Try gentle stretches, such as the one depicted in the Section 2, and avoid ballistic, or bouncing, stretches that can injure cold muscles.
Lie on your stomach on an exercise mat. With your legs together, extend your feet and flex your toes toward the sky so that the tops of your feet are touching the mat.
Place your palms on the mat on either side of your waist, fingers pointed slightly away from your body. Keep your elbows close to your body.
Inhale and lift your torso off the mat, keeping your head up and eyes forward. Lift your lower body by pushing up with your toes, so that only your toes and palms are touching the mat.
Hold this position for 15 seconds while breathing evenly, then slowly lower the body to the mat. Repeat as tolerated.