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My Abs Get So Swollen After Training


help....I hope somebody here can help me find out what's going on with my abs:

whenever i train my abs, with crunches, or knee raises. up to about 50 reps total(done in a few sets), if i keep going, my right side of ab muscle start cramping painfully(unless i don't contract them hard & try to extend my belly), otherwise the cramping is unbearable.

ALSO: after training my abs, my whole midsection become so swollen, like bloating, like a pregnan woman...(i hardly able to contract my abs and hold it in, otherwise my abs will cramp again.)

non of the personal trainer at my gym have ever seen something like that.....

may be it's related to medical condition???

anyone can help??


How much water are you drinking a day? Only times I ever used to get muscle cramps (particularly in the calves/abs) was when I didn't drink enough water. If you're drinking 1-1/2 gallons of water on a regular basis and still have that problem, I'd be surprised.



i always drinking a lot of water. i don't have any cramping except when i train my abs....nobody able to tell me why....

also, i understand about cramping. i can accept that. but what the hell is happening to my swollen midsection??


I would recommend trying some 'stretching' exercises for the abdominals. My favorites are exercise ball crunches with some added weight, first wothout weight. Lie on the ball and think about creating distance between your ribcage and your hips. Find a GOOD stretch and use that stimulation to crunch up and squeeze the abdominals(think about 'fixing' the hips(no movement) and hollow the stomach).

Also, stop the leg lifts. They're good, but only if you are anotomically correct and in very good connection with your abdominals. I would try oblique exercises where you reach a stretched position and end in an upright postion(roman chairs work well for this as does standing side bends with a weight in one hand; random, but I personally like grasping onto a T-bar handle(where the weight goes) and do side-bends on those).

Outside of that, make sure your hips are healthy(strong glutes, elastic adductors, loose but strong hamstrings), back(nothing too straight or too curved) and possibly even focus on shoulder health. Shoulder imbalances can lead to hip imbalances and what sits in between those two muscle groups? The abs. Abs are huge(in importance) so take the time to fix them up, regardless of where you must train.


Hi MW,
I have the same problem; ART reduced it a bit, and regular foam\tennis ball rolling keeps it at bay. Fortunately, I don't need to train them much anymore, but they used to cramp on me while doing other exercises as well.
Also, are you getting enough minerals?


guys, thanks for the input.

xilinx, how you use the foam/tennis ball rolling? i use it on other muscle groups, but i don't know how to use it on my abs....


Wong: I had problems with ab cramps earlier, but I've found that there are two things that help:

First: Stretches between sets, and afterwards.
Second: Alternating back extension excersises with abs.

The latter is "core-work" for me, the former have already been mentioned, and really a great idea.

Good luck with finding solution.


Pin a lacrosse ball between your belly and the floor. Get on hands as if you are about to do a push up and on your knees. Glide a around adding pressure as needed. If done correctly, your wife will probably ask you why you are making love to the floor...lol.


I have the same cramp type feeling, I pulled an ab a year or so back. Soft tissue work has helped, stretching after ab work reduces the cramp feeling.


What jskrabac said. I usually cramp the top '2 pack', so I make sure to roll just under the lowest rib, and also on the 'connection' between the rectus abdominis and the obliques. you don't Have to lie on the floor; pressing against a wall works for me as well.