What if You Can’t Make Any Abdominal Exercises?

abdominal-exercise-helpI check some fitness related forums, and I usually meet the question “What should I do if I cannot make any abdominal exercises? Even a single repetition!” A few people even complain about abdominal pain.

First of all lets talk about the pain. If you feel that your ab muscles hurt because of the pressure, there is nothing wrong with it. That proves that those muscles work, they are stimulated. If you have pain like that just keep doing ab exercises. Increase the number of reps regularly and include harder activities. Your abdominal muscles will get used to the training and this sort of pain will pass.

Anyway, if you have pain inside your belly and it is a kind of strong one time pain as if you are stabbed, in that case you should visit your doctor. This is perhaps a sign that you have some other problems. On the other hand, it is always suggested seeing your doctor if you start a new sport.

But what should you do if you cannot do any single reps of exercises for your abs?

There are can be two reasons, you do workouts that need strong abdomen that you have not got yet. The other is that your abdominal muscles are so weak. Do not worry there is a solution for both.

Firstly, do not put so much focus on abdominal exercises, but instead start doing workouts which do not work your abs directly. These can be compound exercises or any other cardio training.

These sorts of workouts will train all part of your body as well as your midsection. You will have basic strength, so you will be able to begin doing ab workouts. Below you can find some tips and workouts for beginners.


Then you can continue with a group of light, but effective core exercises such as standing ones. Standing ab exercises are effortless to perform and suitable to build basic strength before doing others on the floor. Do the mentioned workouts for 1-3 months at least 3-4 times a week and then you can begin firmer core workouts.

Another solution can be to to do some yoga ab workouts since in most of the these moves are not so hard but still strengthen the muscles of the midsection.

Overall, the answer is: start without focusing on your stomach, then do lighter exercises such as standing ones and then begin doing harder ones little by little. But the most important is: Never Give Up!


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About the author

Hi! I'm Walter, a 36-years old gym owner. I've been working out since I was 15. Now I do calisthenics and boxing. On this website, I'd like to share my workout and home workout equipment tips.


4 thoughts

  1. I liked this article. However, some people can’t perform abdominal exercises and it is not because one is not use to them, or because one has weak abs muscles. I, for instance, have a deviation associated with an hernia in my stomach/esophagus area that according to my doctor doesn’t allow me to do abs. Now, I’m not excessively fat (I stand at 54 kilos for 1.60m) but I still have a little “bump” in my belly and that area is not toned and defined. What can I do to have the same results as the ones normal abs exerc would have? I am used to sport so I don’t mind high levels of difficulty. Thank you!

    • Since you have hernia you must be very careful! You can try standing abdominal exercises since they do not put so much stress on your stomach, but work those muscles pretty efficiently. Another advantage of this sort of exercises is that as the entire body works, they burn calories and with that fat. You can check out the standing ab exercises here. But the ones without weights.

      But, it is important to consult with your doctor before!

  2. I really liked your article and your site! I have had two c-sections and due to my two pregnancy, my belly has not shrunk back to its normal size. Needless to say, spending every waking hour with my kids haven’t left me much time to exercise. I’m definitely out of shape to say the least. I want to try to get my pre-pregnancy figure back, more so get rid of the “pouch”. But I’m not exactly sure where to start. Do you have any recommendations on workouts to reduce the belly? or any equipment I can purchase that will target that area the most? Thank you for your help!

    • Since you are a beginner I recommend you to start with standing abdominal exercises. These types of exercises will not only strengthen your abdominal muscles but also help to burn belly fat. Here you can find some workouts to start with – Proven Standing Ab Exercises and Workouts

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