Jessica: I’ve had excruciating stomach cramps when I do ab exercises to the point I don’t want to do abs when I workout. What causes these?
Megan: It sounds like you have muscle spasms when you strain your core doing abdominal exercises. However, it could be gas or even dehydration. If you have any gastrointestinal issues, these could also be irritated when you work the core. Your intestines may be inflamed so they feel the pressure when you contract the surrounding muscles. Be sure to time your eating and to ideally not workout too close to having food in your stomach that is still digesting. Some abdominal exercises may be less aggravating than others so you may be able to still work your abs just with alternative moves that modify for the condition.