7 Possible Reasons of Feeling Lower Abdominal Pain When Squatting

Every exercise requires you to hit a specific muscle group. After the workout if you feel pain in your respective muscle group then it’s win win. Although, some kinds of pain might mean something else and are caused by something else. 

So why do I feel lower abdominal pain when squatting?

It could be caused from pinching a nerve, or even hip flexors. If it is burning pain that may be a minor tear in the abdominal wall. Improper and wrong form while squatting or not using enough hip drive may be a factor. Inshort the reason for lower abdominal pain while squatting could vary from person to person. 

Most people think that the pain they are feeling is strange without anyone knowing about it. But it is quite common. 

We will see the possible reasons for feeling lower abdominal while squatting. But before diving into that let us check out what muscles do squat work.

What muscles do squat work?

Mainly squats target your lower body namely glutes and quadriceps. Besides strengthening your core, other muscles that squats benefit are as follows. 

  • Hip muscles
  • Calves 
  • Hamstrings
  • Obliques
  • Strengthen Ligaments, Bones and Tendons around the leg.
  • Boost bone mineral density
squat

Squats are not just for athletes but for everyone as part of a regular workout routine. Let’s move towards the reasons why squatting may cause lower abdominal pain

Lower Abdominal Pain When Squatting-[7 Possible Reasons]

First thing first, if you are not squatting with proper form, you would face problems. If you squat correctly you may feel pain in the thigh muscle which is fine and normal. 

However, a weak core and incorrect posture would cause pain in the wrong place. 

Let us see the possible reasons.

Reason 1 of 7: General Strength

Let me tell you about my personal experience. I felt the pain in my right side of my lower abdominal area. As a newbie would think , I thought it was a hernia.

However, I went to the general physician and arranged an ultrasound but no traces of hernia were found. 

Solution

Turns out that I was lifting weights higher than my strength. So the problem was my general strength. After improving my general strength, I have had no occurrence of pain. Also keeping in mind my strength capability while squatting I can now lift heavier weight. 

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lower-abdominal-pain-when-squatting

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Reason 2 of 7: Weak Core

If you have a weak core, you can’t rule out the possibility of pain. You might not be focusing on engaging specific muscle groups and rather just repeating. This could also be the reason for your abdominal pain while squatting.

Also if you don’t focus on strength, squatting might cause pelvic pain.

Solution

Never forget to concentrate on engaging your core before going for heavy weights.

So in order to engage your core do the following.

  • Before squatting tuck your tummy in.
  • Maintain a tucked tummy throughout the movement. 
  • Release only when movement is complete and then stand.
  • Make sure to start with lower weight.
  • Don’t rush, and gradually increase from lower to heavy weight lifting.

Reason 3 of 7: Muscle Strain in Abdomen-[Pulled Muscle]

Muscle strain or pulled muscle is stretching or tearing of muscle fiber during squats. Thick walls of muscles in the front and sides are for protection of your abdomen. They help you twist and bend forward. 

Too much weightlifting or sudden jerking movement may cause muscle strain in your abdomen. Simply put it happens when you This pain would worsen as you move. 

Pulled muscle also happens when you don’t use proper squatting technique. 

Solution

Apparently your body needs to take rest. And Instead of increasing weight, decrease them and increase reps. 

But this above mentioned solution would work if you have the correct form of squatting.

Reason 4 of 7: Incorrect Form for Squatting

Before you get benefits from squatting, make sure to master the correct form. Incorrect squatting form would cause pain not just in your lower abdomen but several other places. 

Let us examine how to maintain correct form for squatting workout.

Solution

Below are some tips for correct form for squatting. Check out and see if you are doing something else.

  • Place the bar on your back , while feet must be shoulders width apart. 
  • Never keep your feet straight but instead keep them 30 degrees outwards. 

If you don’t turn your feet slightly outwards, loads of weight on the spine would be higher. Which could potentially hurt not just the abdominal area but your back as well. 

  • Never forget to flex your glute and stomach muscles.

Flexing these muscles would make your back rigid and help you avoid leaning forward. Leaning forward may cause uneven force causing abdominal pain and sore back. 

  • Without bending forward or backward, move your hips back. 

This will help maintain your lower back neutral while using controlled tempo.

  • Make sure to squat until the tops of your leg are parallel to the lower.
  • While keeping your back upright and hips under the bar, return to the starting position.
  • Stand in a way so that your hips and knees are locked at the top.

Reason 5 of 7: Sharp Pain In Lower Right Abdomen

Pain in the lower abdomen area might feel like sharp pain. You may feel like a hornet is constantly stinging you. 

Solution

Some would advise you to head straight to the doctor because it is a sports hernia. Well it could be but it might not be hernia. 

The reason could be simply pinching nerves. Here what you need is opening up a little or in other word proper form. 

Furthermore stretch out your hip flexor a little and make sure you look up as you squat

Reason 6 of 7: Burning Sensation While Squatting

You might feel a warm burning sensation especially on the lower left side of your abdomen. The major causes could be increased abdominal pressure or a weak spot at that specific location. 

It simply means that your abdominal muscles are not trained enough to handle the pressure. 

Solution

You need to strengthen the abdominal wall by doing planks. Furthermore, focus on contracting your abs during the whole range of motion of squats. 

Beside planks you can do other core strengthening exercises such as weight ups and situps. 

Reason 7 of 7: Hernia

Whenever you feel pain in your lower abdominal area, the first thing that comes to mind is hernia. Some dudes might also spill the hernia word while hearing about your pain. But don’t rush.

hernia

Hernia is simply when an organ or tissue tears through its holding muscle. Remember that hernia won’t go away on its own. Hernia would require proper medical treatment. 

Furthermore weak muscle or abdominal pressure can cause inguinal hernias. Let us differentiate hernia pain from other kinds of pain by simply observing symptoms. 

  • Pain when lifting or bending over.
  • A dull itching sensation.
  • Sense of feeling full (Heavy feeling in the abdomen).
  • Swelling.
  • Red, purple or dark bulge.
  • Weakness in your groin.

Solution

If you experience any of the above symptoms , it may be hernia, not just normal pain. You should rush to your general physician. 

Final Verdict

It is pretty clear that squatting would certainly result in pain. However, the reasons indicate the pain that you should worry about such as arms going numb. 

Proper form is the key to avoid harm and get benefits from squatting. 

FAQs

Why does my lower stomach hurt when I lift heavy objects?

Your lower stomach hurts when you lift heavy objects because you might not be strong enough. Sudden jerk or movement could also cause pain in your stomach. In order to lift heavy objects your core needs to be stronger. You would often feel this pain in muscles used for bending and twisting. First do some pre workout exercising and never forget to start small. Otherwise you could seriously hurt yourself forever. 

What is the difference between hernia and pull muscle?

The only difference you might see between hernia and pulled muscle is a lump. Yes you heard that right. Dulk itching and pain in the groin both are felt in hernia as well as in pulled muscle. But if you have Hernia you would see a tiny bump or lump on the side of your groin. It happens in Hernia because your organ or tissue is pushing abdominal muscle or your groin. 

Can Hernia heal itself?

No, Hernia can’t repair or heal itself. It might not seem so but your Hernia would definitely get worse. If we said it kind of spreads we won’t be wrong. Because When you leave Hernia untreated, the lump or bump grows and your protection wall gets weaker.

Conclusion

Feeling lower abdominal pain when squatting could be a problem but also could be a normal thing. Pain is inevitable when squatting. The key is to be able to differentiate between good pain and bad pain. 

Furthermore, maintaining proper form when squatting could save you from a lot of pain. Otherwise you would be just hurting yourself and wasting your time.

Be aware, be safe. That’s all.

Dr. Swathi Kilari

Dr. Swathi Kilari

Hello there! This is Dr. Swathi Kilari here, a writer in progress. I am a graduate of Cebu Doctors' University from the Philippines and am currently registered to practice in India. I write now and then to share my knowledge and experience about healthcare. I am happy to help you make wise choices to lead a healthy life. Healthcare and teaching are two of my passions. I am a food enthusiast, home baker, and cook. If I am not doing any of these, I am probably sleeping.

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