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Minor Ache or Major Problem? 6 Symptoms Exercisers Should Pay Attention To

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Symptom: An Aching Back

Scenario: The ab workout you started doing is giving you a six-pack -- and also nagging back pain.

Your downplay: It's just new-program pangs; eventually it'll go away.

Doctors' double-take: Your routine could be developing your abdominal muscles unevenly, says Marty Jaramillo, owner of New York City-based I.C.E. Sports Therapy and a FITNESS advisory board member. There's been an explosion of core conditioning classes, but in trying to meet their clients' demands, many instructors overemphasize belly busting. The result: The side and back muscles, which secure and stabilize the spine, become weak. "The imbalance feeds on itself," Jaramillo explains. "You compensate by using the stronger muscles in front more, and the situation spirals until you end up injured."

What to do: A lot of things can cause back pain, so take a close look at your workout: Generally, you should be spending the same amount of time -- that is, doing an equal number of sets and reps -- on the front, back, and sides of your core. If you have been too ab-focused, Jaramillo recommends trying the plank and its variations to work your sides and obliques. Crunches that have an element of rotation will also work your obliques. (You don't have to stop doing crunches unless you have significant pain.) It should take six to eight weeks for your core to even out; when it does, "you'll see your balance, posture, stamina, and endurance improve too," Jaramillo adds.

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kdtannen wrote:

Don't forget supermans....or superwomans....

9/26/2013 06:24:56 AM Report Abuse
saharamirrage wrote:

I wish you would have mentioned something about shoulders. I started waking up with a sore shoulder but continued to workout. Little did i know that was a classic sign of a torn rotator cuff. Thanks!

9/25/2013 01:12:22 PM Report Abuse
bartholo1 wrote:

Be cautious about who you turn to. As noted in the "Tight Knees" section ... a physical therapist or sports trainer. Be sure that is an ATHLETIC TRAINER if you're looking for a healthcare professional; a sports trainer could be anybody who claims the title.

9/25/2013 09:45:52 AM Report Abuse
bj01741 wrote:

You article contained a lot of good information, much of which may not be heard at the gym. I appreciated the information about inflammatory breast cancer, it's rare but does occur and there is very little ever mentioned about it. Thanks for a good article!

9/12/2011 06:00:37 PM Report Abuse

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