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If you're experiencing severe pain that doesn't go away, get help from a doctor.
You did a vigorous workout recently - but to your surprise, the workout that you thought didn't include a round of intense abdominal training has left you feeling pretty sore around the middle. You may be surprised by this phenomenon, but it's a lot more common than you might think.
Determine the Cause
Any type of exercise that involves lots of movement is going to call upon the muscles of the core, which include the abdominal muscles. The core is the center of all movement, and as such, it may be an area that gets sore or stiff following a vigorous workout. This is normal, and it even has a name: delayed-onset muscle soreness, or DOMS for short.
Address Your Soreness
When it comes to severe cases of DOMS, the best course of action is simply to rest. If you're only a little stiff and the area is not overly painful, a few rehab activities may help. Try rolling your abdomen over a foam roller, which will soften the myofascial tissue that's likely to be bunched up in your abdominal area. Believe it or not, some more light cardio may also help as it will get your blood flowing. Try going for a short walk or doing some other type of easy movement.
Expect a Delay
The "delayed" part of DOMS may also surprise you. If you're feeling stiff in the abdominal area right after your workout, you may have to contend with even more serious effects later on. DOMS typically lasts about three to five days - but because it's called delayed-onset muscle soreness, you might find that the worst stiffness or soreness comes on after a day or two. This is normal, and it will go away. Of course, if the pain continues instead or gets a lot worse, contact your doctor.
Prevent It Next Time
When you stop being sore, consider adding more core-strengthening exercises to your workout routine. That will help the muscles of your abdomen properly stabilize your trunk during your workouts. Body weight exercises such as pullups and dips can help strengthen the upper back and abdomen. Captain's chair exercises, bicycle crunches or planks and crunches on an exercise ball are also effective abdominal exercises, notes the American Council on Exercise.