Signs You Might Be Overtraining Your Abs

Getting abs is one of the hardest fitness feats out there as it really requires a top notch diet and exercise program. This said, it’s not impossible if you use the right approach.

Sadly, many people get a little too involved in their workout program and may start to overtrain themselves. Remember, the abs are just like any other muscle group in the body and need sufficient rest and recovery in order to grow stronger and larger.

What signs might you be showing if you are overtraining your abs? Here are a few to watch out for.

Ongoing Soreness

The first sign of being overtrained is ongoing muscle soreness. We’re not talking about simple muscle soreness that typically happens after you put in a hard workout at the gym. We’re talking about serious muscle soreness that persists for days despite you not doing a workout.

If you find that it is hurting to even so much as laugh, that is a sign you my be pushing things too far.


Another sign of overtraining the core muscles is if you are fast to fatigue. Before were you able to get through 10 sets of exercises for core while now you can only do 3 or 4 before your body is telling you to quit?

If so, that too is a good sign you may be pushing things a little harder than your body can handle. If you aren’t recovering between sessions, your muscles won’t be able to sustain the same degree of work they would if they were fresh, so this indicates ongoing training stress is being applied.

Remember, if you don’t feel recovered when you hit the gym to train abs again, you shouldn’t push yourself to do so. You will only get stronger if you allow for that recovery process to complete. Training abs isn’t about frequency but about quality.

Lack Of Training Progress

Which brings us to the next sign you might be overtraining – a total lack of progress. Do you notice that your abs aren’t getting much stronger? Are the same exercises feeling as challenging as they were before?

If you aren’t making any gym progress despite continued training, this might be a sign you need to back off. With sufficient rest, nutrition, and the overloading training stimulus, you should be growing stronger over time.

If those strength gains aren’t present, something is amiss. It’s usually one of two things: insufficient training frequency or an overload of training frequency. Chances are, you know which of these is applying to you.

Back Pain

Back pain is another indicator that you may be suffering from overtraining the core. This might seem like a strange signal, but if your abs are fatigued, they won’t be supporting you and you may be suffering from either a sway back, which leads to back pain, or overworked lower back muscles that are overcompensating, also leading to back pain.

Pay attention to how your entire body feels. Remember that your abs are responsible for stabilising your entire body in everything you do. If they aren’t functioning optimally, you are going to feel it.

Muscle Twitching

Finally, muscle twitching can also be the sign of an overworked muscle. This is a common symptom that stems from an overworked central nervous system. Each time you perform a hard training session, you are calling your CNS into play. It doesn’t matter if it’s your abs, your legs or your back you are training.

Too much training over time leads to the fatigue of the CNS, which then can lead to this twitching. The twitching may be taking place in the abs or in other areas of your body.

So be on the lookout for these warning signs of overtraining. If you experience any of these, it might be time to re-evaluate your core training routine. Work smarter, not necessarily harder.


Understanding the anatomy of your abdominal muscles and how they work will help you make the best exercise decisions for yourself.

Please Note: Before following exercise routines or changing your fitness regime, please consult a certified fitness professional. Always talk with a medical practitioner before following dietary advice or taking supplements.

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