Why do My Abs Hurt After Pull Ups? 5 Vital Reasons!

Sometimes you might feel slight pain after pull-ups. Along with that, you can also feel pain or soreness around your abdomen area. It is very annoying for us all if it happens. 

At this point, you may want to get to the bottom of this. 

So, you might question, why do my abs hurt after pull ups?

There could be many reasons behind abs hurting after pull ups. The primary reason of abs hurting after pull ups is an unstable or weak core muscle. Another possible reason could be improper or no kipping. Sometimes inadvertently lifting knees can also cause your abdomen to hurt after pull ups. 

You might be curious why this happens and how to take prevention measures against it. Stay with us and find out more about these reasons. 

Let’s jump right in!

Why Do Your Abs Hurt After Pull Ups?

There are a range of causes why you might feel pain in your abs after pull ups. One fact to consider is wether you are investing in negotiating push or pull workouts. You might be doing the pull ups in an improper way. Or it could be because of your core muscles. 

Some of the possible causes are given below: 

Unstable Core/Weak Core Muscle

When you are doing pull-ups, your abs stabilize you. Abs prevent you from rocking forward and backwards during pull-ups. But do not worry about that. 

Sometimes the fact that your abs are sore or hurt is good. Because this could mean, that when you are doing pull-ups, your cores are engaging. 

The proper form of pull-ups means that your abs should be sore. However, that should not be much. 

Be sure that your pull ups are not sloppy. It may hurt your shoulders. You can be affected for long term basis.  

Improper Kipping

We do kipping during the Crossfit version of the pull up exercises. If you do not do proper kipping, you might feel pain around your abs, shoulder and abdomen. 

Your body makes a full body movement while doing kipping pull ups. To get up over the bar, you swing your body to make that momentum. If we compare it to strict pull ups, it increases the demand on coordination and agility. 

Kipping actually requires a lot of extra movement around your body. This is when you can do an improper swing and your abs might get hurt. You should be careful while kipping. 

You Are a Beginner

If you just started your training, feeling hurt in your abs should be normal. This happens because you are new to this and your abs are not used to this kind of training. 

Your abs and pull ups should maintain harmony for stability. If not, you will feel hurt around your abs area. 

As a beginner there are many things to do after initiating strength training. Some must include abds exercises. If it hurts, totally avoid strength training for now. 

But there are some exceptions. If you are feeling soreness only in your abs and not your back and biceps, then you should be worried. 

You should focus most on your back and biceps during pull ups. Start the movement by retracting your scapula first and only after that pull with your arms.

Compound Exercise

When you are doing compound exercise, it includes movement in your preliminary lats, arms and shoulders altogether. 

But in most cases, your abs are used in a secondary fashion. Maybe your feet pointed beyond your chest and that’s why your form isn’t perfect.

Usually, your core is used while doing pull-ups. In some cases, if your lats can not handle the weight of your body, you might feel the pain. Consider the best compound exercises options.

You should try to implement baby barbell rows. Along with laying pulldowns to strengthen your lats. It will get better with time.

Inadvertently Lifting Knees

When you are doing an exercise, you are increasing activation around your core. While fatigue is starting and probably set in, you might approach the end of the regular set. It is in most of the cases. 

Maybe you are trying to squeeze out the reps exercise. In this case, you might try to pull your body to get up. This is when you inadvertently lift keens and feel hurt.  


Some expert have good advices that you should keep in mind. This way you might prevent your abs from getting hurt. 

Do Standard Pull Ups

One of the main reasons your abs hurt is because you are doing the pull ups improperly. You can prevent the same thing if you learn how to do standard pull ups. 

I am going to briefly talk about how you can do standard pull ups. 

  • Hold onto the bar where you are doing the pull ups.
  • You need to make an overhand grip.
  • Let your body hang naturally and do not put any extra pressure. 
  • Make sure your legs are together.
  • To create a stable body by drawing your abs. 
  • The bar should be up to your collar bones.
  • Use your control to have your back hang low. 
  • Make sure you are not swinging while doing the whole process.

Stretch Your Core

Make sure you swing properly. It is one of main causes. Experts suggest that you should stretch out your core first. 

Hang from the bar before starting the main workout for a few seconds. You can stretch your muscles through this process. It will help you to gain momentum before going for the pull ups. 

Train Other Part Of The Abs

One thing to remember is that muscles are hurt while stretching and contracting. It is usual that only one part of the abs could be sore. As an alternative, you can try to train the other part of the abs. 

If you do pull ups at a high intensity, this will tighten the midsection. This also happens when you are doing other exercises. 

It is a good thing to maintain a weight belt. 

Keep Your Body Tense And Straight

One thing to keep in mind. Keep your body tense and straight. This way your body remains straight when you go up at an angle. 

Another thing is, to keep your thighs parallel to the ground. 

Raising your knees is important when pulling up at the bottom in place of touching the floor. 

When you are performing pull-ups, my legs should be relaxed. This way your back is doing the work.


Make a habit of doing the workouts in a regular manner. If you do not do your workouts properly, your body might become unadjusted. 

For preventing soreness, it is important to practice regularly to keep your body active. Make a habit of doing exact workout routines that you can do every day. 


Do pull-ups hurt your abs?

Usually, pull ups do not hurt your abs. Only if you do the pull ups in the wrong way it can hurt your abs. Or it could be your muscle weakness or compound exercising that’s causing pain in your abs. 

Can Pull Ups Make Your Abs Sore?

Yes, sometimes it can. The reasons behind this could be a weak core muscle, no kipping, compound exercise, Inadvertently Lifting Knees etc.

Where should I be sore after pull-ups?

If you are doing the pull ups properly, it should not sore any part of your body. Unless you have an unstable core. Or you just started doing pull ups and your muscles are not used to taking the pressure. 


With that, we’ve reached the end of this segment. By this point, I hope you’ve gotten your answer regarding why do my abs hurt after pull ups

Always try to maintain correct form while doing pull ups. This would solve most of your pain-related problems. Follow the rules and you will do just fine. 

Best of luck to you!

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