Sub30 Fitness

What causes a sore tailbone during core workouts?

July 1, 2020

This month’s blog is a painful one, I will be discussing the impact and the causes of a bruised tailbone as a result of certain core exercises.

Firstly, lets discuss the location and function of the tailbone, or in medical terms the coccyx. The coccyx is a triangle shaped bone, packed with nerve endings, positioned at the base of the spine. It’s shortened tail like appearance plays a number of roles including the attachment for several ligaments and tendons, as well as muscles from the pelvic floor.

If you have ever endured a bruised coccyx you’ll know just how painful it can be, it’s a condition known as coccydynia. This injury is quite common with ice skaters, cyclists, and gymnasts due to falling or prolonged sitting on hard surfaces. It is also common for those new to exercise when undertaking sit ups, due to incorrect form or a weak core.

Next, we will look at the causes of a bruised tailbone during sit ups and how to fix it. The problem occurs due to lifting the glutes off the ground to drive the momentum needed to complete the exercise. It is the impact of the tailbone rising and hitting the floor that causes the minor damage.   This lifting action usually occurs as fatigue from the exercise sets in or as mentioned above, from having a weak core in general.

 I have outlined four tips that will help to fix the problem:

  • Make sure your knees are always bent and feet are flat on the floor.
  • Ensure you push your back into the floor.
  • Do the sit up on a soft mat and avoid hard surfaces.
  • Regress the sit up into a crunch and build up slowly from that. In other words, Regress to Progress.

Finally, if the problem persists, avoid doing exercises that involve putting pressure on the tailbone and seek advice from a physiotherapist or health care professional.

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