I have started regular strength and core training for the part few weeks after years of no exercise. For the last 2-3 days I notice that I wake up in the night with a back ache that involves muscles of back and side. I am a side sleeper and switch sides in the night usually. This pain is strong to wake me up and doesn't go away for 20-30 mins until I get up walk a bit. Then it goes away as though it never was there!

Is this related to the core training and how can I prevent this?

  • Edited to make the question explicit
    – Sankaran
    Jan 26, 2013 at 17:51
  • I edited your question, feel free to revert the changes or edit again.
    – Baarn
    Jan 26, 2013 at 18:02
  • 1
    What kind of exercises are you doing in your serious strength and core training ?
    – user4963
    Jan 28, 2013 at 13:42
  • I guess "serious" was an overkill, all I meant was regular training from not doing any exercise for years. But basically, push ups, crunches, shoulder press, bicep/tricep exercises with weights, etc.
    – Sankaran
    Jan 28, 2013 at 16:52
  • 1
    only thing I can see there that would cause your back to be sore is bad form in either the crunches or bicep curls. Instead of crunches try doing the plank and reverse crunches for a few weeks. If I were you i'd drop crunches forever and get a pull-up bar. Aside from obvious pull ups and chins, you could do hanging leg raises
    – user4963
    Jan 28, 2013 at 16:57

2 Answers 2


Yes this pain could be because of your bad forms during core training.

Assuming you get this back pain only at night, may be between 2 AM to 4 AM. Sleeping on your stomach will make the pain worst. and sleeping on your back will be better than sleeping on side. These problems usually starts around age of 40 and/or if you have a belly. If you had more stress at your work, you will have more pain at night.

Usually this happens because of bad form of sitting/walking at work or during workout, after gaining weight body posture and form can go bad. Things like putting pillows around you to make sure you sleep on your back whole night may help. Or when you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your legs at knees could help.

But the actual problem could be your bad form in your day to day activities or during your core training, if you have weaker abs (specially lower abs) then you might be compensating it with your paraspinal muscle. The same way sometimes pregnant ladies get lower back pain. Technically (Medically) speaking The deep muscle Adbominus transversalis and Erector Spinae and Superficial muscles like Rectus abdominis and Pectoralis major and even Serratus Anterior (and I guess even Iliacus and Psoas major) all these muscles work together for spinal movements, so depending on where exactly you feel pain and how much deep, Chiropractor or Physiotherapist can help.

I don't want to scare you but if you continue doing core training wrong way, or if you don't fix your posture in your day to day activities, you can get more serious problems like herniated disk in a long run.

Ps. I am just a software engineer, with an interest in body building and human anatomy.

  • 1
    yep. You are right. This seems to be the problem. I am not 40, have no belly, and have had no problems so far. The pain has also stopped now. I think I might have done something bad those two days or maybe its just a reaction to working out having never exercised that part of the body before! But thanks for the advice I will be on a lookout for bad technique.
    – Sankaran
    Jan 31, 2013 at 16:37

If it has been years you need to startup with something more basic like jogging and little cardio this will help you get over the years of rest that your body has had.

Don't push yourself too hard you won't become John Abraham in a month.

Your body will adapt this routine gradually, I have gone through this phase myself, I weighed 96 Kgs when I started and in 4 months I am 82 now.

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