chest pain doing situps causes

5 Reasons Why You Have Chest Pain When Doing Situps

Follow along to get rid of chest pain when exercising

If you have chest pain when doing situps, there are a few causes.

Situps and other exercises are safe. But you must be aware of the warning signs that may indicate problems.

Some of the problems can include:

  • pain in the neck
  • radiation into the shoulder, and
  • pain or pressure in the chest

Chest pain can be a direct sign of a heart attack, a leading cause of death in the United States

In this post, we’ll discuss some reasons why you experience chest pain while doing situps.


Finally, we’ll share some useful tips on what you can do to prevent situp chest pains from happening.

Let’s get started.

What causes chest pain when doing situps?

Suppose you experience chest pain or irritation doing situps.

In that case, you should immediately stop the exercise and see a professional healthcare provider, as it can signify a heart attack or artery disease.

The following conditions can result in chest discomfort doing situps:

1. Angina 

Angina or Angina pectoris is a chest pain that can stem due to blockages in coronary arteries. This limits the blood flow in your heart.

When doing situps, an incorrect body pose may reduce the blood flow to the heart.

This can result in chest pressure, tightness, or pain. People with Angina may also feel other symptoms, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Tightness in the jaw or arms

Chest pain due to Angina is different from a heart attack, as it usually goes away when you stop doing situps.

Patients with high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, and smoking history are more likely to experience the symptoms of Angina when exercising.

Women with Angina have higher chances of experiencing sharp chest pain during exercise, while men can only experience pressure or tightness in the chest. 

2. Pulled Chest Muscle 

Overdoing chest presses, push-ups, or situps may result in pulled chest muscles.

It is unusual for people to experience musculoskeletal pain due to pulled muscles during exercise.

The musculoskeletal-related chest pain or pressure goes away when you rest and stop exercising. 

Healthcare providers say that rest is the best remedy to treat the musculoskeletal causes of chest pain and pressure.


You can also use ice packs and ibuprofen if you feel swelling and inflammation in the chest region. 

3. Injured Ribs and Muscle Strain

Muscle strain and injured ribs are the most common causes of chest pain and discomfort when doing exercises such as situps.

The overuse of physical poses and intense exercises can result in muscle strain.

People who regularly do situps are more likely to experience muscle tears or strain.

People with a muscle strain in the chest may experience;

  • Swelling 
  • Bruising 
  • Sharp pain
  • Hard breathing 

It’s not just chest muscles that can cause flare-ups during intense exercises. You may also experience minor injuries or pain in your ribs.

Injured ribs are fairly common in regular exercisers and can result from incorrect poses during situps.

A minor injury or rib damage can cause dull aches or tenderness in particular areas.

But if you break or dislocate your rib during situps, you may experience intense back or chest pain. 

4. Asthma and Respiratory Infection 

People with asthma have greater chances of experiencing chest discomfort during situps.

Asthma affects airways in the lungs that may trigger tightness, pressure, or pain in your chest.

People with a family history of asthma can experience the following symptoms along with chest pain when doing situps;

  • Chest tightness 
  • Coughing 
  • Wheezing 
  • Shortness of breath

If you have other respiratory infections, such as flu or cold, it may also trigger chest discomfort with deep breathing during situps.

People with more serious infections, such as pleurisy and walking pneumonia, have higher chances of experiencing sharp chest pain during exercise. 


If you’ve been diagnosed with any respiratory infection or asthma, talk to your trainer about how often you should do situps. 

5. Heavy Breathing 

People new to intense workouts and situps breathe heavily during and after exercise.

During situps, the heavy breathing and movement of the upper body can cause the rib muscles and bones to stretch. This may trigger chest pain or tightness.

Take a little rest when doing situps to get back to normal breathing and eliminate chest discomfort. 

How to prevent chest pain during exercises like situps 

Nothing can match the potential of situps when it comes to building a strong core and strong muscles.

Studies reveal that women who do situps correctly are less likely to suffer muscle loss.

Numerous scientific reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention highlight the relationship between exercise, cardiovascular health, and physical health.

But that’s not all.

Research estimates that people can have a 30% to 40% reduction in cardiovascular diseases if they follow the recommendations for activity.  

You can prevent chest pain during situps by:

  1. Eating a well-balanced diet 
  2. Regulating your cholesterol and diabetes levels 
  3. Controlling the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory infections with medications
  4. Taking a little rest during exercise 
  5. Avoiding intense exercises and other physical activities that may damage the bones or muscles of your rib cage 

The risk of having cardiac-related complications is significantly small in regular exercisers.

Researchers estimate that a person who exercises about five times per week has 50% lower chances of developing cardiac-related problems than a sedentary person. 


Regular exercise and situps can help you get core muscles and improve your health.

But intense physical poses and situps may cause cardiac-related complications such as chest discomfort (pain and pressure) and heart attack.

You should control your cholesterol and diabetes levels, and control the symptoms of respiratory infections.

Also, eat a healthy diet to prevent chest pain while doing situps.