Pain in Lower Left Side of Abdomen When Exercising

New exercisers often experience abdominal pain from overexertion.
Image Credit: vitapix/E+/GettyImages

Pain in your lower left abdominal while exercising is not uncommon. If you only feel this pain while working out, it is probably nothing more than a side stitch or side ache. But, according to, other causes of pain in the lower left abdominal area include appendicitis, cancer, endometriosis, injury, intestinal obstruction, kidney infections and a torn colon. Some of these conditions are severe, so see a doctor if you have intense abdominal pain that concerns you.


Side Stitches

Side stitches, also known as cramps or side aches, are a common pain for new exercisers. Despite being painful, side stitches are not a cause for concern and will go away when you stop exercising. To prevent side stitches, don't drink too much water or eat gas-producing foods before exercising. This is a common problem for those just starting an exercise program. As you get into better shape, your side stitches should subside. When you start to feel a cramp, take a long, slow breath as if you are breathing through a straw and then blow out hard.


Video of the Day


Abdominal pain while exercising may be a result of an injury. If you pull a muscle or push yourself too hard, your abdomen may feel sore. Prevent this by not pushing yourself too hard. It is common to feel sore the day after an intense abdominal workout, so try to take a day off between resistance exercises that work your stomach. If an exercise hurts, stop doing it and let your body recover. You can try different exercises that don't hurt until your abdomen has healed.



Appendicitis is the result of an inflamed appendix that is usually treated by removing the appendix. The pain usually starts at the belly button and travels to the lower right side of your abdomen, but according to, you may experience pain on your left side as well. This pain becomes sharper over several hours and often is accompanied by nausea, loss of appetite, fever, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal swelling. If you think you have appendicitis, contact your doctor immediately as this is a medical emergency.



Endometriosis is a chronic disease that happens when a woman's uterus lining grows outside her uterus. This leads to pelvic pain and can be serious. Pain also occurs with periods, intercourse, bowel movements and urination. If you think you have endometriosis, see your doctor right away.




Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...