"Jelly Belly"

Why do some of us get the infamous "butt burn" when doing high reps of ab mat sit-ups?

According to Shanna Tubbs, a doctor of physical therapy at the VA Medical Center in Helena, Montana, and a CrossFit athlete of five years, chafing during sit-ups is caused by a combination of physique and poor technique.

Consider the lumbar curve.

“When you do a sit-up, you should be taking out most of that curve,” Tubbs said.

Though an AbMat offers support for the lumbar curve, many athletes tend to use it as a crutch, relying on momentum to carry their torsos forward and pivoting on the tailbone at the edge of the mat.

“And when you pivot there, all you’re doing is just getting road rash,” Tubbs continued. “When you give somebody an AbMat … and you ask them to throw their arms forward and you anchor their feet—what we're using is just the top portion of our abs, or our hip flexors are helping us and pulling us forward, and you're not really getting the proper ab stability.”

Foam squares or yoga mats help reduce friction because you’re pivoting into something with a little more “give,” she said. But it doesn’t fix the problem, which she said is rooted in technique.

How to avoid it:

“Really how it should be done is you should think about pulling in the pelvic floor or the lower portion of the abs, and in some ways rocking that pelvis slightly backwards or towards the floor,” Tubbs explained. “And by engaging that lower portion of the abs, that's how you should be pulling yourself forward instead of (using) momentum to get past that first initial 10 degrees and then activating your top abs.”

For those with large booties, the problem is exacerbated.

An ounce of prevention ... . (Wendy Nielsen)

“You have to be able to contract your abs a little bit harder to get back to a neutral pelvis because you need to overcome your extra tissue,” she said.

Or you could try taping your ass.

Tara Fruchterman, began using skin-friendly kind-removal silicone tape after countless failed experiments with clothing and yoga mats. She places two short strips at the top of the butt crack—or the intergluteal cleft, if you prefer—in the shape of an inverted V.

“I placed the tape on the top, inner portion of my butt and did Annie, my favorite CrossFit workout,” she said. “The result was no butt burn.”

It’s a trick multi-year Games competitor Christy Adkins also employs.

“You take a small amount of athletic tape and form an X, then place that on the tender, boney process right at the top of the sacrum,” she wrote in an email. “I found that if I layered enough pieces to form the X, it alleviated the butt raspberry syndrome.”

Good luck!

(the above is from this article)

Tuesday's Training:

"Jelly Belly"


For Time:


Abmat Sit Ups


Cal Row/Bike


Front Squat 165/115



Abmat Sit Ups


Cal Row/Bike


Front Squats 135/95

Goal: Keep moving through sit ups & row, Front Squats in 2 sets or less