The reason your neck hurts while you do ab work is that you have weak abs and your neck is compensating for that. You can rest your head in your hands, with your fingers interlaced. As your abs get stronger, your neck will no longer be needed and you'll stop straining it to do your crunches.
You can and should exercise your abs in other positions besides on your back, like planks. You can do planks on your knees to start. There are lots of videos on Spark that can show you the correct positions of these.
Hang in there! It comes, slowly, but surely!
Edited by: GZELLEFRO at: 2/1/2013 (00:39)