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WHOLENEWME79 Posts: 951
2/3/13 12:06 P

I have the same problem. I really have to focus on using my ab muscles, otherwise I pull up with my shoulders and neck.

SUSANBEAMON Posts: 11,794
2/3/13 12:47 A

my trainer also told me to keep my arms at my side and my chin up. that would prevent me from using my upper body so i would only work the muscles i wanted to work. it's all about form.

RUTHDEN1 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (94,201)
Posts: 2,496
2/2/13 11:38 P

I too had neck pain when I started. As my abs got stronger my neck pain was less. It is all about concentrating on what I was doing. Good luck!

FUTUREMC Posts: 151
2/1/13 2:07 A

Awesome advice. I've been doing the "slim in 6" workouts where they incorporate standard crunches with other ab moves. I feel I don't do them correctly as my neck is in pain and my abs never "feel" worked. Ill try these tips, thank you!!

GZELLEFRO SparkPoints: (88,931)
Fitness Minutes: (74,876)
Posts: 4,930
2/1/13 12:38 A

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! emoticon

Edited by: GZELLEFRO at: 2/1/2013 (00:39)
LIONSCOURT SparkPoints: (1,389)
Fitness Minutes: (1,034)
Posts: 49
1/31/13 11:08 P

If you don't use your hands and put you arms next to your body while doing the crunch, it will prevent you from straining your neck. That's what they teach you in ballet class.

ZORBS13 SparkPoints: (200,087)
Fitness Minutes: (195,485)
Posts: 15,865
1/31/13 11:00 P

I agree that planks are a superior exercise, but I find that thinking about lifting from below the bust, rather than leading with your head, is a good cue.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
1/31/13 9:44 P

Don't put your hands behind your head. That will only partly help, as you'll still tend to want to 'lead with your head', but with your hands there, you're just pulling your head up first, leading to that neck pain.

Planks are a superior move, so by all means consider switching your move! You have problems with crunches, so don't do them.

If you do insist on crunches though, keep your arms crossed over your chest, keep your eyes on the ceiling directly above, not your own knees, and try to think about your neck and keeping it 'neutral' while performing the move.

SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
1/31/13 6:27 P


What about doing planks instead? These are by far a more superior ab workout and it put very little strain on your neck.

Coach Nancy

FUTUREMC Posts: 151
1/31/13 6:18 P

I try to do my crunches but my neck gives out before my abs do. I know you aren't supposed to strain with your neck but I always somehow end up doing it. Frustrating! I rest my head in my hands but always end up closing my elbows in closer and pulling with my neck. Any tips?

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