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crunches / sit-ups and neck pain

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What am I doing wrong? I can feel that I am working my stomach muscles, but my neck starts to hurt so bad when I do sit-ups or crunches.
8 Replies (last)
you're not focusing on your core. you're using your neck to bring you up..use your stomach feel it more...
you rneck hurts? you're not putting your hands behind your head and pulling on your neck when you sit up, are you? cause that's bad! either cross your arms on your chest or put your hands beside your ears like you were holding a pair of earphones on- but don't push or pull on you rhead or neck!
rahana is correct.  A good way to stop doing that is relax your next and keep your eyes focussed on the ceiling above you.  and then contract your stomach muscles.  you might not go up that far but you will feel them working.

My trainer always reminds me to keep looking up.  it helps.  As your core gets stronger you neck will hurt a lot less.
Thanks! I will try to use my core more. I don't put my hands behind my head, but I probably am using my neck too much to bring me up. I thought because I could feel the stomach muscles working that I wasn't, but I probably am.
Geminmd, keep in mind that your neck has muscles too, and your head is heavy.  I always had a hard time doing crunches because my neck got tired before my abs did, but it gets better.
I thought I was the only one with a "pain in the neck" while doing crunches. It hurt really bad while I am doing it even when I do it the same way it's descibed on TV. I actually stopped doing it now because the pain is too much.

you don't need to go up all the way either, you can get a decent workout from just lifting your shoulders off the floor - that's what our gym teacher always had us do in high school - focus on a point on the ceiling and just lift.
If you aren't putting a hand behind the neck, you might want to give it a try to support the weight of your head.  Just be careful you are pulling up with your abs by contracting (tightening) your belly, not pulling with the hands.
8 Replies