Q&A: every time I do crunches I hurt my neck, Is there any way to eliminate this problem?

Hello readers, its been a while since I last “blogged”, its because I have been quite busy this period, I’m working on the MPN contest, a new website and some career opportunities. Don’t worry I will let you in on the gist when these opportunities mature. Back to business I came across this Q&A on a facebook fan page a while ago and I just decided to post it here because I think it gives a solution to a problem a lot of people have when doing crunches and sit-ups. Enjoy…..

Coach Eric Broser’s Q & A:

Q. I like to do crunches for my abs, but every time I do them I hurt my neck! Is there any way to eliminate this problem?

A. This is a common complaint amongst trainees. In fact, in my many years as a personal trainer I have heard this dozens of times. There are a few things you can do to make your neck more comfortable while performing crunches. I know this might sound strange, but the first thing you may want to try is a little trick I learned through studying the work of Paul Chek (expert in the fields of corrective and high-performance exercise kinesiology): Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth while crunching, as this is actually the anatomical resting position of the tongue. By doing this, you will more effectively recruit the muscles near the surface of the neck that best support your head. When your tongue is in any other position, the much weaker muscles near the cervical vertebrae are forced to provide much of the support, and these muscles are easily strained and/or injured when overtaxed. Another thing you might try is resting your head on the floor briefly between reps. This will lessen the stress on your neck by allowing the neck muscles to relax momentarily. Just don’t rest too long or you will compromise the training effect on your abs. Finally, do not interlock your fingers and place them behind your head during crunching movements. This is probably the number one reason for neck strain occurring during abdominal work, for as you start to fatigue, you will most likely begin to initiate each repetition by pulling on your neck/head in order to perform more reps. This can overstretch connective tissue and injure the delicate neck muscles. It is far better to simply place your fingers by your temples on the sides of your head, or to cross your arms over your chest. I hope this advice makes your ab training a bit less of a “pain in the neck!”

you are advised to see a doctor before you make any significant changes to your diet and workout.

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