“I have been experiencing neck pain during abdominal exercises”
If you’ve experienced this, you’re in luck! I have discovered an incredible sit up trick that will help you out!
If you are experiencing a sore neck during abdominal exercises (the biggest culprit is the sit up), the first thing to do is distinguish whether the feeling you are describing is actual pain (consult your doctor), or simply fatigue of your neck muscles as a result of the exercise.
The seated or semi inclined position that is typical of sit up or crunch exercises places the weight of your head in the counter direction to gravity.
In order to resist the weight of your head from falling, you must flex your neck muscles for the duration of the exercise set. This is often the weakest link in your chosen crunch movement because your neck muscles will fatigue before your abdominal muscles reach the desired training effect.
Here’s the Sit Up Trick:
The Sit Up Trick is to place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and apply light pressure.
This is the same position your tongue assumes when you swallow. Assuming this tongue position will allow you to recruit the deep cervical muscles that assist in flexing the neck.
The other solution, which may have several benefits to your targeted abdominal muscles would be to train your abs in a prone or face down position. This can be achieved in a “bridge” or “plank” position for beginners.
Holding a bridge position for up to a minute provides the benefits of stabilizing your core and saves you from the back pain that is inevitably caused by repeated crunch movements. More advanced trainees can perform an abdominal rollout on a stability ball or “wheel” device. These exercise tend to be a better way to train the abs and low back, are more challenging and never cause neck fatigue.
If you do choose to do any manner of sit up movement, make sure that you do not support your head or pull your head forward with your hands behind your head. This will only make your neck muscles weaker and do a disservice to your posture.
Use this simple sit up trick to keep moving safely and comfortably!