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Old 03-19-06, 01:35 AM   #1
RVAbatman
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crunches, neck pain

okay, as an increasingly health concious female - i've started doing crunches (bicycle crunch, reverse crunch, full vert, legs up crunch). when i did competitive cheerleading i could do these with much more ease and with less neck pain. but i seem to be workiny my neck a lot and i know i shouldn't be putting that much stress on it. does anyone have any ideas as to how reduce the problems with my technique that are causing me later neck pain?
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Old 03-19-06, 01:36 AM   #2
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Stop doing crunches?
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Old 03-19-06, 01:37 AM   #3
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and risk not having a cute stomach this summer? pish posh. i'm far too self-concious for that. lol
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Old 03-19-06, 01:39 AM   #4
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That's what I would do anyway. But I'm lazy. I can't help you on technique.
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Old 03-19-06, 01:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVAbatman
okay, as an increasingly health concious female - i've started doing crunches (bicycle crunch, reverse crunch, full vert, legs up crunch). when i did competitive cheerleading i could do these with much more ease and with less neck pain. but i seem to be workiny my neck a lot and i know i shouldn't be putting that much stress on it. does anyone have any ideas as to how reduce the problems with my technique that are causing me later neck pain?
I don't know if it hurts my technique or not, but I leave my hands free when I do sit-ups and crunches. That, or I just cross my arms over my chest. My neck still gets a bit tense, but that's partially due to the shrugs and stuff I do, too.
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Old 03-19-06, 01:54 AM   #6
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Look at the ceiling while you do your crunches. If you look towards your knees, your head follows your eyes and you end up trying to pull w/ your head and tensing your neck up. Since you're working your abs, you need to isolate on that so look towards the ceiling and your head should hang back.

[e] Don't lock your hands behind your head or neck. You'll just pull on your neck. Keep them down to the side or folded on your chest.
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Old 03-19-06, 02:04 AM   #7
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i usually put them on my chest (but i change it up when i'm doing the bicycle kicks)
tomorrow i'll definitely try the eye focus thing though - thanks
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Old 03-19-06, 02:09 AM   #8
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Old 03-19-06, 05:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVAbatman
okay, as an increasingly health concious female - i've started doing crunches (bicycle crunch, reverse crunch, full vert, legs up crunch). when i did competitive cheerleading i could do these with much more ease and with less neck pain. but i seem to be workiny my neck a lot and i know i shouldn't be putting that much stress on it. does anyone have any ideas as to how reduce the problems with my technique that are causing me later neck pain?
Have you tried hanging upside down on a bar by the rear of knees with arms folded over chest .
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Old 03-19-06, 07:15 AM   #10
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With your arms folded across your chest, you may be trying a move that you are not ready for yet and sacrificing your form to complete the move, thus putting far too much stress on your neck. Ivossarian was right in his suggestion of looking at the ceiling. Also, just as your abs may not be in the same shape that they were when you were a competitive cheerleader, it stands to reason that your neck and spinal erector muscles probably aren't either. I would give you a few suggestions. First place your hands lightly behind your head paying particular attention not to put any pressure on head and not to lift with your hands. Then, keeping your elbows flat (not drawn to your head), keep your eyes on the ceiling and lift your head towards the ceiling. Also, I would work on my spinal erectors. This is sort of a reverse crunch or the old roman chair. This is essential in building a strong core and might help your neck. Plus it also is a great exercise for cycling. Finally, if it continues to bother you, go to a local gym and find a certified fitness instructor and let them help you with you form. Twenty crunches with good form are worth more than a hundred done improperly. Good Luck!
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Old 03-19-06, 08:28 AM   #11
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Make sure you are NOT lifting with your hands, arms, head or neck.

One instructor told me to soldily feel the weight of my head in my hands all the time. Focus on "folding" on the way up and and the way down with the muscles below your chest. Move slowly. Even a few crunches done this way will make you feel it quite strongly in your abs.
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Old 03-19-06, 08:31 AM   #12
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WEll it is not in technique, but I know of a good way to reduce the pain. Theres a homeopathic based ointment called Arnica. Rub that on your neck, or anywhere that brings you muscular pain, it will feel better.
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Old 03-19-06, 08:37 AM   #13
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Switch exercises for a week or two. Substitute in reverse crunches and ball crunches (do your crunches on one of the big inflate-o-balls.) It's probably good to switch the stuff around anyway.
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