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The right way to do crunches without injuring your neck



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It is common to get neck pain during a crunch – here's how to prevent this.


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Editing your core is important for a stronger body and a better posture, but if you also hurt your neck, back or hips during the process, you might miss out on some benefits of ab training. [19659005] It appears that formal errors occur fairly frequently in AB training. One reason is a lack of guidance if you only train in a gym, only at home or in a classroom environment and have not had a trainer coach who has guided you through basic training techniques and positions. But you don't have to hire a personal trainer to learn – you can learn some simple tips and make adjustments from fitness instructors below to get all the benefits of core exercises without back, neck or hip pain. You just need a little willingness to adapt and self-awareness about what you do during your training.

Keep reading to find out how to prevent pain and protect yourself during difficult workouts, whether you're training at the gym or at home.

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This is the right crunch shape – your arms support your head and your arms are away from your face.


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How to Prevent Neck Pain During Nuclear Exercises

"I see many errors in shape that ultimately do more harm than good. Crunches are usually people's favorite ab exercises, with the mentality of & # 39; the more, how better & # 39;. & # 39; However, these exercises are often performed in the wrong shape, "says Sylvia Ostrowska, a certified Pilates instructor and founder of Pilates by Sylvia in NYC.

Whether you do crunches, or some other form of ab exercise, performing them correctly is the key to actually achieving results and keeping pain away. I know for myself personally, my neck tends to strain when I am tired or when I am tense and then work out. Thinking about actively relaxing the neck and using the muscles I focus on has helped me, but there are a few other things you can keep in mind.

At first you have probably heard a trainer say to keep your eyes up or against the ceiling, which is rather difficult if you would rather see what you are doing. "You should always keep your eye on your horizon, hold your chin down and pull it back slightly as if you were holding a ball under your chin. This prevents you from straining the front of your neck, which often happens with every ab exercise, "Ostrowska said.

And while the idea of ​​working more than one muscle group at a time seems efficient, you may want to think twice about doing it with your core – especially if it's your arms.

"The key is not to involve the arms in doing core exercises such as crunches, but to use the arms only to support the neck and head. Use your core and watch what your arms do. Hold the elbows open (do not blink your elbows) and try to push your head a bit in your hands to create resistance, "Ostrowska said. ]] gettyimages-855913492 “/>

During sit-ups, your hip muscles often compensate for weak abdominal muscles. During this exercise, try only training your abs to prevent hip pain.


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What to do if your hips hurt during core work (and why)

Most of us have tight hips and hip flexors – it is one of the things that comes with prolonged sitting. This is one reason why it is common to feel pain or tightness in the hip flexors when doing core work.

"Sometimes hip flexors hurt due to a previous injury, tightness due to prolonged sitting or it can happen that weak abdominal muscles," Ostrowska said.

That's right – your hip flexors can hurt during core work because your abs aren't as strong as they could be. This may seem like a vicious circle (how do you get stronger abs if you can't get through work because of the pain?!) But it is not impossible to remedy this.

"Hip flexors usually take over in sit-ups (especially if you hold your feet for stationary support), other similar forward bending exercises and leg levers. The reason for this is that the abdominal muscles are often not strong enough, causing the hip flexors to overcompensate. Try to use the abs more deliberately. If you do leg extensions, start slowly and stretch only one leg at a time. With tight hip flexors it is better to be more conservative. Smaller movements are better here than large lifts, "Ostrowska said.

How to protect back during core exercises

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Don't be afraid to change your ab worko to protect your back. Toe reach crunches are a good adjustment to try.


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Back pain is often very complicated to find out, but it is a common problem that so many people experience. That is why you want to keep your back safe and protected during core exercises.

Being aware of how your back is in core exercises and how it feels is important. For example, if you feel sudden back pain during exercise, take a break and ask a professional (such as an instructor if you are in a class, or perhaps a physical therapist) what you can do next time to prevent pain. [19659006] "People often suffer from back pain because they somehow compensate, causing them to cross their lower back," said Helen Phelan, a certified Pilates instructor at Session in New York City.

"This can be solved by resetting the neutral position, making sure that the thoracic spine (upper back) has not jumped off the floor and changing the exercise," Phelan said. To keep your back safe, Phelan said not to be afraid to adjust the exercise by shortening the range of movement or doing less weight or reps if it feels better.

"Maintaining a neutral pelvis requires a lot of nuclear power, and it is easy for surrounding muscle groups, usually the back and hips to take over compensation when abdominal fatigue, so staying alert and present is important to ensure that your movement is always safe, "Phelan said.

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The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.


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