With strength as the new pretty, we would love to have “Abs of Steel” to show off but also the power of the core muscles to help us achieve further health and agility. Unfortunately, the abdominal muscles are located in the front center of our body. Achieving maximum results to your core muscles requires following precise instructions to avoid strain and neck pain while having a fantastic core workout.
When Putting In The Work, Is Worth It.
Doing sit-ups or abdominal crunches is one of the most effective ways to strengthen your core muscles. These muscles help you to maintain a good posture, and they allow you to twist and bend. Chronic back pain and disability can occur when these core muscles are weak. However, doing sit-ups alone will not give you that flat stomach and six pack abs. The abdominal muscles that you are toning will develop beneath the layer of abdominal fat and no matter how many sit-ups you do it will not reduce the amount of fat around your waist.
The only way to reduce that strip of fat around your abdominal muscles is to maintain a healthy diet and keep to a sufficient exercise regime. After you have slimmed down the six pack abs will start to show and can be retained by doing sit-ups every day. However, it is important to ensure that you are doing your sit-ups correctly. Incorrect form when doing sit-ups can lead to back and neck pain; it also prevents the core muscles from being fully engaged in the exercise.
Five Great Tips to No Neck Pain Crunches
1. Make sure your legs are bent at a 90° angle – This is the best angle to help reduce excess stress to the lower back while you are performing a sit-up. You should be sure to do your sit-ups on a cushioned surface such as a mat or carpet. There should still be just enough of a curve in your lower back, so it does not touch the floor.
2. Cross your arms over your chest – The traditional hands behind the neck posture for sit-ups sometimes causes people to pull on the neck during the upward movement, which can overstretch it and cause neck pain. Instead, cross your arms over your chest and tighten your abdominal muscles to lift your head and upper body off the floor slowly.
3. Lift up only 6 to 10 inches off the floor – There is no need to sit all the way up when doing sit-ups. In fact, according to researchers at the University of Louisville, once you are at a particular angle, all the muscles in the abdominals are worked, the extra effort to complete the full sit-up is not necessary.
4. Go slowly, both up and down – The best workout for your abs is to move slowly, both on the way up and on the way down. This slow, precise movement engages the abdominal muscles more thoroughly and is more important than the number of reps you can do.
5. Pace yourself – It is common to start off doing sit-ups quickly, then slow down as your abdominals tire. Start out at a slow, steady pace, and you are more likely to be able to keep it up than if you get burned out early on in your reps.
Persevere and Own It!
Only hard work and discipline can bring you the results you want.
If you practice your sit-ups with the correct technique and include it into your exercise regime and healthy diet, then you will see the results. Best of all you will avoid the unwanted neck pain.
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For Your Health,
Dr. Susan Friedman