I have a client who is limited to jack knifes on a bench, roman chair knee raises and FreeMotion Fitness abdominal reverse crunches due to pain in her neck. I was wondering if you could offer some alternative abdominal exercises for her. She does not have a neck injury, just pain when she attempts crunches or any abdominal exercise on the ball or floor.
First, if she is getting pain in the neck with exercises, refer her to a licensed medical professional for evaluation. The neck is not something to play around with. Also, make sure the head alignment is proper during exercise. The head and chin should remain "tucked in" and not allowed to protrude or jut forward and the cervical spine should not go into excessive extension as in tilting the head upward or looking up. This will placed excessive stress on the neck and cause discomfort. As far as alternative exercises, try the following (these exercises or variations of these exercises can be found in the PTN Exercise Library):
- Knee Ups on a Bench
- Reverse Crunches on a Bench
- Standing Cable Crunches (with cable behind you) on FreeMotion Fitness equipment
- Kneeling Cable Crunches