Neck strain is never fun. So be mindful of your movements and only do what feels good. If something hurts (besides your aching abs), get it checked out. Consult a physician before performing any exercises.
1. Cat cow
- Get on your hands and knees with your knees in line with your hips and your wrists in line with your shoulders.
- Keep knees and shins hip distance apart.
- Point your fingers towards the top of the mat with your head in a neutral position.
- Inhale and lift your chin and chest, gazing up towards the ceiling and dropping your belly towards the floor. (However, if your neck won't allow it, keep your gaze forward.)
- Keep your back and shoulders strong by pulling your shoulders away from your ears.
- Exhale and pull your belly in towards your spine, rounding your back with the crown of your head pointed towards the floor. (Think crunches.) Hold for 5 seconds.
- Inhale into Cow pose, then exhale into Cat pose.
Do 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions.
2. Forearm Plank
- Starting on all fours, lower down to your forearms with your elbows under your shoulders.
- Move your feet straight out behind you, hips distance apart.
- Engage your core and push down to the ground with your forearms to keep your shoulders away from your ears.
- Hold forearm plank for 5-10 full, steady breaths, then rest in child's pose.
Repeat 3 more times.
3. Leg Raises
- Lay on your back and place your hands alongside your body.
- Lift your legs into the air vertically.
- Contract your abdominals, creating a micro lift of your pelvis.
- Hold the contracted position for two seconds, then slowly release.
- If your neck allows, you can also lift your pelvis higher as in a reverse crunch.
Do 4 sets of 20 lifts.
4. Scissor Kicks
- Lay on your back with your hands under your hips.
- Raise your legs off the floor with one raised higher than the other.
- Alternate leg positions (by bringing the top leg to the bottom and bottom leg to the top) without lowering your legs to the floor. (Though if you are a beginner, you can tap your foot on the floor with every movement.
- Do 4 sets of 20 (with one repetition being that the top leg has alternated with the bottom and returned to the top once again.)