Ab Workout That Won't Strain Your Neck

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

Starting position:

  • 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.
  Now move into Cow:

 summerperezcowpose

  • 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.
  Then into Cat:

 summerperezcatpose1

  • 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

summerperezforearmplank  

  • 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  

summerperezlegraisereversecrunch

  • 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.)

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