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Core/abs strengthening exercises that don't strain neck?

BuelaBBuela Posts: 67
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:57 AM in Exercise and Rehab
I'm still 2 months away from my surgery (2-level ACDF) and I don't have any doctor-imposed restrictions on my activity right now, other than what my body simply can't do (because of weak leg and arm).

Before my surgery, I'd really like to do what I can to strengthen my abs/core, since I'm sure it will help after surgery, but the only thing I know to do are crunches/situps, and those put too much of an uncomfortable strain on my neck.

Can anyone suggest exercises that can really help with abs and core strengthening but don't put any significant strain on your neck?


  • Yes I can. There are many Ab and Core exercises where you keep your head on the floor. No yanking your neck up. Old school crunches still have some value for sure but even those need to be done with a different attitude. You watch people with their hands behind their heads yanking their head and neck to get up to do the situp. That is wrong, wrong, wrong. Regardless of cervical problems or not.

    Go look on Youtube for ab exercises based on Pilates and Yoga. There are many where your upper back, neck, and head stay on the floor. You only lift your lower torso. Some look easy. They aren't if you do them right. If you need more help and respond back I'll go find some links for you as examples.

  • A friend of mine who is a Yoga instructor designed a wonderful exercise routine that strengthened core without taking my head off the mat and balance exercises that really worked all the ancillary stuff and rounded out the package.

    See if your doc recommends anyone in particular. Sometimes they know someone who is fantastic in that area, or a PT who can recommend someone.

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  • Hello - there are a few core body exercises that work great without straining the neck, but the best bang for your effort is push-ups. These can be done on forearms or knees. Forearm plank is another good core muscle strengthening gem. Neither put strain on your neck, and as long as you've been cleared to exercise, you should be good to go. Here is a link to my demonstration of the correct way to do a knee push-up.

    Link removed, solicitation not permitted
    Post Edited by Authority Member Liz
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