a pain in my…neck?

First of all, I have to say thank you for the unbelievable comments you all left on my last post. Seriously. It’s such a comfort to know that so many of you can relate to being a perfectionist and are working to overcome it. Life is so much more enjoyable when we rid ourselves of that burden.

Second, I have to say I’m quite proud of myself for keeping up with my posting schedule this week. I was sure I’d miss a day or two in there but I somehow managed to stay on top of things. Success! Obviously life hasn’t been quite so stressful for this little guy…


And finally, today’s post…

Remember a few weeks ago when I kept harping on the importance of stability and core training? Well, I’m back to do it again! As I make my way through the last few chapters of my NASM textbook I’ve started to look back on the things I’ve learned and what really stood out. Ironically enough, one of the things NASM repeats over and over again is the importance of having a strong foundation to build on. Whether you’re brand new to exercise, a yogi, an avid cross-fitter, a body-builder, etc., stability and core training should always be your base. Then, as you gain strength in those areas, you’ll be able to safely and effectively add in different types of exercise and push yourself to new limits.

I don’t know about you but I’ve always struggled when it comes to doing a zillion crunches. No matter how perfect my form is, after a while my neck starts to ache and I tire of repeating the same motion over and over. Thankfully, core-training doesn’t have to include crunches- in fact, almost every exercise can work your abs if you’re keeping them engaged throughout the movement.

So, in light of that, I wanted to share a quick 8 (or 16!) minute ab routine that doesn’t require one single crunch or sit-up. One time through each circuit is quite a workout in itself but, if you want an extra challenge, repeat Circuit #1 before you move on to Circuit #2 and then repeat that one as well!

Anti-Crunch Abs

Most of the exercises should be fairly simple & self-explanatory but, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! (If you type the exercise into Google, demonstrations should also be available online.)

I actually really enjoy this workout (it flies by!) and I hope you do too! It’ll leave your core strong and your neck happy- what more could we ask for?!

Here’s to buildin’ abs of steel…


  1. love this!!! I also get terrible neck pains when doing too many crunches and I never understood how people can do them without their hands behind their head for support!

    • Emily said:

      I’ve never understood that either! People always claim that it won’t hurt if you have good form but it still does!

  2. I’m always looking for new abs routines so you can bet I’ll be trying this one! Also, I LOVE that pictures of the city in the background 🙂

    • Emily said:

      Thank you! I actually took that picture when I was on a hike a few months ago- LA is gorgeous from up above. (:

  3. Ellie said:

    I do this every morning along with some stretches. 10 mins total and gets me ready for the day by putting a smile on my face 🙂

    • Emily said:

      Ooooh- I’m gonna have to try this! I always have to do some stretching or something in the morning, otherwise I never fully wake up. haha

  4. I have yet to hit the gym today, so I’ll be sure to give this a go when I finally muster up enough energy to head over there ;p Thanks for sharing!

  5. Lionel – oh gush, what a cutie. I really, really wish I could have a cat, but I’m allergic to them 😦 And I really, really like an ab workout that doesn’t involve crunches – I definitely remember overdoing it on the crunches and having to deal with a sore neck afterwards. Thanks for sharing!

    • Emily said:

      Me too! Overdoing it on crunches is horrible.
      And I’m so sorry that you’re allergic to kitties. ): I was actually never much of a cat person (I’ve always preferred dogs) until I got Lionel. Now he’s my little baby.

  6. P said:

    I really need to work on my core! I would say it’s the most neglected area for me since I prefer to workout my arms and legs. But this routine seems simple enough to follow and seems like it could be done consistently. Can’t wait to try it :)!

    • Emily said:

      Thats so funny- I’m the complete opposite! I tend to focus on my core and lower body and neglect my arms. I definitely need to work on that. haha

      Let me know what you think of the workout!

  7. I’ve never understood why people say it shouldn’t hurt to do crunches if you have the right form because it always strains my neck, even with proper form! So I’m thankful for these non-crunch ab exercises–planks are definitely one of my favorite core-strengthening moves!

    • Emily said:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one! And I agree- I looove planks! I try to do one every day.

  8. Beth said:

    What is your job at the restaurant? Also, can I adopt your kitty? So precious. Where did you get him/her?

    • Emily said:

      I actually rescued him from a veterinary hospital near me! His momma was left there and had a litter of kittens so they had them available to adopt. It worked out perfectly because he was born at the vet so I knew he was up to date on shots and 100% healthy!
      And I’m currently working as a restaurant assistant which means I basically oversee everything, manage all of the take-out orders, help with serving, etc. I’m hoping I’ll be moved up to a full-time server soon though!

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