Substitute for crunches

shamboJune 20, 2005

I was doing crunches faithfully until about a month ago when I was struck with a severe episode of vertigo. I'm over the worst, but I still get dizzy if I move my head strangely (lying down on the bed at night, swishing my hair out of my eyes, etc.) I was wondering if anyone had a suggestion for some sort of excercise that could substitue for crunches and that wouldn't involve moving my head around. Thanks for your help.

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bbaird

Lie down on your back, with your head resting on the floor.

Lift your legs (straight) slowly as high as you can. Lower them(straight) also slowly.

I suggest that you get a Pilates book or tape (Brooke Siler's "The Pilates Body: The Ultimate At-Home Guide to Strengthening, Lengthening, and Toning Your Body--Without Machines" and/or "Pilates for Dummies" VHS or DVD)

Do ONLY the exercise that DO NOT require lifting your head. You can do the exercises that require lifting your head in a modified form -- do them WITHOUT lifting your head.

Pilates will work your core like no other exercises.

Also, whenever you get up, keep your chin to your chest (head lowered) and sloooowwwwwly raise your head after you've gotten up.

Finally, see a doctor to make sure that nothing serious is wrong.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 5:06PM
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shambo

Thanks for the helpful advice. I have seen my doctor and am doing special exercises to resolve the inner ear problem and taking medication when necessary.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 5:52PM
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kimba00

Shambo,

I had the same vertigo inner ear thing. I remember full well how de-habilitating (spelling?) and frightening the experience was. For me it came on suddenly one morning and hung around for about a week. If I turned my head, even slightly to the right, the room would start to spin. I think mine was the result of swimming and getting an ear full of lake water. Anyway, I stayed off of milk products (they aggrivated the issue) and was taking Meclizine (motion sickness) to treat it.

At that time I had to stop the crunches because even laying on my back for a few moments would bring on a spell of vertigo. A friend of mine, who is a yoga instructor, showed me a way to strengthen without laying down. I stood up, lifting arms gently up and pulling the stomach muscles tightly in while using my breath to expell air, holding this for a few seconds (as long as you can), then inhaling and releasing the muscles. I did this over and over until I felt the muscles were getting the workout they needed. I never realized how yoga can give you a work out without making you breathless and grunting. I actually got sore from this because it was working muscles that the crunches were not addressing, plus it was mentally very therapeutic. I also tightened the buttocks while doing this which gives those muscles a work out simultaneously. I hope this works for you and that your inner ear issue resolve themselves.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2006 at 9:58AM
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