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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown

Janet Aylott

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant


How can I solve my sore neck and lower back from sit ups?

Hi Kelly, Just looking for a wee bit of advice! I do a lot of walking and running but looking for something to tone up my flabby tummy!! I have started doing the 10 Minute Solutions dvd Blast off Belly Fat which is really good but when I try to do the sit ups i get a really sore neck then when I've finished the lower part of my back is stiff and sore. I know I am getting my technique wrong somewhere .... any advice?? Thanks Pauline x


Our expert says...

Hi Pauline,

It is great that you already include walking and running as part of your exercise as these activities will help with fat burning which is essential when trying to improve the appearance around the middle of the body.

When performing crunches have your feet flat on the floor, draw the tummy muscles in and lift the upper body up towards the ceiling, hold for 1 second and then lower under control concentrating on slow, quality movements.  At the top of each crunch movement, your head and shoulders should be raised off the floor but with your lower back still in contact with the ground.  Pause and hold here for 1 second while trying to consciously squeeze your abdominal muscles.

The key to effective abdominal training is to activate the abdominals and keep them working throughout each rep and set, preventing other muscles from taking over and dissipating the overload and toning benefit.  Look to do the drawing in manoeuvre, (see below), throughout every abdominal exercise movement.

Drawing in manoeuvre: take a breath in and as you do, draw your belly button in towards spine. You should feel a tension develop in your midrift (like you have put a belt on!). As you breath out, keep your belly button drawn towards your spine and then breath normally.  Keep this feeling of tension in your tummy as you perform every abdominal exercise rep.

Take a look at 'Core Exercises' under 'Kelly's Home Exercise Articlcles' in the Resources section for more detail on the drawing in manoeuvre.  The article will also illustrate how to perform opposite arm and leg crunches for when you have mastered the drawing in manouever!

Hope this helps,


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