Planks vs. Crunches

cam64

Cathlete
4 months ago I had ACDF surgery (neck fusion c5, c6, c7). My surgeon told me I can pretty much resume normal activities (yeah!), with some exceptions. I can't do a anything too jarring, such as stepping or running. He also told me for core work, to avoid crunches and do plank movements. Do you find plank work as effective as crunch type movements? And, I love Cathe's core segments, but what dvds focus on more planking? I don't have all of her dvds, but I have a good collection.

BTW, after almost 2 years of light weights and low impact workouts, it feels great to finally build up strength again. I am pain free. I am still being cautious until I am fully fused, though. No going crazy with the impact. Thought my Cathe days were over but my Ortho assured me they are not. I wanted to kiss him! Ha!
 

Lady Vol Fan

Cathlete
Congratulations on a successful surgery and cheers for the journey through rehab!!

I rarely do crunches anymore but I do variations of planks, pilates and standing ab work using kettlebells.
Trust me, you can still work your abs PLENTY with plank variations. I prefer planks because they're so full body when done well.

I know Cathe's slide and glide uses sliders and does planks.

If no one pops in before I do, then I will come back and post some more but pretty sure she has plenty of options on her ab circuits and ab hits DVDs.
 
Congrats on the progress in your healing journey! In addition to what @Lady Vol Fan said, you could look into Stuart McGill's research on safe core training. He is one of the most respected researchers on how to manage back pain but it seems it could be beneficial for managing your neck situation as well. He has a lot of suggestions, but start with the McGill Big 3 core exercises: bird dog, side plank, curl up (not a crunch). These might sound familiar but McGill instructs how to do them in very specific ways (different from how I used to do them, at least). Best wishes to you
 

cam64

Cathlete
Thanks Ladies! I checked out Stuart McGill on YT. I will definitely look into him. I know I should probably do more yoga, but I just have a hard time liking it. I do like fusion workouts and do Michelle Dozois's 360's once awhile Love those workouts.
 
Like the other commenter, I would recommend Stuart McGill (a fellow Canadian!). I've had multiple personal trainers and physiotherapists tell me (and other people I know) to never, ever do crunches. Planks, on the other hand, they're wild about. Crunches put tons of pressure on the spring whereas planks do not. If physical therapists say nobody should do crunches for reasons of back health, surely someone recovering from back surgery should avoid them like the plague!
 

Eden68

Member
Congratulations on a successful surgery and cheers for the journey through rehab!!

I rarely do crunches anymore but I do variations of planks, pilates and standing ab work using kettlebells.
Trust me, you can still work your abs PLENTY with plank variations. I prefer planks because they're so full body when done well.

I know Cathe's slide and glide uses sliders and does planks.

If no one pops in before I do, then I will come back and post some more but pretty sure she has plenty of options on her ab circuits and ab hits DVDs.
Both planks and crunches have their problems. On crunches I have always a stiff neck and on planks wrists are hurting. But both have their place, I prefere crunches and I use a yoga block under my head so I don't have that tired neck while doing the workouts.
 

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