When ever I do crunches or sit-ups it hurts I cant help but using my neck, so what could i do that really effects your abs?
Hang on a pull up bar and and raise your legs up as your bending your knee and squeeze your abs.
You can move them in different angles to target specific areas of your abs and obliques.
leg lifts suck but they work your lower abs which is what you want
wide grip pushups
Swimming works every muscle in your body so it's great for an all-over tone up. I hate doing crunches as well so I prefer to stick to swimming and yoga as they're gentle exercises and also help other areas of your body at the same time.
I would suggest supersetting or interval training. it combines strength training(for building lean muscle tissue) and cardio(for fat burning). you don't need any fancy equipment or an expensive gym membership.
example: squats, push-ups, pull-ups, mountain climbers(if you can't do a push-up or pull-up=> use dumbbells or resistance bands & do a pushing exercise and a pulling exercise instead). do 15 reps of each back to back to back to back without resting. that equals 1 set. rest 30-60 secs. repeat. do 3-5 complete sets. Do this 3-4x/week.
If you noticed there are no sit-ups or crunches in this workout(I personally think sit-ups & crunches are a waste of time). the best way to burn fat and tighten up your midsection & core is through total body exercises! This style of training doesn't have you spending in hours and hours a week training either. They are short, fast and effective!
These workouts are great for women or men!
Exercises for legs,upper and lower back, chest give you the biggest metabolic bang for your buck in terms of abdominal fat loss.High intensity super-set, tri-set or circuit fashion of these exercises gives you the biggest fat-burning and metabolism boosting response from your workouts.
Another mistake most people make is mindlessly pumping away with hundreds of crunches and other meaningless abs exercises that barely give your abdominal much resistance to work against.If your are really looking for sexy and visible abs , you should not waste your time with exercises that you can do more than 20 -25 reps....that means you are not doing exercises that generate enough resistance for abs.Exercises that give you enough resistance to get you down into the 6-15 rep range per set works great for the abs.
Generally, higher resistance abdominal exercises that provide a much larger stimulus to the abs come in the form of exercises that involve raising/curling the legs and pelvis either upward or inward closer to the trunk. A couple great examples of these higher resistance abdominal exercises are hanging leg raises or knee raises using a "pelvic curl up", or an exercise like lying hip thrusts. Many times, the same people that can do 50 or 100 crunches, can't even complete more than 2 or 3 properly executed hanging leg raises.
Here's a great exercise that focuses the abs but doesn't affect the neck. Check this out:
I've been doing these exercises for about 3 weeks now, and it is working wonders!
Take a deep breath and hold it. Tighten up your abs as hard as you can while slowly exhaling. Keep your abs REALLY TIGHT for 30 seconds if you can (being sure to exhale throughout -- and inhaling as needed -- you don't want to pass out by not breathing). Repeat this a few times. Later on in the day, do it again, only this time from a slouching position or lean forward. You can vary this a bit, too, but giving attention to your side (love handle) area. You can even do them again at odd moments of the day if you want.
And that's it! Do these again each day.
The link below has a similar exercise for the abs, too. I recommend you check this one out as well. I do both exercises.
So you can do these. All I can do is tell you what I personally have done. And this works for me. I wish you well.
There is so much BS going around about how to get six pack abs. Some is decent advice, but most of it is rubbish. If you want great looking abs, you need to focus on a LOT more than just training the abs directly. Let's talk about fat loss, the MOST important thing for getting your abs visible.
The most important thing for fat loss, is that your diet is as natural and unprocessed as possible. It almost always comes back to the over processing of food that makes it bad for you, and makes it totally destroy your metabolism and hormone balance in your body. For example, why eat refined grains, when you can eat whole grains. Why eat refined sugar, when you can get natural sources of sugar from a high nutrient whole food like fruit. Why eat highly processed, refined, and hydrogenated vegetable oils (these are THE worst thing in the modern diet), when you can eat natural sources of healthy fats like nuts, avocados, fish, eggs, coconut milk, organically raised meat, and so forth. The point is to not fall for some gimmick like low carbs, low fat, high protein, or any other combination that has you focusing on one macronutrient vs. another. Your body needs all macronutrients to thrive and obtain a variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc. Trying to cut an entire food group out just works against what your body needs.
There is much more detail on this vitally important topic towards losing body fat for life in the book at the link below, and many more valuable tips. I wish you the best of luck.