McGill Crunch Progressions
Purpose: to engage the abdominal muscles without increasing disc compression forces in the lumbar spine. Do not flatten the low back to the floor, instead place your hands under your lumbar region for support (to keep a neutral spine position) and produce a roll up motion from the thoracic spine region.
Description: The basic starting posture is supine with the hands supporting the lumbar region. Keep the spine in neutral to maintain elastic equilibrium and decrease stress on the passive tissues. One knee is bent with the knee flexed to 90 degrees, and keep both feet pointed up towards the ceiling. The focus of the rotation is in the thoracic spine, NOT the neck or the low back. Keep the neck in a neutral position, do not flex it forward. Leave the elbows on the floor while elevating the head and shoulders a short distance off the floor. The rotation is focused in the mid-thoracic region while the head/neck is locked onto the rib cage. Hold this position for 5 seconds and slowly lower back to the floor. Repeat 5x.