Neck pulling during pilates?

Hello all! Whenever I do pilates, I end up hurting/injuring my neck. I must be pulling on it when doing a “crunch” position (for 100s, etc). No matter how hard I try to use my abs and not pull on my neck, my neck ends up sore.

I don’t have the strongest abs in the world, so maybe I am just weak?

Any thoughts? I suppose I should just do those exercises with my neck/head on the floor? I feel like I am the only one this happens to - hah!

This doesn’t happen when I do yoga, I think because yoga poses usually don’t have the upper body in that “crunch” position as much.

Hi Maria,
Ouch, poor you. When my neck gets achy I just support it lightly with one hand behind my head, elbow out or I try leaving some space between my chin and my chest helps. I’d imagine you’ve tried both of those already. I suppose our necks grow stronger with practice and time. I’d be interested to hear how if it gets easier for you in the near future. Keep us posted!


Hi Maria! You are so not alone in this. I wanted to share some of these really short videos that really focus on alignment. I really hope they help with your neck, I’d love to hear how it goes!

Also, try not to look at the ceiling or sky when you lift your head up and try looking towards your navel or thighs. Your neck can take on more of the strain if your core if feeling fatigued, so feel free to take a little break as well. Don’t push through too much neck pain. I’ve found that perfecting the neutral spine helps with my neck as well.

Anyone else have any great tips?

Protect Your Neck
Mat Pilates with Anula Maiberg
5 mins • Level 1-2

Finding a Neutral Spine
Mat Pilates with Jeni DelPozo
5 mins • Level 1

Bicycle Crunch Basics
Mat Pilates with Kit Rich
5 mins • Level 1-2

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Wow, this is so helpful! Thanks! I totally thought you WERE supposed to look at the ceiling, huh!

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