There are a lot of reasons crunches could cause neck pain, but a lot of them can be corrected with good form. One of my favorite fitness instructors, Colleen Palomaa, used to say, “Remember, we aren’t working out our neck, we are working out our ABS. Don’t pull on your neck.”
And she was absolutely right. Many times, in our attempt to do a move, we compensate for lack of strength by using other muscles to “get there”, and then we aren’t using abs at all, we are pulling on our neck. This is not only a waste of our time because we aren’t really working any muscles, but you can also potentially injure yourself and DEFINITELY cause yourself unneeded pain.