If you don’t like crunches you’re in luck! There are many ways to stabilize and strengthen your core without resorting to jamming up your facet joints (back joints) as you do when you do sit ups.
Here is a progression of 8 exercises that keeps your spine neutral and safe from potential injury.
As you see my movement is not big. I’m only going as far as I can before my low back and my pelvis start to break apart. The goal is to keep the lumbar/pelvic complex as solid as possible. As soon as you feel like you’re starting to lose that stability you come back out of the movement!
Use this progression without a band at first and when you become confident in the movement add in more resistance!
Always consult your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program. Always move within a pain free range of motion!