EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR BACK AND CORE

There are two important areas of your body that you may be ignoring - your lower back and your abdominal or core muscle groups. These muscle groups may not be glamorous, but if you want to relieve (or prevent) back pain and increase your core strength to support your daily activities, you need to perform exercises that support, stabilize and protect your spine.

To strengthen your lower back and core, start with these simple bodyweight exercises:

WALL SQUATS

​Start with your back against a wall with your feet about a foot or two away from the wall. Tighten your core and slide down into a 90 degree angle and hold this pose as long as possible.

PLANKS

core workouts
​Start face down on your on stomach and place your elbows and forearms on the floor directly below your shoulders until you are supporting yourself in a push up like position. Rise up on your toes and keep your body straight from head to heels. Tighten your abs and hold this position as long as possible.

BRIDGES

Start with your back flat on the floor with your knees bent and feet firmly planted. Tighten your abs and core and raise your buttocks off the floor until your body is in a straight line from shoulders to knees. Hold this position while keeping your abs tight.

LEG LIFTS

​Lie flat on your back with your legs straight. Tighten your abs and slowly lift your legs off the floor about 16 to 24 inches and hold.

Leg lifts

SUPERMAN

​This simple but effective core strengthening exercise is also known as the “skydiver.” Start face down on the mat or floor with your arms and legs spread a little further than shoulder width apart. Tighten your core muscles and lower back and lift your arms and legs off the floor while your chest, stomach and pelvis remain in contact with the floor. Hold this position as long as possible then repeat.

SIDE PLANKS

Lie on your side and place your elbow and forearm on the floor. Tighten your abs and hold your body up in a straight line. This is just like the plank exercise detailed above except on your side on one forearm and elbow. Hold this position while keeping your abs tight and then repeat on the opposite side.

ABDOMINAL CRUNCHES

Crunchs
​Start with your back flat, knees bent and feet planted. Cross your arms across your chest, tighten your core and slowly raise your upper body until your elbows touch your knees. Pause briefly, then slowly lower your upper body back to the floor and repeat.

FINAL THOUGHT

A strong back and core work together to provide support and flexibility that will enable you to perform functional physical activities and lift heavy objectives - pain free!

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