Here are some of my favourite core strengthening exercises for the prevention and management of lower back pain.
Your core muscles provide a stable support for your entire body, transferring forces between your upper and lower body and controlling movement in every plane of motion. They play a huge role in everyday activities, from getting out of bed, walking, lifting heavy objects, balancing and most importantly, they help you stay upright.
Before beginning this programme, please be aware not all exercises are suitable for everyone, particularly if you have a weakness or are prone to injury. If at any time you feel you are exercising beyond your current fitness ability or feel pain, discomfort, dizziness or nausea you should stop immediately and reconsider your use of this particular routine. The user assumes all risks of injury in the use of this programme.
1. Core Engagement
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Engage your abdominal muscles (imagine a belt sitting below your belly button tightening, as you gently draw your belly button in towards the spine) whilst tilting your pelvis and pushing your lower back into the floor. You should not be able to see any daylight underneath your back in this position.
Hold this position for 10 seconds, gradually increasing the time. Maintain the connection whilst breathing normally, try to avoid holding your breath – this gets easier with practice!
2. Double Knee Folds
Lay on your back with your knees bent. Engage your core and push your lower back into the floor. Exhale as you float your right leg to form a right angle with your hip and knee. Inhale to hold, and exhale to float your other leg into the same position. Hold this position for 3-5 seconds before slowly lowering one leg at a time.
Do not allow your abdominals to bulge or your back to arch away from the floor.
Repeat 8-12 times, 3 sets.
3. Leg Lowers
Lay on your back with your legs lifted to form a right angle with your hip and knee. Engage your core and push your lower back into the floor. Slowly lower one leg to tap the toe on the floor before lifting back up to the starting position. Alternate your legs keeping the knees bent.
Keep your lower abdominals engaged throughout and make sure you avoid your back arching as you lower the leg.
Repeat 8-12 times, 3 sets.
To increase difficulty:
Option 1: extend the leg straight out as you lower.
Option 2: include your arms. Begin with both arms straight up, as you lower one leg, extend the opposite arm behind the head.
If you have any questions do get in touch.
Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.