Core endurance is very important when it comes a healthy back. Your core is made up of several muscle groups that are positioned around the outside of your torso in a cylindrical fashion. These muscles must be strong on all sides of the cylinder in order to keep your spine (in the center of the cylinder) stabilized during various movements. Here are 3 great exercises for low back pain!
The following exercises will target all sides of your core which are made up of your abdominals, quadratus lumborum, obliques, and back extensors. Try to work up to doing these exercises daily!
Lay on your back with one leg extended and one knee bent, so that one foot is flat on the floor
Tuck your hands underneath your low back with your palms facing downward to keep a neutral curve in your low back
Curl your head and shoulders up off the floor
Note: Do not curl all the way up like a traditional sit up! Only lift the upper part of your torso up so that your shoulder blades come off the floor. This is harder and more effective than a full sit up!
Slowly lower yourself down to the starting position and repeat until you feel fatigued
Side Bridge (Obliques and QL muscles)
Lay on your side with one knee and elbow supporting yourself
Put your other hand on top of the supporting shoulder or hip for stability
Firmly press your elbow into the ground and lift your hips up off the ground towards the ceiling
Remember to try and keep a straight line between your knee, hips, low back, and supporting shoulder
Breathe deeply and hold for as long as possible
Try and work up to 30 second holds in the side bridge position, then slowly progress to 1 minute
Repeat on other side
Bird Dog (Back extensors)
Start on your hands and knees with plenty of space around you
Slowly raise one arm straight ahead of you, so that it is parallel to the floor, hold for 8 seconds, then return to starting position
Repeat on the other arm.
While keeping hands flat on the floor, kick one leg out straight backwards so that it is parallel to the floor
Keep your core tight and hold for 8 seconds.
Return to the starting position and repeat on other leg
Next, try one arm and the opposite leg at the same time. For example, raise your left arm straight out in front of you, while you also kick your right leg out behind you
Hold this position for 8 seconds then switch sides
Start with 5 reps per side of 8 second holds
Remember to breathe during each rep!
If you find that these exercises are not doing the trick, you may want to take a visit to a Chiropractor. You can come see me at Natural Choice Medical Clinic in Guelph. Give us a call at 510-265-8035 or book your appointment online.