So...I know it's been a couple of week since part one of this short series, however, I think it's time to pick it back up again and finish it. If you didn't see the first part, you can check it out here.
As I mentioned in my last post, back pain is a very common issue among all ages. Whether they are active or inactive, athletic or not, young or old. In the last post, I shared some great strengthening exercises for increasing back strength. Today, I am going to share some core exercises that will help stabilize your back even more.
When your core is strong, your back will be strong. You need to train your muscles to work together. If your back is strong but your core is not, your back can be easily injured and strained because the muscles will be too tight. On the other hand, if your core is strong but not your back, it can cause weakness in your erector spinae and surrounding muscles.
Strengthening the Core
Please remember to remove some weight if it's too difficult. Don't push yourself too hard too fast or you could increase your risk of injury. Stretch after your workout and make sure you drink plenty of water.
1. Elbow Plank
Keeping your body straight, prop yourself up on your elbows/forearms and toes. Make sure you are not bowing your back toward the floor. Hold this position for 30 seconds, release, and repeat another 3 times.
Lie on your back, pressing your lower back into the floor so as to engaged your lower abdominals. Place your hands gently behind your head, keeping your elbows out to the sides.
As you crunch up, do not pull on your neck, rather tuck your chin into your chest to avoid strain. Keep your lower back pressed into the floor the entire time. Repeat this exercise for 3 sets of 10.
3. The 100
Lie on your back and lift your knees into a tabletop position (90 degree angle). Stretch out your arms to your sides, tuck your chin into your chest, and crunch up. Holding the crunch, start pulsing your hands up and down making sure you keep your arms perfectly straight the entire time. Perform 100 pulses, relax, and repeat. If you can't do 100 just yet, do as many as you can and work your way up.
4. Leg Lifts
Lie on your back placing your hands underneath your glutes. Lift both legs straight up, pressing your lower back into the floor. Continue to keep your back pressed into the floor as your lower your legs as far as they can go. Repeat this exercise for 3 sets of 10.
5. Russian Twists
Sit on the floor, lift your feet up and lean back slightly, balancing on your sits bones. With hands together, twist side to side keeping your body tilted back slightly. Repeat for 3 sets of 10. To make this exercise more difficult, hold a dumbbell. To make this easier, keep your feet on the floor.
I hope that these posts have helped you in your search for ways to maintain back strength and integrity. Please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for new posts.
Until next time,