Strengthen Your Core!

Exercise Committee


This is popular advice most back pain sufferers have heard at least once. Core musculature (muscles of the back, abdominal, and pelvic regions) strength is indeed important in maintaining your body’s ability to carry out physical tasks and maintain proper posture and movements. Strengthening, or more accurately increasing the endurance, of your core musculature decreases your spine’s work load demand and allows your back to be fresher and ideally injury free. Unfortunately, not all exercises for your core are made equal and in fact some have the potential to be detrimental to your spinal health. For example, sit ups are a wonderful exercise to increase abdominal strength; however the sit up motion greatly increases pressure and work load in the lower back which puts your back at risk of injury. The good news is there are several great core strengthening exercises that exist that are also back friendly too! Here are just a few you can do today to get started:

Side Bridge

Side Bridge

On your side with knees bent at 90 degrees, prop up on your elbow, elongate neck away from shoulder, and draw your abdominal wall in. Continue to breathe. Lift hips away from table keeping your head, shoulders and hips in a straight line. Hold for 10 seconds working towards 30 seconds. Repeat 1-5 times or to fatigue...

Prone Bridge/Plank

Prone Bridge

Prop up onto elbows and knees. Keep shoulders, hips and knees in a straight line. Hold 10 seconds, working towards 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times...

Abdominal Crunch

Abdominal Crunch

Draw abdominal wall inward, exhale as you lift chest area. This can be done with quick short movements, or slow full movements. Repeat 10-15 times, to fatigue...

If performing these exercises causes you a great deal of discomfort, it is recommended that you seek the input of a spine specialist or physical therapist in forming an individualized exercise program.