Did you know that your core muscles play a vital role in maintaining good posture and support for your spine? A strong core offers strength and stability for your spine and can help to prevent frustrating issues such as back pain, as well as supporting overall health and well-being. We know how confusing it can be when looking to integrate new exercises and whether they are going to help, so this week, we share some of our favourite exercises that are gentle and effective to help you develop and maintain core strength. When you read the exercises, you may be surprised that the classic 'abdominal crunch' or 'sit-up' that many of us associate with strengthening the core is not there, but this is for a good reason. Unfortunately, these movements can put unnecessary stress on the spine, which we want to avoid.
Here are 4 effective exercises to help strengthen your core and support spine health: 1. Plank The Plank is a classic core exercise that strengthens your abdominal muscles, lower back, and hips. To perform a plank, start in a push-up position with your arms straight and your shoulders above your wrists. Next, tighten your abs, glutes, and legs, and hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute. If you struggle on your toes, try performing the exercise on your knees instead. 2. Bird Dog The Bird Dog exercise is excellent for core stability, and if you are struggling with lower back pain can be a gentle exercise to incorporate into your routine. Start on your hands and knees with your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Extend your right arm and left leg straight out slowly and controlled, keeping your back and hips level. Hold the position for a few seconds before returning to your starting position. Alternate sides and repeat. 3. Bridge The Bridge exercise helps to strengthen your glutes, lower back, and core. If you spend a lot of time sitting, this can be a brilliant exercise to wake up and strengthen your glute muscles so that when you are actively moving, they offer support instead of relying on your lower back. To perform the exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Tighten your abs and glutes and lift your hips towards the ceiling, keeping your shoulders and feet on the ground. Hold the position for a few seconds and then lower your hips to your starting position. 4. Dead Bug The Dead Bug exercise helps to improve pelvic stability and activate your deep abdominals, which assist in developing a strong base of support. Lie on your back with your arms extended towards the ceiling and your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Slowly lower your right arm behind you, and left leg towards the ground, keeping your back flat and your abs engaged. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. Adding these core exercises into your routine can help you take care of your spine and reduce the risk of developing injuries. A strong and healthy spine not only supports your overall health and well-being, but also helps you perform daily activities with ease and enjoyment! Please remember that it's important to slowly incorporate these exercises into your routine, building up on intensity and repetitions over time. If you have a pre-existing back condition, always consult with your chiropractor or healthcare provider before starting to ensure the exercises are right for you. We look forward to hearing how you get on, and please reach out if you have any questions or would like some tailored advice before starting.
The content of this blog is for educational purposes and is not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of a qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.