5 simple, yet highly effective exercises, to strengthen your core, stabilize your spine, and eliminate your lower back pain. Increasing your core strength is a great way to decrease your low back pain – let me show you the best exercises to do just that in this video.
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Pain in the lower back is the most-common condition that I treat in my physical therapy clinic. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 80% of us will experience at least one “major” episode of lower back pain in our lives.
Believe it or not, weakness in our core muscles is actually the most common cause of lower back pain. If the muscles that move and stabilize your spine are not strong enough to support it, the result is often pain.
Now when I start to talk about “core muscles”, everyone immediately thinks of their stomach or “six pack” muscles. While this is certainly true and the stomach muscles are an important piece of the puzzle… they don’t make up the “whole puzzle”.
Our “core” consists of our abs in the front, obliques on the sides, lower back muscles in the rear, and the hip musculature below. Many people don’t consider the hips part of the core – but their role in strength and stability for the lower back (and subsequently whether or not pain is there) is crucial.
Just like in construction you would want to build four strong walls to build a strong house, so too do we want to focus on all the sides of our trunk in order to increase core strength. That means your “core” exercise routine should consist of exercises for your abs, your obliques, and your lower back muscles as well (bonus if we can work the hips into it, also).
My purpose in creating this video was to provide you with some simple exercises you can do at home with zero equipment required to help increase your core strength and subsequently decrease your low back pain. These are my favorite core exercises for low back pain and this is a similar home program I give to my physical therapy patients on a daily basis.
Please note – while these exercises are great at increasing core strength and decreasing pain, they may not be indicated for your specific, unique condition. Please go get your back looked at by a local, trained medical professional prior to starting this or any exercise program.
The exercises presented in this video are as follows:
BRIDGES (1:50): Great exercise for the lower back, glute, and hamstring muscles. Squeeze your glutes and use your hips/lower back to push your pelvis up to the ceiling.
PELVIC TILT WITH MARCH (2:54): My favorite exercise to activate the deepest layer of your core muscles. Rock your hips backwards and use your stomach muscles to “pull your bellybutton in to your spine”.
SIDE PLANK (4:23): Great exercise to increase spine stability through the lateral stabilizers and lateral hip muscles.
FRONT PLANK (5:50): Probably my favorite exercise for the anterior (front) core muscles. While in the plank position be sure to keep your hips down and your stomach tight. This ensures proper alignment and core muscle activation.
BIRD DOGS (7:25): A great exercise for stability and strength through dynamic motions. Your spine has to stabilize while your arms and legs do the work.
There you have them! 5 of my favorite core exercises you can do right at home to improve strength and stability in your lower back and hopefully decrease your lower back pain.
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