Core strengthening is a well-rounded approach to building strength and function, which will help protect your back. It involves strengthening not only the abdominals, but also key muscles of the back, sides, and pelvis. While core strengthening can include traditional abdominal workouts such as crunches and sit-ups, strengthening only the abdominals creates imbalances and promotes poor posture, which can potentially lead to pain. This is why it is more effective to perform exercises that focus on the core as a whole.
When your core is strong, it offers support to your back and helps keep your posture in good alignment. A strong core will also help you with typical daily activities such as; carrying groceries, twisting to reach something in the back seat, vacuuming, gardening, and even sitting properly at your desk. If you enjoy sports, having a strong and balanced core will improve your athletic performance. Finally, a strong core improves your overall balance and stability, reducing the risk of a fall as you age.
The eight-week Telespine program focuses on stretching, strengthening the core, and posture. It is important to take the time to properly build the foundation of a strong, stable core in order to before progressing onto more difficult core exercises. This foundation will prepare your body to meet the demands of more challenging exercises without injury. You will begin with the basics and learn the key core muscles and how to strengthen them in a safe and effective manner. From there you will be challenged more as you progress. For example, you will begin using your own body weight, then progress to using bands and balls.
A few of our favorite core strengthening exercises are listed below. If you have any questions on core strengthening and its importance, please contact us.
Transverse Abdominis Isometric Knee Raise
- Benefits: This exercise will activate your core muscles and stabilize your pelvis and spine.
- Instructions:Start by lying flat on your back with your feet hip distance apart and knees bent. Place your hands on your thighs right below your knees. Next, engage your core while bringing one knee up to 90 degrees and then the other. Press your knees into your hands while resisting with your hands. Hold for 10s then lower one leg down and then the other. Repeat. NOTE: Keep shoulders down and don’t forget to breathe.
- Benefits: This exercise will improve lower spine extension mobility and strengthen your core muscles.
- Instructions: Begin lying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip distance apart. Place your arms at your side with your palms up. Engage your core then gently lift your hips toward the ceiling. You should feel your knees moving away from your torso. Hold for 1-2 breaths and lower back to the floor. Relax at the bottom. Re-engage your core and repeat.
Upper Body Raise
- Benefits: This exercise will strengthen your entire lower back muscles and legs.
- Instructions:Start by lying flat on your belly and your arms in a cactus position. Place your feet hip distance apart and engage your core. Exhale and lift your upper body up off of the mat 2-3 inches. Keep your hips in contact with the floor. Hold for a breath and lower slowly. Repeat.