Do you suffer from frequent or persistent back pain?
If so, you have probably heard that the best way to address these symptoms is a consistent, well-structured, abdominal and core strengthening program. But we understand the reality is not always so simple. Especially if you have a seated occupation or a generally sedentary lifestyle, achieving this kind of structure can be a lot easier suggested than done.
First of all, even if your core strength is significantly limited, don't feel too self-conscious.
After all, even many seemingly active individuals, athletes, and regular exercisers often tend to neglect their core conditioning programs. For them, this can lead to sub-par competitive performances and serious athletic injuries.
In as little as 10 minutes on three days per week, you can strengthen your core to decrease back pain and improve your quality of life. The key is to focus on performing the most effective and efficient abdominal exercises as possible.
The following are three of the very best options:
Lie on your back on top of a mat or other soft surface and bend your knees so the soles of your feet touch the ground. Tense your core muscles and press your lower back down toward the ground or a rolled up towel.
Hold for one second, then release. As you press down, you should feel your pelvis begin to tilt up. But do not allow it to quite lift up off the ground.
For the best results, complete two slow sets of 15 repetitions.
Alternating Side Crunches
Lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and hands resting at the sides of your head. As you lift your shoulders from the ground to perform a crunch, also rotate your core so your right elbow approaches your left knee. Return to a neutral position before rising up to the opposite side.
Try to perform two sets of at least 20 repetitions.
Single Leg Raises
Lie on your back with your core engaged, one leg bent, and your other straight and resting. Lift your straight leg as high as possible or until perpendicular to the floor, then return to the start position. Make sure your lower back remains pressed firmly against the ground for the entire movement.
Perform eight repetitions before switching legs.
Shaun Karp is a certified personal trainer. 604-420-7800 karpfitness.com