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5 Dynamic Core Strength Exercises For Back Pain

Posted on February 15, 2014

Core strength and core stability are phrases commonly used in exercise circles but you may not know exactly what it means to have core strength. What is your core, and why is it important to build strength and stability in this area of the body? You may have heard that a strong core helps prevent back pain and eases back discomfort. How does your core help your back? What do you need to do to develop core strength in order to help your back? Here we offer five simple strategies for strengthening your core to strengthen your back and minimize the risk of back pain and injury.

What Is Your Core?

Your core, as it is commonly referred to, is actually a set of muscles that are found around your central region – the abdominals, the back, the hips and the pelvic floor. Your core muscles and the core area generally is responsible for maintaining good balance and posture, improving trunk stability, and helping you move efficiently and correctly. Strong core muscles help your body remain in balance. If your core muscles are weak then other muscle groups have to work harder to compensate, and this causes back pain and injury.

You don’t have to look like a bodybuilder or have a six-pack in order to have a strong core. Core strength is less about appearance and more about functionality. You may have defined abs but this is not the only aspect of core strength that is important. You need to work on the deeper, less visible, muscles in order to help ease back pain and build better posture. Read on for four core strengthening exercises that help to develop your core so you can support your spine efficiently and correctly. While you are doing these exercises make sure you are pulling in, or “zipping up” your core – keep it tight and keep focused on your breathing and your core work. When you keep your core muscles engaged you will be much more efficient in any sport you choose to do, or any activity you enjoy such as running or lifting weights.

Core Exercises to Help Your Back

You can do these exercises in your own home without any specialist equipment. It doesn’t take a whole lot of time and effort to do these exercises and they can really make a difference to how your back feels and works. When you do these exercises correctly you will benefit from improved posture, better balance, improved spine stability and greater strength.

  • Front Plank – Perform the basic plank exercise by resting on your hands or your forearms and facing the floor. Make sure you are not sticking your butt into the air or hollowing out your back. It helps to do this exercise in front of a mirror a few times to get the technique correct, or work with a fitness instructor.
  • Side Plank – Do the side plank by resting on your hand and your feet on one side of your body. This exercise is good for developing strength in your hips and also helps to reduce knee pain and prevent hip injury when exercising.
  • Reverse Plank – Doing the simple plank exercise the other way round helps to strengthen your hamstrings and your glutes, as well as your core muscles.
  • Bridge – Bending backwards with your feet and hands on the ground so you resemble a bridge is good for strengthening your core in a dynamic way as well as strengthening your glutes and hamstrings, which also helps strengthen your back.
  • Chair Dip – Scoot your backside to the edge of a chair and place your hands on the edge of the chair beneath your buttocks. Keep your feet on the floor and dip your body to the ground, using your arms to raise yourself back up.