4 minute Core Exercise Routine to help Low Back Pain

This core exercise routine is designed to activate and strengthen the core muscles that surround the lower back. These muscles, including, the ‘six pack’ and several others too, surround the lower spine to create a ‘brace’ effect.

When the core muscles are strong, then they do their job of stabilising the spine to help with:

  • Posture
  • Movement of the limbs
  • Balance
  • Prevention of lower back injuries

When the core is weak we often see a particular posture. That posture is the ‘sway back’ posture. Do you have a sway back posture? It looks like this:

  • bottom sticks out
  • tummy protrudes
  • hamstrings are often tight (even after stretching)

Low back pain sufferers will often benefit from having a strong core. The exercises in this video are to increase the strength of the core to help to stabilise the spine and provide more support. Core strength is often missed by people who are looking for answers to their spinal issues.

For more information on what the core muscles then refer to our past video that details what the core muscles are and their purpose. CLICK HERE.

What type of lower back pain can benefit from core exercises?

There are many reasons why people can suffer with lower back pain. The pain can be acute in nature or it can be something that has been around for a long time, in other words, chronic pain. Acute pain from an accident, such as a sporting incident, car or workplace accident, will be not be helped by these exercises. Once the acute phase is over, then these exercises can help. For those who are suffering with stiffness in lower back or have mild to moderate pain, then give them a go. Start slow and build up the time holding the exercise and the number of reputations. If pain and stiffness persist, then visiting a chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist to assess the function and alignment of the spine, may be advocated.

When not do these exercises?

  1. Severe pain that renders you incapable of performing activities of daily living
  2. Shooting, sharp pain down the leg as this may indicate a nerve impingement
  3. Loss of bowel or bladder function. This is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

Ensure you warm up before starting these exercises. If you experiencing any aggravation of symptoms with performing these exercises then stop. 

Modern lifestyle of too much sitting, over use of mobile phones and tablets, poor nutrition, too much stress and inadequate exercise and lack of appropriate sleep, can all contribute to low back issues. It is a combination of these lifestyle factors that aggravate low backs and therefore dealing with the body in a holistic way will get the best results. Core strength is a big part of building up strength in the spine.

4 minute Core Exercise Routine – repeat twice

1.Bird Dog

Start on your hands and knees. Brace your core (gently pull belly button to lower back) and slowly lift one arm and opposite leg to a horizontal position. Aim to hold for three seconds. Gently lower and repeat on the other side. Do 10 each side.. Make sure your neck is elongated and your are looking down.

2. Plank

Get onto your forearms and toes. Make sure your elbows are directly under your shoulders. Brace core and gluteal muscles as you get your body in a horizontal line.. Hold this position and aim for 90 seconds. Remember to work at your own pace.

For a less challenging posture, move to your hands and place knees on the ground

3. Superman

Lie on our front on the carpet or yoga mat. Have your arms out to the side with elbows and shoulders bent 90 degrees. Brace your core and lift your upper body off the floor, holding 3 seconds. Tthen lower. Aim to do 10 of these. Slightly pull your elbows towards your spine when lifting torso.

The advanced exercise is to lift legs off ground as you lift arms.

4. Toe Tap and Dead Bug

Lie on your back. and bend knees and hips at 90 degrees.. Have arms straight with fingers pointing to the ceiling (or sky if you are outside). Brace your core. Gently tap one foot, then the other to the ground. Repeat 10 times each side.

Lower the opposite arm over your head as you tap your toe. This is the advanced option.. Do 10 times each side.

5. Bridge

Lie on back with knees bent. Lift bottom off the  floor so thighs are in alignment with the torso. Brace core and squeeze gluteal muscles. Aim to hold for 2 minutes. Start with 20 seconds and build up.

CLICK HERE to see our last video. It goes through 5 stretches for low back issues.

Any questions, please feel free to email us or comment below.

Lisa chiropractor


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