DON’T do Sit Ups, try these LOW BACK STRENGTHENING Exercises
5 exercises to do to help strengthen and stabilise the low back.
Sit ups place the low back (lumbar spine) in a flexed posture and that can stress and strain the joints, discs and other structures in the low back. Don’t do sit ups, try the following exercises that will help to increase core strength and reduce low back vulnerability.
An important factor when looking at low back injuries is to work on the core muscles. These muscles are all around the low back and when strong, form an imaginary ‘corset’ or ‘brace’ to provide support for the low back.
We go through the following core strengthening exercises:
- bird/dog. While on hands and knees, brace core. As you lift one leg straight out behind you, lift the opposite arm, so you are all in a straight line. Do 5-10 each side alternating. Do 3 sets.
- plank. Do the plank on elbows or hands. Slightly tilt the pelvis under and aim to hold for 30-60 seconds. Do 3 sets.
- side plank. On your hand or elbow, lift one side of your body. Hold for 20 seconds and do 3 sets.
- core bracing. Lying on your back with hips and knees bent at 90 degrees. Brace your core and gently and slowly tap one toe at a time. Do 5-10 each side and do 3 sets. In the video you can see two variations of this for a harder workout.
- ante rotations. While lying on your back, start in the same position as the last exercise. With this one, gently bring the knees to each side, lower about 40-50 degrees. Do 10 times and do 3 reps.
Start these exercises gently, aim to hold the planks for 20-30 seconds and please do not do any exercise that aggravates your pain.
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