If you have low back pain you’ve probably heard or been told “you need to strengthen your core.”
There’s truth to this of course, but not in the sense which we traditionally think.
If you have low back pain (and even if you don’t) we recommend you *never* do crunches or sit-ups, or twisting exercises, especially with weight.
Instead, we want to work on adding core *stability* and improving posture and engagement of the core when sitting, standing and moving.
Here are five exercises that can be effective for reducing and preventing low back pain.
Planks: Start with :15, work up to :30.
Tip: imagine pulling your elbows towards your feet, and tipping your ribcage and pelvis toward each other.
Side Planks: Start with :15, work up to :30.
Tip: Lift from your tip hip and press your bottom hip up. Imagine a string being pulled from your hips up to the ceiling.
Bridges: Start with 3 sets of 10 reps, work up to 3 sets of 15 reps.
Tip: Keep your upper back on the ground. Tilt your belly button towards your spine. When you come back down, be sure your tailbone touches the ground after each rep.
Anti-rotation Holds & Presses: Start with :15 holds, work up to :30 holds.
Tip: Tuck your tailbone under, to make a position I like to call “ugly butt.” Try to bring your ribs and hips towards each other.
Dead Bugs: Start with 3 sets of 5 per side, work up to 3 sets of 10 per side.
Tip: Be sure your low back stays flat on the mat the whole time. The leg should extend straight, but not touch the floor. Only go as low as you can while keeping your back flat agains the ground.
These exercises can be done 2-4 days a week. Try to avoid doing them on back to back days if possible.