Core strength for low back painSo you’ve heard that core strength can help to eliminate back pain right? Well, it all depends on how you define core strength.

Size doesn’t matter!

Large surface muscles don’t equal core strength.  You can do 1000’s of sit ups everyday and have a six-pack yet not achieve the core strength that will eliminate low back pain. What does matter is muscle control.

Do the right muscles fire at the right time and in the right order?

Do the right muscles stay engaged throughout full movement?

These are the important questions. The following are three exercises that WHEN DONE CORRECTLY will develop that ridiculous core strength you need to combat back pain.

1)  The Plank.

Woman plank to eliminate back pain You’ve probably heard about this most basic core strengthening exercise… but are you doing it properly?  The goal is to engage the DEEP spinal stabilizers while STILL BREATHING!

Once you’ve mastered that, can you maintain that contraction while lifting your leg… your arm… than both?

This is so fundamental because it transfers into everyday life.  

Are you engaging those same muscles when moving from  lying flat to sitting up?  (I know most of you aren’t because I see you try to get off of our chiropractic tables)  How about when shifting that couch?  Which muscles fire first?

All movements should start from the core.  That’s what the plank teaches when done the right way.  If you have recently had a baby… the plank is a must.

The master Mark Sisson will teach you progression of the plank in this video

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2)  Hollow rocks

This is popular with gymnasts and can give huge benefits to the rest of us.  Again the key is maintaining mid-line stabilization while the body goes through movement and as your core muscles fatigue. It looks easy but you’ll curse me later.  Here are some gradual progressions from the great website GWOD

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3)  L-sit

And the best for last.  Again, this is a staple gymnast exercise that not only needs massive core strength but also flexibility in those long neglected hammies! The key here is to start slow and gradually build. Follow these three progressions here.

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Proper core strength is vital to all human movement and lack of it can lead to chronic pain.  If you are looking for a chiropractor that can help you with your core strength, give us a call today.  If you like what you’ve read and want to read more be sure to sign up for our regular health tips by entering your email to the right of this post.

Happy planking!