10 ways to prevent back pain #2 Develop a Stable Core

We have mentioned the core prior on this blog in Myth 1: Sit-ups and crunches for a strong core!.  When most people say core they are referring to the muscles around our abdomen.  When we have shoulder, hip, knee, back pain, and other pains we are commonly told we need to strengthen our core.

So what do most of us do to train the core?

We do crunches, sit-ups, ab twists, etc.  Although these strengthen some of the muscles of the core they do so at the cost of beating up our spines and other joints.

Even more important than how much weight we can lift or repetitions we can do is: “Do we have the capability to stabilize our core during activities of our daily living like walking, slipping, squatting, bending over, lifting a suitcase, running, sports, etc.”  The ultimate end goal or core training is to be stable in the core without thinking about.  We call this the “Reflexive Core”

When looking to train the core safely and efficiently, choose spine safe exercises that emphasize good posture. Examples include bird dogs, dead bugs, planking variations, powloff presses, stir the pot, and many others.   Adding perturbations and other modications to the exercises to fit your lifestyle help to train our “reflexive core stability”

Here is a video on how to properly perform the side plank.  Check back to the blog for others soon.

First start with exercises that are less challenging and build up.  We want to build the proper stability pattern and muscle recruitment pattern before making things more challenging.  If you are shaking, holding your breath, clenching your teeth /fists, falling out of your posture, or feeling the exercise mostly in areas such as the low back, hip flexors, or knees, the exercise will need to be modified.  Start easy and build up slowly, “Harder is not better in the beginning!”

For more information on proper exercise progressions and core control feel free to contact the office at 720-446-9998

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