Three Core Exercises To Strengthen Your Abs and Lessen Back Pain

Exercise Regularly to Maintain Your Health and Avoid Pain

Of all the muscles in your body, your back and abdominal muscles, also known as your core, are some of the most important.  The core muscles you are born with will weaken over time due to lack of exercise and aging.

back pain

Weak back and abdominal muscles usually lead to poor posture, lower back pain and even back injury. Therefore, it’s extremely important to keep the core strong to avoid these issues.

That doesn’t mean that you have to be a body builder or an athlete, but it does mean that you’ll need to do core strengthening exercises on a regular basis.  Here are three core exercises to prevent poor posture and back injury.

Basic Plank

The plank is a balance exercise for core conditioning.  To perform the basic move:

  1. Place a yoga mat or a gym mat on a flat surface beneath you.
  1. Lay flat on the mat with your arms straight ahead and your legs straight behind.
  1. Ball your fists. Rise so that only your fists, forearms and bent elbows are touching the mat, along with your toes that are curled under. Engage your abs and pull your belly button up to your spine.
  1. Stare at the mat below, keeping your head relaxed and neutral. Keep your body as straight as possible and hold the pose for at least 15 to 30 seconds, to start. Work up to 60 seconds each for three sets.

V-ups

V-ups are great for the abs and to improve your flexibility.  To perform the move:

  1. Place a yoga mat or a gym mat on a flat surface beneath you.
  1. Lie on your back.
  1. Lift your legs straight up.
  1. Pull your torso up, and reach for your toes.
  1. Bring your torso down to the floor and your legs down to the floor.
  1. Then bring your torso and your legs up, at the same time, and reach for your toes again.
  1. Repeat steps 4 and 5 for ten counts. Work up to 3 sets of ten counts.

Dart

The dart is a back extension exercise that strengthens the back.

  1. Place a yoga mat or a gym mat on a flat surface beneath you.
  1. Lie on your stomach with your arms straight at your sides, palms up. Stare at the mat below you.
  1. Lift your head, shoulders, chest, abs and arms up from the floor as you inhale.
  1. Hold the pose for a few seconds. Do not rise so high that you strain your back.
  1. Lower your head, shoulders, chest, abs and arms back to the floor as you exhale.
  1. Repeat steps 3 to 5 for three sets. Work up to 5 sets.

regular exercise

Do these three core exercises on at least three days a week, and you can begin to see improvement in your core strength and a lessening of back pain.  It may take time, but with consistent exercise, you should begin to see results.

However, combine these core exercises with other exercises to condition your entire body.  In addition, do 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, also three times week. This will give you a total workout.


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