Simple Exercises To Strengthen Your Core
A strong core equals a healthy back. Why? Strengthening your core helps prevent back pain and injuries and it teaches your body proper spinal alignment. Back pain can actually be caused by weak abdominal muscles.
Your abs are the front anchor of your spine and if they are weak, then the other structures supporting your spine have to work harder. In turn, this puts strain on the rest of these supporting structures which can result in pain and discomfort.
Luckily, building core strength 💪 doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym 🏋️♀️ or do hundreds 😅 of crunches a day. Instead, you can strengthen your core through simple exercises and stretches that don’t require much time ⌚ and certainly don’t require you to spend any money 💲 on gym memberships or equipment.
Follow these simple stretches and exercises to strengthen your core.
The Elbow Plank
Planking is a terrific way to strengthen your core as well as many other muscles in your body. The best way to do an elbow plank is to lie down on the floor on your stomach with your body in a straight line. Then raise yourself up onto your elbows which should be at a 90-degree angle 📐 and close to the sides of your body. Rest your forearms on the floor and, if it is comfortable for you to do so, interlace your fingers.
Then, gently push your body up using your forearms, don’t let your back, or bum drop down while you do this, keep your body in a straight line. Make sure you engage your stomach muscles during the entire movement.
Hold this position for 30 seconds 🕧 and release. If you can, repeat this exercise three times, once per day. As you get stronger, you can push the amount of time you spend in the plank position up by a few seconds.
If you’re new to exercise or if you haven’t been engaging in physical activity for a while, a great beginner move is the bridge. This pose activates your glute muscles to lift your hips and trains your core. Added bonus: this movement tones your bum and thighs.
To start this exercise, lie flat on your back, bend your knees, and plant your feet on the floor at hip width apart. Put your hands either at your sides with your palms down, or behind your head.
Tighten your core and then raise your hips until your knees are in line with your shoulders. Hold this pose for 10 to 30 seconds and lower your bum back to the floor slowly and gently. You can repeat this 10 times. As you get stronger, you can repeat the movement more times whenever you do it.
The Tabletop Toe Tap
This move originates as a basic exercise in Pilates 🧘♂️ and is sometimes called the supine toe tap. The exercise engages your core muscles and works your glutes, hips, and legs while you’re at it. Toe taps also put minimal pressure on your spine, so if you’re experiencing any back pain, this movement shouldn’t aggravate it.
Start by lying flat on your back on the floor. Lift your legs and bend your knees at a 90-degree angle. Put your hands at your sides with your palms facing downwards. Tighten your core and then lower your right foot and gently tap it to the floor, keeping your left leg still and your back flat. Return your right leg to the raised position and repeat the movement with your left leg.
You can do this exercise 8 to 12 times and then rest. As your core gets stronger, you can do more repetitions of this move.
If you need help 💡 as to how you can improve and strengthen 💪 your core, we’d love to chat! We always recommend before you start any new exercises you have a physical assessment or seek advice from one of our team. Should you feel any pain or discomfort on exercising, stop and seek further medical support.
Give us a call 📞 on 01245 699 152 or click here to get in touch.