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Six Core Exercises To Strengthen Your Spine

Physical Therapy Core Strengthening ExercisesThe muscles along your spinal column are known as core muscles. These tissues brace your body and make sure you have a correct posture. It is important to strengthen these muscles by exercising regularly to ensure a pain-free lifestyle. Having weak core muscles not only impair your posture but also leads to a common ailment - strong lower back pain. Lower back pain is usually caused by the overexertion of your Transverse Abdominis, which is the muscle that stretches from your abdomen to your spine. This is a muscle that is usually not exercised due to its location.

Here are some physical therapy core strengthening exercises to brace your spine and relieve pain in your lower back muscles: 

Exercise 1: Hip Crossover Stretch

Method

  • Lie on the floor facing up and bend your knees
  • While keeping your knees bent, cross your right ankle over your left knee
  • Now, gradually, using your hands, pull your right knee towards your left shoulder and hold it for 30 seconds
  • Repeat the exercise 3 times

Benefits

This stretch releases tightness in the piriformis muscle, located in your hip and buttock area, and helps in reducing lower back pain.

Exercise 2: Abdominal Bracing

Method 

  • Lie down on your back and keep your knees apart
  • Now, gently lift your left knee up to meet your left hand
  • Hold this posture for 5 seconds
  • Repeat the same exercise with the right side
  • Perform 20 reps of the same

Benefits

This exercise helps in stabilizing and bracing your spine and also contracts the abdominal muscle.

Exercise 3: Bridge Exercise

Method 

  • Lie on the floor facing upwards
  • Gently raise your back and buttock muscles to your hips, keeping your shoulders on the floor at the same time.
  • Hold this posture for 5 seconds
  • Perform this exercise in 3 sets of 10 repetitions

Benefits 

It helps strengthen the muscles in your back and your hamstring and also relieves tension from the body.

Exercise 4: Long Leg Lift Exercise

Method 

  • Lie on the ground facing upwards and stretch your hands and legs flat
  • Without moving your torso, raise your right leg in the air and hold for 5 seconds
  • Follow this movement by raising your left leg in the air and then holding it for 4 seconds
  • Repeat this exercise 5 more times

Benefits

This exercise relieves stress from your shoulder muscles and helps in increasing the strength of your lower back muscle and your Transverse Abdominis. 

Exercise 5: Forearm Plank

Method

  • Lie down on your stomach
  • Lift your shoulders up by bracing them on your forearms
  • Stretch your legs while clasping your hands together
  • Tuck your toes and pull your stomach in
  • Hold the posture for at least a minute and repeat it 5 times

Benefits

A forearm plank is one of the best exercises for core strengthening that improves your balance and helps in bracing hamstring muscles.

Exercise 6: Side Plank

Method

  • Lie on the side with your legs stretched straight
  • Now lift your upper body as high as you can with the support of your right arm
  • Try to lift your stomach higher by placing your right-hand flat on the mat
  • Stretch your left arm straight extending it in the upward direction
  • Hold the posture for 10 seconds and repeat it 10 times

Benefits

A sidearm plank is one of the easiest to do core strengthening exercises that braces your arm and shoulder muscles and provides relief from back pain.

You can also visit our Patient Education section to know more about exercises that help in relieving back pain. It is also important to understand that it is necessary to perform these exercises safely. A physiotherapist would be the best guide to help you perform these exercises. Consult our experts to guide you through the process and do these stretches injury free