Core strength is about more than just having a flat stomach, your core is key in maintaining spinal support and balance. A well-maintained regiment of core strengthening can help prevent future back problems, and lends itself to general spinal health. Your core is made up of your abdominal muscles, erector muscles, and obliques.
The Abdominal Crunch – This classic exercise hasn’t changed much since your high school gym class and its rather simple to do; Lie on your back and place your feet on a wall so that your knees and hips are bent at 90-degree angles. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Raise your head and shoulders off the floor. To avoid straining your neck, cross your arms on your chest rather than locking them behind your head. Hold for three deep breaths. Return to the start position and repeat.
The Side Plank on Elbow – Lie on your side with your elbow underneath you; rise up so that you are resting one forearm/elbow and foot on same side; hold this position for 15sec – 1min. Progress in increments of 15 seconds. Make sure to complete exercise on both sides.
The Superman – Lie on your stomach with arms and legs extended; retract shoulder blades down and in towards the midline of your spine and draw in abdominal muscles; maintaining this position, lift opposite arm and opposite leg ensuring that your hips stay in contact with the floor; hold for 3-5 seconds and reverse sides
The Bridge – Lie on your backr with hips and knees bent to 90 degrees with feet flat on floor and arms across chest; draw in abdominal muscles and maintain throughout exercise; slowly raise your hips off the floor using your glutes and hamstrings until your torso is in line with thighs; hold for 3-5 seconds.
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* Consult with a medical professional prior to engaging in strenuous exercise to determine your fitness and ability to complete any task