It is said that the best medicine is prevention. And yet, how often do we stop to reflect on this? It’s necessary to be mindful of how our bodies work and put some effort towards fixing bad posture to avoid back pain. The quickest way to do this? Strengthen your core.
You don’t need to hit the gym to strengthen your core. Instead, there are tons of easy exercises you can do at home – from gentle floor stretches to holding more physically challenging positions for seconds at a time. Here are some stretching and health tips that everyone can follow to boost their core and posture.
Stretching and Health Tips: Core Strength
Why Focus on Core Muscles?
A weak core can contribute to back pain. Core muscles surround the torso so, when we sit slumped, walk hunched, or lean forward awkwardly for long periods, our abdominal muscles and spine aren’t getting the support they need. The hips, pelvis, back, joints, and core all need to work in harmony to prevent back pain. Here are some easy core exercises to start.
5 Back-friendly Core Exercises
Start by lying flat on the ground. Next, lift one leg approximately five inches off the ground. Hold, then lower the leg, and repeat with the other leg. Do this for 30 seconds until you start to feel your core and hip flexors engaging. This simple exercise is perfect as an “in-between tasks” workout.
A plank is an excellent choice for beginners. This exercise is straightforward but highly effective in boosting your core. Prop yourself up on flat palms and toes. Elongate your body and hold it firm – as if you were a pencil. Try to be as straight as possible. Look down and hold for 10 seconds. Remember to breathe. Gradually lengthen the time that you maintain this position.
Not only does this exercise have a fun name, but it’s also fantastic for increasing core strength. Get down on all fours. Keeping your spine neutral, find your center of gravity, and slowly raise one back leg. Then, lift and extend the opposite arm. The idea is to look like a hunting dog pointing at prey. Hold, then return to the starting position. Repeat using the opposite leg and arm.
Nothing beats the “superman” pose for enhancing spinal stability. Begin by lying horizontally on the floor on your stomach. Being careful not to strain your neck, raise your arms and leg – as if you were flying. Count 1, 2, 3. Rest, relax, and recover. Then go again. You should be able to feel a healthy pull in your glutes, hamstrings, core, and lower back.
To work multiple muscles in combination, try a bridge exercise. Lay on your back with arms flat at your sides and two feet on the floor, push up from the ground by raising your hips to the sky. Lift your lower back. Hold, squeezing the glutes together. Then release and lower back to the floor. Repeat.
Preston Chiropractic and Acupuncture
Doing these exercises a few times per week will go a long way towards boosting your core and posture. Preston Chiropractic and Acupuncture is here to help. Get in touch for more stretching and health tips, or call 919-238-5040 to book an appointment today.