If there’s one thing that’s become abundantly clear, it’s how incredibly adaptable we are as humans.
Adaptation is always useful in the short term, allowing us to cope with a ton of stress and survive… but there’s always a cost.
One of our big concerns is that, with an extended break from your regular chiropractic checkups, your core problem may start to resurface. For some, this may mean more pain and discomfort, but for a lot of us, it’s more subtle than that…
It’s the slow and steady loss of function that often goes unnoticed.
While there’s no real replacement for your chiropractic checkups, there are still lots of things you CAN do to protect your spine.
When it comes to the science of fitness, there is one thing every expert can agree on: Having a properly functioning core is essential for maximizing performance and avoiding injuries, including back pain.
Whether you’re an avid athlete, a professional desk-sitter, or simply looking to protect your spine and prevent back problems now and in the future, these core exercises will help!
Your core is made up of all the muscles that stabilize your trunk – front, back, sides… It even has a roof (your diaphragm) and a floor (called your pelvic floor muscles).
For activities that require a lot of spinal movement – like crawling on the ground – the core muscles produce less stiffness… more stiffness when you’re lifting up your squirmy 25lb child, and super-rigid when you’re pushing your car out of the mud/snow.
When your core stops working properly, it spells trouble for your structure including your discs, spinal joints, and the ligaments that support your spine and pelvis. Not to mention, when the core stops doing its job of stabilizing the spine correctly, the wires (nerves) that connect your brain to your body can also become irritated. Apart from causing pain, this nerve interference can turn around and cause even more problems with your core.
Top 5 Core Exercises
Here are 5 basic core exercises that will help you build a super strong core.
1. Dead Bug
The dead bug is the first step to activating your core muscles properly. Make sure to keep your lower back pressed to the floor throughout the movement.
The Bird-Dog is a great example of generating spinal stiffness with movement. Imagine you are trying to balance a tray of drinks on your back, that’s how stable you want to be.
3. Side Plank
A big part of your core’s job is to keep the spine aligned. The side plank is a great way to train the muscles along the sides of your core.
4. Glute Bridge
Many don’t consider the glutes and hamstrings as part of the core, but they are some of the biggest stabilizing muscles of the pelvis, making them super important for your core. This is a great exercise to get your glutes firing. Keep in mind you should feel this in you butt and inner thighs, not your low back.
5. Founder’s Exercise
This core exercise is more advanced and helps to build strength with the hinging movement around the hips and pelvis. If you have an existing lower back problem, then speak to your chiropractor or physiotherapist first to decide if you are ready for this kind of move.