When dealing with chronic low back pain, it’s essential to do exercises to strengthen core muscles as that will help to stabilize your lower back muscles and save your back.
Now a deep tissue massage can definitely calm down a crippling back spasm that’s keeping you from moving and twisting twinge-free. However, maintaining a regular self care routine of forging a strong core is vital if you want to prevent a future back injury.
The Core Simplified
The core consists of specific muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis, and run the entire length of the torso. The core muscles make it possible to stand upright, shift your body weight, transfer your energy and move in any direction.
Muscles function with an agonist/antagonist response, so if one muscle takes the brunt of the work, the neglected muscle becomes weakened. Weak core muscles lead to a swayback posture and a loss of a lumbar curve. A strong, balanced core helps maintain appropriate posture and reduces the strain on the spine.
The 4 Major Core Muscles
1) Rectus Abdominus is the long ‘six-pack’ muscle that extends along the front of the abdomen.
2) External Obliques are on the side and front of the abdomen, around your waist.
3) Internal Obliques-These muscles lie under the external obliques, running in the opposite direction.
4) Transverse Abdominis is the deepest of the abdominal muscles (under the obliques) that wraps around your spine for protection and stability.
Doing the following 8 Exercises To Strengthen Core Muscles will without a doubt save your back. So let’s begin, shall we.
Exercises to Strengthen Core Muscles #1 – THE PLANK
Come into a plank position with feet hip-width apart and elbows directly under shoulders.
Brace core by contracting abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut. Keep spine neutral and legs and glutes engaged the entire time. Hold for 1 minute.
Exercises to Strengthen Core Muscles #2 – THE SIDE PLANK
When performing the side plank, start by lying on your side with your forearm on the floor under your shoulder, so as to prop you up, and then stack your feet on top of each other.
Contract your core muscles and press your forearm into the floor to raise your hips so your body is straight from ankles to shoulders. Hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds, and then repeat on other side.
Exercises to Strengthen Core Muscles #3 – SINGLE-LEG LOWERING
Begin this exercise by lying on your back with your legs extended straight up.
Keeping your legs straight, slowly lower your left leg until it’s 2 or 3 inches off the floor (make sure to lead with your heel, keeping your foot flexed).
Return to the starting position, then repeat with your right leg. That’s one repetition. Do this 8-12 times on each side.
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I have had many massages, and Morgan is indeed one of the best. He checks in often about pressure, but is not timid about using a strong technique (my preference). He asked if anything in particular needed attention, and really did a thorough job of addressing my particular needs. This was my first visit, but I definitely plan to return.