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Optimal strength in the core abdominal muscles is essential for a pain free back and good posture. Strength of the muscles supporting the lower back is also crucial in preventing and managing back pain. That is why so many exercises not only include the abdominals, but also the legs, glutes (buttocks) and hip muscles.



This exercise programme has specific exercises to strengthen muscles around your lower back and core. It is important to ensure the exercises are performed with good technique. Poor practice may place potential strain on your back. The following leaflet includes some exercises to help in your rehabilitation



Your therapist will advise you on the speed you should progress. Progression is not just about being able to do the exercise but to do it correctly, with appropriate control. If at any time, you feel pain or discomfort stop the exercises and consult your therapist.



Click on any of the images below to view a video demonstration



Draw your stomach inwards (towards the ceiling). Straighten your arm Lift your legs behind you, making sure you keep your knees bent. You can either hold this position as a sustained hold, or move your legs up and down. This exercise predominantly strengthens your gluteal (buttock) muscles, but also your lower back muscles on the side you are lifting





Lying on your side, flatten your lower back by gently tucking your stomach in. Lift your leg several inches in the air. You can either hold this position, or return your leg down and then repeat the exercise. Ask your therapist which they would prefer you to do. This exercise strengthens the pelvic, gluteal, and lower back areas.




Kneeling, lean backwards. Make sure you contract your abdominal muscles by drawing your stomach inwards. Keep good alignment, so be careful not to over-arch your lower back. This exercise strengthens the core muscles.




Lie on your back with your knees bent and resting to one side of your body, and perform a crunch by sitting-up and reaching for the outside part of your knee with your elbow on the same side. You should make sure your shoulder blades just lift off the floor. This exercise helps to strengthen the abdominal and Oblique muscles.



Lie on your front resting on your elbows, with your elbows in line with your shoulders. Lengthen the back of your neck and glide your shoulder blades downwards. Lift your chest bone and waist away from the mat engaging your lower abdominal muscles, tucking your toes under. Inhale to prepare, and exhale to lift the front of your hips away from the floor to create a straight line from your head and neck to your pelvis. Push down into your feet to straighten your legs moving your body forwards. Tilt your pelvis back to avoid arching your lower back. Inhale to hold and exhale to lower to the start position.


Stand upright, with your back resting against a wall and your feet slightly away from the side of the wall. Open your legs slightly wider than shoulder width, and bend your knees to the 1/2 squat position. Make sure you keep the middle of your knee-cap inline with the middle toes of your foot. Return to the start position. Make sure you keep good posture and your abdominals tight by gently drawing your stomach in. This is a strengthening exercise for the legs which supports your lower back.





The information contained in this article is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case. ©Co-Kinetic 2017


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