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Did you know that having strong lower back and abdominal muscles are one of the best ways to avoid lower back pain?
All of the muscles in your core work together to create a strong, stable connection between your upper and lower body, keeping your spine properly aligned and preventing injuries.
Training your core is truly one of the smartest things you can do to make your body more resistant to all forms of injuries, but back injuries in particular.
Read on to find out more on how your strong lower back and core muscles play a role in better spinal health.
Why Strong Lower Back and Core Muscles “Bulletproof” Your Spine
The muscles of your core all work together to keep your spine aligned, strong, and stable.
Your lower back muscles are the muscles immediately supporting your spine, but your other core muscles do the work, too, of maintaining healthy spinal movement.
Your core muscles include:
The abs muscles on the front of your body. They serve as the “front anchor” of your spine.
The lower back muscles on the back of your body. They serve as the “back anchor” of your spine.
The oblique muscles on the sides of your body
While the lower back gets the most attention, the truth is that all of these muscles are crucial for the maintenance of a strong, healthy spine. You need to make sure they are all sufficiently strong to enable smooth movement without spinal strain or injury.
A lot of the time, you’ll find that lower back pain is the result of insufficiencies or weaknesses in your core muscles. For example, your lower back muscles aren’t strong enough to support the weight of a heavy load, so your abs and obliques join in on the effort to try and compensate for a weak lower back. But this can shift the load in such a way that it makes your lower back more prone to injury.
Or, maybe the problem isn’t with your lower back, but with insufficient abdominal strength. Your strong lower back will try and bear more of the weight, which can lead to muscle strain or even incorrect movements that injure the spinal joints. All because your abs aren’t strong enough to handle the strain of your movement or exercise.
The key to reducing your lower back pain, clearly, is to strengthen your entire core.
Your lower back muscles obviously need a great deal of work, but you should make sure to train your abs, obliques, hips, pelvic muscles, and glutes, too. All of these work together to maintain a solid, stable connection between your upper and lower body. By strengthening your entire core, you ensure your body has sufficient strength to move and carry heavy loads without straining your spine.
The Best Exercises for Stronger Lower Back and Core Muscles
Try these exercises to help strengthen all of the muscles that protect and support your spine:
Plank – Plank is an excellent exercise to strengthen not only your abs, but also your lower back, your oblique, your glutes, and even your hip flexors. It’s a static exercise that involves no movement, so the risk of injuring yourself is very low. However, it recruits all of your core muscles to maintain the stable position, and actually engages both your upper and lower body muscles at the same time. Add Plank into your daily workouts—even just 2-3 sets of 30-60 seconds—and you’ll find your lower back is much more resistant to injury!
Side Plank – This variation on the Plank will pay extra attention to your oblique muscles, glutes, and hip muscles, all of which are necessary for lateral (side to side) movements, as well as twisting or bending sideways. It will still engage your lower back and abs very effectively, but because of your sideways position, it pays more attention to the obliques to develop greater lateral strength.
Mountain Climbers – This is a more dynamic exercise that will focus on training your abs, but also lead to greater core strength overall. It’s going to take a lot of work to keep your butt from lifting into the air while you “run in place”, which engages the lower back muscles while the abs work to bring your knees toward your chest. All of your core muscles will be engaged through the entire range of motion, leading to better core strength overall.
Bird Dog – This is a very interesting exercise that trains for both balance and strength. You perform the exercise on your hands and knees, but because you’re extending opposite arms and legs (right leg and left arm, or left arm and right leg), it creates a certain amount of instability that forces your core muscles to engage to keep you upright. Though the focus is on the lower back, it also engages the hips, glutes, upper back, shoulders, abs, and obliques. The result is much more effective training that will give you the strong lower back and core you need to be resistant to injuries.
Get That Strong Lower Back with Back on Track
Back on Track is our solution to help you enjoy a pain-free life, one where you move easily and enjoy better spinal health for decades to come.
In the Back on Track course, you’ll learn about the dangerous sleeper syndrome that is behind so many different types of back pain, and how this syndrome will cause you pain for the rest of your life—unless you take steps to address it!
By addressing and correcting this one issue, you can radically change your life for the better. You’ll develop strong lower back and core muscles and see real physical improvement guaranteed to reduce back pain.
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