A strong core protects the spine, decreases back discomfort, improves movement patterns, and improves balance, stability, and posture, therefore developing core strength is crucial for everyday health and well-being.
There are a variety of ways to increase core strength, as well as numerous pieces of equipment that might help. There are, however, a variety of workouts that can be done with just your body weight or some simple equipment. When exercising the core, the most important thing to remember is to avoid using momentum and instead do each exercise with awareness so that the core is braced or engaged.
After an injury or surgery, exercises to assist stabilize your midsection or trunk are frequently employed as part of a rehabilitation program. Keeping your stomach and low back muscles toned and powerful helps to protect your spinal discs and joints, as well as your low back muscles.
Stability is essential for proper movement and the performance of a wide range of functions and activities, and it is given in a coordinated manner by active structures (e.g., muscles), passive structures (e.g., lumbar spine), and neurological systems.
Core stability (CS) was first developed in the 1990s by (Hodges and Richardson) while researching trunk muscle timing in individuals with chronic low back pain (CLBP). The term “core stability” is a source of debate and some misunderstanding.
Traditionally, this term has referred to the active component of the stabilizing system, which includes deep/local muscles that provide segmental stability (e.g., transversus abdominis, lumbar multifidus) and/or superficial/global muscles (e.g., rectus abdominis, erector spinae) that allow trunk movement/torque generation as well as assist in stability in more physically demanding tasks.
CS is described as the capacity to keep your spine and pelvis region in balance and control during movement without compensatory movement that is just inside physiological limits.
It’s ideal to do trunk stability exercises with your spine in a neutral position. Your therapist can assist you in determining the optimal position for you and recommend exercises for you to do.
On your back
While lying comfortably on your back, you can practice a variety of trunk stabilization exercises.
Begin by lying flat on your back, arms at your sides, knees bent, and feet flat.
Press your elbows into the floor until your abs contract, then relax and do it again.
Raise one of your feet three to four inches off the floor and hold for a few seconds from the same position, then repeat with the other foot.
After that, maintain both feet planted and lift your hips and buttocks off the floor, keeping your abs tight. Finally, starting from your starting posture, march your feet away from your torso until your legs are practically straight, tightening your abs throughout.
On your stomach
While completing trunk stabilization exercises from your stomach, you can use cushions for head or knee support.
Bend both knees until your legs are at roughly 90 degrees and connect your heels together, starting from your stomach. Repeat by squeezing your heels together for a few seconds before relaxing and repeating.
After that, bend one leg to 90 degrees and lower your foot toward the other leg until you feel your hip lift off the floor. Return after a brief pause.
Stabilization exercises are commonly performed with a stability ball.
Simply bring your knees toward your chest one at a time from a seated position on the ball until you feel a tightness in your abs.
Roll down onto the ball and perform a bridge with your shoulders across the top of the ball and your feet flat on the floor. Maintain your position for a few seconds.
You can do a wall slide with or without a stability ball behind you. Standing with your back against a wall, bend your knees and slide down the wall. When your quadriceps are parallel to the floor, come to a halt, hold for a second, and then return to the starting position.
BOSU Bird Dog
Place your right knee in the center of the dome and both hands beneath your shoulders on the floor. Extend your left leg behind you to hip height, flexing your foot. Raise your right arm to shoulder height, facing the ceiling with your thumb. Switch sides after 20 seconds of holding.
Supine Toe Taps
Lie down on your back with your arms at your sides. Draw the navel toward your spine by engaging the abdominals. Raise your knees to a 90-degree angle. Lower your right foot to the floor on a two-count, then raise it to 90 degrees on a two-count. Repeat the action with your left leg, tapping the right and then the left foot upon the floor alternately. Do ten reps on each leg.
Marching Hip Bridge
Lie down on your back with your arms by your sides. Lift the hips and maintain a hip bridge position. Raise the right foot off the floor to a 90-degree hip and knee angle. Return the foot to the floor, then elevate the left foot to a 90-degree angle before returning to the center. As you alternate leg lifts for 20 reps, keep your hips elevated and your pelvis neutral.
Stability Ball Deadbugs
Raise your knees to 90 degrees while lying on your back. Place a stability ball between your lower thighs (just above the knees) and press your hands and legs against it. Draw the navel toward the spine by engaging the core. Extend your arms and legs—the more straight your limbs are, the more difficult the stance will be. When returning to the center, keep the knees at 90 degrees (the calves touching the hamstrings makes the exercise easier). Perform ten reps on each side.
Forearm Plank with Toe Taps
Put your body in a forearm plank with your feet touching. Begin with alternate lateral toe taps, in which the right foot pulls away from the body, touches the ground, and then returns to the center. Rep with the other leg. On each leg, complete a set of 10 reps. To make the exercise more difficult, use a BOSU.
Side Plank with Torso Rotation
Make a forearm side plank with your body. Both legs should be extended at the same time. Raise your upper arm above your chest, then rotate your rib cage to pull the hand underneath the ribs. Perform this action for 10 to 12 repetitions before switching sides.
Stand tall with your feet hip-distance apart while holding a set of dumbbells. Raise your right foot off the floor and hinge your pelvis over the top of your left leg. The head and foot should be in balance with one another. When the body is parallel to the floor, the lowest hinge point should be reached. Maintain as much neutrality in the pelvis as possible. On each leg, perform 12 repetitions.