Strengthen your core muscles – your obliques and abdominal muscles (abs) – to protect your spine as you age.
If you don’t have a strong core, you risk back pain that worsens with time; a weak core can give you problems with both your thoracic spine and your lumbar spine.
You may think that a core workout has to include endless crunches, but that’s not true! A core specific workout can include a variety of other exercises beyond sit-ups. Keep reading for some core exercises that will help keep your core exercise routine interesting.
Your starting position for a dead bug is lying on the floor with your arms facing up in a straight line and your legs also lifted, with your knees bent. Then, straighten one arm behind your head as you lower the leg on the other side, making it parallel to the floor. Once you’ve done this with one leg and arm, swap to the other side.
Starting position here is a plank position. This is a great exercise for your upper body and all of the muscles around your belly button, like your transverse abdominis and your rectus abdominis. With your hands resting shoulder width apart and while holding tension in your arms, bring your left side leg to your right elbow and then back to the starting position. Then, do this with the right leg and the left arm.
This one starts with your hands resting as wide as your shoulders, but with your knees resting on the ground, hip-width apart. With this exercise, the movement is more fluid and requires a bit more balance – it’s a great exercise to build strength at the same time as focus. Lift the left leg and kick it back. At the same time as this leg raise, simultaneously lift the opposite hand and point it forward. You should feel the core strengthening properties of this exercise if you have proper form. Slowly lower the leg and arm, and then swap sides.
There are so many exercises that you can do which are sure to make strengthening your core a fun and exciting activity. Making sure your core is able to protect your spine doesn’t have to be boring, and if you invest the time and energy into it now, you will thank yourself as you age.
The spine is integral to our mobility and lease of life – if your back hurts, you will really struggle to go about your daily life in the way that you want to. This can lead to a loss of independence as you age. So, working on your abs isn’t just about looking good in a swimsuit – it’s about making sure you’re comfortable for the rest of your life.
Can I do all of these exercises in one routine?
Yes! Why not try creating a new exercise routine just for your core, that includes all of these exercises and more?
When in push up position, do I have my legs straight?
Yes, keep the leg straight (both of them, that is)