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Core strength

Core strength is fundamental for the health of your spine. Strengthening your core muscles, the transverse abdominis in particular, will increase support for your spine, improve back mobility, reduce stiffness and pain, and basically allows the spine to perform at its best.  Learn and practice 5 of our recommended core strength exercises by clicking on the video below.  Christine gives tips and advice on how to progress these exercises so you can find the level you desire.

  • Aim to perform each exercise for up to 60 seconds.
  • Work within your ability and don’t force push yourself past exertion.
  • Take each exercise at your own pace and look out for suitable modification options.

Basic Abdominal Curl

  • Lay in a semi supine position, on your back with knees bent and in-line with hips.
  • Feet flat on the floor with your arms down by the side of your body.
  • Inhale and engage your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor to prepare.
  • Exhale and raise your head and shoulders of the floor.
  • Inhale as you return your shoulders and head back to the floor.

Toe taps

  • Come into your ‘Abdominal curl’ position as in previous exercise.
  • Inhale to prepare and engage your abdominals and pelvic floor.
  • Exhale and lift your right leg in to a ‘table top’ position, knee over hip with shin parallel to ceiling.
  • Repeat to bring your left leg in to the same position.
  • Inhale to prepare.
  • Exhale and tap right toes down towards the floor keeping the angle at your knee the same.
  • Inhale and return your right leg to ‘table top’
  • Repeat with the other leg.

Single leg stretch

  • Come into your abdominal curl and table top position as previous exercise.
  • Inhale to prepare and engage your abdominals and pelvic floor.
  • Exhale and extend your right leg out on a diagonal lengthening from the hip and knee.
  • Inhale and return the leg to table top.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Scissors

  • Start in your abdominal curl and table top position as previous exercise.
  • Inhale to prepare and engage your abdominals and pelvic floor.
  • Exhale and lower right toes down towards the floor (as previous toe tap exercise).
  • As the right leg floats back to table top, inhale and allow the left leg to lower so the toes travel towards the floor.
  • Keep the angle at the knee the same throughout the exercise.
  • When you are ready to progress, choose a larger angle at the knee and tap the toes further away from you.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Criss cross

  • Start in your abdominal curl and table top position as previous exercise.
  • Inhale to prepare and engage your abdominals and pelvic floor.
  • Start toe taps exercise as before.
  • As the right leg returns to table top, rotate your upper back moving your left shoulder towards your right knee.
  • As the left leg return to table top, rotate your upper back moving the right shoulder towards your left knee.
  • Ensure your abdominals and pelvic floor is engaged throughout the exercise.

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