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Exercises to Strengthen your Core and Low Back

In the UK, low back pain is the fifth most common reason people visit the doctor. More than 85% of these visits are for nonspecific low back pain, or pain that’s not caused by a disease or spinal abnormality. Doing exercises to strengthen the lower back can help alleviate and prevent lower back pain. It can also strengthen the core, leg, and arm muscles.


Cat Camel

Begin by rounding back upwards and feel a gentle stretch in the mid to low back. Hold for 3-5 seconds then relax and let your stomach fall downward arching your back


Bird Dog

Begin by tightening your stomach muscles to activate your core. Raise one arm and the opposite leg to hip/shoulder level. Hold for 4 seconds and return to start position. Perform on alternate sides. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions.


Hip/ Glute Bridge

Begin by lying down with both knees bent. Activate your core, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the floor until knees, hips and shoulders are in line. Hold for 2-4 seconds, then return to start position. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions.


Plank

Begin lying face down with elbows under shoulders and legs extended (or made easier with knees on the floor). Activate your core, lift knees and hips off floor (or just hips, keeping knees on floor) so that forearms and toes support your body weight. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 2 times.


McGill’s Curl Up

Begin lying on your back, one knee bent, one leg straight. Lift your shoulders of the floor without rounding lower back. Let your elbows assist you if needed. Hold for 2-4 seconds before slowly returning to start position. Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions.


Side Plank

Begin lying on your side, with your weight on your elbow, and your knees bent. Gently tighten your stomach muscles to activate your core. Lift your hips off the floor with knees and elbow supporting your weight. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 2 times and repeat on the opposite side

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