These exercises help prevent and relieve back pain–and tone up your tummy.
Strengthening your core can improve your posture and balance and take your workouts to the next level, but it can also help ease back pain and prevent further injury or strain. Because your core supports your spine, strong abdominal muscles take the pressure off your back and help align your spine. In this video, physical therapist David Gershkovich takes us through the best exercises that strengthen and stabilize your core. The seven-move circuit will not only help your back, it will also tone up your midsection. All you need is a disk, exercise ball, and a foam roller. Follow along with us. Be sure to keep your stomach tight during each move for maximum results.
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Bridge with march on disk
Lie on your back with your knees slightly bent and place the disk under your feet. Raise both hips off the ground, making a bridge with your body. Lift your right leg up towards your chest, keeping it bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure your hips are raised, your arms are relaxed at your sides, and your left foot is resting on the disk. Lower your right leg back down, lightly tapping the disk, then raise it back up at a slow, steady pace. Complete 10 reps on each side.
Bridge with march and arm extension
Follow the instructions above, but this time, raise your opposite arm out in front of you. As you lift your knee towards your chest, lower your arm to the ground above your head. Complete 10 reps on each side.
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Alternate lower extension
Start in push-up position with an exercise ball placed under your stomach. Lift your left leg straight up in the air, keeping your pelvis on the ball and your right leg on the ground. Slowly lower your leg back down to the ground and repeat. Complete 10 reps on each side.
Alternate upper/lower extension
Follow the instructions above, but this time, as you lift your leg, lift your opposite arm out in front of you. Lower it back down to the ground as you lower your leg. Complete 10 reps on each side.
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Same side upper/lower extension
For another variation on the exercise above, lift the arm and the leg on the same side. Complete 10 reps on each side.
Foam march with arm support
Place your foam roller on the ground and lie down with it supporting your spine. Keep your knees bent and your feet touching the ground. Lift your right knee up toward your chest, then slowly lower it back to the ground, keeping it bent at a 90-degree angle. Your arms should be at your sides, touching the ground for support. Complete 10 reps on each side.
Foam march without arm support
Follow the instructions above, but this time, keep both arms raised straight out in front of you as you lift and lower your knees. Complete 10 reps on each side.