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Prevent Low Back Pain: 5 Exercises We Do, But Forget To Engage Our Core

Low back pain can be annoying, actually, it IS annoying! It can interfere with your workout, limit your productivity at work, or stop you from playing with your kids. According to the American Chiropractic Association, 31 million people will face low back pain sometime in the next year! The problem here isn’t necessarily aging, it’s more what we do on a daily basis during every day activities and during our workouts that puts us in a position where out body can be in an awkward position that can lead to injury. As I’ve mentioned on other posts, tightness and limited movement also contribute to possible injuries.

For starters, keeping an eye on your shoulder positioning and pelvis can help ease low back pain while sitting down. I understand that is easier said than done, but we gotta start somewhere. As for exercises, forgetting to engage your core during common exercises may contribute to a weaker core, which leads to compensations from your low back, and possible injuries. So without further ado (I think that’s the 1st time I’ve ever typed that phrase) here are 5 common exercises you may be doing without engaging your core.

1.     Push Ups

a.     Start with having your hands on the ground, fingers spread out, shoulders over your wrist, and tucking in your elbows so they do not flare outwards.

b.     Brace your core by squeezing your belly button in and squeezing your glutes together. Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis. (This step will be the same for all of these exercises)

c.      Keep your toes on the ground (or knees if it’s too challenging)

d.     Bend from your elbows and do not lose control of your core. Extend your elbows to raise up. 

2.     Squats

a.     Start by keeping your feet about shoulder width, feet and eyes pointing forward.

b.     Brace your core by squeezing your belly button in and squeezing your glutes together. Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis.

c.      Bend from your ankles, knees, and hips. Maintaining an upright posture and looking forward at all times. Extend your ankles, knees, and hips to rise.

 

3.     Overhead Presses

4.     Deadlift/Bending

a.     Start by keeping your feet about shoulder width, feet and eyes pointing forward.

b.     Brace your core by squeezing your belly button in and squeezing your glutes together. Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis.

c.      Reach for the barbell with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width

d.     Extend your ankles, knees, and hips. While maintaining your core braced and keeping your spine neutral.

e.     Carefully lower the weight while maintaining your core braced and spine neutral.

5.     Planks

a.     Start with having your forearms on the ground, shoulder width apart, shoulders over your elbows, and tucking in your elbows so they do not flare outwards.

b.     Brace your core by squeezing your belly button in and squeezing your glutes together. Keeping a neutral spine and pelvis.

c.      Keep your toes on the ground (or knees if it’s too challenging)

d.     Hold it as long as you can without any sharp pain.

Next time you hit the gym, remember to engage your core and you will most likely notice reduced low back pain, increased performance, and more aligned. Share this with a friend that can use these tips and feel free to ask me any questions, provide feedback, or give suggestions on future topics. Thank you for your time and see you next week!

Marcos Hurtado CPT, CES

Owner of On The Go Fitness

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