Sitting all day long is a common practice in modern life. We sit during our commute to work. We sit all day at work. We sit during the commute home. We may even sit on the couch and watch a little TV at night. What’s the big deal? Sitting for long periods of time on a daily basis promotes a spinal posture that can cause bulging discs and other spinal problems.
You may not be able to get out of sitting all day, but you can strengthen your core which will promote a healthier spine and better posture. Here are the five best spine sparing core exercises.
Planking became an Internet sensation in recent years, but it really does have benefits for your core and spine. If you’ve never planked before, it’s sort of like being in a push-up position except you rest on your forearms instead of being up on your hands. Keep your back as straight as possible. Use your abdominal muscles to keep yourself level. You should be able to breathe normally, so start with shorter planking lengths and work your way up to a minute at a time.
#2 Side Planks
Now that you’ve got planking down to work on your abs, it is time to learn side planks so you can strengthen your obliques. These are the muscles on the sides of your abdominal region. To start, you want to get on your side. Put your feet together and raise yourself up on one forearm. It should be directly under your shoulder. Use your core to keep your body straight rather than letting your hip sag down. Be sure to hold this on both sides.
#3 Bird Dog
To start the bird dog, you want to be on your hands and knees. Your hands should be under your shoulders and knees under your hips. Alternate extending one leg back straight behind you and the opposite arm out straight in front of you. Try to do 10-15 reps on each side.
#4 Dead Bug
This is almost the same motion as the bird dog except you perform the exercise lying on your back. Begin by laying on your back, holding both arms straight up, and bringing in both knees so they are above your hips with your feet pointing forward. Now alternate one arm back parallel to the ground and the opposite leg forward. Don’t let your arm or leg go all the way to the ground.
#5 Curl Up
This is perhaps the simplest of ab exercises and the one that is most often performed wrong to the detriment of the spine. Lay on your back and bend at the knees with your feet flat on the floor. Interlock your hands behind your head, but don’t use them to pull yourself up. They are just there to support your head. Only use your ab muscles to curl up (not your neck), and only come a few inches off the ground until you feel your abs activate.
Keep Your Spine in Line with Ward Chiropractic and Rehab
Using proper posture plays a key role in maintaining spine health and these core strengthening exercises can help get you there. For back pain due to misalignments, Dr. Ward will be happy to provide you with the premier chiropractic care in Fairfax, Virginia. Call (703) 0672-1661 today to schedule an appointment.