Your weak core could be the culprit behind your bad back. If you know you have a weak core but you’ve been reluctant to do anything about it because you hate crunches, relax. There are plenty of ways to strengthen your core without doing crunches. Different exercises focus on the different muscle groups that make up your core.
As we get older, we’re more concerned about healthy aging. We want to be able to do what we want, when we want to do it! And back pain puts a serious crimp in doing what we want to do.
Focus on your core
And if you focus on your core, you will not only help your bad back, your posture will improve and so will your balance. That’s good news, because we all want to avoid the slips and falls that come from faulty balance. It all comes down to your middle.
In addition to your abdominal and oblique muscles, your glutes, diaphragm, pelvic floor and back muscles also contribute to your core strength. Strengthening all your core muscles help to hold you up and also make other exercises easier.
Don’t just go through the motions
It takes time and focused effort to strengthen your core. Going through the motions is counter-productive. It wastes time and doesn’t do a thing for your core. By focusing while you’re doing the exercise, you get the most benefit.
The plank fad has come and gone, but there’s a good reason this exercise was so popular. It works just about all of your core muscles. And if you really focus on your core while you’re performing the exercise – that is, hold your stomach and your glutes in, the plank is truly effective.
The crunch – effective but unpopular
And while the crunch is definitely not popular, it is quite effective if done properly. Follow these directives and you’ll get the most from the crunch in the least amount of time: Lift from your chest, hands behind your head and elbows wide, hold your stomach in, make sure your back stays flat on the floor, and don’t pull on your neck.
Save your back – focus on your core
A few years ago, I was seriously concerned that I would have lower back problems for the rest of my life. But I read something at the time (and I wish I had saved the article or link) that made me start to focus on my core, and it worked. Today I have very little back pain. So, focus on your core. You’ll be glad (like me) that you did.