The following exercises are designed to enable you to strengthen the muscles of the stomach and back promoting spinal stability and preventing back pain. You do not require a gym ball for these exercises thus you can do them in the comfort of your own home.

Throughout each exercise try to contract the abdominal/stomach muscles by gently pulling the lower stomach towards your back/spine. Do not pull so hard that it is difficult to breath it should only equal 10-15% of a full muscle contraction (only 10-15% of the hardest you can pull the stomach in).

For each exercise there is a recommended duration and number of repetitions. However you can make many variations on this for example you could repeat the exercise 3-20 times or make it harder by holding the position for longer.

If you experience pain during these exercises stop and seek advice from your chiropractor at KiropraktorCentrum.


Bridge 1

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Clench/squeeze the buttock muscles together and pull the stomach muscles towards the spine/floor. Slowly raise the hips so they are in line with the knees and make sure they are balanced; one hip should not be higher or lower than the other. Do not arch the back. Slowly lower. Repeat 5 times holding for 5 seconds each time.

Once you feel comfortable that you can maintain your position and balance you can move onto the following variations. When the exercise becomes easy move onto the next variation.


Bridge 2

Assume Bridge 1. While in up position lift one heel off the ground keeping the hips level. Hold for 5 seconds then repeat with other heel. Alternate 10 times.


Bridge 3

Assume Bridge 1. While in this position lift foot of the ground maintain hips level. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat with other foot. Alternate 10 times.


Bridge 4

Assume Bridge 1. While in this position lift and straighten 1 leg. Keep hips level. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat with other leg. Alternate 10 times.

 

 

 


Beginners Plank

Assume the position shown with knees, elbows and hands contacting the ground. Keep your neck relaxed. Hold for 10 seconds, build up to 1 minute.


The Plank

Assume the position shown with toes, elbows and hands contacting the ground. Keep your neck relaxed and do not have you buttocks to high or too low; keep your legs and spine in the same plane. Hold for 10 seconds build up to 1 minute. Contract your stomach throughout the exercise.


Advanced Plank

Assume position as in The Plank. Keeping position lift one foot of the ground maintain hips level. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat on other side. Repeat 2-10 times on each side.


Side-Plank

Lie on your side and support your body between your feet and forearm. Repeat on other side. Maintain a straight spine keeping your weight equally distributed do not lean forward. Hold position for 2 sets of 10 seconds. Build up to 4 sets of 30 seconds each. Keep your spine straight.




Quadriped/Abdominal Toning

Start on hand and knees; contract the abdomen (stomach muscles) and hold for 5 seconds. Keep the back and neck in the same plane.







While contracting the stomach muscles, starting with legs, lift one leg at a time so the leg is straight and in the same plane as the spine. Do not over extend the back. Hold for 6 seconds. Keep your back and neck relaxed. Repeat with the opposite leg.






Now with legs together repeat with alternating arms holding each for 5 seconds. Do not raise the arm over the level of your head.






Once you feel comfortable that this is easy and you are able to do the exercise with good balance, combine the above lifting opposite arm with opposite leg (e.g. right arm with left leg). Do not raise either arm or leg above spine level (do not arch your back). Return to start position and repeat with other arm and leg. Holding each for 6 seconds building up to 4-10 sets of 10-30 seconds on each side of the body.


Gluteal Lift 1

Assume elbows and knees position. Contract stomach muscles and squeeze buttock muscles on right side. Keeping knee bent lift foot towards ceiling until knee is in line with the buttock. Do not arch back or rotate hips. Hold for 5-10 seconds, repeat 10 times. Repeat with other leg.


Gluteal Lift 2

Assume elbows and knees position. Contract stomach muscles and squeeze buttock muscles on right leg. Keeping leg straight lift so leg is in line with your spine. Hold for 5-10 seconds, repeat 10 times. Repeat with other leg.





Leg Lifts

Lie on stomach with forehead resting on hands. Clench/squeeze buttock muscles and pull in stomach muscles then lift 1 leg only a few inches, knee should just come off floor. Hold for 5 seconds repeat on other side. Avoid arching your back while lifting the leg.


Back Extension

Lie on stomach with hands under forehead. While contracting the stomach muscles slowly lift upper body only a couple of inches. Avoid arching the back.


Squats


Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hands on hips. Keeping back straight bend knees squeezing buttock muscles. Slowly rise up again keeping knees soft.





Sit-ups

Lying on your back with knees bent and arms resting under the base of the skull lift your shoulders from the ground a few inches or until you feel a good contraction in your abdominal muscles. Try to look up above the level of the knees do not look at your feet and try to keep your neck relaxed during this exercise.


Oblique Sit-ups

Lie on back with left foot resting on the right bent knee. With right hand behind head lift upper body towards the left knee. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat 10 times. Repeat on opposite side. Do not pull the head with your hand.


Supine Leg Lift

This is a good exercise if you have difficulty doing sit-ups. Lie on back with arms relaxed at your side. With one leg extended out contract stomach muscles then lift leg. Hold for 5 seconds then repeat with other leg. Repeat 5-10 times on each leg.



Lower Abdominal

Lie on back with legs up and crossed. With hands resting next to the head lift upper body towards feet looking up. Do not pull on the neck. Hold for 3 seconds repeat 10 times.




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