The core mantra behind any physical therapy practice tends to be, “Lengthen and Strengthen.” The idea is that in order to get better through physical therapy, you first have to lengthen or stretch out the problematic muscle groups. Then you have to strengthen the weaker muscle groups that surround the area giving you trouble in order to truly support the the skeletal system appropriately. More often than not, especially for back problems, individuals find that they have weak core muscles both in their abdomen and in their back. This is all too common, and here at Progressive Health and Rehab, we see it a lot both with our physical therapy and in our chiropractic practice. In order to help improve your overall health, if you are able, try these simple core exercises on a daily basis to slowly keep strengthening those muscles. If you have specific needs, contact our practice today to get started with physical therapy here in Gahanna.
For this particular exercise, lay on the ground with your feet flat on the ground close to your buttocks. Leaving your arms and feet in place, raise your hips upwards until there is a flat surface all the way from your knees to your chest. Hold this position and then slowly lower your body back to the ground. Repeat. This exercise strengthens both your abdominal muscles and your glutes in order to help improve your core strength. If you need more of a challenge, attempt to do this exercise with just one foot on the ground and switch between the two.
For this exercise, which helps to strengthen your back muscles that run parallel to your spine, lay on the floor on your stomach. Simultaneously lift your arms and feet off the ground and hold it for 30 seconds. Release and repeat. This exercise will also help to strengthen your glute muscles and it’s exceptionally easy for just about anyone to try.
This is a more advanced core exercise and should only be used if you’ve been discharged from therapy and are doing well. For this core exercise, lay flat on the ground. Lift your legs straight up into the air until they are perpendicular to the floor. It’s okay if you have a slight bend in your knees. Then slowly, and with control, lower your legs towards the ground on your right side without touching the ground before returning back to the central position. Do this to the left as well. To make this exercise easier, consider bending your knees to a 90 degree position while doing this side to side motion.
This exercise works the entire length of your abdominal muscles. Lie down on the ground. You will then lift into a hollow position where your feet and shoulders are off of the floor. You will then move your feet in a motion where you cross your legs one over the other, switching as you engage your abs. Keep holding that position and crossing your legs back and forth for a set period of time or a set number of leg crosses.