Is Back Pain Stopping You From Ab Workouts? Try These Exercises From TCF!Posted by Tyrone Cane on Jul 14, 2012 in Workout Routines | 0 comments
TCF says back pain shouldn’t keep you from working your abdominal muscles to tone your stomach. Strengthening your abs is a smart way to improve your posture and reduce the strain on your back — which could alleviate some of your pain. Other abdomin
al exercises, such as crunches, have modifications that enable individuals with back pain to practice them effectively without hurting their backs. So, if you have back pain, try the ab exercises below:
Crunches are one of the most common exercises to strengthen abdominal muscles, but they are sometimes excruciating if you suffer from back pain.
You can avoid pain by resting your calves on a chair. A coffee table works just as well, if your calves are parallel to the floor. Cross your arms over your chest and lift your shoulders off the floor. Keep your lower back flat. The University of Michigan Health System website suggests holding your arms out in front of you instead of keeping them crossed, which makes the exercise easier on your stomach and, most importantly, your back.
The pelvic tilt is a simple exercise that tightens your abs while straightening your posture. Lie on the ground with bent knees and feet flat on the ground. Tighten your abdominal muscles to press your lower back flat against the floor. You may feel immediate relief in your lower back. Although it’s tempting to hold your breath as you tighten your abs, try to breathe normally. Hold the position for five seconds, and repeat several times.
Cat and Camel
The cat and camel exercise massages your spine’s nerve roots, making it excellent for your back, according to an ACE Fitness cover story by spine biomechanics professor Stuart McGill, Ph.D., from the University of Waterloo. Get down on your hands and knees and slowly raise your head and hips, letting your stomach and back sag like the area between camel humps. When you reach your limit, gradually lower your head between your arms while arching your back, like a stretching cat. This is where the abdominal muscles start working. Repeat five to eight times. McGill emphasizes the need for fluid motion; this is an exercise, not a static stretch.
The knee side-to-side exercise stretches and realigns your back while making your abs do the work. Lie on the floor with bent knees and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and gently roll your knees to one side toward the floor. Keep them together as you do so. Go as far as is comfortable, and then return to the starting position and roll your knees to the other side.
Stability Ball Rollout
on the floor and place your elbows on a stability ball in front of you. Brace your abs, as if someone was about to punch you in the stomach, then slowly roll the ball out by shifting your weight forward and lowering your torso. Go as far as you can, then brace your abs even harder to bring yourself back up. If you feel your lower back arching at any point on the way out, you shouldn’t go any farther. Do three sets of 15 repetitions, and gradually work on progressing the exercise by increasing your range of movement.
Traditional situps and crunches can strengthen your abs, but they also put a lot of stress on your hip flexors and lower back, therefore, the curl up is a better option. Lie on your back with one leg out straight and the other bent. Place your hands under your lower back to make sure that you don’t excessively arch your back and then raise your head and shoulders off the floor as far as you can, while keeping your back flat. Do eight reps and then change your leg positions and repeat three times.
Train your abs twice per week, either after weight training or cardiovascular exercise, or in their own session. If you feel any discomfort in your back, cease the exercise immediately. If the pain continues, consult a doctor. Provided you are free of pain, however, it is important to progress these exercises so that your strength continues to improve.
Contact TCF Gilbert Personal Training for a consultation!!