Ab Workouts to Avoid Back Pain

Keeping yourself in shape can help you avoid back pain, and ab workouts are among the best exercises in this regard. Back pain often occurs because of a weak core, so prevention by building your core muscles is one of the top ways to avoid joining 80 percent of the population who eventually experience back pain. For the best results, perform ab workouts daily to avoid back pain.

Ab Workouts for Prevention

There are several exercises that are very effective in building core strength to prevent injury to your back. Examples include:

• The Plank: This isometric exercise consists of lying facedown and extending the arms. Bend the elbows under the shoulders and clasp the hands. Keep the feet at hip length apart. Once the abs are contracted, tuck the toes for body lifting, so that the entire body is straight. Hold for one minute or build up to that amount of time.

• Side Plank: Lie on the left side and raise up via the left forearm, with the right arm on the side of the body. Tighten the abs, holding for 15 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side. Complete two to three of these moves per session.

• The Bird Dog: Begin on hands and knees in what is known as the “table top” position. Tighten the stomach muscles and lift and extend your left arm forward and your right leg behind, holding for five seconds. Repeat with the other arm and leg and complete a set of eight to 12 lifts each session.

Workouts for Back Pain Sufferers

Those already suffering from back pain can perform some low-level ab workouts that help them improve and eventually alleviate such discomfort. Like preventive exercises, there are several options.

• Leg Lowers: Lie on the back, keeping the knees at a 90-degree angle. Put both arms under the buttocks, raising the legs until the hips are also at a 90-degree angle. Bring one foot down slowly until it nearly touches the floor, then raise as the other foot is lowered. Alternate legs and perform as many leg lowers as possible until tiring. Leg lowers are a great exercise for those looking to avoid lower back pain.

• Dead Bug: Lie flat and keep the arms and legs up in the air – it is easy to tell how this exercise got its name. Bracing the core, lower one leg until the heel almost reaches the floor. Then, lower the arm on the opposite side above the head. Repeat on the opposite side, alternating three times per session.

• Windshield Wipers: Lying face up, keep arms straight out at the sides. Raise the feet so the hips and knees are bent at 90 degrees and push the lower back into the floor. Lower the legs to one side as much as possible without lifting the back or shoulders, then reverse the entire exercise. Repeat on the other side and perform the entire exercise eight times per session.

Talk to a Back-Pain Doctor Today About Ab Workouts

Although ab workouts are generally helpful in avoiding pain, some ab workouts are best avoided to prevent back pain down the road. These include crunches, which may cause lower back or neck pain. The Canadian Armed Forces no longer require recruits to perform these workouts for that reason.

If you are experiencing back pain, a good exercise program can provide relief. Call a back-pain doctor today to learn more about ab workouts to avoid back pain and arrange an appointment. They can perform a thorough examination to determine the cause of your back pain and recommend the best exercises for your particular condition.