Core Stability Exercises for the Lower Back – Part 1 of 3
Core stability exercises are typically prescribed to patients of mine that suffer from a variety of injuries, more particularly those involving the back, groin, hamstrings and knees. There is a vast range of different types of core stability exercises, the suitability of which will vary according to the injury and therapeutic needs of the patient. There are three main types of core exercises:
- Those recruiting the small stabilising muscles, such as tranversusabdominis and multifidus – such as pilates workouts,
- Static body weight exercises which recruit stability / strength endurance, relevant for certain postures, such as the popular ‘plank’ exercise,
- Dynamic strength exercises for the prime movers of the trunk, often performed on the swiss ball.
Different therapists have their favourite types of exercises, but commonly patients will start with recruiting the small stabilising muscles, and progress to strength work once stability has been achieved.
It is my recommendation that athletes perform regular core stability or trunk exercises to prevent injury. Improved core stabilising muscles results in better posture and more control, both in daily life and in sporting movements.
The problem arises, however, that these exercises very quickly become very boring and repetitive. It takes self-discipline to do 10-20 minutes of the same exercises three or four times a week, week in week out. As a result, most people quit after a while – even though they know it is good for them.
The other problem arises too that doing the same type of exercises, the athlete becomes very good at those exercises, but throw in a new core exercise and they find it very difficult, simply because it is stimulating slightly different muscle groups in a different way. My message is this – progression and variety are key to optimising benefits of a strength program.
A few exercises that I will show over the following weeks aim to help overcome the problems of boredom and non-compliance. It aims to provide a system where athletes can perform a core stability and strengthening program using a wide variety of movements to maximise different muscle groups trained. It is designed for athletes with a basic transersusabdominus recruitment skill and who are already familiar with other types of core exercises. The exercises go from basic recruitment to very advanced strength movements.
These exercises vary in difficulty, and some are advanced (and therefore not within the competence of all athletes).
Next week, the exercises will be floor, or static, exercises.
To learn more about core stability training, please contact Hinterland Physio on ph. 4972 5155, or visit the website: www.activephysiohealth.com.au . Shayne has been providing physiotherapy services to Gladstone for the past 5 years.