As chiros, we love looking after spines. A happy spine is key to living a healthy and active life, so we want you to love looking after yours too! This means incorporating some core exercises into your weekly routine to help protect your lower back, improve posture and stability, strengthen abdominal and back muscles and overall keep you and your spine feeling on top of your game (no six packs needed!).

Here are some of our favourites that you can easily do at home in less than 5 minutes!

Bird dog

Don’t worry, no animals are needed to get your core firing in this one! Just yourself, a mat or towel and some space on the ground.

  • Start on all fours, with your knees under your hips and shoulders square over your wrists. Your eye gaze should be towards the floor.
  • Slowly extend one arm whilst simultaneously extending the opposite leg.
  • Hold for 3 seconds before drawing both arm and leg to the starting position.
  • Repeat using the other arm and opposite leg.
  • Complete 3 sets of 10 (the slower you do each rep the better!).

Make sure you engage your core throughout the entire exercise. This will help keep your hips parallel to the floor and spine neutral (no saggy backs please!).

Dead bug

Yes, you may look like a ‘dead bug’ when doing this one but it’s worth it! It helps to build a solid foundation to protect your spine and can help relieve lower back pain (whilst working your abs!).

  • Start lying on your back (on a mat or towel).
  • Bring your arms up straight in line with your shoulders and your knees above your hips to a table-top position.
  • Slowly lower one arm over your head, until it is just above the ground. Simultaneously extend the opposite leg straight until it is hovering off the ground as well.
  • Bring both arm and leg to the starting position and repeat on the other arm and opposite leg.
  • Repeat for 3 sets of 10.

Focus on engaging your core and imprinting your lower back on the floor. If your lower back is lifting, don’t take your arm and leg so low.

Plank

Planks may seem a little boring, but we love that they can be modified to suit any ability. Trust us, there’s nothing like the satisfaction you get after holding a 2-minute plank (but we can all work up to it!)

  • Start on your forearms with elbows at 90 degrees and step back onto your toes.
  • Make sure your elbows are below your shoulders and you are engaging your core to keep your body in a straight line. We don’t want to see slouching shoulders or bums in the air!
  • Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

For a beginner option, lower to your knees. If you wish to advance, push up to straight arms, or try holding one leg at a time! Adding a plank to the end of any workout is a fiery finisher (and keeps your spine happy too!).

If you want to continue looking after your spine, get in touch for an assessment today! Call us on +61 3 5381 1892 or email info@back4life.com.au to book an appointment!