Last week we looked at the best core exercise for lower back pain. In this article I discussed the importance of building a strong core to limit impact on your spine and solve lower back pain. Unfortunately, many core exercises that are recommended by fitness trainers can actually make your lower back pain worse. This week I’ll look at which core exercises to avoid for lower back pain and arthritis.
The Sit Up
The sit up is easily one of the most popular ab exercises and where many people start with the core strengthening routine. When it comes to lower back pain the sit up can be problematic. To perform the sit up requires a lot of spinal movement. This movement, specifically spinal flexion, can lead to more impact on your joints and discs and reaggravate lower back pain.
One of the most common ways people injure their lower backs is with twisting. It would make sense to avoid any twisting with the core exercises you choose for lower back pain. The russian twist
The Bicycle Crunch
Another popular core exercise I see in yoga, pilates, and other fitness classes is the bicycle crunch. The movement combines the worst of both worlds for lower back pain. Spinal flexion and twisting. Which is why it’s one of the core exercises to avoid for lower back pain.
I actually like leg lowers as an advanced core strengthening exercise. However, if you’re not careful this movement can easily cause overextension of your spine and lead to lower back pain. If you’re dealing with lower back pain I would leave this core exercise out.
The Best Core Exercises For Lower Back Pain
Now that you know a few exercises to avoid for lower back pain, how do you know which ones to choose? The best core exercises for lower back pain are those which are SAFE and EFFECTIVE. Floor exercises that are easy to control like the deadbug is a great place to start. Isometric exercises that don’t require spinal movement like the plank and side plank are also good options. Full body, functional exercise like the Farmer’s Carry is another great choice.
For the last 10 years I’ve been helping adults build the strength and confidence to live active, healthy, and happy lives. My free program ‘Solving Pain With Strength’ gives you a step-by-step, approachable way to build strength without stressing your joints. Download it below and get started feeling better today.