Strengthening core muscles can be essential and yet quite hard to do when you have back pain. You may have heard that toned abdominal muscles support the lower back but how do you even start ‘toning’ when most movements hurt? My video clip demonstrates how to strengthen one set of abdominal muscles, the rectus abdominis, while keeping the back and neck relaxed on the floor. So when you have a moment at home, make yourself comfortable on a surface like a yoga mat or carpet, and let me talk you through these safe abdominal exercises for back pain relief.
The video clip is taken from the second of my 5 videos, which aim to build core strength without creating tension or over-tightening muscles. The abdominal exercises are embedded in yoga movements so that the abdominals work in coordination with other muscles and re-learn to support the movement of the trunk and legs.
In any case, whether you have back pain or not, it is best not to focus on strengthening abdominal muscles in isolation. For muscles to be efficient, i.e. to help us with movement and posture, they have to work in coordination with other muscles. The main function of our abdominal muscles is to hold and move the trunk in relation to other parts of the body. So when the back is weak and the legs are tight, focusing on the abdominals only would cause the front of the body to tighten, the breathing to become restricted and our overall strength and posture to suffer. It is a relief really, that we don’t have to develop a 6-pack to move and hold ourselves well.
The short video clip above is only a beginning. If you are interested in more safe and efficient abdominal strengthening, do check out the entire video series here.