Weekend Challenge: Lower Back And Core Strengthener

Your lower back and abdominals are important support muscles, providing stability to your torso, back, and hips. Toning them up with this weekend’s exercise increases bone strength in your lumbar vertebrae, pelvis, and ribs, and dramatically enhances posture.

An added perk of the Lower Back And Core Strengthener is the decreased appearance of “love handles,” a humorous term for the extra flesh that can accumulate around your waist. Also, you’ll be working your glutes (which are part of your core) in this move, which helps firm up your backside and enhances balance and gait.

So grab an exercise mat and let’s get to it!

Why:

Most lower back and core workouts focus on the front of the body. While this is fine (and can be highly effective), it’s vital to address muscles from another “angle” and challenge them differently. And when it comes to this weekend’s move, it definitely feels challenging!

The first place you’ll likely feel this exercise is in your lower back, especially if you have weakness in this area. (Remember, if it hurts, don’t do it!) Weak lower back muscles can contribute to pelvic misalignment, back pain, and poor posture. And interestingly enough, weak core muscles can also contribute to lower back pain, according to a large body of research.

Multiple studies have shown that lower back pain and core strength have a connection. One such study, published in the Archive of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 2012, evaluated “exercise as a treatment for low back pain with a specific emphasis on core stabilization.”1 Researchers reviewed copious literature and data and found that when all core muscles were activated through core-strengthening exercise, spinal strength increased and low back pain decreased.1

If you’d like to read more about the core/low back connection, including studies, please read this: Weekend Challenge: The Dynamic Lower Back Pain Reliever.

Remember, you’re strengthening bone with this move, too. As a matter of fact, we often receive queries from Savers looking for exercises that address bone density in the lumbar vertebrae, and this exercise is one of them.

So let’s look at how to do it.

How:

As mentioned above, you’ll need an exercise mat.

  1. Lie on your belly and prop yourself up with your elbows. Your feet should be extended straight out behind you.
  2. Keeping your knees straight, lift your legs a few inches off the ground.
  3. Bend your knees into an approximate right angle, and lift your legs again.
  4. Lower your legs partway, straighten your knees, and lower your legs the rest of the way back down to the floor.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for one minute. If that’s not possible, try for 30 seconds and work up to a full minute.

To continue with your lower back and core workout, we recommend these three previous Weekend Challenges:

While your lower back and abs may feel tired after this workout, if you are persistent and regular about exercising for your bones, you’ll reap all the benefits exercise has to offer, including decreased lower back pain, greater core strength, increased spinal stability, and better posture.

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Have a great weekend!

References:

1Johnson, Joshua. “Functional Rehabilitation of Low Back Pain With Core Stabilization Exercises: Suggestions for Exercises and Progressions in Athletes.” Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Paper 170. (2012). Web. http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1172&context=gradreports

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  1. shula July 7, 2018, 12:54 pm

    This exercise is very difficult to do. Need to find something easier.

    • Mona July 10, 2018, 4:46 pm

      Raise one leg at a time several times, then the other, back and forth. Keeping the leg straight. One of the exercises my physical therapist taught me which helped my lower back pain. But this works back muscles more than abs, you would still need to work ab muscles to balance the stronger back muscles. Later you could progress to the more advanced version in this article.

  2. Elizabeth July 7, 2018, 11:36 am

    Diagnostics – Comparison from 2/15/18 to 7/26/18
    2 compression fractures involving mid thoracic vertebral bodies (approx 50% loss of height) progressive change when compared to prior study. there is scoliotic curvature of the thoracolumbar spine. What is best thing for me to do ad i have decided will not take recommended drugs?
    Other note: i have noticed skin on arms & face. “Feels like rubber” indicates WHAT. Thank u

    • Save Institute Customer Support July 7, 2018, 12:10 pm

      Elizabeth, please check your inbox within the next 48 hours for an answer to your questions from one of our Customer Support representatives.

  3. Muriel July 7, 2018, 8:51 am

    Help! I’m finding this excercise almost impossible, but I’ll keep trying. I obviously need it!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 7, 2018, 10:40 am

      Yes Muriel… and remember, practice makes perfect!

  4. Julia Gold July 7, 2018, 8:49 am

    Dear Vivian: A few years ago I bought your book and subscribe to your exercise program. I read your book and learned from it but the exercises video never tapped into it. So now I am so happy the way you are doing it and to confirm that so far all the exercises you are recommending I had arranged a few years back with a trainer and my yoga Pilates instructor and a nutritionist a program to follow and all the readings I have done and you are condensing everything in so well in this new format. It does work!!! All the doctors I see insist in getting me one the phosphate program scaring me all the time but I have taken the decision on working hard on the alternative program and I am doing well. I do have osteoporosis but I feel grate and I am active. Last March I turned 75!!! So congratulations on your program and thank you for teaching women how to become responsible for their health. Keep teaching us!!!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA July 7, 2018, 10:39 am

      And congratulations to you for being proactive about your bone health! We’re glad to have you in our community, Julia!

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