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!
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.
As mentioned above, you’ll need an exercise mat.
- Lie on your belly and prop yourself up with your elbows. Your feet should be extended straight out behind you.
- Keeping your knees straight, lift your legs a few inches off the ground.
- Bend your knees into an approximate right angle, and lift your legs again.
- Lower your legs partway, straighten your knees, and lower your legs the rest of the way back down to the floor.
- 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.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
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Have a great weekend!
1 Johnson, 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