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When you’re dealing with back pain, your first reaction might be to draw a hot bath or stretch your tight hamstrings. However, while these tension-reducing practices might be temporarily helpful, the long-term solution to your discomfort might lie in strengthening your abdominal muscles. If you’re hoping to build a stronger core to alleviate back pain, start with these simple exercises.

If you are the type of person who likes to have a plan and a checklist, go online and find a 30-day challenge. Like a road map these programs are designed for the motivationally challenged and start easy and very gradually increase. If you follow the program to a tee for 30-days you will be amazed at what you can accomplish in a very short time.

3 Core Exercises that help strengthen your core and relieve back pain

1. Plank Hold

While this might be the easiest exercise to figure out on this list, it is one of the hardest to maintain. Essentially, a plank is the starting position of a push-up, where your arms and legs are straight, and your shoulders are hovering directly over your wrists. As you hold this pose, focus on tightening your abs so that your hips stay elevated, forming an unbroken diagonal line between your heels and shoulders. You can start with something as simple as 15 seconds and gradually increase up to 3-4 minutes in 3 days.

Family doing plank hold together

2. Cat Pose Extension

Kneel on the floor with your palms flat on the floor in front of you so your back is perfectly horizontal. As you find stability in this position, focus on tightening your core. Then, slowly extend your left leg behind you and your right arm in front of you, forming a horizontal line with both limbs. Come back to the all-fours position and extend the opposite arm and leg. After about three repetitions on each side, you should start to feel the effects on your abdominals.

Yoga cat pose extension

3. Leg Lifts/Raises

Lie on your back, placing your hands palms down on the floor beside you. Raise your legs off the ground 3” to 6”. Exhale as you go, keep your knees locked throughout the exercise, and hold per 30-day challenge instructions. Return to starting position (inhale as you go).

Leg lifts - good and bad positions

If you’re dealing with chronic back pain and these exercises aren’t helping, call iSpine Clinics at (7693) 201-8191 to schedule a consultation. With clinic locations across the Twin Cities metro area, we are proud to offer a wide range of pain relief and management services.