There are many exercises a person can do to stay fit and healthy, but there are also those exercises that are purely for focusing on certain areas of the body. Exercises are done to help build and tone muscles and create strength. Exercise can also help with loosing weight, depression, self esteem and some medical conditions.
Not long ago I started an exercise program, see recent post: Exercise! Making The Decision To Just Do It!, and the reason for this was:
I could go to as many Physio appointments as I wanted to but my back would not repair itself with out following it up at home. I had to make the decision to follow instructions by my Physio and make time for the exercises she had set out for me.
The exercises I have been given are for strengthening my core as I had not been using these muscles, my stomach muscles had taken over the job. A bit like someone coming and taking over your work load and you just passing it over. Yep that’s one less thing I have to do!
Due to me allowing this to happen it caused me pain and discomfort in my lower back and often the inability to do the simplest of tasks. Like picking up the baby to change a nappy, or picking up rubbish from the floor. Even sitting or sleeping could be uncomfortable at times.
Here is a link I found which explains the muscles of your core and where they are and what they do. The Best Core Exercises.
Now I thought I would share with you these simple core exercises I am doing to give me my strength back. I am also going to share with you some other hints to help out every day.
I struggle the most with my back first thing in the morning, the alarm goes off and I am in pain even getting out of bed. So now before I get out of bed, I lay on my back with my knees bent and just move them together from left to right. This helps get the blood pumping through the body and gets everything moving.
So now with the help of Exercise Barbie I will demonstrate these core exercises.
1. Lay on your back, or you can stand up or be on all fours for this one. Loosen your tummy muscles making your tummy bulge out. Tighten your low pelvic muscle without tightening your stomach muscles. Try and hold it for 3 seconds – longer if possible and then release. Start with just a few and increase amount as you feel the strength increasing.
2. Continue laying on your back, knees bent up. Tighten the lower pelvic muscle and lift your buttocks off the floor, hold for three seconds and let go and place buttocks back on the floor. Repeat 5 times and increase amount as your strength increases.
3. Lay on your side in a straight line making sure hips are aligned, so it feels like one side is directly on top of the other. Keeping your leg straight raise it has high as you can go without rolling forward and back. Hold for a few seconds in the air then lower back on top of the other leg. Repeat this 5 times, roll onto your other side and do the same for 5 times. Increase the amount of times as you feel your strength increase.
4. Lay on your stomach, arms out in front to support your head being up off the ground. Bend your leg at the knee, lift and hold for a few seconds. Repeat this 5 times. Do the same for the other leg and as your strength increases over time you can increase the amount you do.
5. Lay on your back and with leg out stretched lift and hold for 3 seconds, repeat 5 times. Repeat with opposite leg. Increase amount as strength increases.
6. Standing up straight, if you need to use a wall to lean against that is fine. Bend your knee, lifting your lower leg up and hold it with your hand, pull as far up as you can and hold for 3 seconds. Release. Repeat with the opposite leg. Do this on each leg a couple of times.
When picking up an object that might be a bit heavy, like a baby for example, clench the lower abdominal muscles and hold the baby or item close to the body. It is easy to hold things away from the body without thinking about it when moving them around and this is one way of doing serious damage to your back.
I have been doing these exercises with a trained professional so it may be a wise idea to seek professional help if you are suffering from severe back pain before you attempt any of these. Also a Physio can help you with treatments for the affected area, Using the combination will increase your chances of improving any back pain.
Barbie kindly donated her time to make this post possible and no monies were exchanged either by Barbie or myself. In no way was Barbie harmed or injured while performing these exercises and no animals were involved. I can not however guarantee that Barbie will survive the constant clothing changes forced by my 3-year-old daughter. I wish Barbie all the best for her future in exercise demonstrations.