5 Core Exercises to Decrease Back Pain

Lower back pain (LBP) is one of the most common reasons people visit the doctor in the United States. Researchers say that over 80% of people will experience LBP at least once in their lifetime.

LBP commonly begins as tightness and achiness in the muscles of the lower back and is typically due to overuse. When you experience these symptoms, it is wise to seek professional help. Specialists, such as the doctors at Empower Health + Performance, will understand what you are doing wrong and help you overcome LBP.

People experience LBP for many different reasons. Some of the common reasons patients at Empower Health + Performance (EHP) experience LBP are:

  • They lack core stability

  • They use their hips improperly

  • They have flat feet (lack arch support)


Our bodies are made up of stable and mobile points which rely on each other to properly function. If we don’t have a stable point to rely on when moving, our bodies automatically create one. For example, when you move your hip (a mobile point), your core (a stable point) should engage before you attempt to move your hip. If it doesn’t, your body will automatically create a stable point somewhere else in the body to allow you to move. For many, that stable point is often produced in the muscles of the lower back and will eventually cause pain.

If you believe that your LBP has been caused by lack of core stability, start doing the exercises in this video:

Read the video transcript

It's a well-known fact that having a strong core will help relieve your low back pain, but with all the different exercises out there.

How do you know which core exercise is going to be the most beneficial for you? I'm Dr. Clayton and today I'm going to be answering that question plus giving my five favorite core exercises.
One of the most important functions of the core is to resist excessive motion from happening in the lower back when it comes to picking out exercises to either relieve your lower back or prevent the paint from coming back.

It's extremely important that the exercise is designed to do that.
Exercises like sit-ups and crunches actually allow for excessive motion to happen in your lower back.
So you need to stop doing those and do these five exercises, we're going to start very simple and then get into some pretty hard exercises.

If you're able to do the fifth exercise, make sure you guys comment down below, and let me know that I need to make videos with harder exercises for you.
The first exercise is a plank.
To do this, get on your forearms and on your toes, making sure that you're not sagging between the shoulder blades, and that your chest is away from the ground.

The biggest mistake I see that people make with the plank is that they arch their lower back.
They feel a lot of pressure in their lower back in this position, so make sure that your pelvis is in a nice neutral position.

You should be able to hold this position for about 30 seconds. If you're able to hold that position for more than 30 seconds you're ready for the second exercise.

This second exercise is where you're really gonna have to start engaging your core to resist excessive motion from happening in your lower back.
You will need a ball for this exercise.
I have a lacrosse ball.

You can use any type of ball.
You're going to go back into that plank position.
Then, place the ball on your back, make sure that your chest is away from the ground and that you're not overly arched.

Your pelvis is a nice neutral position from here.
You're gonna lift one of your stable points, such as lift your leg.

You should be able to hold this for about five seconds and then you're gonna switch sides, back and forth.
It's very important that when you go to lift a leg that the ball doesn't fall off. If it does fall off, this will let you know that you're allowing motion to happen in your lower back and we need to make sure that doesn't happen. If you can do that exercise successfully, it's time for the third exercise. The third exercise is actually my favorite.
It's very easy to progress and regress.

So you're gonna still need the ball you're going to go into a push-up position.

The wider your feet are and the easier the exercise. The closer your feet are together, the harder it's gonna be. So find that distance where you can place the ball on your back and from here, you're gonna take one of your hands away and tap your other shoulder. You should be able to hold for about three seconds and you're gonna go back and forth.
If you can do that without shaking, you need to make it a little bit harder.

So you can bring your feet in a little bit closer and do the same thing shoulder tap for about three seconds.
If your feet are too close, when you go to take a limo away, you'll have to shift your pelvis and you'll feel like you're falling, and the ball will fall off so make sure you find that happy medium of where it's hard, but not too hard once You're good at that, it's time to go to the fourth exercise before I show these last two exercises make sure that you guys subscribe, we're always putting on great content on how to fix all of your aches and pains for the fourth exercise.
We're actually going back into the plank position.

You're gonna place the ball on your back again, your forearms.
Instead of being out in front of you, you're gonna bring your forearms right next to each other from here. Go ahead and take one limo with our one arm away and you're going to grab the ball and you're gonna rotate towards your Side making sure that your hip isn't sagging down towards the ground, keeping your hip up nice and high, then you're gonna rotate back without it falling off.

Do the other side making sure that your hip isn't sagging that your hip is really high away from the ground, rotate back, just like all the other exercises, if the ball falls off, when you try to go grab it, it means that you're using too much of Your lower back once you've mastered that it's time to get to the hardest exercise for the fifth and final exercise having the ball on your back is crucial.
I see too many people at the gym just allowing their hips swaying side to side doing this exercise.
We're gonna do a plank to push-up, starting in the plank position.

Aren't a ball in the back from here you're going to go up into a push-up position, very important that you're going back down as well, and that the ball is staying on your back at all times.

If the ball is falling off, it means that you're shifting your weight to push up and same thing on the way down.
We want to make sure we're preventing that from happening.

So the ball is a great way to do that.
You want to make sure that you're staying nice and solid through your core and able to push up folks.

Those are some of my favorite exercises.

If you have any questions, make sure you guys reach out to us, we'd love to answer them for you.

In the meantime, keep moving and enjoy the rest your day!

Have a question? Contact Us!
(714) 229-3660


Dr Clayton
Dr. Clayton
Dr. Jess
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