There seems to be a trend in body aches lately and it is all about the back (shoulders are for another time). Several of my clients, students and friends are complaining about throwing out their low back or severe lombar pain. Are we really at the stage in life when body ailments are so rampant? After deeper inquiry, many respond with the same story. The origin of the pain is around the lowest part of the spine. They also usually complain about, “weak abs” and/or “lack of support.” Core muscles are a necessity for a healthy body, mind and life. When building any structure, a strong foundation is essential in the architecture. Just like in the body, creating a stable ground is an inside job. When one learns to engage the core muscles with a sense of balanced action, both front and back body support, the whole being is happier. If you commit to strengthening and integrating your power center, the body will shift. Really it is simple, start small with a daily routine and you will wake up your belly brain. Developing a stronger abdominal region will alleviate some of the back pain. Here are 2 exercises to begin.
Planking Bridge: Lay on belly and place elbows under shoulders and forearms forward, image of an Egyptian Sphinx come to mind, right on, FLEX your feet.
- In a prone (on belly) position inhale peel and Lift just sternum, Exhale hold
- Inhale add Lift of Ribs, Exhale hold
- Inhale add Lift of Navel, Exhale hold (no rounding in upper back)
- Inhale add Lift of Pubic Bone, Exhale hold
- Inhale add Lift of Thighs, Exhale hold
- Inhale add Lift of Knees, Exhale hold (feet still flexed)
- HOLD plank shape and keep breathing steady, then reverse the process SLOWLY begin with exhale
- Exhale Drop Knees, Thighs, Pubic Bone, Navel, Ribs and Sternum
- In a supine (on back) position: Inhale to prepare, spine still and in neutral
- Exhale CURL and LIFT, head and shoulders come up together
- Inhale HOLD in curled up position
- Exhale return down
*Reminder to keep a focal point of a stable engaged belly, hide the navel up and under the ribs. Celebrate you strength and initiate your moments from your core. If you need more motivation, look out for a group Pilates class or make an investment in yourself and see an instructor for a few privates.
AUTHOR: Bex Urban
img source: http://taoofsophia.tumblr.com/