Core strength is defined as those truck muscles that maintain spinal stability and correct spinal curves. For me they are also exercises that reduce nervous system stress and enhance overall health.
There are many versions of core strengthening like Pilates and some studio classes that combine aerobics with light weights. As a chiropractor I give my patients a few simple exercises that don't require a lot of time or any equipment (although a gym ball helps to multiply the options you have).
Here is a list of the most commonly used exercises in my clinic:
- Bird Dog
- Side Bridge (aka Side Plank)
- Abdominal Bracing
These are all strengthening or muscle contraction-type exercises. What about stretching? Glad you asked but it's complicated! There are quite a few studies that question the value of stretching alone in preventing injury or enhancing athletic performance. We won't delve into these issues here but I have founded clinically four stretching exercises that are helpful and that I show my patients. What I mean by clinically is that they have beneficial effects on posture and pain that I have observed in 30 years of clinical practice. Here they are:
- Hamstring stretch, active or passive.
- Triangle Pose done against a wall (a Yoga posture aka "Trikonasana")
- Wall Angels
- Groin (psoas) stretch
So there you have my top eight exercises. There are also riffs on some of them that usefully bring in other body parts.
Check back soon for pictures of these exercises. Or come in for a spinal health checkup and I'll show them to you personally! And I'll give you some pics to add to your library of exercises. Mention that you saw this page of my website and your first visit is free. That first visit includes a complete history, chiropractic orthopedic examination and my recommendations for your individual situation. Call me at (650) 286-4288. You can send me an email but a phone call is best as I may not check my email until the evening. I don't live on the net as some do. I've got to adjust some patients and show them how to care for their spine!