The core workout that won’t hurt your lower back

Getting defined abs is difficult, especially when starting out on your fitness journey. Certain exercises which are great for abs can hurt your lower back – this is because your abs are not strong enough to support your weight during said exercises. Here are 6 different exercises you can do for your ab workout which won’t engage your back as much. Depending on your fitness ability, do each exercise for 30-45 secs on each side… you’ll thank us later when your core is steel!

Plank with overhead reach

Start in the plank position. Reach one arm out in front of you – aim to keep your body as still as possible and don’t rock from side to side. Move that arm back and repeat with the other one.

Ab wheel outs

This exercise requires an ab-wheel! Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend to clasp the wheel. Roll forward until you are in a pushup position. Move your arms as forward as possible without compromising your lower back. Roll backwards and repeat!

Swiss ball rotations

Begin in the plank position with your forearms resting on the top of the ball. Keeping your body straight, move your forearms round in circles on the ball. Change direction half way through!

Side plank with hip movement

In the side plank position, make sure your hips are upright so that your body is straight. Lower your hips (you might have to bend your bottom knee) and bring back up to the starting position. Repeat on each side.

Dead bug

Lay on your back with your hands at right angles to your body, reaching towards the ceiling. Your knees should also be bent at a 90 degree angle, your upper legs perpendicular to the floor. Make sure your lower back is firmly pressed into the ground to protect it. You don’t want to have it arched! Slowly lower your right arm and your left leg to the floor and stop just before they touch it. Then slowly return to the starting position. Alternate sides!

Swiss ball crunch

Sit on the ball and walk your feet outwards. Your lower back should be at the edge of the ball (make sure it is still fully supported though!). Your back should be slightly arched as you lean backwards. Curl your upper body up by the hips as far as your abs are still working. Then lower back down to the starting position. Remember to keep your lower body as still as possible and your abs tight so you don’t use your lower back.

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