An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as the old saying goes. We know that promoting good health is always easier than fixing injuries and curing diseases after they have happened. So with regard to back pain, you might be interested to know that there is one simple thing you can do to prevent it: Build strong core muscles!

What are core muscles? Most people think of core muscles as “abs”. And yes, your abdominal muscles are a part of your core. But the term “core muscles” refers to the abdominal and back muscles of your torso. Many of you might focus on abdominal muscles during workouts because who doesn’t love the look of a firm, flat tummy? But your back muscles are just as important.

Exercise isn’t all about looking good. You also want to provide your body with strong, functional support so that you feel healthy and strong while preventing injuries and pain. Building strong core muscles can help you accomplish those goals.

The following moves work your core muscles, and can be performed at home:

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing – Spend about a minute breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Yes, it sounds simple, but diaphragmatic breathing warms up the muscles of your diaphragm, at the top of your core.
  2. Dead bugs – This simple video explains how to perform dead bugs correctly. They have a funny name but work great for building your core muscles!
  3. Scissor kicks – You’ll really feel a burn with this exercise, in a good way of course! Check on this quick video for instructions on scissor kicks.
  4. Weighted pullovers – Lie on your back, with your feet on the floor and knees bent. Keep your back and neck pressed into the floor. Hold a dumbbell or other weight straight above your chest, then lower to the ground behind your head and back up, making sure not to arch your back.

As with all exercises, remember to hold correct form at all times while working out. Doing this ensures that you develop your core muscles correctly, while preventing injuries.

For more information on core exercises to build strength and stability, let’s talk about your exercise habits at our next appointment. We can help you learn how to exercise safely and keep your body healthy.