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Core Strengthening Exercises

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Join Joslin’s Michael See, M.S., R.C.E.P., C.D.E., Exercise Physiologist in improving your fitness with these core strengthening exercises!

The core are the muscles that refer to the abdominal, low back, hips and buttocks. These are important for stabilizing the spine relative to the pelvis. Low back pain is associated with weak and unbalanced core muscles. The stronger our core muscles are the lower risk for back injuries. This type of fitness is essential to daily living and regular activities like lifting, reaching, or bending.

These exercises can be done 2 to 3 times per week. Start by performing one set of these exercises, 5 to 10 repetitions each. Gradually increase to 2 to 3 sets per session.
Always remember to keep taking deep breaths throughout the exercise!

Hip Bridge
Strengthens hamstrings and gluteal muscles
For this exercise, you’ll need a foam roll, a ball, or a rolled-up towel

1. Lay on your back, knees bent and feet planted on the floor
2. Place towel (ball/roll) between your knees
3. Squeeze buttocks muscles while raising hips up, so your body makes a straight line from your knees to your shoulders
4. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds
5. Slowly bring your hips back to the floor and relax
6. Repeat 5 times, gradually increasing to 15

Plank
Strengthens abdomen and sides of stomach

1. Lay on your stomach, propped up on your elbows so that elbows are directly below shoulders
2. Raise hips up, holding yourself up on elbows and knees
3. Keep back straight, making a line from ears to shoulders to hips to knees
4. Hold for 15 seconds, and gradually increase to 30 seconds

Superman
Strengthens upper and lower back and buttocks
For the exercise, you’ll need a towel

1. Lay on your stomach, feet 6 to 12 inches apart, arms stretched overhead, forehead resting on the rolled-up towel
2. Tighten muscles of buttocks and upper back to raise right arm and left leg about 6 inches off the floor
3. Hold for 5 seconds
4. Slowly bring arm and leg back to the floor
5. Repeat with opposite arm and leg
6. Repeat 3 to 5 times each side

Page last updated: October 24, 2014