Don’t let an achy back get your abs down!
Even the most effective core exercises will sneak up on your back if your abdominal wall is not engaged properly or is just in desperate need for a strength booster.
Leg Raise with Ball Prop
Try this exercise at least 4 to 6 days per week to build a better core while safely bracing your back muscles.
Lay flat, face up on a mat and place two bender balls underneath your glutes. Raise both legs so they are about 6 to 12 inches off the floor.
As you exhale, lift your legs as high as you can, while stabilizing on the ball, ultimately avoiding any undue pressure on your back. Inhale and slowly lower to the starting position. Exhale and repeat 12-15 times, completing at least three sets of the exercise.
If you are a beginner or post-natal, modify the exercise as follows. From the starting position above, exhale and smoothly bend your knees and reach them back to your chest. Inhale, extend them forward and repeat for the same amount of reps and sets as mentioned above. If this is too difficult, a third ball can be placed under the natural curve of you back.
Lisa Robins is a personal trainer and fitness expert. You can follow her on Twitter: @LisaRobinsFit
(photo credit – James Patrick of Tucson, AZ)