3 Poses for Stronger Core
Breathwork and right alignment to ease lower back pain and strengthen the core muscles.
Pain in the lower back, can be related to different factors. Everybody is different and every “low back pain” situation is different. There is no one size fits all.
Some lower back pain situations can be related to:
- postural habits
- hereditary muscular skeletal dysfunctions
- digestive disorders
- performing specific exercises wrong for long time
- overusing same muscle groups for long time (like in a sport)
A lot of lower back pain cases nowadays are related to stress. This happened to me in my first year in college and every time I am trapped in a stressful situation that I can’t escape. Sometimes some things repeat themselves until we learn our lesson and find ways to heal it.
When we are stressed we hold tension in different parts of our bodies. For some people can be neck and shoulders, others teeth and jaw, stomachache and some others lower back. Pay attention next time you go through a stressful situation, how is your breath? Are you breathing? In what parts of your body you feel you hold tension? That can be a good indicator to find out the parts of the body you hold tension and also to bring awareness in your breath. Breath is the key. Below I share 3 basic simple poses that help strengthen the core muscles and I instruct how to use the breath during each exercise.
Lay down with knees bend. Feet wider than hips, slightly turn the heels out and the toes in. This relaxes the sacrum as gluteus muscles move away from it. Make sure head and shoulders are relaxing down. Bring attention to the center of the body, belly, lower back and pelvic floor. Bring attention to your breath cycle, breathe slowly and start to direct your breath to the center of the body. It may help to bring your palms to your belly. Stay here for 10-12 slow breaths which is about a minute. This is an important exercise to start because it helps to bring awareness to the body and find out if you hold tension in this area. You may be holding tension in the belly or gluteus relax the body with every exhalation.
For this exercise you will need a block, if you don’t have one just roll a towel tight and place it between your inner thighs. Interlace your palms behind your head, keep the shoulders relaxed away from the ears and chin away from the chest. Knees are over the hips. Lower belly slightly pulled in. Inhale in this pose.
As you exhale lift your chest up, still keeping shoulders relaxed and chin away from chest
Squeeze the block with your legs and lift your hips off the floor. Stay here for 3 seconds then inhale and come back to the first pose with out letting the head to touch the floor and make sure knees stay over hips. Repeat 10-15 times for 2 sets.
We finish with “bridge pose”. The previous poses help to strengthen the deeper abdominal muscles that support the lower back. Bridge pose strengthens the lower back and lengthens the front of the body, belly and front of the hips that were contracting during the previous poses.
Feet hip width apart, parallel to each other, angles under knees. Press down with your feet and use your legs to lift your hips up. Interlace your palms under your lower back. Press arms and shoulders down and lift chest up. Walk your shoulders closer together press down with the shoulders and life chest higher. Study your breath it should be slow and deep. Keep using your legs to lift hips up. Stay here for 5-8 slow breaths.
Repeat this routine 3-4 times a week to strengthen the lower back. It’s perfect for those days that you don’t have enough time 10 minutes can do the magic. If you experience pain and discomfort during this routine please stop and consult an experienced professional.