If you have experienced an injury and are engaging in physical therapy to help repair the damage and alleviate your pain, you likely need to learn about the different exercises to strengthen your core and back muscles. Working with your physiotherapist to develop a program is going to be one of the most important factors in your recovery. Here are some simple, yet effective techniques you can use to strengthen yourself:
- Kneeling extension – To perform this exercise, begin on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. Then, extend one arm forward, and the opposite leg back (to keep yourself in balance).
- Hip Lift – Lie on your back, and then bring your feet back towards your body until they are flat on the floor (which will raise your knees up into the air). Next, lift your pelvis up towards the ceiling and hold the position. Abdominal chair crunch – Another exercise which starts on your back, but this time you comfortably rest your legs up on a chair in front of you. You then perform a normal crunch maneuver, gently lifting up your head and shoulders, and holding position.
- Plank holds – Quite similar to a pushup, the difference is your top end rests on your elbows rather than your hands. It is significantly less stressful than a traditional pushup, and works your core and back quite well.
- Side plank holds – The execution is essentially the same as above, however your body is tilted 90 degrees to one side, to emphasize working different sets of muscles than the other exercise stretches (primarily your obliques).
The key to successfully rehabilitating yourself is to start slowly, and gradually build up. Our physiotherapist-approved exercises are all designed to be extremely low impact, and easy enough that you should be able to perform them regardless of your physical condition. Gentle exercise really will help strengthen your muscles and help reduce pain.
As you progress past these exercises, it is likely that you will incorporate additional elements into your routine, to improve your health even further. You may branch off into actual strength training, or perhaps decide that a mild cardio workout offers the benefits you are looking for. Regardless of what you decide, starting slowly and gradually increasing as your body tone improves is the key to successful physical therapy.