Table of Contents
An Overview of Abdominal MusclesYour abdominal muscles work as antagonists to your back muscles and properly trained abs can significantly relieve the strain from your back muscles. Your abs assist you with sitting, standing, running, jumping and lifting – basically any movement that involves your core. It is very important to have well-developed abdominal muscles for overall health and physical performance.
Individuals with back problems need to take special care when training their abdominal muscles. The movement of the hips and spine needs to be kept to a minimum and it is often best to consult a physiotherapist to confirm a list of ab exercises that are safe to perform. Therapeutic stretching and strengthening exercises can also be performed in an attempt to improve back problems. Muscle imbalances can be addresses by a fitness professional or qualified coach, and it is best that these problems are detected early so that muscle flexibility can be restored as soon as possible.
Core StabilityYour core can be defined as all of the muscles and connective tissue that surrounds your spine. Basically, it is what holds your spine upright. Core strengthening exercises are very healthy to do; just ensure that you are training and developing all of the muscle groups surrounding your core, as opposed to only one section such as your lower abs. Your core can be destabilized if you concentrate on strengthening only one muscle group.
There are three muscle groups that support the spine:
- Obliques – also called Rotators, these muscles are used to stabilize the spine when we are upright. These muscles can also help to rotate the spine and maintain a proper posture.
- Flexors – This muscle group is responsible for controlling the lower spine, and provides support to the spine from the front. It also helps to adduct the hip (moving the thigh inwards to the body).
- Extensors – These muscles are used to strengthen the back, when we are standing, lifting, and abducting the hip (moving the thigh away from the body).
All of these exercises are perfect for strengthening your abdominal muscles without placing any pressure on your back and spine. They are safe to perform for people with back problems and they are encouraged by sport coaches and physiotherapists. With slight modifications to certain exercises, we can safely allow anyone to perform these movements without any issues back pain.