Hello and welcome back again to the ThreeSpires Physiotherapy blog where we take a look at all things physiotherapy related. Recently we have looked at a few key exercises to help with balance but in this blog I thought we would take a look at an area that I often get asked to help with strengthening: the core. Now, although there is a lot of debate about whether there even is such a thing (it’s probably best to look at that in another blog), I do believe there are some really good exercises to help with building up stability in the trunk, hips and pelvis. Now before we continue, I have a quick disclaimer that you need to read:
DISCLAIMER ALERT: Now, please bear in mind that this does not replace the need for a full assessment or seeking medical advice, they are simply an illustration of some exercises that I generally find very helpful with patients. If you have any concerns or feel any pain when doing these then you should seek advice.
So disclaimer over, which are my top 5 “core” exercises: Well, before we continue, it is worth bearing in mind that we are a community physiotherapy service and these are exercises that patients find they are able to do at home without any gym equipment.
1. The Plank: Probably the most well known core exercise but still a good one and easy to do at home which is important to our patients. Make sure you keep good form – a nice straight back and start initially with a low time target of say 10 seconds and build this up until you are able to hold the plank for a minute.
If you initially find it too hard try it with your knees on the floor.
2. Side Plank: Much harder than its sibling the plank, so it may take a while to master this one. Again maintaining good form is important and you can build this up by just holding your hip off the floor for short periods or doing it in a bent knee position.
3. Bridging: This is a particular favourite of mine for patients as it helps with strengthening hips, pelvis, back and stomach and it is generally easy for patients to begin doing but takes them a while to do well.
4. Superman: Again another great exercise that most patients can do at varying levels but it takes a while to do well. It also targets a lot of areas including shoulders, back, hips and pelvis and helps improve body awareness.
5. Static Lunges: It could be argued that these are not really a core exercise and things such as the dish or a two legged straight leg raise would be better. However, I find these really good for helping with balance, body awareness and pelvic strength.
Hopefully you have found the above 5 exercises helpful, they are by no means all of the possible core exercises that you could try but as a physiotherapist visiting patients at home I find them helpful and easy for patients to progress with.
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