Build Strong Abs and Reduce Back Pain at the Same Time

Posted on June 12, 2018. Filed under: Exercise, Health, Pain | Tags: , , , , , , |

medicine ball absIn today’s busy lifestyle, people strive to be as efficient, effective and productive as possible. So on the premise of  “killing two birds with one stone”, there are ways to build a strong lean set of abs and reduce back pain in one fell swoop.

Diet plays a strong role in not only creating a lean abdomen but also reducing inflammation that can be related to joint and back pain. By keeping inflammatory foods at a minimum, you’ll likely see great results.  Sugar is one of the biggest culprits, it turns into fat in your body and suppresses the immune system. Ridding starches like breads and pasta can help not only your mid-section cosmetically, but keep an over abundance of carbohydrates from turning into sugar.  The foods we eat can also cause bloating, especially around the midsection. For some, salt and dairy products cause water-retention. Great foods to take away the bloat but are also anti-inflammatory include foods that contain a lot of soluble fiber and help with constipation as well.  These include cucumbers, bananas, avocados, papaya, asparagus and kiwis.

The next way to build better abs and reduce back pain is to focus on certain exercises which build muscle and a stronger core.  Strong abdominal muscles not only look great but can actually prevent back pain by making you less prone to back injury and helping with better spinal alignment.  Back pain can be caused by weak abdominals and unbalanced muscles. The abs are the front anchor to our spine, and if weak, the other muscles that also support your spine, work harder to compensate.  In building strong abs, you’ll want to make sure that all the abdominal muscles including internal and external obliques and transverse abdominal are equally exercised.

One of my favorite overall abdominal exercises are the hanging leg or knee raise done in an upright position.  This dynamic exercise concentrates movement on the lower core which provides more benefit than holding a plank which is a static exercise. Performing exercises that allow you to curl your abs where you actively contract the muscle are great to do.  There are a multitude of exercises you can choose from but anything that causes pain or discomfort should be avoided. Another favorite exercise that not only strengthens the abs, low back, glutes, thighs, and overall core are squats. They work so many muscles at the same time providing more bang for the buck.  The best ab exercises will help support and give strength to the lower spine and abdomen and also work the deep and intermediate abs at the same time.

And let us not forget that one of the most simple and easy ways to make abs look great and help with back pain is good posture!  If we imagine a plumb line going straight up and down, we define good posture as having the ear, shoulder, hip, and ankles all in alignment with that imaginary line.  When we stand correctly, we see a multitude of benefits – we feel stronger, more confident, better balanced and we look taller, thinner and feel better!

 

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