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Working Your Core Without Wrecking Your Hips and Back

When doing an abdominal or core exercise, have you ever wondered, “Am I doing this right?”

If these types of exercises bring on discomfort in your back or at the front of your hips, then no, you’re probably not doing them right. And continuing to incorrectly engage these muscles has some consequences.

Incorrect engagement:

  1. Isn’t strengthening the right core group of muscles

  2. Isn’t building your core in a way that helps protect your spine and back

  3. Is increasing your risk of straining or injuring the muscles you’re overusing

But there’s hope!

Let’s take Toe Taps, the exercise pictured! We start in a table top position on our back, lower our toes toward the ground by reaching our feet away from our hips, then return to table top. Toe taps are hard, especially if you do them right.

Photo 1 shows the wrong way. Notice the low back arched off the floor and the ribs splayed open in front. This is the most common technique flaw we come across. You’re not effectively exercising your abdominals in this photo.

Photo 2 shows the correct technique. Our low back is staying gently connected with the floor throughout the exercise. Here, your abdominals are working, your core is helping to stabilize you, and your back is in a safe and secure position.

These types of exercises are important in getting your abdominals and core strong, so make sure you’re doing them with the right safe technique.

At motivPT, we'll get you moving in a healthy way. If you have pain, weakness, or imbalance, consider booking with us for an online Physical Therapy routine customized to fit your individual needs. Book your free 15 minute consult to talk with Dr. Alex about your specific concerns and to learn more about how we work!

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