Need a good reason to re-start that ab routine? How about injury prevention!
The “core” is a combination of active and passive components including the abdominal muscles, pelvic muscles, spinal column and pelvis. “Core stability” essentially means the ability to control the position & motion of the trunk to allow for the transfer of force & energy from the spine to the extremities.
Recent studies are showing a relationship between core stability & lower extremity injuries and are finding that decreased core stability may actually increase the risk for lower extremity injury such as hip, knee and ankle injury. Good core stability will provide the lower extremities with a solid base to run, jump, kick, and play!
Here is a selection of exercises to strengthen your core stability to help reduce potential injuries in the lower extremity and for overall improved stability.
Supine Marches: Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent to 90 degrees. Tighten your abdominals and slowly lower one leg at a time keeping the 90 degree bend in the knee and then return to the starting position. Alternate lowering each leg & do not let your lower back arch off the floor.
Perform 1 minute bouts to fatigue.
Bridges: Lie on your back with knees bent & feet flat on floor. Tighten abdominals and gluts & lift buttocks off floor as if you are making a “bridge” with your body.
Perform 25-30 repetitions or to fatigue
Prone planks: Maintain plank position by tightening abdominals & without letting low back sag. Hold 15-60 seconds, 2-3 repetitions
Side planks: Maintain position without by tightening abdominals & without letting hips sag. Hold 15-60 seconds, 2-3 repetitions each side
Click here to print the above program: Ab Routines for Injury Prevention Handout
Contact us with any questions about these exercises. (Always consult a medical professional before beginning or changing an exercise program.)
Megan Peach, DPT, CSCS
megan at excelptmt dot com
Excel Physical Therapy Bozeman
"Remarkable job making my hip feel better! The first six miles of our crazy mountain hike went well but we had to turn back- because of someone's disintegrating boots, not my hip!!" -- A.G., Bozeman PatientView more testimonials from Excel PT clients »