Core training is a mainstay of rehabilitative training for low back pain.  I have discovered a lot of patients don’t know what core training exercises they should be doing, and which ones are potentially dangerous and damaging to the lumbar spine.  Let’s dive right in and get to the exercises that are best for core strengthening.  All of this information comes from an article that is linked below.


There are lots of various ways to alter the traditional plank training exercise to make it easier or more challenging.

Side Plank Bridge

It is best to perform this exercise in front of  mirror to make sure you have correct form.

Bird Dog Plank

It is most important to make sure you are keeping your spine completely straight and supported during this exercise.  Do not let your hips and shoulders get out of alignment.

Perform these exercises for up to 15 minutes in a training session.  Most people will be sore after performing these exercises so a few days of rest between training is usually a good idea.

Some exercises to avoid that cause excessive strain on the lumbar spine.

Sit ups.  Sorry your gym teacher was wrong on this one.  They cause increased lumbar disc pressure that could lead to herniations.

Back Extensions.  Especially on the weighted machine at the gym.  This move can put upwards of 800 pounds of pressure on your lumbar discs.

Hanging Bent Knee Raise.  This move can only be made worse by adding a twist of the hips.  This one puts about 700 pounds of pressure on your discs.

The best part is all of these exercises can be performed at home.  In addition to cardio exercise and you have a good three day a week routine.  Have fun and stay core strong.

Research article for all of this information in case you want to read a lot of technical jargon.