Stomach Exercises for People With Bad Backs

The Cedars-Sinai Medical Center website lists weak stomach muscles as a major risk of back spasms and injury. Strong core muscles help to protect the back from injury, and many abdominal-strengthening exercises can help relieve current upper and lower back ailments. A combination of gentle stretching and core strengthening is an effective approach to helping a bad back. When working the core with a bad back, make sure the exercises are stress-free on the back, neck and spine. It is advisable to check with your doctor prior to beginning any new exercise regimen when dealing with back health issues.

Pelvic Tilt

One of the easiest, most effective exercises for the core is the pelvic tilt. This exercise engages the entire core with minimal stress on the lower-back. Begin supine on the floor with your arms by your side, palms up and your feet flat on the floor with your knees up toward the ceiling. Place a rolled towel under your back if you feel any stress on your lower back in this position. Keeping your head, neck and back relaxed, take a deep breath in and tighten the abdominals by pulling your belly button toward the floor and your tailbone toward the ceiling as you exhale release the contraction. Repeat this exercise 10 to 20 times.

Standing Side and Front Bend

This simple core exercise is so easy you can do it throughout the day. Standing side bends work your oblique muscles, the muscles that form your waist. Standing front bends work your spinal erectors, the lower back muscles, and your rectus abdominus muscles. Begin this exercise by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your shoulders squarely over your hips. Place your hands on your waist and gently bend to your left as far as you can. Come back to center and repeat to the right. Next, slowly bend forward while keeping your back straight, without rounding. Keep your belly button pulled to your back as you lean as far forward as you can until you reach a 45 degree angle. Repeat the entire sequence 10 to 20 times.

Seated Leg Extension

The seated leg extension is performed on a chair and works the stomach, back, hip and thigh muscles. This exercise is convenient and easy to do daily. Start this exercise sitting upright with your shoulders over your hips on the edge of a stable chair. Slowly lift your right foot off of the floor and extend your leg straight out until parallel with the floor or as far as you can for two seconds. Then, release the foot back down to the ground. Do this exercise continually for 30 seconds and then repeat on the opposite leg. Keep your posture upright by engaging the abdominals throughout the entire exercise.

About this Author

Based in Malibu, Calif., Shannon Sukovaty has been writing health-related articles since 1992. Her articles have appeared in “Colorado Health” magazine, “Health and Fitness Journal” magazine and on various prominent websites. Sukovaty is a certified personal trainer with undergraduate studies in exercise physiology and credentials from IDEA, ACSM, AFAA and IPPA.