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Injury Time Out with Capilano Rehab: Core Strength

| October 29, 2015 | Reply

The dreaded abdominal work out!  Some people feel that the only reason to do Abs is to get that flat stomach.  Sadly Abs alone will not get you that toned tummy but they do have many other benefits that you may not realize.  When you’re crunching away at the gym or in your living room you are strengthening and stabilizing your core.  This will help you with other issues that you may not realize like back pain, balance and posture.  People who suffer from back pain often have weak core muscles and overly strong back muscles and don’t even know it. 

Anatomy time! Your pelvis is the attachment for the muscles that run along your back from the bottom of your ribs to the top of your pelvis; these are called Quadratus Lumborum or QL’s for short. Your QL’s helped to stabilize your back and keeps your pelvis level.  If your abdominals are weak your strong QL muscles tilt your pelvis forward because the pull on your pelvis is greater from your QL’s in the back, then it is from your abdominals in the front. 

This muscle imbalance between your back muscles and abdominal muscles causes your back to sag, which allows your back muscles to shorten.  When you go to perform simple tasks your back can spasm because your shortened QL’s are not being used in their optimal way.  If you are active and have weak abs it can cause a difficulty transferring your momentum from your legs up through the rest of your body when you do activities like baseball, football, golfing and tennis.  This weakness can lead to injuries like pulled muscle, a herniated disc, hamstring injury and/or eventually degenerative changes in your spine. 

If you are not an athlete your rectus abdominals, the ‘6 pack’ looking muscles, still play a large role in your daily activities.  Things like standing from a seated position, reaching across your body to load groceries in to your car, bending forward at the waist are functions of your abdominal muscles and they also help to keep your abdominal viscera (guts) in place and protected. 

Our Kinesiologist, Spencer, has a few recommendations for exercises that you can do at home to help strengthen your core and stretch your back.

crunch    

side bend superman
 Hands across chest, lift shoulder blades off mat  Lift shoulder blades and upper back off mat, reach for right foot, reach for left foot  Lift leg and opposite arm at the same time
plank    Foam roller foam roller glute
Plank on forearms and feet.  Do not allow your back to sag Lay on foam roller, support neck with your hands Roll buttock muscle on foam roller. Stop on tight spots

If you would like a strengthening program that is more in depth and created specifically for you, then you can call 780-466-1104 to book in with Spencer for a one on one program and guidance in our gym.  Spencer will provide you with some stretches for you to do at home or in our gym to help with those over tight muscles, and some exercises that can help tighten those lax muscles!  

 

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Capilano Rehab Centre | Physical Therapy Capilano physical therapists have provided state-of-the-art physical therapy, sports physiotherapy, back pain, WCB, accident, whiplash and injury rehab to clients in Edmonton for over 10 years.

5832 Terrace Rd Edmonton, AB. T6A 3Y8

(780) 466-1104

 

Category: Active Living, Foam Roller Exercises, Healthy Living, Kinesiologist, Physiotherapy, Uncategorized

About the Author ()

I am Capilano Rehab Centre’s Community Care Coordinator. I have been with Capilano Rehab for 9 years primarily as a Physio Assistant, but also as a Receptionist. I have a Physical Education Degree from the University of Alberta, which I will eventually use when my two young children are grown up. In the mean time I am enjoying helping people in the Community through my role as Community Care Coordinator and bringing awareness to how a Physiotherapist can help you get back to the activities you love the most!

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