core exercises ??

SLE0803 Posts: 145 Member
I need to strengthen my core.

I have a bad back and can't really lay flat on the floor to do crunches.

Anyone know any alternative exercises to strengthen the core?


  • Aeliyah
    Aeliyah Posts: 247
    Bump... I have 2 disc herniations and DDD in another disc. Any hints and tricks for strength training would be greatly appreciated!
  • carpar1
    carpar1 Posts: 211 Member
    Look on youtube, you may find some ideas there.
  • not sure if this is a good idea and if you will get a good effect from it..but maybe try putting a pillow... not a big puffy one...under your back width wise not length so the ends are sticking out at ur sides ....and try doing crunches or sit ups that way and take your time if you have a bad back...don't rush your what you this temporary or a permanent thing? wish you well
  • carpar1
    carpar1 Posts: 211 Member
    The large fitness balls would help you ( you can get one at Marshall's or TJ's for $10) takes the stress off the back.
  • jbug100
    jbug100 Posts: 406 Member
    Could you do crunches on stability ball? Planks are really good for the core.
  • My trainer makes me balance on medicine balls because she says balance is a great way to strengthen your core. It's hard as all get out but I can really feel it.
  • emariec78
    emariec78 Posts: 530 Member
    I don't know if it would irritate your back, but you could try planks since those don't involve laying down. You can modify them to start on your knees if its too much strain to do them on your toes.
  • kykykenna
    kykykenna Posts: 656 Member
    Read once about doing an exercise called vacuums? You bend forward with an arch in your back, hands on knees. Pull in your belly, as if you are trying to make it touch your spine. Hold it in. 20 seconds I think is what they said, repeat in a set of 10. they also recommended doing it through the day. I find myself doing them right out of the hurt I figure! you can find exactly how on Youtube.
  • tljacob
    tljacob Posts: 28
    toning your core is a lot more than crunches... Anything that challenges your balance is going to impact your core. For instance, step up and balance on one leg, hold your abs tight and you are engaging your core. Planks are also great for core - 20 sec up in plank, 10 sec down on knees (continue for 10 times and remember to hold your abs tight when up). There are sooo many! If you really want to do crunches, do them on a stability ball.

    Best of luck!
  • lizzycomp
    lizzycomp Posts: 64
    I have degenerative arthritis in my spine and a slipped disc in my neck. I came across a dvd called "Barre 3 "(you can find an intro on youtube). It combines Pilates, yoga, ballet and strength training for a total body work-out. The core work is done with a small ball (Pilates ball...around 1 foot round). OMG!!!! It's the first time I've been able to feel a true work-out in my abs without any back pain!!!! I'm hooked!!!
  • bethany675
    bethany675 Posts: 44 Member
    Just did TurboFire Core20 today for the first time. It was standup ab and core work. IF you could get a copy of that to preview or try it may help.
  • slshawna
    slshawna Posts: 16
    This is what I do for a living :) Physical Therapy for low back pain. You need to work on strengthing your transverse abdominal muscles. Laying on your back with your knees bent feel your hip bones then come a thumbs space inward and tighten draw your stomach in as if you were tightening a belt around your waist. You should feel a light pressure increase into your thumbs. Don't hold your breath. This is a deep stomach muscle so it if you feel like you are pushing out then it is the worng muscles. Another way to think about it is if you were going to the bathroom and you wanted to stop the flow. Once you can hold that for 30 seconds and still breathing try and tap you toes, march, and straighten your leg. All while holding that contraction. That contraction really helps to strengthen your back and it is good to try and hold it while you are doing all things during the day. Planks and ball exercises are good later on it is best to get t basics done first. A good relaxation position is putting your legs on the ball and just letting your back stretch you could also do that on a taller couch or bed. Also rocking your knees side to side on the ball or just on your back (knees bent) feels good :) if it is pain you have had for a long time heat or ice is good but if it is a recent (2 weeks) pain use ice! Feel free to add me as a freind and ask any questions! We do spinal decompression at our clinic and I see great results with back pain!!
  • hroush
    hroush Posts: 2,073 Member
    If the reason you have a bad back is because you back is weak, then you should do squats and deadlifts. This will strengthen your back and core and the same time. At the beginning of the year my back hurt horribly if I sat for a while in my office chair and when I stood up. After performing just squats 2x a week for not even a month the pain went away. I am now able to do more sit-ups than I ever could training to do sit-ups and I don't even do abs any more. I have heard many other testimonials from people saying the same thing.

    To learn how to do these correctly and a good program to do them with, check out

    Feel free to message me with any questions.