You've tried it all; different shoes, stretches, lumbar supports, oils, massage, cortisone shots etc. The one commonality amongst those methods is all are missing the plank exercise. Once the core is allowed to be lazy, there is no magically device to bring the core back to work. Waking up the core is now in your hands, your lower back and knees will thank you in no time!
STEP ONE: Wakeup call!
The "draw-in" maneuver is the single most important exercise used to engaged (wake up) the core. You will start in all fours (image below), bring hips to ribs with an inhale, hold for a 5 count and exhale back to a flat back. Repeat 3 - 4 times.
You will probably start to feel a few muscles you thought were extinct by now.
STEP TWO: Modified Plank
If you can already hold a plank, then skip to the last step. Not all of us are ready to jump right into the plank, so picture below is a modified plank. Place hands shoulder width, move bodyweight forward so hands and shoulders form one unbreakable line and brace the core (learned in STEP ONE above). Hold for 20 seconds, rest and repeat a few more times. Try to increase the duration of the holds throughout the week.
STEP THREE: Plank
Just as in the modified plank above; place hands shoulder width, push forward to form an unbreakable line from hands to shoulders, come to the toes and brace the core. The key is to pull the bellybutton in to the spine and pinch your butt as tightly as possible (great for a better jean booty!)
Now that you have mastered the plank, give my 20 day challenge a try.
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