Many folks who have spinal conditions are told that they need to strengthen their abs but that they are not meant to do ab curls because they cause pain. So if you have a herniated disc or osteoporosis, how are you meant to get stronger abs without doing curls?
Here’s an exercise for you that will not hurt your back but will really challenge your abs.
Lie on your back and fold in both legs to a “tabletop” position. In this position, your shins are parallel to the floor.
Make sure that you have space underneath your lower back. Do NOT flatten your back to the floor. You should have enough space underneath your lower back that you can easily slide your hand underneath. The first photograph shows the correct starting position.
Keep your knees bent at 90 degrees throughout the exercise.
Take a deep breath in. As you exhale, engage your abdominals and unfold one hip so that your foot touches the floor.
As you exhale again, switch legs.
Repeat 10 times.
The most important thing to remember is that you must keep space beneath your lower back. This is the spine’s strongest position where the vertebrae all “lock together” so its important to strengthen the abdominals with the spine in this position.
I have created two different workouts that are great for strengthening your abs if you have any sort of spinal condition that prohibits you from doing traditional curls. If you go to my website, you can download the Herniated Disc or Osteoporosis workouts. Both are safe to do and I promise that they will help you! Simply click on the gravatar on the right side of this page or go to http://www.PersonalizingPilates.com
If you have any questions or need help, let me know.