Hi! Today we are going to talk about core strengthening exercises for lower back. I need to talk about this because I was doing a YouTube search on different core exercises for people with back pain just to see what’s out there and I was completely disgusted! Everything I saw is causing increased back pain. Every trainer, all the celebrities on YouTube, every time I go to the gym and every home workout tell you to keep your back flat on the floor. To keep your stomach really tight. Belly button to spine. But all those things are hurting your back. They are not going to strengthen your core to decrease your pain. I will explain what you should be doing in a moment but first I’m Dr. Stephanie Mayer and I specialize in helping moms decrease back pain so they can play with their kids without restriction. So they can go to the gym and remain fit healthy and active. What I really need to go over today is what the fitness industry is telling you to do for core strengthening is not going to work. It doesn’t matter what exercise you do. You do not want to keep a flat back when you’re on the floor. You always need to keep a neutral spine. You want the natural curve in your spine and you do not want to keep bellybutton to spine. You don’t want to keep it tight even though every trainer loves to tell you to do that. But what that is doing is holding onto your breath. Try to takd a deep breath when your belly button is to your spine. All it’s doing is keeping your breath up in your chest. It is not allowing your breath to get down to your lower abdominals and to your pelvic floor. This causes stress on these muscles, such as your core muscles and your pelvic floor muscles which is going to cause increased pain. it’s also going to cause pelvic pain, urinary stress incontinence and a belly pouch. You need to get your breath down to your pelvic floor. In order to do that think of an umbrella. When you breathe in think of your stomach relaxing. Feel your breath getting down to your pelvic floor and your ribs spreading out. And then breathe out and your ribs are coming in and your pelvic floor is coming up and in. Inhale, relax your stomach, get your breath to your pelvic floor and your ribs expand. Then exhale and your pelvic floor comes up and in. That is what you need to do with core exercises. What the fitness industry, however, is telling you to do is not this and is causing you pain. I’m going to show you exercises to help work on this breath and really strengthen your core. And it isn’t about the hardest exercise you can do. Absolutely not all. All the crunches in the world or jack knives or any of that stuff will not get your core strong if you’re not doing the breath properly. And sit-ups are actually terrible for your back. They are putting extra stress on it when sitting up. It is not necessary and if you have back pain you should not be doing sit ups, crunches or bicycle crunches. All of that is not good to do. Crunches can be okay eventually if you can really make sure you’re getting that breathing down correctly. But I would not start there now and it’s really necessary. I’m going to show you a few better core exercises that you can do. The first thing you can do is a march. It’s very basic but it needs to be done right. First roll on your side to your back so you don’t stress your back. Now what you’re going to do is march. Lift 1 leg up and down and then the other leg up and down. While you’re doing this your back is in neutral and now think of your breath. You need to get the breath down with this basic movement. You’re going to breathe in like an umbrella. That’s relaxing the stomach and the ribs expand. Then exhale and the pelvic floor comes up and in. Now inhale and relax your stomach and expand your ribs. Then exhale and think of your pelvic floor coming up and in. When inhaling make sure you get there the breath to your pelvic floor. Practice. And then you can progress to also moving your arms. As the leg and arm comes down breathe in relaxing your stomach and expanding your ribs. And then breathe out making your pelvic floor come up and in. Inhale and relax and exhale with pelvic floor coming up and in. Another great exercise you can do is on all fours. So you would start like this. Keep your spine in neutral and start with the arms. So again inhale with an umbrella breath getting that breath down to your pelvic floor ribs with the ribs expanding and then exhale and the pelvic floor comes up and in. Inhale with the umbrella breath relaxing your stomach and exhale lifting your pelvic floor up and in. Then the progression from that would be opposites. But this is actually very difficult to maintain the correct form and in order to strengthen your core it needs to be in a neutral spine with the breath correct and the technique has to be perfect. There’s no point in doing exercises if you’re not doing them correctly. Now if you have been breathing wrong and have back pain it’s because of a core dysfunction. You get a core dysfunction because of what the fitness industry is telling you to do such as crunches, sit-ups and not breathing correctly. To find out if you have a core dysfunction take my free self assessment. The link is in the description below. Please take it so you know and they’ll give you tips to help fix it. And if you enjoyed this video and it helped you please subscribe, like and share with your friends!