Exercises for Protecting the Spine – Part 2

Napisao: Miloš Kalc, prof. of sports education

In our previous article we introduced the complexity of backbone and advantages you get with strong abdominal muscles. In this article we introduce practical guides on how to train these muscles.

Which Muscles to Train?

When we speak about developed abdominal muscles we don't mean the aesthetics of longitudinal abdominal muscles (so called radiators), we mean the reinforcement of functionally more important oblique and transverse abdominal muscles that are hidden under the upper layer of muscles. Transverse abdominal muscle plays a particularly important role in stabilization of the backbone and also has the biggest potential of increasing pressure in the abdominal cavity.

Recommended Exercises

We prepared a collection of exercises on our portal that are aimed to improve the strength of abdominal muscles. Exercises are equipped with detailed description and video streams. We especially recommend the following exercises:

  • Isometric Abdominal Twist
  • Plank
  • Side Plank
  • Back Extension
  • Superman

Exercises are static, which means that even though we don't move a lot we develop a large amount of force in our muscles. This technique is especially appropriate for those who have lower back pain and experience additional pain if they flex and rotate the torso. You will avoid movement of joints and reduce the risk for eventual pain.

When performing individual tasks, also pay attention to breathing. Before every repetition take a deep breath and tighten abdominal muscles. Perform the exercise in a way that you fully tighten abdominal muscles and hold the position for five seconds. Exhale slowly and evenly when performing the exercise. Repeat every exercise at least five times and take at least five seconds of rest between repetitions. One unit of repetitions is called a set. Perform each exercise in three sets. Between sets rest for at least one minute or as much as you need to but no more than three minutes. Pay attention to developing a large amount of force in muscles that you want to train, because it is the only way to achieve optimal progress. When you perform all sets of one exercise, start on the next exercise.

Rest is just as important as the execution of the exercise itself, because without rest you will exhaust muscles prematurely and you won't achieve a desired effect.