The Optimal Solution for Back Pain
I bet everyone have heard this statement at least once “Train your core, it is good for your back”. This is a correct statement. However, many people train their core incorrectly. In order to prevent and manage back pain, what you need to train is the “Stability” of your core, not the “Strength”. Let me explain
Strength refers to the ability of a particular body part to move
Stability refers to the ability of a particular body part to stay still when there is perturbation elsewhere.
Exercises that you often see people doing in the gym such as crunch, side bend, sit up, trains the strength of your core. It is not a “bad” exercise. But, if we are talking about Back Injury prevention and management, this is not the core training that you need to do. In all of these exercises, you are trying to move the core, which means that you are training Strength not Stability. Why is this not optimal? Because back pain is not caused by the lack of strength. However, it is caused by the lack of STABILITY in the core.
What the core need is STABILITY, the ability to remain still, stable and injury free. So, exercises where you have to control the position of the core to remain stable is the way to go. Some examples would be: Plank and Bird Dog.