Providing balance and stability for your whole body, the muscles in your back and abdomen make up your core, so making sure to keep your core flexible and strong not only helps prevent joint injuries, but it can also relieve pain.
Building core strength will help to take the load off of sensitive joints like your lower back and hips. We will cover seven exercises that will help build up your core so as to relieve pain and protect your joints.
Core-Building Floor Exercises
These exercises below will help you to strengthen your abs, lower back, pelvic floor and hip muscles muscles. Targeting these specific muscle groups will help to relieve and prevent joint pain as these muscles don’t generally get used much during day-to-day activities.
1. The Lying march
Lie on the floor on your back, keeping your arms at your sides and bending your knees. Contract your abdominal muscles while slowly raising one leg about three to four inches from the floor. Hold your leg up for about two to three seconds and then bring it back down to the floor.
Alternate your legs back and forth so as to “march” for about 30 seconds.
2. The Pelvic tilt
Using gentle movements, this exercise will improve your core as well as build strength in your pelvic floor muscles (which are key to relieving hip pain).
Lie down on the ground and bend your knees to where your feet are flat on the floor and parallel to each other. Rest your arms straight at your sides. Contract your lower abs while letting your pelvis tilt upward just a bit. Try not to use your gluteal muscles or legs and make sure your pelvis does not leave the ground. Stay in this position for about five seconds and then relax. Repeat this ten times.
Drop to your knees and proceed to place your palms on the floor. Take one leg off the floor and point it straight back in line with your back. Take the opposite hand and stick it straight out also in line with your body. Hold this position for about four to six seconds and then gently lower your leg and arm back down.
4. The Bridge
Lie down with back flat on the floor and arms your sides. Bend your knees and put your feet flat on the floor. Gently raise your butt off the floor until your back is between your shoulders and knees. Hold this for eight to ten seconds and then relax your butt back down to the floor.
Exercise Ball Pelvic Floor & Core Exercises
5. Marching on a ball
Grab an exercise ball and sit on it with your feet should-width apart in front of you flat on the floor. Try to lift on foot off the ground and hold it for just a few seconds. Put it back down and repeat with the other foot. Do this for about ten to fifteen minutes.
6. Oblique crunch on an exercise ball
Start just like the #5 exercise before but keep your feet flat on the floor and raise your arms straight over your head. Slowly lean back 45 degrees, bending at your hips, keeping your core tight, and raising your knees by pushing up your heels without moving your feet. Maintain this position and lower one arm gently towards the knee on the other side. Bring your arm back up and repeat with your other arm and other knee. Do this ten to fifteen times.
7. Half crunch on a ball
Again starting like #5 and #6, sit on your exercise ball with feet flat on floor. This time cross your arms over your hips or chest. Lean back 45 degrees and bend at your hips raising your knees by pushing up your heels while not moving your feet. Use your ab muscles to rock yourself back up and down. Do this ten times.
For other joint pain remedies, check this out.