If you want to create the best core workout, you need both ab and back exercises. When most people think about the core, their first thought is ab exercises, but ab exercises by themselves won’t make a complete core workout. When you include lower back exercises and ab exercises in your workout, you will have a well rounded and balanced core.
Ab exercises help you to generate power moving forwards and prevent the spine from moving too far backwards. Some of the best ab exercises are planks, crunches on a ball, side planks, sit ups, and leg raises.
Planks are an isometric ab exercise in which you simply balance on your elbow and toes and hold that position. Side planks are also an isometric ab exercise in which you are balanced on one elbow and your feet. Crunches on a stability ball offer increased range of motion when compared to the floor and can help to improve balance.
Sit ups are a classic ab exercise and they are great for athletes, but they can put more pressure on the lower back than crunches on a ball. Lastly, leg raises are also tough on the lower back, but they are great for improving core stability and pelvic control.
Lower back exercises help you to generate power moving backwards and while lifting and prevent the spine from moving too far forwards. Lower back exercises are just as important as ab exercises for preventing lower back pain.
Some of the best lower back exercises are back extensions on a ball, back extensions on the floor, and back extensions on a slant board. You can add a rotational movement to all of the previous exercises to add a more challenging element. In addition to the back extension movement, you can also do the stiff leg dead lift or the conventional dead lift.
The dead lift position and motion is important for a well rounded core workout, because many lower back injuries occur when you are lifting. So, it makes sense to practice the lifting motion and position during your core workouts.
The abdominal muscles and lower back muscles help to rotate and side bend the spine, and they both help to stabilize the lumbar spine and lower back. Rotational exercises are very important to any core workout. Functional activities and athletic activities happen in multiple directions and multiple planes. Generally, our bodies are weakest in rotational directions, so it is important to include rotational movements in your core workout. Some of the best rotational exercises are the Russian twist, standing cable lifts or chops, and standing cable rotations.
Both the abs and lower back are important for core workouts. So, if you really want well-rounded core workouts, think abs and back.