Core exercises are key to maintaining good spine health. Without a good strong core, we run the risk of hurting our backs in normal activities, let alone in exercise. We decided to look at a great exercise for improving your core strength and protecting your back. We have called it Superman Core and it will be working your abs, pelvic floor and hip extensors.
This exercise can be quite hard on the wrists, therefore, we suggest that you regularly stretch back into childs pose to release the pressure.
1. First of all, get yourself into what we call a four-point setup. Kneel on a mat to protect your knees. Position your knees under your hips, hinge forward from the hip and place your hands on the floor. Your hands should be directly under your shoulders. To make this exercise safe, you should take time to perfect this starting position. Most importantly you should ensure your abdominal muscles are pulled in and your pelvic floor is pulled up.
Try to make sure your shoulders aren’t hunched up to your ears. Think of looking slightly ahead of your hands on the floor. Remember, your spine should be long and straight with no dip or hump. And you should be able to breathe easily in this position.
2. Tighten your core and extend one arm forward so that your shoulder is next to your ear. At the same time, straighten your opposite leg completely behind you, bringing it to hip height. Return to the starting position and repeat with your opposite arm and leg. Keep repeating right and left and don’t forget to breathe.
3. When you have finished go into childs pose.
You should feel the burn in your glutes and your hamstrings if you’re doing it correctly. The bridge is also great for improving hip mobility and strengthening your lower back, two things that any desk-bound worker can really benefit from.
- Lie face up on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms down.
- Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze those glutes hard and keep your abs drawn in so you don’t overextend your back during the exercise.
- Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before easing back down.
Make sure you’re not pushing from your heels – the power comes from the hips and nowhere else.