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Exercises For a Stronger Core

Your core muscles are the tiny muscles that connect the vertebrae to each other and support and move your spine. By strengthening your core you can prevent injuries to the spine from lifting or other physical activity. Strengthening the core also allow helps to maintain the alignment of the spine.   

Disclaimer: You should feel no strain in your body anywhere with these exercises, if you do, stop immediately and talk to Dr. Stone before continuing. 

Bridge on the floor
Lie on the floor on your back with knees bent and feet planted firmly on the floor. Lift your hips toward the ceiling while squeezing your gluts and lower stomach muscles. Hold for as long as you can maintain correct form. Your head and upper back and feet will still be touching the floor. Repeat three times daily. 

Bridge on ball
Begin by sitting on a 60-70 cm exercise ball and roll out so that head and shoulders rest on the ball and the feet are planted firmly on the floor. Focus attention to pulling lower abdominal muscles into the spine and lifting the buttocks. 

Lie face down on the floor and rise up onto bent forearms and toes so that body is suspended like a board between the elbows and toes. Focus on keeping the body straight and flat and pulling lower stomach into spine.

 Exercises For a Stronger Back and Better Posture


You can do light traction to reduce the tightness across the top of your shoulders. Take a bath towel and fold it in half so you have a long rectangle. Starting at one end, roll the towel tight until it’s rolled half-way. Lie on the floor with the roll under the top of your shoulders (horizontal, parallel with your shoulders) and the remainder of the towel under your head. This creates a fulcrum to remove the forward curve of your upper back and to restore the curve in the neck. You may also want to place a small hand towel under the base of your skull so your head isn’t falling too far back. 

Stand (or sit at appropriate gym equipment) arms should be comfortably at sides and shoulders back with good posture. Bend arms at elbows and pull elbows straight back focusing on contracting the muscles between your shoulder blades. Work up to 2 sets of 12 repetitions. This may be done throughout the day to improve posture. 

Band W’s
Stand or sit on the ball with core tight. Begin by placing a therapy stretch band between your two hands with some slack in the middle. Hold your hands a few inches in front of your nose, then pull out and back with your hands until they reach along the sides of your head. Your final arm position should resemble a goal post position. Repeat 10 times. This is a stretch for your pecs and will strengthen your upper back and shoulder muscles. 

Wall Slides
Stand with your back to the wall, your rear and upper back should be touching the wall with feet several inches in front of you. Start with your arms raised up with elbows bent in the goal post position. Slowly slide your knuckles up the wall several inches until you feel a stretch in your upper back. Slide down to ear level and repeat. You will need to start with just a few reps and slowly build up to 10 repetitions.   


The shoulder is very vulnerable to injury due to the shallow socket in which it sits. It is a very moveable joint, but this makes it more unstable compared to other joints like the hip. Exercises for the shoulder make the shoulder joint more stable and therefore less likely to be injured. 

External rotation of the shoulder
Stand or sit on the ball with arms to sides. Can be performed with both arms at the same time or one arm at a time focusing on form. Bend the arm at the elbow and start with a light fist pointing forward. While keeping the elbow tucked into your side, rotate the arm at the shoulder so that your forearm moves from pointing forward to pointing to the side.
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