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Episode 82: The Core Four To Achieve Core Stability

The Core Four To Achieve Core Stability

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Curl-Up, Beginners

The basic starting posture is supine with the hands supporting the lumbar region. Do not flatten the back to the floor. The hands can be adjusted to minimize the pain if needed. One leg is bent with the knee flexed to 90 degrees while the other leg remains relaxed on the floor. The focus of the rotation is in the thoracic spine. No cervical motion should occur, wither chin poking or chin tucking. The tongue should be placed on the roof of the mouth behind the front teeth. Leave the elbows on the floor while elevating the head and shoulders a short distance off of the floor. The rotation is focused on the in the mid thoracic region. The head/neck is locked on the rib cage. No cervical motion should occur. The intention is to activate rectus and not to produce spine motion.


Curl-Up, Intermediate

The intermediate progression of the curl-up is to raise the elbows a couple of centimeters so that the arms do not pry the shoulders up, thus shifting ore load to the rectus. Do not raise the head/neck any higher than in the beginner’s curl-up.


Curl-Up, Advanced

An advanced curl-up requires placing the fingers lightly on the forehead (never behind the head) making sure no pressure is applied to the head by the hands. The head and neck must move as a unit, maintaining their rigid block position on the thoracic spine.


Side Bridge, Remedial

Start with a side bridge while standing against the wall. Move smoothly from the beginning position through the intermediate positions to the final position, in one flowing motion. Pivot over the toes, as if performing a fluid dance move. Once graduated to the floor, begin with the knees and hips quite flexed and moving into the side-bridge posture with an accordion-like unfolding of the legs, all the time keeping a braced neutral spine.

  • Patients with shoulder pain can perform a modified side bridge by lying on the floor and attempting to raise the legs laterally or simply attempting to take the weight off the legs. Another option would be to stand on a 45-degree bench with the feet anchored, which spares the shoulders.


Side Bridge, Beginners

Beginners bridge form the knees. In the beginning position, the exerciser is on his/her side, supported by his/ her elbow and hip. The knees are bent 90-degrees. Placing the free hand on the opposite shoulder and pulling down on it will help stabilize the shoulder. The torso is straightened until the body is supported on the elbow and the knee, with some input from the lower leg.


Side Bridge, Intermediate

The beginning position for the intermediate side bridge is like that of the beginner, except the legs are straight. The torso is straightened until the body is supported on the elbow and feet.

  • Intermediate Variation: Placing the upper leg/foot in front of the lower leg/foot will enable the rolling of the torso to challenge both anterior and posterior portions of the abdominal wall.


Side Bridge, Advanced

Advanced technique of the side bridge includes transferring form one elbow to the other while abdominal bracing rather than repeatedly hiking the hips off the floor into the bridge position. Ensure that the rib cage is braced to the pelvis and that this rigidity is maintained through the full roll from one side to the other.


Bird-dog, Remedial

The starting position is on the hands and knees with the hands under the shoulders and the knees directly under the hips. Lift the hand or knee about an inch off of the floor. If fable to do so without pain, progress to raising the opposite hand and knee simultaneously.


Bird-dog, Beginners

The progression continues with raising one leg or arm at a time.


Bird-dog, Intermediate

Raise the opposite arm and leg simultaneously. Avoid raising either arm or leg past horizontal, hold the limbs parallel to the floor. Hold position for about six to eight seconds. Keep a neutral spine and brace the abdomen.


Bird-dog, Advanced

After extending the normal bird-dog position (Intermediate position), sweep the floor with the hand and knee so that no weight is borne by either. Extend the active limbs back out into the bird-dog position and repeat.


Glute Bridge

Start by lying down on your back with the knees bent. Walk the feet as close to the pelvis as possible and curl the toes up toward the ceiling.  Push through the heels until the pelvis rises up until a straight line is created between the knees and shoulders.  Hold for one second, than return to starting position. Be sure not to overextend the lower back at the top of the movement.