In this video I show some of the absolute best core stability exercises, “The McGill Big 3.” These exercises were created by Dr. Stu McGill and can be found in his book, “The Back Mechanic.”
Here is a quick explanation of each exercise and my reps and sets recommendations:
1. Modified Curl Up: 1 set, 5 reps, 3-5 sec holds
Lie your back with one knee bent and one knee straight, this puts your pelvis in a neutral position and the muscles of your core in an optimal alignment of pull to avoid strain on the low back. Place your hands under the arch of your low back and ensure that this arch is maintained throughout the curl-up. Start by bracing your abdomen and maintain alignment with the neck and upper back. Pick a spot on the ceiling and focus your gaze there, lift your shoulder blades off the floor and slowly return to the start position.
2. Side Plank: 1 set, 3-5 reps, 10-15 sec holds
Lie on your side and place your elbow directly under your shoulder. With your legs straight, place your top foot on the ground in front of your bottom foot. Maintain a neutral spine and try to keep the back straight (don’t forget to engage muscle around the shoulder blade).
3. Bird-Dog: 1 set, 5 reps, 5 sec holds
Start on your hands and knees with your hands under the shoulders and knees under the hips. Maintain a neutral spine. Lift your arm in front and kick your opposite leg straight back while keeping your hips level (avoid rotation). Return to the starting position and repeat on opposite arm and leg. That is one repetition.
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