Last month, we reviewed studies that compared chronic low back pain (cLBP) exercisers to non-exercise control groups and examined how those in the exercise groups experienced significant improvements in pain and disability/function compared with those who remained inactive, regardless of the type of exercise. We also reviewed a few popular Swiss or gym ball exercises. This month, we will introduce some core stabilizing exercises that can be done on the floor.
There are benefits to Swiss ball exercises like balance or proprioception stimulation. In fact, five minutes of ball exercises equals 35 minutes of floor exercising when focusing on balance or proprioception. It is a well-known fact that as we age, we lose our “kinesthetic sense”, or balance skills, so incorporating balance into any exercise program is a good idea!
However, the “con” of Swiss ball exercises is convenience, as such a piece of equipment is less portable. We cannot easily travel with a gym ball, but we all have access to the floor regardless of our location. Also, with exercises performed on the floor, you can achieve stronger muscle contractions due to greater stability. Ideally, MIX the two together! Also, include a 20-30 minute brisk walk for aerobic benefits!
Here are some great floor core stabilization exercises (try holding for 5-10 seconds, repeating 5-10 times, whatever is tolerated):