Hi and welcome to Pelvic Exercises. I’m Michelle
Kenway, Physiotherapist and exercise instructor for women. Today I’d like to teach you how
to do some great back-strength exercises. Now, the exercise I’m going to do is an exercise
that’s commonly performed in rehabilitation for low back problems, and it’s a great core
exercise, and it’s also a pelvic floor friendly exercise for women. So, I’d like to teach
you today a couple varieties of that particular exercise. We’re going to start using a mat-based
position. So what I’d like you to do at home is to go onto the ground, or go onto the carpet
in the living room (or wherever you might be,) and I want you to come down onto your
knees. Now remember if you have preexisting back pain, you always be careful before you
do any back exercises. And of course if you’re returning to exercise, if you haven’t exercised
before or if you’re returning from an injury, you always get approval from your doctor before
you start exercising. So, let’s look at our low back exercise-our
low back strength exercise. We’re going to start on our hands and knees. So what I’d
like you to do is come forward so that your hands are directly underneath your shoulders
and that your knees are underneath your hips. You have the normal curve in your back (and
you might need to check that side-on to a mirror.) If your back is arched up or too
far slumped down, again, not good position for this type of an exercise. I want you to
keep that normal curve in your back. Now, what we’re going to start with is taking one
leg out behind so, that leg coming out behind your body in that position. I just
might add, if you are someone with sacroiliac joint pain that means you’ve got pain in
one side of your buttock, and you might have been diagnosed with that by your physiotherapist
or your chiropractor make sure that you don’t start with the leg raise exercises.
Just stick to the arm exercises until you approval to do so with the leg exercises.
Okay, so, in that nice position, elbows are soft, take your lift-leg out behind your body.
Keeping your hips facing the ground, and your shoulders are back and down. Now with this
exercise, what you do is you slowly engage your tummy muscles just gently that means
your lower abdomen just pulling on a little bit. As you do so, I want you then to raise
your leg slowly, up, and lower it slowly just touching your toe to the ground and lift again.
Lifting up keeping your hips to the ground and back down. Can you see that my back leg
isn’t raising higher than my bottom? So always keep that heel lower than your bottom, or
at bottom height. Don’t go any higher, because you’ll risk hurting your back if you do so.
So you’re lifting and lowering, again keeping the hips facing the ground, keeping your chin
tucked in, and keeping your elbows soft. So we’re just lifting and lowering slowly. Let’s
do a couple more repetitions on that side. So we’re just starting with the beginner’s
version: lifting and lowering, and relax, and stretch back (just giving your back a
break.) Okay, let’s make that exercise now, a little
bit more difficult. So, coming up, a little bit more challenging if you’re ready for it.
So again, knees slightly apart, hands underneath your shoulders, take your left leg out behind.
This time, I want you to extend your right arm. And you’ll just be doing the arm exercises
I said before, if you have SIJ problems. All right, so we’re going to lift and lower the
front arm and the leg at the same time. Remember, you’re using alternate arm to leg (not the
same side.) So we’re going to lift up slowly, nice and controlled, and back down slowly.
So you’re going for control and stability with this exercise. Again, keep your chin
tucked in, keep your hips facing down, lowly lifting and lowering. And seeing if you can
work through to eight to ten repetitions in a row, keeping that exercise nice and stable,
lifting and lowering. Let’s do a couple more just slow and steady. Lift and lower see
if you can keep your tummy muscles on gently. You’ll feel your lower back working gently
and your bottom working gently and down. And one more time, lifting and lowering, and
once again take a break and slide back, just stretching out your back gently, bottom down
toward your heels. All right and slowly come up.
So that’s your first couple of levels of that exercise. So we’ve done one side. At home
ideally what you would then be doing is repeating the exercise on the other side, but I’d like
to show you some more progressions on that exercise, just to increase the challenge a
little bit. The first exercise I would like to show you or
the first way of increasing that challenge is using a disk. Now, a
disk or a wobble board is a great way of increasing or improving your core control. So it challenges
you to use your balance a little bit, and the muscles your stabilizing muscles have
to work a little bit harder to control your truck and control your back. So it’s a nice
way of progressing this exercise. If you take the disc down and you place it under your
right knee so pop it under the right knee. Knee goes in the middle of the disk, take
the left leg out behind, and once again you can start off at base level with that little
lift and lower of the back leg. And then you can progress the same exercise to lifting
the arm in front. And then to add to the challenge even further, you can then lift that front
foot off the ground and that becomes quite a challenging core exercise. So that’s really
making me work hard there, in that exercise. So that’s some ways you can actually use the
disk and obviously then you’d repeat that on the other side, so that you’re getting
your low back strong and rehabilitating your back muscles in a pelvic floor friendly way.
The final exercise I’d like to show you (or the final variation) is with a fit ball. Now,
you can use a fit ball for some great back control exercise, and what you’ll need to
do is put the ball not too large a ball, so a ball that you make sure you can reach
the ground when you go over the top of the ball so I’m coming forward over the ball
and I’m making sure I can reach the ground with my hands and my legs at the same time.
The ball’s underneath my abdomen and I can then once again start with my leg raises,
up and down, and just working slowly, just nice and steady. And you can feel that it
makes you a little bit wobbly and that’s exactly what you’re after because then you have to
challenge your system to make those little postural adjustments and challenge your muscles
to actually maintain that stability through your trunk. And once again, same exercise
that we started with. You can actually progress to lifting and lowering. And as I said earlier,
if you’re someone with SIJ problems, this is a great way of you actually performing
this exercise, because you’re not putting unequal weight bearing through your lower
limbs; you’re actually supporting your lower limbs while you do the exercise. Lifting and
lowering and then you can actually start to change to the other side, lifting and lowering,
and you might then start to actually working to alternate arm and leg lifts.
So, that’s some great varieties of that particular exercise. We’ve talked about starting on the
ground and remember our key points. We talked about positioning yourself so that your hands
are underneath your shoulders, your knees are underneath your hips and you’re keeping
the inward curve in your back. We talked about making sure that back foot goes to bottom
height only, and we also talked about keeping your chin down, and your abdominal muscles
on gently during the exercise. So, I hope you’ve enjoyed the exercise. That’s it from
me today, for our back exercises. I look forward to exercising with you again soon. Bye for
now.