Importance of Core: Part 2

James Fowler Physical TherapyCore TrainingLeave a Comment

Before training the body’s core it’s important to understand the neutral spine position. Neutral spine is the middle position of the pelvis in relationship to the spine. When the pelvis is rotated forward it’s called an anterior rotated pelvis and a pelvis rotated back is called a posterior rotated pelvis.  Our goal at James Fowler Physical therapy when training the core is to strengthen the neutral spine position and help patients understand when the spine/pelvis is not engaged in a neutral position.

James Fowler PT’s core strengthening program is designed in 5 phases, with the goal of training the patient through a series of steps progressing in intensity and difficulty.  The phase of exercises below are the second part of our “Core Series” and are focused on training the lower extremity while maintaining a neutral spine position.

Thigh Lift
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip width apart and toes pointing forward.
  • Your back should be in a neutral position – not completely flat against the mat and not too arched off (in between).
  • Exhale and sink your belly button to your spine to engage your transverse abdominis.
  • Lift one leg up to 90 degrees at the hip, keeping the knee bent. Do not let your pelvis tilt towards the leg that is lifting.
  • Slowly return to the initial position and repeat with other leg.
  • Keep your back and pelvis completely still at all times.
  • Repeat 10 times each leg.
Up Up Down Down
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet hip width apart and toes pointing forward.
  • Your back should be in a neutral position – not completely flat against the mat and not too arched off (in between).
  • Exhale and sink your belly button to your spine to engage your transverse abdominis.
  • Lift one leg up to 90 degrees at the hip, keeping the knee bent. Keeping that leg in place, lift your other leg to the same position. Return the first leg down to the mat, then the second leg.
  • Keep your back and pelvis completely still at all times.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Heel Taps

  • Lay on your back with the hips and knees bent at 90°.
  • Keep your pelvis in a neutral alignment. This means slightly arched – low back will not be totally flat against the mat but it also won’t have an extreme arch.
  • Exhale and sink your belly button towards your spine and feel a narrowing across the front of your low abdominals.
  • Lower one leg at the time to tap your heel on the floor then lift your heel back up without losing the abdominal contraction (you can put your fingers on each side just inside the bony tip in front of your hips to monitor the contraction).
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do not let your low back arch more as you tap your heel down.
  • Repeat 10 times.

The information provided in this blog by James Fowler PT is for general informational and educational purposes, and should not be considered medical advice for any individual problem you may have. This information is not a substitute for the professional judgment of a qualified healthcare provider who is familiar with the unique facts about your condition and medical history. You should always consult your health care provider prior to starting any new treatment, or terminating or changing any ongoing treatment. Every post on this blog is the opinion of the author and may not reflect the official position of James Fowler PT. Please contact us if we can be helpful in answering any questions or to arrange for a visit or consult.

Images provided by: Physiotec.org

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