The abdominal muscles are part of the body's core and they have an important role in back pain prevention. When they are strong, they help stabilize the spine and keep the body in good posture. When they become weak however, posture can become compromised and the lower spine can arch excessively, causing pain. Corrective ab exercises for existing pain involve subtle movements that work the upper and lower stomach as well as the sides.
Pelvic lifts subtly work the lower abs and they are done while lying on your back on the floor. After bending your knees and placing your feet by your butt, curl your pelvis toward your upper body and tighten your abs. Now steadily lift your hips off the floor as high as possible and hold for a full second. Slowly lower your hips back to the floor and repeat.
Modified planks work your abs and lower back simultaneously from a face-down position. While lying on your stomach, place your forearms on the floor shoulder-width apart and place your feet together. Steadily lift your hips in the air and tighten your abs to form a straight line from your shoulders to your heels. Hold this position until you feel fatigued. If you want to progress yourself, perform the plank with your hands on the floor and arms fully extended.
Leg lifts place emphasis on the lower abdominals and they are done while lying on your back. After getting onto the floor, extend your legs out and place your arms at your sides. Steadily lift your right leg in the air until it forms a 45-degree angle to the floor. Hold until you feel fatigued, lower it back down and repeat with your other leg. If you feel any discomfort on your lower back, place your hands under your butt or tailbone.
Moving Bird Dog
The bird dog is a corrective back pain exercise that strengthens the lower back and abdominal muscles. By doing a variation, you will place even more emphasis on your abdomen. After getting into an all fours position with your hands directly under your shoulders and knees directly under your hips, extend your right arm straight in front of you and your left leg straight behind you. This is the bird dog position. To work your abs, move your right elbow and left knee toward each other and squeeze your abs. Slowly extend your arm and leg, repeat for a set of reps and switch sides.
Tail Wag Exercise
The tail wag exercise is performed on all fours and it targets the obliques which are found on your sides. After getting into the quadruped position, slowly move your left hip laterally toward your left shoulder by contracting your obliques. Once you have gone as far as possible, repeat the movement with your right hip. Alternate back and forth in a smooth and steady motion. When doing this exercise, keep your back straight and look down at the floor at all times.