Trunk Stabilization Exercises
Exercises to help stabilize your midsection or trunk are often used as part of a rehabilitation program after an injury or surgery. Keeping your abdominal and low back muscles toned and strong helps reduce injuries to your spinal discs and joints and low back muscles. Trunk stabilization exercises are best performed with your spine in a neutral position. Your therapist can help find the best position for you and prescribe which exercises you should perform.
On Your Back
You can perform many trunk stabilization variations lying comfortably on your back. To start, lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides, knees bent and feet flat. Press your elbows into the floor until you feel your abdominals tighten, then relax and repeat. From the same position, raise one of your feet three to four inches off the floor and hold for a few seconds, then repeat with the other foot. Next, keep both feet planted and raise your hips and butt up off the floor while keeping your abs tight. Finally, from your original position, march your feet away from your body until your legs are almost straight, tightening your abs during the whole movement.
On Your Stomach
You can use pillows for head or knee support while doing trunk stabilization exercises from your stomach. From your stomach, bend both knees until your legs are at about 90 degrees and touch your heels together. Squeeze your heels together for several seconds then relax and repeat. Next, bend one leg to 90 degrees and lower your foot toward your other leg until you feel your hip begin to lift off the floor. Hold for a moment and return.
Using a stability ball is a common way to perform stabilization exercises. From a seated position on the ball, simply lift your knees up toward your chest one at a time until you feel a contraction in your abs. Perform a bridge on the ball by rolling down so your shoulders are across the top of the ball and your feet are flat on the floor. Hold your position for several seconds.
A wall slide can be performed with or without a stability ball behind you. Stand with your back against a wall, then slide down the wall by bending your knees. Stop when your quadriceps are parallel to the floor, hold for a moment and push back up to the starting position.
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