Back Pain? Tighten your corset!

doans-2If you’re having lumbar pain (that’s the small of your back or the area where the Doan’s back pain guy is holding), listen up!

I’m sure by now you’ve heard the importance of “strengthening your core.” But I have some important information for you, especially if you have been working on your core but you’re still having pain.

The part that you may miss in your core work is called the “Inner Corset.” (Courtesy of Esther Gokhale)

Where can I buy this “Inner Corset,” you may be asking?

Good news!  It’s free.

Your body already has one, you just need to activate it.

Even more good news: you don’t have to do any weird special exercises to make it stronger.

We need to know 2 things to activate your Inner Corset: the location, and the how-to.

LOCATION:

internal-abdominal-oblique-muscleThe abdominal oblique muscles wrap around your waist like a corset.

Place your hands just under your ribs, across your belly. You’re right on top of them. 
HOW TO:

To engage the obliques, you need to anchor your ribs.

I can’t emphasize this enough.  Anchor your ribs.  

Do this test: put one hand on your lumbar spine while you “sit up straight.”  Do you feel how your back muscles are tight and ropey?

Now use your other hand to guide your ribs down toward your belly, as if you’re going to hunch over. Feel your back now. The muscles are no longer tight, but relaxed. This is how you want them to be all the time.

With your ribs anchored and down (not popping out), then engage your abdominal muscles.

You can do this as if you’re about to lift something heavy, or reach for something on a high shelf.

In fact, you can engage this inner corset (rib anchor with oblique muscle flexion) anytime during the day. I recommend doing it at least 12 times every day.

Now you no longer need to do crunches at the gym. You’re welcome!

Simply by engaging the musculature you already have, in the natural way it is meant to be used, your “core” muscles develop beautifully on their own. 

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