Do you suffer from lower back pain? You are not alone as 80% of Australians will experience back pain at some point in their lives (Briggs & Buchbinder, 2009). Back pain affects your quality of life, functional capacity and ability to exercise. So what can be done about this problem? Strengthening your core stabilisers is crucial to long term back pain management. Now when I say core I don’t just mean your abs. We are talking about all the muscles that support your spine.

What are the abdominal muscles?

  • Rectus abdominis – activated during crunches, coughing, bowel movements, childbirth, jumping.
  • Internal Obliques – responsible for rotation of the trunk, support abdominal wall and forced respiration.
  • External obliques –  responsible for abdominal cavity compression, trunk rotation, supports spinal rotation
  • Transverse abdominis – responsible for maintaining abdominal organ tone, forced exhalation, childbirth, vomiting and coughing, supports lumbar spine, posture.

Follow this link to a wikipedia page to view the anatomy of the above muscles.

5 core stability exercises to help reduce Lower Back Pain 

Supine Core Activation 

Lie in a supine position with knees bent, heels close to bottom. Place one hand on your abdomen and the other on the floor beside you. Inhale. Exhale pull ribcage towards pubic bone and belly button to spine.

Perform for 5 breath cycles.


Tabletops Toe Taps 

Maintain above position and core control for this exercise. Take one leg up to tabletops position with knees bent 90∞ over hips then slowly tap the toes to the floor returning to starting position. Alternate sides. Exhale as you lift the leg to tabletops and inhale as you return to the floor. For added complexity to progress this exercise you could start from a tabletops position with knees over hips and feet in the air. Repeat 10 each side.


Dead Bug

Lie in a supine position knees bent 90∞ over hips. Raise your arms so they are in line with your shoulders. Pull belly button to the spine. Slowly extend the right arm and left leg towards the floor. Engaging your transverse abdominis return to the starting position and repeat with your left arm. Exhale to extend, inhale draw back to centre. Perform for 5 breath cycles.


Lie in a supine position with legs at tabletops position. Extend arms down by your sides. Inhale and crunch up so you are dancing on top of your shoulder blades. Keep the chin tucked and relax the neck. If any pain presents in the neck support the head with one hand. Pulse the hands slowly up and down keeping the torso still. The work is in the isometric contraction. Inhale for 5 pulses, exhale for 5 pulses. Repeat cycle for 30seconds.

Side Plank 

Start in a side lying position with feet, knees and hips stacked in line with your shoulder. Ensure your elbow is in line with your shoulder and your head in alignment. Engage your obliques and lift the hips up. Hold this position. Start with 10seconds and build up your duration each week.

Try these exercises at home. If you would like to know more about core stabilisation techniques or how to progress and regress these exercises pop in to Regenesis, Edgecliff or Hive Active, Lindfield. I would love to go through them with you.

Book a 30min Core Strength Session session with Laura today for just $70. Email to claim your session. 

If you are looking to start personal training and exercise physiology in Sydney, we are more than eager here at Longevity PT to get you started! Our team of personal trainers and exercise physiologists is ready to give you the best tailored exercise program to achieve your very personal goals. Partnered with other quality health professionals in Sydney suburbs such as Edgecliff, Double Bay, Woollahra, Killara, Roseville and Lindfield we are looking forward to giving you the best shot at achieving your health goals, whether it’s weight loss, energy or muscle training. Don’t hesitate, book in today!

Happy exercising!

Laura Long

Laura Long is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist with Exercise and Sport Science Australia.

Exercise Physiology services include:

  • Private Health Rebates for private sessions,
  • Medicare referrals and
  • Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medicare services.