Exercising the abdominal muscles and back muscles should be included as part of a daily routine of good health, like brushing teeth. To gain the benefits of strong and supportive abs and back muscles, a full set of exercises should only take 10 to 20 minutes to complete.

In This Article:

Guidelines for Abdominal Exercises and Back Exercises

Some general guidelines include:

  • Do not start exercises for the first time during an acute back pain episode without first consulting a physician or a spine specialist.
  • Do not stop exercising just because pain diminishes or an injury appears "healed"; rather, add back and abdominal exercises into a daily routine.
  • Complete a combination of flexion and extension exercises to balance the trunk muscles.
  • In general, do exercises in sets of 3 to 5 repetitions a minimum of 4 times a week.
  • Be patient; strength building may take 6 weeks or more to show results.
  • Consider working with a physical therapist, ATC (Certified Athletic Trainer) or trained specialist to develop the proper form and exercises that are targeted at specific physical needs. Expert, one-on-one advice is particularly helpful when beginning a back strengthening routine using McKenzie exercises or doing Lumbar Stabilization movements to ensure the right muscles are engaged

    See How a Physical Therapist Can Help with Exercise

Dr. Thomas Hyde is a chiropractor who retired with more than 30 years of experience treating spine pain and soft tissue disorders in athletes and active patients.