Exercise! - core exercises for a pathetic marshmallow?

05-05-2007, 03:26 PM
Hoping to glean some words of wisdom here... I had started working out and was working with a personal trainer but she seemed to avoid core exercises because of my back problems - arthritis and a slipped disk, and a horrible fat flabby stomach following 3 pregnancies and 2 abdominal surgeries.

From what I have read, it seems that strengthening the core is very important, and may extra so for me because of the back problems... But whenever I pick up a copy of Prevention or go to a fitness class, even the stuff that is supposedly for beginners is waaaaaay beyind anything I can do :(

So is there anything that I can do to help myself, starting from less than zero??

05-05-2007, 03:55 PM
Well, maybe it would start if you tell us which exercises seem beyond you, or we might end up recommending more of the same!

05-05-2007, 06:11 PM
well, just about anything for the abs, apart from one I did with the PT standing back to back and passing a medicine ball to one another by twisting from side to side. (She said I could do the same exercise solo using one of those weight bar things).

Sit-ups, crunches, anything involving raising and lowering the legs whilst lying on my back. And there was something in yoga that made one look like a human V, legs up and out straight and arms and torso up straight too (my belly gets in the way too :( ). I seem to sit out an awful lot when I go to classes...

I don;t know if there are any exercises specifically for the back. They taught me pelvic tilts at physio but the last time I tried to do them they set off the sciatica :( :( I don't know of any others. They were starting to teach me something to work the transversus abdominus, if I;ve got that right (deeper abdominal muscle?) but I had to take a break from physio b/c of other health issues. It was very difficult to get my head around, though.

It felt like the personal trainer was working upper body then lower body, which is fair enough, but I am worried about the bit in between!

I hope this is making some kind of sense. There must be something out there for someone like me! :o

05-06-2007, 09:38 PM
bump :^:

05-07-2007, 04:19 AM
Well, I'm no physical therapist, but I have had two back surgeries and need to strengthen my core, yet take baby steps. I do the basic back exercises the hospital gave me. You can see some of them here:
But start with baby steps. For abs, start with lying on your back with your lower back pressed into floor (important!), knees bent. Lift one leg off the floor a few inches, then put it down. Lift the other. Repeat 15 times with each leg. When that gets easy, then go on to the one on this page, where you lift the leg up. If you find your lower back arching off the floor, then back off, do less. I would avoid any exercises that TWIST the spine if you have a slipped disc, unless you are under the supervision of a physical therapist. Which is something you may want to do. See a physical therapist for a session or two, rather than a trainer. A therapist is trained much more extensively and will know about various health issues.
Baby steps.
good luck!

05-07-2007, 07:07 AM
Thanks, emilyk. I'll print the page out and take it with me if I go back for more physio, which I;m thinking of doing. :)