Train your core: sit on a Swiss ball
Drive to work, sit all day at your desk or computer, and then return home to collapse on the couch? This sedentary lifestyle can pose a problem. We don't get enough movement or exercise to keep the muscles of the spine healthy.
Sitting on a Swiss ball is one way to train your back. As it moves easily, you activate your postural muscles and train your balance. You can improve posture, strengthen and stretch your core muscles, and burn calories. At the computer or reaching for the phone, your muscles react, ultimately improving your sense of balance--on or off the ball!
"The Swiss ball is a core stability tool," Dr. Bohinski says. "If you sit in a standard chair, you aren't using your muscles to maintain your balance and posture; you're relaxed. On the ball, those core muscles are constantly working. It's actually better than doing crunches, because you're simultaneously using your back and abdominal muscles."
The Swiss ball comes in a variety of sizes and prices vary with quality ($10-60). Pick the right size for your height. Opt for a non-burst ball.
Tips as you sit on the ball:
Sit with thighs parallel to the floor
Stop slouching, train your core (back, abs, glutes)
Train your balance
Increase your time and training with the ball -- gradually
Abdominal exercises to strengthen the spine
The muscles in your abdomen, back, and gluteals – called the “core” – are central to your everyday spine health. They are at the heart of any fitness regimen designed to strengthen a healthy or ailing back. Here are five exercises you can do at home.
Learn more >