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How do I improve my core to stop doing my back in? Swimming?

(29 Posts)
Quickqu Fri 09-Sep-16 08:44:23

I keep putting my back out and have just done it again. I've been to see loads of physics over the years since having my third baby and know the problem is I have a weak core.

Trouble is I don't think yoga is for me, and I can't find a non-exorbitant pilates class that works for me (I work full-time).

Does swimming help? There's a nice, affordable gym with pool near me that I could join, but I'm not sure if swimming is any good for the core.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks all!

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 08:47:01

Callenetics? I prefer that to Pilates. Did the physio not give you exercises to do?

AyeAmarok Fri 09-Sep-16 08:48:09

Plank type exercises are meant to be good for your core.

Quickqu Fri 09-Sep-16 08:49:53

Will google callanetics.

Last saw the last physic about a year or two ago and yes they did give me exercises but they were a bit boring and I have forgotten them. I want to take up a new sport that will stop it happening in the first place.

Plank's a good idea Aye, thank you - I will do that. Thanks.

Graceflorrick Fri 09-Sep-16 08:50:58

I don't know, but I swam 5-6 times a week as a DC and I never have any back problems. I think it's been good for my body in lots of ways. Give it a try.

Salutarychoring Fri 09-Sep-16 08:52:36

As a fellow back sufferer, I think I would book a session with a good physio and ask for their advice as to what activities you can do outside of the house and perhaps for some exercises you can do at home (lots on You Tube but difficult to distinguish which are correct).

My dh and I both have back issues and he finds swimming hugely beneficial. But when I do breast stroke it tends to hurt my back more so it's a difficult one.

Salutarychoring Fri 09-Sep-16 08:53:13

sorry - x post - see you have already asked physio

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 08:53:23

Try and see a sports physio and see what they suggest.

Rumtopf Fri 09-Sep-16 08:57:12

Yoga or Pilates.
You might not think it's for you, but if it helps your back surely it's worth a few hours a week?
My dh suffered terribly with sciatica and it has markedly improved since he began coming to yoga with me.

80sWaistcoat Fri 09-Sep-16 08:59:05

A circuits class that included plank and other core exercises really helped me as did kettle bells, developed a really strong core that weekly Pilates never did, Pilates really good for just stretching out though and helped back. . Have you looked at local college ours does Pilates as an evening class?

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 09-Sep-16 09:01:14

If your back is weak atm I would be very careful of doing planking etc. Once your core is strong then you can go hell for leather with gym and planking grin

YogaDrone Fri 09-Sep-16 09:03:32

Yoga and pilates. Pre-back op I went to a pilates class run by a trained physio purely for those suffering from back issues. I also bought a DVD called something like "pilates for lower back pain" which I could do at home.

Similarly there are some good yoga DVDs which you could do at home and would be inexpensive but aren't really a substitute for a regular class.

turkeyboots Fri 09-Sep-16 09:05:12

Swimming is good, but only front crawl or backstroke. Breaststroke, especially if you swim with your head out of the water, isn't good for your back.

Aquaerobics could be a good option to start with if you can find a class?

OnlyHereForTheCamping Fri 09-Sep-16 09:06:29

Definitely Pilates . Yoga not so much (ime). I also have a X trainer which is great for keeping fit without high impact, If you do it without the arms and concentrate on your posture it is great for core. Swimming is good but prob best if you have a good stroke. Breast stroke can aggravate depending on your back problems.

Quickqu Fri 09-Sep-16 09:07:44

Thanks all. Will look at all of this carefully later, really appreciate it. Good point re: breaststroke, too x

LozzaChops Fri 09-Sep-16 09:15:55

I took up swimming because I was getting horrible desk-back at work! If you do, don't be tempted to do the stately head-up breaststroke - horrible for your neck, might exacerbate any pain.

Swimming absolutely saved me, I adore it. Regulated breathing up and down the lane, no one talking to you, I used earplugs as well for added solitude. I think it made me less tense in general which meant less back pain for me too.

My mother has scoliosis and frequently puts her back out to the point of being confined to bed, off her knockers on diazepam. Swimming was suggested to her as something that would help, but she opted for Pilates.

Good luck, I hope whatever you choose helps you out.

LozzaChops Fri 09-Sep-16 09:17:18

Apologies - slow typing, my points all covered while I was going! grin

Newtoday Fri 09-Sep-16 09:23:38

I'd start here.

I'd tried yoga/Pilates for years. Planks, burpees etc can make core/pelvic floor issues worse, tbh.

Nothing has come close to Mutu. I feel like superwoman, so strong now! Worth every penny.

Quickqu Fri 09-Sep-16 09:24:05

Thank you Lozza - I love what you wrote and the solitude most definitely appeals as well. Can you recommend good ear plugs by any chance?


sentia Fri 09-Sep-16 09:29:11

Anything that involves bracing and twisting will improve your core. Golf, swimming, boxercise, martial arts, tennis, etc. Things that involve supporting your own body weight while you brace and twist are even better eg climbing.

You do need to learn tactics to "lock" your core properly while you're doing the exercise - the physio or a couple of Pilates YouTube videos should be able to teach that then just practice until it becomes instinctive.

The mental image that I've always found most helpful for locking your core is to imagine you have a huge apple around your midriff. And the apple has its core removed. Then try to close the hole in the apple core by squeezing inside your body.

Kione Fri 09-Sep-16 09:33:08

Exactly the same problem as me. Didn't the phisio give you exercises? they did to me. Yes planks and sit ups are good, but not to start with, if you have it really week you should start with gentle exercises for the core. For example lie on the floor, knees bent and bring your back and hips towards the floor. Hold for 10 secs, repeat. She gave me loads of this - but I keep forgetting sad
Once you have done this and are confident you can do sit ups etc.
Swimming is always good for almost anything.

Kione Fri 09-Sep-16 09:42:01

*weak not week

FinallyHere Fri 09-Sep-16 10:12:06

After years of a sore back any time i did any exercise, it was a yoga teacher who got me to see what i was doing 'wrong'. Once sorted, and it took a few sessions and daily practise, to sort me, now i can do anything and know when i am doing it wrong. Especially after a yoga session, if i then go back to 'slumping' my back gets even more sore because having warmed up, the slump is then extra damaging.

The movements to resolve my issue were pretty much the opposite of what i thought people had been telling me to do. Not a big movement but just the one that mattered.

As lots of people upthread have said, once you are using your muscles properly, any exercise especially twisting will keep your core and hence your back strong. If you can find the right yoga teacher, they may give you some one to one sessions, to help you get started. This is extra difficult to get sorted in a group lesson. Hope you fund what works for you.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Fri 09-Sep-16 10:16:58

Pilates is expensive because it's usually small class with lots of instructor attention. Worth every penny, ime.

You could also try cycling - the act of balancing to stay upright strengthens the core, it doesn't have to be mad racing, it's simply sitting on a bike that does what you need. Also get a balance ball for sitting on at home, ditch the chair and the couch. The tiny adjustments you do to stay upright and stable on the ball also work the core gently.

LozzaChops Fri 09-Sep-16 10:55:39

Hi QuickQu! I just use Speedo Ergos, but I think fit and comfort can vary according to the shape of your ears!

If you have a smartphone and enjoy obsessing, Speedo Fit is a great app - I got totally fixated on their challenges where you can swim the Suez Canal etc (sort of, just the distance, in your municipal pool) etc.

And another vote for cycling, although back posture on that can be tricky.

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