Do you suffer from back pain?

Finding relief may be easier than you think

If you’re like most people, you’ve experienced some degree of back pain at some point. Whether it’s due to a minor injury, an accident or a medical condition, I’m sure you’ll agree that back pain can be debilitating, having a major effect on your overall wellbeing.

My struggle with back pain

At age 13, I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I remember the school nurse saying that she wanted to see my mother to recommend I wear a back brace to correct the sideways curvature of my spine. I never told my mother because at 13, I couldn’t think of anything more embarrassing than wearing a back brace.

The school later contacted my mother and explained the severity of my scoliosis, but we never did anything to help correct it. Throughout my teens, I experienced a lot of back pain and simple tasks like standing or sitting in one position for too long were particularly painful.

Thankfully at the age of 17, I started to train and later became a trainer. I learnt how to strengthen my back and core, which lead to better posture and almost eradicated my pain.

What’s causing the pain?

When investigating a back problem, trainers and physios often find that the problem stems from a weak core. When your core is weak, your body will recruit other muscles to do everyday tasks, like bending to pick-up your child or exercising, and that is when injuries are most likely to happen.

If you suspect your core strength isn’t what it should be, you’re not alone. Most people have below average core strength, and women are even more likely to have a weak core because of the trauma to the pelvic floor and back during pregnancy and birth.

That’s why strengthening your core is the often first step to having a healthy back. But don’t be fooled into thinking washboard abs are the answer.

Looks can be deceiving

The flat, chiselled abs you see in advertisements aren’t everything they’re cracked-up to be. The muscles you see that run down the front of the stomach and create the ripples, are the Rectus abdominals. The sought after “V” shape is created by the Obliques which run down the sides of the trunk.

These are superficial muscles and even though they look great, they are not as important as your transverse core muscles. Your transverse abdominals are the deep, important functional muscles you want to focus on strengthening, because they wrap around your spine, waist and back.

Imagine your core is a corset that wraps around your trunk – your abdominals, back, diaphragm, pelvic floor and gluteus are all part of your core. Now you can see why strengthening your core will reduce the risk of injury, improve sports performance and alleviate back pain.

Getting your workout right

Unless you practice yoga, Pilates or attend a specialised abdominal class, the majority of group fitness classes only allocate 5-10 mins on abdominals and usually focus on the superficial abdominals, not your core.

At the end of a high-intensity class you may be fatigued or highly strung, which makes it hard to focus on the mind-muscle connection, essential to building a strong core.

A program that focusses on your core

To help you reduce back pain, I’ve created a 6-week abdominal core program that is informative and practical. At the end of the course you will have the knowledge and tools to activate your core, strengthen your transverse muscles and understand the mind and muscle connection.

I have completed three of the core programs and love it. I especially love the feeling of tight flat abs. I also believe it complements the other higher intensity Bodytech classes.
This class is at a slower pace and we really focus on our abs. The stretching and foam rolling is another one of my favourite activities we do in the program.”

Patsy Illuka

Course outline:

Each week includes strengthening and stretching exercises.

Week 1

We discuss theory and anatomy. You get information to take home and you do a core strength test.

Week 2-5

We progress onto more advanced exercises and incorporate equipment like fit balls and medicine balls, ab wheel to challenge you.

Week 6

We retest your core strength.

So what are you waiting for?

If you’d like to reduce your back pain, why not sign up for the next abdominal core program. And if you can’t make it in person, there is an online program that you can do anywhere, anytime