3 most effective core activation exercises for lower back pain

If you're suffering from recurrent, ongoing lower back pain then the chances are you need core activation exercises. This page is all about getting your core stronger and working properly so that your back has the support it needs to work properly and without pain.

But wait, what is this 'core'?

Your core is not just a sexy looking six pack - its essentially everything that isn't an arm, a leg or a head. It is the thing that everything else hangs off - so keeping it strong has wider ranging benefits than just stopping lower back pain.

Why core activation exercises?

Core activation exercises help lower back pain - its a well established and well researched theory. By regularly engaging your core through some simple, light exercises - your lower back has the stability, mobility and strength that it needs to provide you with the good posture, power and control that is needed for every day activities.

       'I spent all day moving some paving slabs in my garden with no problem, and then I picked up a sock off the floor and my back went'

Why? Because as the core gets fatigued from all the moving of paving slabs, by the end of the day it is no longer strong enough to support the lumbar spine as you move into flexion.

3 most effective core exercises

The most effective core activation exercises are those which you find comfortable enough to do, easy to remember, don't take much time but at the same time are challenging enough to build a strong core.

The exercises demonstrated by JP and Louise in this video are among some of the best all round core strengthening exercises you can get.

Exercises in this video

Quad RNT

For this core exercise you need to have a swiss ball, you can get one here if you haven't got one. This is quite a novel exercise that involves being on all fours with the ball behind you, and then pushing backwards into the ball, maintaining the pressure and then raising each arm alternately. 


We talk about the dead bug a lot here at the Osteo fitness collective - that's because you can't beat its core strength inducing qualities and simplicity. Lie on your back, bring up your knees and alternately extend opposite arms and legs.

Stir the pot

For this core activation exercise you also will need a swiss ball. Get into a plank position with your hands joined on top of the swiss ball, and then simply rotate your arms clockwise and then anticlockwise - this one is a real burner and should not be done until you master the ordinary plank first!


This page was written and composed by experts in their fields;


Oliver is a registered Osteopath in the UK with a particular interest in sports and rehabilitation - he practises in Devon, Southwest England.


Louise is a registered Osteopath, fitness model and enthusiast as well as a business and social influencer. She also practises as an Osteopath in Devon, UK.

Oliver and Louise specialise in helping people get over their pain and get back to living the lives they want to be living - follow this link to find out more about us.

We welcome any one who wants to get in touch with us here at the OFC for any reason - please use the form on our contact us page.

All the information and advice in this website should be followed with common sense and expert help - follow this link for our full disclaimer.