Anti Rotational Ab Exercises Safe For Fusions & Disc Injuries

You shouldn’t just do any old core exercise after a spinal fusion. I would go so far as to say that most ab exercises you see people doing are terrible for post-spinal fusion or disc injury warriors.

One of the best starting points for you (post-fusion surgery) would be to work on anti-rotational ab exercises. What’s cool about this is you can do the majority if not all of these exercises here today at home. 

Yes, that means you can build a stronger core with these anti-rotational ab exercises without even leaving your house. 

Here’s who today’s video is for specifically: 

  • Post Fusions who have been cleared to exercise
  • Disc herniations (cleared to exercise)
  • Disc bulges (cleared to workout)

If you fall under any of those above, keep reading! 

For anyone who has had a spinal fusion, be sure to grab my mandatory free guide:

“10 Rules For Exercising After A Spinal Fusion” 

Let’s dive in!

What Are The Best Core Exercises For Fusions?

When it comes to picking the best core exercises for your fused spine you need to be picky. 

There are a lot of core exercises you could do, but it’s best to focus on what works and what is safe for your spine. 

A good rule of thumb is to stay away from excessive movement at the fusion site. 

For example, if you have had S1-L3 fused excessive flexion, extending or twuesting that that site (lower back) is what I would stay away from as much as possible. 

Doing those movements is not required to build a strong stable spine especially after a fusion. 

So what core exercises should you do? 

Here’s a great resource for 10 fusions-friendly exercises you can do aside from the anti-rotation exercises you will find in today’s video!

What Is An Anti-Rotational Core Exercises And Why Should I Do Them Post Fusion Surgery?

An anti-rotational core exercise is a core exercise that trains the body without any twisting, bending, or extending. The idea is to create a resistance or stress on the body that is trying to take you OUT of being in a neutral position. 

The Paloff press exercise is an excellent example of this external stress trying to take out of neutral. The band or cable off to one side is trying to pull you back towards where the band is attached, but your core and body are trying to maintain that neutral position with your hands out front. 

These exercises are good because most of life’s stressors regarding forces against the body do not happen in one direction. For example, you will often be asked to carry an uneven object, open doors, grab things with one arm, lunge with one leg, etc. These stressors will pull us away from neutral, and after a spinal fusion, the more excessive movement you have at the surgery site, the more you open yourself up for irritation. 

The goal is not to remove all potential movement at the sensitive area but to control the amount and only use what is necessary. 

Fusion Friendly Anti-Rotational Core Exercise #1: Paloff To Warrior Press

The first anti-rotational core exercise for fusions that I suggest you try is the Paloff To Warrior Press. 

This is a really fun exercise and challenge to the fused spine.

Check out the two positions you’re looking for with this exercise. 

Core exercises safe for fusions
Core exercises safe for fusions

Fusion Friendly Anti-Rotational Core Exercise #2: Paloff To Warrior Press

The Plank Z Pulls are a bit on the advanced side but you can easily make them a little easier by lowering the intensity of the exercise. I show you how to do this in the full video.

core strength for spinal fusions
core strength for spinal fusions

Fusion Friendly Anti-Rotational Core Exercise #3: Up Chops

I am a big fan of both the up-chops and down chops for core training with a sensitive low back. Whether it’s post-fusion or with a disc herniation or bulge., These exercises if done correctly can be great for building a bulletproof core pain-free.

core stability post spinal fusion
core stability post spinal fusion

Keep in mind your body will respond differently to each one of the exercises you try in this video. Be mindful and listen to your body and DO NOT attempt these if you have not been cleared to exercise by your surgeon or doctor. These are NOT rehab-based exercises. 

For more help with getting back into a pain-free workout program pick up my FREE guide below. 

Exercising Post Spinal Fusion FREE GUIDE