Top 20 Core Strength Exercises For Back Pain: Herniated Disc & Fusion Friendly

Here are 20 core exercises you should be doing if you have lower back pain from a disc injury or post-surgery recovery!

Being told you should strengthen your core if you have a herniated or building disc is not enough to prevent pain or disc injury.

When my pain was at its worst. I would spend hours trying random core exercises after rupturing my L5-S1 disc, but most of them worsened my pain.

What you may not realize is that by doing the wrong core exercises, you can make your back pain and injury worse.

Once I made a few simple changes to the exercise choices I was making, it was like a night and day difference.

I was no longer wasting my time with painful core exercises that I thought were helping and started to only do the exercises that worked.

Today I’ll show you my top 20 back-friendly core exercises that are perfect for eliminating the pain from a disc injury or building strength in your core to protect your fusion site.

Want to level up your core training?

Grab my free Core Training Blueprint where I show you how to take these exercises and turn them into the PERFECT core workout for your sensitive low back!

What Makes A Good Core Exercise For Herniated & Bulging Discs

The best Core Exercise for herniated discs, bulging discs or post fusion surgery are the ones that don’t trigger any symptoms.

It sounds easy but it really comes down to how each individual person responds to the exercise they have been given. 

I can give one person a simple stir the pot exercise and it creates symptoms for them but give another person with the same back pain history and it does the opposite. 

So how do you pick the best exercise for herniated, bulging or fused vertebra? 

Start with one exercise that falls under one of these 4 categories:

  • Anti-flexion
  • Anti-extension
  • Anti-twisting
  • Neutral spine

The goal with these exercises is to minimize the common pain triggers people experience while building resilience in the trunk at the same time. 

This is not to say you will never train the body to go outside of these positions but for now this is a great place to start.

What's A Safe Anti-Rotation Exercise For Herniated & Bulging Discs?

The top one that comes to mind is my Pallof Press to Warrior press exercise. 

You can do this with a band or cable set-up right at home.

Start with the band or cable close to your chest with the band attached to something sturdy off to the side.

Press your hands straight out while keeping a neutral position then while keeping your arms locked out raise your hands up and over your head (seen in the picture). 

Repeat for reps.

You can also see this demonstrated in the video here!

What's The Best Core Training Content You Have For Spinal Fusions?

Try this core workout including 4 of my favorite Fusion Friendly Exercises!

Here is a bonus video of a fun full body workout great for fusions!

Here are 7 of my favorite plank variations, great for building strength, endurance and stability after a spinal fusion.

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