Top 4 Core Exercises Safe For Disc Bulges

Have you ever tried to build a stronger core after being told you have bulging discs in your lower back only to find that most of the exercises cause your pain to flare up? 

Or maybe you’re scared that the exercises you’re doing are making your disc bulges worse without even realizing it?

This is a lot of peoples reality but today I want to give you a little guidance that will make your core training with disc bulges less painful and safer for you at the same time.

What Are The Best Core Exercises For Bulging Discs?

There are a lot of layers to answering this questions. The best core exercises for bulging discs will vary on the severity and the symptoms you’re experiencing. 

Planks for one person may be great but for another they cause pain. So this has to be considered when you are following the suggestion of someone you find online (including myself). 

What you’re looking for is to find exercises that both feel good and keep you from doing unnecessary things that could make your pain or bulge worse. 

An example of what I wouldn’t suggest someone do is weighted decline russian twists. This is a great way to challenge the core on a lot of different levels but for someone who has a disc sensitivity this would be the LAST thing I have them do.  

So the main types of core exercises I try to focus on are neutral spine, anti-extension and anti-rotational exercises. 

This is not saying that I NEVER do flexion, extension or twisting with clients but for those I work the most these are rarely seen and are not needed to build more stability around the spine. 

Best Core Exercises Safe For Disc Bulges: Alternating Pressure Dead Bugs

This alternating pressure dead bug is one of my newest favorite deadbug variation. I love core exercises that you can feel deep in your stomach and this is one of them.

To do it start with you knees bent at 90 degrees and place your left arm on your right new and while pushing down and bring your knee up at the same time you should create a wall of tension right at that 90 degree mark.

With the opposite arm and leg you are performing the normal dead bug movement switching arms and legs at the middle where the pressure is being applied. 

Best Core Exercise For Disc Bulges: Side Plank

This is a tried and true core exercises that really hits the core from the side. We tend to focus more effort on the front and back when it comes to training core so making sure you have a lateral aspect is key. 

There are a number of ways to do this exercise but for this one start with your hips on the ground and slightly bent. 

Get your legs and feet in place and be sure to brace and align your spine before lifting. 

Lift by pushing your hips forward and getting into a neutral position from head to toe. 

Hold for the desired amount of time. 

You can watch the full video to see how I modify this to make it easier. 

Best Core Exercises For Disc Bulges: Weighted Core Pullovers

This core exercise is another favorite of mine and a go-to for those with disc bulges. 

Get into the dead bug position while holding a weight straight over your chest. 

After a proper brace slowly drop the weight with straight arms behind your head while simultaneously moving your legs out as well.

After touching down with the weight overhead bring everything back to the middle. 

See the video for the full break down! 

Best Core Exercises For Disc Bulges: Banded Static Arm Dead Bugs

Man I love this exercise!

This is one of those it burns so good exercises. 

Attach a band or adjust your cable machine so it is a couple feet above your head like you see in the image above. 

Grab the band and pull tension on the band by engaging the lats and keeping the arms relatively straight. 

Bring your legs up into the dead bug position and once set, lower one leg at a time while maintaining the brace you’ve created above the hips.

Check out the video for the full breakdown!

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