In today’s work environment, exercise for core strengthening is more important now than ever.
At North West Physio Everton Park, we often see health problems caused by the sedentary lifestyle of Australian individuals engaged in desk jobs, who spend an average of 38 hours per week sitting at their desks.
Sitting for long periods can weaken the muscles in our core, which are essential for maintaining good posture, stability, balance, coordination, and even mental well-being.
To combat these issues, we highly recommend incorporating core strengthening exercises into your routine, which can counteract the negative effects of extended sitting.
Here are three general, yet very effective, exercises we recommend to improve your core and upper body strength for long days at the desk.
Physio core: 3 exercises to improve your core for work
1. Planks and modified planks
Planks are great exercises to help target all regions of the core muscles that connect the upper and lower body. Core muscle dysfunction can cause lower back pain and other upper and lower body injuries.
Form cues: Maintain a straight spine – try not to let your back round or sag.
Reps: 5 reps of 10-60 sec hold
Sets: 1-2 sets
Rest: 30-90 seconds
If you haven’t done a plank before, or if it’s been a while since you tried it, start with a modified plank and progress to the standard form above when you feel more comfortable.
2. Dead bugs
Dead bugs are a workout that effectively stabilises the core muscles while incorporating limb movements. It’s a challenging but effective exercise – it helps you teach your body to move opposing limbs in tandem whilst keeping your core switched on and back-protected.
Form cues: Start by lying on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle to your hips. Extend your arms upward, aligning them with your shoulders, and point your fingertips toward the ceiling.
Next, in a slow and coordinated motion, extend your left arm overhead while simultaneously straightening your right leg forward. Then, return your arm and leg to the starting position and repeat the movement with the opposite limbs
Reps: 10 – 60 seconds (alternating arms/legs)
Sets: 1-3 sets
Rest: 30-90 seconds
3. Bent over row with dumbbells
Rows are a great functional movement pattern that helps strengthen your core, upper body, and back/neck muscles. This is especially important for those sitting at the desk, as your muscles will lose strength and endurance if they aren’t regularly challenged.
Form cues: From a standing position with feet shoulder width apart, push your hips back. Drive your elbows back to raise the dumbbells. Pause and then lower slowly.
Reps: 10-15 reps
Sets: 1-4 sets
If you have tried the above-recommended exercises but still have poor desk-related core strength, North West Physio Everton Park suggests booking an appointment with one of our experienced Physiotherapists today.
We will conduct a personalised evaluation and design an exercise regimen tailored to your specific requirements.
Exercise for core strengthening: advice from North West Physio Everton Park – 3 ways to strengthen your core for work
Prioritising exercise for core strength for long days at the office is vital for our overall health and well-being.
It is vital to regularly engage in core-strengthening exercises to maintain optimal posture, stability, balance, coordination, and overall mental well-being at work. Consequently, this directly contributes to increased productivity levels.
Incorporating simple yet effective exercises into our daily routine can counteract the adverse effects of prolonged desk-sitting and ensure a healthier lifestyle inside and outside work.
So, let’s start taking small steps towards a stronger core today! If you are experiencing pain or discomfort from a poor core at work, contact North West Physio Everton Park here or book online today!