Myth 3: You should strengthen your core muscles by doing sit-ups and back extensions
Those are among the worst exercises you can do as they can actually do more damage. “People are well intentioned when they want to help their backs get better, but when they do traditional core exercises like sit-ups, crunches and back extensions, they are putting tremendous pressure on their disks, which can exacerbate a problem that’s already there, or cause a new problem to happen,” says chiropractor Mark Kubert.
Ideal core exercises involve keeping your spine in a neutral position. “Don’t suck in your abdominal muscles and don’t stick them out. Brace them like you would when you clear your throat or cough. That will give you the type of muscle activation that will give you the best advantage to help you keep your spine stable in everyday life,” says Kubert. He recommends these healthy core exercises: the glute bridge; the bird dog; the side bridge and the one-legged curl-up.