Your core is the major connection between your upper and lower body and is essential for your balance and stability. You do core exercises so that you can train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work properly together. Because of an injury or surgery, you may find that you need to do exercises that do not stress the core muscles.
Core Strains and Stresses
Your core is made up of three key muscles -- the rectus abdominis, the transverses abdominis and obliques. You can stress and overwork these muscles when performing certain exercises. You can strain the obliques with constant movements that include side bending and twisting. You can strain the rectus abdominis with repeated crunches and the transverses abdominis by drawing in your abdominal muscles.
Seated Toe Touches
Seated toe touches target your calves, shins and thighs. Sit with your legs extended in front of you and your torso upright, vertical to the ground. Engage your core muscles to support your spine. Place your hands on your thighs and slide them down toward your ankles. While keeping your back flat and your toes pointed toward the ceiling, place your hands on your ankles or toes. Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds, release and repeat for two to four more times.
Bound Angel Pose
The bound angle pose targets the spine, shoulders, hamstrings and knees. Begin on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Bend your knees, place the soles of your feet together and bring your heals as close to your pelvis as possible. With the outer edges grounded, grab your feet -- your thumbs should be touching your soles and your palms should be on the outer parts of your feet. Allow your thighs to release toward the floor. Keep your torso upright. Hold this pose from one to five minutes and release.
Modified Hurdler’s Stretch
The modified hurdler’s stretch targets your calves, hamstrings and low and middle back. Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you, your torso upright, vertical to the floor and your toes pointed toward the ceiling. Bend your right knee and place the bottom of your foot against your inner left thigh. With a straight spine, engage your core muscles. Place both hands on your extended leg, hinge from the hips and slide your hands down your thigh until you reach your place of tension. Hold this pose for 15 to 30 seconds, release and repeat pose on the opposite leg. Do five to 10 repetitions.
Ciara Wimby is a certified yoga instructor, currently teaching in Phoenix. She began her yoga practice to manage and heal from Crohn’s disease. Her teaching philosophy is that yoga is accessible to everyone. She has been writing health-related articles since 2008, contributing to YogaBlog.com and MyYogaOnline.com.