For years I have been in search of the best spinal stabilization exercise. One that not only engages the core and keeps it engaged but also one that hits the spine from a variety of angles at the same time, helping to engage the all elusive multifidi. Until now the best, most efficient exercise I had been able to come up with was the Seated/Standing Statue.
This is performed with assistance of a trainer. The client will be in a seated position with arms crossed in front of their chest. The trainer standing behind the client will apply pressure to the client’s shoulders trying to move them in a variety of directions. The client is told, “Don’t let me move you.” Their job is not to resist so much as it is just to maintain proper posture and not let the trainer move them off of their neutral spine.
While this is a fabulous exercise, it does require 2 people. For years I have been trying to find something that can be just as efficient but can be done solo. The best exercise I have been able to find is the Core Stix Standing Stir the Pot.
The Standing Stir the Pot is done with 2 rods in the center bracket in position E2 and E4. Centering yourself on the middle of the board, with both hands grab one rod and bring it toward your midline and hold. You should already feel your core engage and it should feel as though the rod wants to pull you to the side. Resist that pull. With your arms, begin a stirring motion, small at first then increasing your range of motion to increase your resistance. Reverse directions and repeat. 3 Sets of 15 reps will be more than enough for you to get a great core workout while engaging all the muscles of spinal stability.
What makes this superior to a similar activity with a tube or cable is the Core Stix is consistently pulling you in a different direction as you move it off its center. It is Pulling toward the center of the bracket as well as toward the side of the board. You can progress the exercise by narrowing or staggering the foot stance. Or for a real challenge try it on one foot.