If his transverse abdominus doesn't activate quickly enough when catching this punt, he could end up with some major low back pain

Building a strong core is important because the core has to stabilize the spine.  If the spine isn’t supported, then we are extremely limited in what movements we can do.  Just ask anybody with low back pain.

A strong core largely comes from motor control.  A lot of people who have low back pain have a dysfunctional transverse abdominus (TA).  The TA is extremely important to spinal stabilization because it acts like your body’s own weight belt.  Often, the problems of low back pain result from the TA taking too long to activate.  In a normal person, the TA should activate first to stabilize the spine before any type of movement is initiated.  In a lot of people with low back pain, their other muscles will react first and the TA will activate too late to protect the spine.  As a result, your spine won’t have the stability that it needs, and you will get hurt.

The following exercises are more of a holistic approach to training the body for activities of daily living.  When you train your body for the activities of daily living, the TA will start to respond by waking up and doing its job.



1. Squats – The form and a little extra information from a Physical Therapist.  Like he says, be sure to get checked out by a physical therapist if you have pain when doing any exercise.




2. Anterior Reaches – Start by just reaching down to your knee.  Once that’s too easy, you can reach closer and closer to the ground.




3. Push Ups – Instead of putting your knees on the ground to make it easier, just put your hands on a higher surface.  So, a chair, table, counter-top, wall, etc.  It’ll make the exercise easier while still involving the full body.




4. Medicine Ball Chops – You don’t have to have a medicine ball.  Just grab something that is between 4 and 15lbs.  Err on the light side.