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  • Writer's pictureKaye Cheong

CORE! and the Importance of it.

Can my abdominal strength tell me how healthy my spine is?


Everyone is talking about spinal health and the importance of it but do we really understand what is considered a healthy spine?

One thing's for sure: you can never have a stress and pain-free spine without the optimal curvature of the spine. Many of our back pain patients often present with abnormal curvature of the spine and this is proven by their X-rays. A neutral spine is crucial as it helps cushion and protect your spine during movement and at rest. 

Do you have an abnormal spinal curvature? Having a flat back or feel like your spine is curving a little too much? Great news! Your abdominal muscle strength (core strength) can actually help improve your spine curvature.

Working on your core help you achieve an ideal pelvic position,directly shaping a more neutral lumbar lordosis (lower back curvature). Thus, reduce pressure on your spine when you sit, stand, run or when you're resting. 


Let's test it out! Here are 2 of the many tests we use in our center to grade the core strength of our patients. 

Leg Lowering Test

This test measures your ability to stabilize your spine. Lowering your legs naturally forces your lower back to arch upward. The stronger your core, the lower you will be able to keep it in a natural position

  • Lie on back with arms to sides and legs straight in air, perpendicular to ground

  • Have partner or coach place a hand under your low back

  • Slowly lower legs, keeping low back pinned against partner's hand

  • Stop test when lower back rises off hand

How we grade our patients:

  • 90 degrees: extremely poor

  • 75 degrees: poor

  • 60 degrees: below average

  • 45 degrees: average

  • 30 degrees: above average

  • 15 degrees: good

  • 0 degrees: excellent

Plank Test


The plank is a true measure of core stability and muscular endurance. It's relatively easy to perform, but it forces your entire core to fire to maintain the position.

  • Hold plank position for as long as possible.

  • Stop timer when hips sag or raise.

How we grade our patients:

  • 0-30 seconds: needs improvement

  • 30-60 seconds: satisfactory

  • 60-90 seconds: good

  • 90-120 seconds: excellent

The excessive pelvic tilt might look sexy in person (twerking position) but what it does is it gives a huge amount of stress over your spine.

Let's start strengthening your core and get that spine looking and feeling awesome.

(A journey to dreamy 6 packs perhaps?)

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