Decreased spinal stability, poor muscle strength and endurance, and poor neural control of the core muscles are important causes of back pain. Deep core muscles, such as the internal oblique and transverses abdominis help stabilize the spine and act as foundations for powerful movements in the upper and lower body. Recommended exercises for these deep muscles include the abdominal crunch, abdominal drawing- in maneuver (bracing), abdominal sit-back, horizontal side support (sidebridge), supine lower extremity-extender, and quadruped opposite upper and lower-extremity lift (bird-dog).
Researchers from the U.S. Army- Baylor University Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy in San Antonio found that the best exercises for activating the internal oblique and transverses abdominis muscles were side-bridges and abdominal crunches.
The bracing and bird-dog exercises were also good for activating the transverses abdominis. Researchers estimated muscle activation levels by measuring changes in deep muscle thickness with ultrasound. Prevent back pain by doing at least 10-20 repetitions of curl-ups, side-bridges, bird-dogs and abdominal braces every day.