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The best functional core exercise is the single-leg dead lift. The very name of the exercise strikes concern by having the word “dead” in the name, but in reality, it is a movement that we do every day. A dead lift involves picking up something off the floor, bending over by hinging our hips.

Some of us that have experienced lower-back pain at some point in our lives are afraid of hinging our hips or cannot do the movement properly. The best way to teach the body how to bend over properly is using an elevated surface to limit the bending at first.

Start standing as tall and straight as you can, having all of your weight on one leg. Then drive your hips back, keeping your spine neutral. Reach out for the weight without rounding your back, and return to the starting position by pressing down with the heel of the supporting leg.

As you get more comfortable with this movement, you can lower the surface where the weight is placed, progressing until you do not need any elevated surface at all.

Do a few sets of these core exercises every single day to develop a strong core. It should not take you more than 10-15 minutes – a minimum amount of time that will save you a lot of trouble in the future.

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