The bird dog exercise has been instrumental since my low back flared up in July.
It's advocated by Stuart McGill, the preeminent spine biomechanist in the world, as one of of the most advocated exercise for people with some form of low back pathology. If he says it I listen!
This position entails being on all fours. Shoulders stacked over wrists. Hips stacked over knees.
Keeping eyes down envision balancing a glass of water on your neck and on your tailbone. The goal is to keep these from spilling.
Reach opposite arm and opposite leg. Your body will have a tendency to want to lift the hip of the lifted leg. This would spill the glass. Keep your hips level and you will feel your abdomen tighten in towards your spine and feel your obliques engage. Put the boot on your foot by pushing your heel out to lengthen the back of the leg and spread hand as wide as you can too. Hold for ten seconds and then slowly control your movement back to the starting position. Switch sides.
Much of my low back issue revolves around some asymmetries in my body. We all have them. And by doing the opposing arm and leg engagement it begins to teach our body the cross body stability to hold ourselves in a grounded fashion. It will teach you where you're weak.
By having this awareness you have made the first step in making a hidden weakness a strength. For only when we are aware of something can we use it favorably or improve on it. Until then, it's background noise that we're unaware of wrecking havoc on health.