However, there are standard exercises i have come to use through trying every option that has become available to my experience. Some of these are possibly in order of importance but also not from time to time and individual to individual.
You can try these in order as the first is more an awareness and mobilising exercise which also tunes your breathing into your moving.
1. Soma Lumbar rolling (from the German Soma (or Breathing) series)
-Lie on your back. have the legs raised and knees at 90 degrees or a little less. The feet are flat on the floor. The knees are apart far enough to allow your adductors to relax and shut off.
-Begin by lifting the lumbar spine away from the ground as far as possible without lifting the hips of upper back. After reaching full height with a very gentle stretch proceed to lower the lumbar spine to the ground and then apply slight pressure into the ground with it.
- Simulatenous to this is the breathing pattern and it's very simple.During the lifting phase breath in. During the lowering and pressing phase breath out. Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Attempt to draw the breath from the lower abdominal section and no higher than that. Ideally the breath draws in and releases from the CofG. When you are asleep and thus at your most relaxed it will draw and release from this point anyway.
- The word release is very important. Try not to push the breath out. As paradoxical as trying not to try may be, initially trying not to push may be necessary. Once into the exercise the only trying is the slight attempt to draw the breath from down there and the release should become a true release ie no trying necessary.
-The final important point i can remember at the moment is is that the breath and the movement should begin and end at the exact same time. So start lifting as you start drawing and finish the draw as you finish the lift. Don't hold at the top of the lift, simply start the lowering process and simulataneously allow the release to begin as you begin to lower. Once the movement and the breathing become synchronised another effect may become apparent, especially to those who are aware of the feeling of their own mind.
- continue for 20 repeptitions. I have fallen into the rhythm and probably continued for over 50 at times. 20 is enough though.
2.Supine (on the back) leg raisings and lowerings.
-Lie flat with he the legs outstretched and the body outstretched. Tilt the hips into the posterior tilt position. Attempt to flatten the lumbar spine to the ground. Then keeping the same slight pressure into the ground with the lumbar spine raise first one leg and then the other to a position that is vertical. There should be a 90 degree angle at the hips here. If this is difficult it may require an increase in hamstring flexibility. Most runners have no problem reaching 90 degrees though.
- Then lower one leg in the straight position towards the ground. You do not need to get all the way to the ground especially if first trying this exercise. ONce you have felt the strain enter your abdominal/lumbar spine area re-raise that leg to the vertical position. Then begin the same process with the other leg
- there is a very important point to be made here. The lumbar spine needs to maintain its position as you move your leg. The slight pressure into the ground should be maintained at all times, not allowed to decrease and not allowed to increase.This is where you will need to consciously stabilise this area of your body whilst the movement of the leg is occurring.
- now the reason i said don't go all the way to the ground could be apparent by now. For to continue too far to the ground may well mean that the lumbar spine begins to lift away from the ground.Simply lower the leg until you cannot control the stability and the slight pressure into the ground anymore. Stop just before you lose this control/pressure and raise the leg back to the starting position.
- Continue until the controlled stability cannot be maintained anymore.This indicates fatigue of the muscles you are trying to strengthen has reached its exercisable limit for now.
- you can utilise the saem breathing pattern as for the soma exercise above if you wish. In fact i recommend it.
If this helps and once it has been tried with serious intent i would be happy to outline a few more exercises.
Hope it is helpful, it has been outstanding for me and the athletes i coach.
PS disclaimer - you may well experience a relaxation of the mind. Additionally you may experience mind altering effects if the breathing becomes well synchronised. Enjoy!