Eighty per cent of us suffer the misery of backache at some point – and no case or cause is ever the same. These four exercises are the most effective steps to follow for you to strengthen the core muscles that support your spine, says physiotherapist Janine Santer. Remember to always warm up first!
1 The Plank
Start on your knees, with elbows on the floor, forearms stretched ahead, palms flat. Slowly rise on to your toes and straighten legs. Try not to drop your head or raise your backside. Relax shoulders away from ears, and hold for 10 seconds, building up to 30 seconds and then one minute. Do it two or three times.
2 The Superman
Start on hands and knees, with knees directly under hips, hands below shoulders. Gently pull in abdominal muscles. Point your left hand in front, and straighten right leg behind you. Hold for 10 seconds. Switch sides. Work up to five repetitions.
3 The Lunge
With feet hip width apart, step forward, pushing your heel down first and keeping back straight, then lower down until front thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold for 10 seconds. Push off the front heel to stand. Swap sides. Start with five each side and build up to 10.
4 The Bridge
Lie on your back, knees bent, keeping the back in a neutral position (not too arched) and pushing through your feet, raise hips from the floor. This is great for back, core and buttocks. Hold for 10, repeat 10 times.
DISCLAIMER: Before starting any diet or exercise plan, you should speak to your doctor. You must not rely on the information on this website/newsletter as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.