Julie says: The advice for people suffering simple back pain (not caused by an underlying condition) is to keep active and avoid sitting for long periods of time. It really helps if you can strengthen your core muscles to support your spine and Pilates can be a great way to learn how to engage the right muscles.
This ‘bridge’ exercise really works all the muscles through your lower back, bottom and abdomen: lie on the floor with knees bent, feet flat and hip-width apart.
Tighten your abdominal muscles slightly then slowly curl your pelvic bone up and off the floor, then your bottom, creating a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Hold for up to 3 seconds, lower your bottom back to the floor and repeat up to ten times.
Maintaining good posture can also help by keeping everything in alignment. Check your normal stance by looking side-on in a mirror to make sure you’re not allowing your hips to come forward; tighten up your tummy muscles and try to grow as tall as you can.
- Julie Robinson is a specialist fitness instructor with a range of DVDs available at www.moveitorloseit.co.uk 0800 612 0450. Send your fitness questions to Julie via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
- There's more great advice from Julie in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.