Back Problems? Here Are Three Spine-Saving Moves
To start every workout, do 3 sets of 6, 4, and then 2 reps of each exercise, resting 20 seconds between sets, says Back Mechanic author and Professor, Stuart McGill.
This helps your abs support your back. Lie on your back with a knee bent, your foot flat on the floor. Slide both hands under your lower back and raise your elbows slightly. Brace your core with your spine neutral. Squeeze your abs to raise your head and shoulders 3 to 5cm. Hold 10 seconds; return to the start. That’s 1 rep.
2. Side Bridge
This move stabilises your spine. Lie on your left side, legs stacked, supporting yourself on your left elbow/hip/knee. Your hips should be hinged and behind the rest of your torso. From here, press your hips up and forward until your body is aligned from head to knees. Hold for 10 seconds and return to the start. That’s 1 rep.
3. Bird Dog
For a strong back and hips, do this: kneel with your knees hip-width apart and hands beneath your shoulders. Make fists. Hollow your lower back slightly and brace your core. Lift and extend one arm and the opposite leg so they’re parallel to the floor. Hold 10 seconds; return to the start. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep.