According to the World Health Organization, over 600 million suffer with back pain globally, and I'm one of them.
I work at home and spend a lot of time sitting down. Although I try to incorporate exercises that improve posture into my day, sitting down still puts unnecessary pressure on my back, leading to aches and pains.
One of the best ways to combat back pain is to strengthen the muscles that support your spine, such as your back muscles and those found in your core.
NASM-certified personal trainer Sadielee Thomas recently shared an Instagram reel with one exercise that promises to strengthen the core muscles and the posterior chain—the muscles that run along the back side of the body.
Returning to work after the Christmas break, I noticed my back pain was getting worse. So I added this exercise into my routine for three days in a row to see if it helped. It’s a simple move that doesn't require any equipment so I did it first thing in the morning before I sat down to work.
Watch Sadielee Thomas' Instagram Reel
A photo posted by on
This move is also known as a reverse plank. To do it, you sit on the floor with your hands behind you and legs stretched out in front, then lift your hips up. Your body should form a straight line and your core should be engaged.
Thomas recommends performing 8-12 repetitions of this move, two to three times. I did ten repetitions and that felt challenging as it worked both my core and arms. It also opened up my chest, giving me a good stretch.
I found that the exercise was good for providing immediate relief for my back ache. My muscles certainly felt less stiff when I sat back down at my desk. However, a few hours later I still experienced the usual dull pains. This was the case even after trying the exercise for three days in a row.
I think if I wanted to completely get rid of my aches, I'd have to try other approaches, like reducing the amount of time I sit down or trying a wider range of back exercises.
Still, I'd recommend this move if you have a spare five minutes in the day and want some immediate tension relief.
Need a mat to support you during exercise? See our round-up of the best yoga mats
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Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.
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